I can now make cheese. Specially, I can make Paneer. I’ve yet to try anything else. Still, I’m pretty sure this is a dangerous life skill, because I love cheese.
And now I can make it.
It’s all My Cheese Shoppe’s fault. (OK, it’s my fault, because I’m the one who wants to try my hand at Palak Paneer.) Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, My Cheese Shoppe didn’t have a Paneer-like cheese when I went in this weekend. “Sorry,” the owner said, disappointed on my behalf. Then she perked up. “Oh! But I think we have a cheese making kit for paneer. Look on the shelf behind you.”
“You should give it a try,” she continued. “I think you’d really like it.”
“And,” her assistant chimed in, “you have a ten dollar credit on your loyalty card.”
(I love My Cheese Shoppe. I really do. I’d love it just as much even if they didn’t have a loyalty card, but they do, so I buy more cheese. And now cheese making kits. This may signal my delicious, cheesy doom.)
I now have Paneer and a lovely bowl of whey to use in…something. I may end up freezing the rest until the next time I make a creamy soup.
I also have a desire to make more. I think it would be fun to try my hand at a dessert cheese. And ricotta to use in lasagna. And more, but I’ll start with baby steps.
And this recipe is a fun baby step. It’s simple, easy to follow, and only a few minutes of work. I forgot to set my timer, but I think I spent 10-15 minutes heating the milk (and squeezing lemon juice for the curdling element) and adding the lemon juice to the foamy milk to get the separation going. Then I let it sit for 10 minutes. Scooping out the curds and stirring in the salt took no more than five minutes, and then I let it sit in the fridge for an hour. So, it takes a little bit of time, but not a huge investment, which means this particular cheese is something I can tackle on a whim. Well, almost on a whim. Despite my love of cheese, I’m not keen on milk, so it’s not a staple in my house. (This may be the thing that saves me from delicious, cheesy doom.)