Paneer – the simplest cheese
A great first cheese to introduce you and your family to the magic of cheese.
It is easy and fun to make your own cheese, and this method is the simplest of them all. This cheese is best known
as Paneer and a great way to introduce yourself to the magical cheese process as milk turns into curds and whey. Get 4 pints of the freshest best whole milk you can. Heat the milk in a pan until it is just starting to bubble, do not let it boil and stir occasionally to stop any sticking to bottom of pan. Remove from the heat and add the juice of two lemons. You should see the milk starting to curdle almost immediately.
After 10 minutes you should see that there are now white clumps (the curd) surrounded by a lovely green fluid (the whey).
The next stage is to strain the whey from the curds, and you do this with a colander and some muslin cloth. The correct cloth is important as it needs to collect all the curd but let the whey drain. Ladle the contents into the colander, and ensure you remember to have a pan or container underneath to catch the whey. Take the four corners of your cloth and allow the last of the liquid to drain. You should now open the cloth and sprinkle some salt, to taste and mix into the curd. The paneer can be used in this format to fold into soups and curries.
To press the paneer you can use a mould, as seen in the Mcglincheese™ kits. Without a mould you can still press by forming the curds, still in the cloth, into a rough square. Make sure the cloth is tightly folded around the square. Put on a plate, place another plate on top and a weight atop this and press the paneer. This needs to be left at least an hour.
The paneer is now ready to use straight away, or can be kept in the fridge for 2 days.
And what to do with the whey, you can put it in the bottle the milk came in. You can add it instead of water to any baking recipes or add to to your smoothies.
This is the simplest cheese to make, but other cheeses are not a whole load much more complicated.