Who's That Girl

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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Making Cheese, Making History

Holy moly! I made cheese!

OK -- in all honestly, it's not like I made cheese completely from scratch.

And, no, I didn't make history either. I was just kidding about that. 

In fact, I feel obligated to state that I didn't raise a cow to be a dairy cow, wait until she was mature enough, help impregnate her and then, she she had calves, sneak in and steal away with her milk.

Did you even know that it is most common when breeding cows for their milk, that the method is to breed them in a way that they produce a large yield?

As a consumer, and as a consumer who is not producing my own food, I am reminded that it is incredibly important to learn about food production and to make better decisions about product choice and consumption levels. It's yet another reasons to be aware and to make better decisions about food choice and consumption.

So, I decided I wanted to make paneer, which is quite easy. Paneer is common in parts of Asia and, to date, I have most often had it in Indian dishes. Saag paneer is one of my favorite foods, ever. I will someday make this at home.

For the paneer, you need a large pot, whole milk, some kind of citrus or vinegar, cheese cloth and patience.

You start by gently boiling the milk. You need to be careful not to burn the milk, so you have to stir pretty regularly. When the milk begins to boil, this is when you add the citrus or vinegar.

I was turned off to the idea of adding vinegar, so I had a few large lemons on hand. When you add the citrus or vinegar, the milk should start to kind of curdle immediately.

It didn't.

I added more of the lemon juice. It curdled a little bit, but not enough to get me excited. I added more and more and more until I had used all of my large lemons. By this point, I was aggravated. Wasted milk?! Never! I rushed to the corner market and got some vinegar. Yep, I had to turn off the flame and leave the half curdled make believe cheese on the stove.


But when I boiled the milk again and slowly added the vinegar it happened like magic. The milk curdled immediately! It was a lovely and amazing sight. 

It curdles fast when done appropriately. Next, I drained the curdled milk and put it into a double wrapping of cheese cloth. I then pressed this -- using an assortment of books -- for about 1.5 hours.

The result: Nice! Perhaps a little too firm, so I may have gone without adding the Julia Child cookbook. And those brown flecks? I burned my milk a little. I was expecting more of a nutty flavor. But, alas, not, it was quite plain until prepared in a dish.

I cut the cheese round into a few pieces, sauteed them in a bit of butter, and served the cheese with a nice cut of meat, some peas and a sweet potato puree. In all, a yummy meal! 


  1. I made ricotta in this fashion about a year ago. It was fun and the result was a good one. Hurray for you!

  2. I also made ricotta this year, I think twice in January. It told out pretty good. I made it as a filling for homemade pasta!


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