Acheesement Unlocked!

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.

homemade paneer

My impending doom is delicious.

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.”

There were a series of cute little DYI cheese kits from Urban Cheesecraft. And one of the kits was for Paneer and Queso Blanco.

The cheese kit of doom

This is all I need to make cheese all by myself. Have I mentioned I love cheese? I’m doomed.

“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.

adding salt to the curds

The most satisfying baby step: adding salt and mixing it in.

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.)

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10 thoughts on “Acheesement Unlocked!

    • I can’t believe how easy it is to make a cheese like this. I have a feeling I’ll be making a lot more cheese dishes and/or substituting cheese for meat in stir fries & such. Yum!

      Let me know if you give making some a try. I’d love to hear how you & your family like it! 🙂

  1. Great post! I love your writing style and its about cheese which make it more awesome;) Did you know there’s a swiss soft drink that’s made from whey? It tastes like gingerale… might be hard to make at home though…

    • Thank you! I’m having a lot of fun with these posts. I didn’t know about that Swiss soft drink, but thanks to you (and google), I found out that I can use whey to make homemade ginger ale. I have a feeling an interest in pickling & fermenting foods is going to go hand-in-hand with my interest in cheesemaking…

  2. Oh how I wish I had a cheese shop near by. The closest we have here is a the supermarket deli and while I enjoy the cheese they have there- it just isn’t the same. I have been thinking about making ricotta- you may have just given me the push I need. I think I sense lasagna in our future…

    • I was overjoyed when my cheese shop opened. I love being able to taste new to me cheeses & have some recommended to me based on what the owner sees that I buy.

      That’s funny about the ricotta. I was just thinking that it should be the next cheese I try making. I have a killer lasagna recipe that homemade ricotta may just make amazing, and I’m thinking baked apples stuffed with honey walnut ricotta would be a tasty dessert one of these wet and chilly winter nights.

  3. Kate – I think from reading your post and all the comments above we might have just discovered another interest to add to our “about me” pages. This is brilliant. My husband got a soft cheese kit for Father’s day last year (or maybe year before). He used it a couple of times and then life . . . you know. I will have to dig it out this weekend and see what I need to do. We’ve also got a wonderful range of boutique cheese makers down here in Tasmania. Best of tasting when you make some more.

    • I’d love to hear how your cheese making adventure(s) go! I was floored by how easy this cheese was to make and how tasty it is. It’s good on its own, but cubed and pan fried in some butter? It almost didn’t make it into the palek paneer dish I made.

      Tasmania? Excuse me, I’m indulging in some “it’s not winter there” envy. 🙂

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