Inspired by Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which I’m currently in the midst of reading, and which informed me that it only takes 1 hour to make fresh mozzarella, I thought I’d try my hand at making a little fromage.
I’d been putting it off for awhile, being too lazy to look for rennet which is essential to the cheesemaking process (although I have heard you can get it at Famous Foods on Kingsway).
Anyway, then I stumbled upon the Purple Foodie where Shaheen had recently posted about how to make paneer, the Indian cheese. It turns out that making paneer takes even less time than mozarella and you don’t need rennet!
All you do is bring 1 litre of whole milk to a rolling boil and add 2 tsp acid like lime juice or vinegar. When the milk curdles, you let it sit for a few minutes and then strain it through cheese cloth, and it’s good to go. The recipe said to press it for an hour or so, but I just did it for 5 minutes and it ended up similar to dry ricotta.
Let me tell you that ricotta is something that I haven’t had all year (During the year we’ve been getting progressively more stringent about plastic, so I haven’t been buying soft cheeses), so this was beyond exciting.
If we had waited longer, it would have created a “patty” of paneer that could be cubed and put in curry etc. But we obviously couldn’t wait, so we crumbled it into pasta, added some tomatoes and basil, and ate it all up. I will definitely be doing this one again!
Thanks to Shaneen for the awesome recipes and to Barbara Kingsolver, author of the aforementioned book that is seriously influencing my food choices these days.