I recently acquired Home Dairy, a fabulous book all about how to make yoru own dairy products ranging from cheese to sour cream. Let me tell you, it is amazing. If you are at all interested in making your own dairy products this book is a huge help! Ashley English does a fantastic job of laying out all you need to know about your favorite dairy items and how you (yes, you!) can make them at home.
Making cheese has been something I've done twice before, both times a simple farmer's cheese. I was feeling ready to take on something a bit more challenging...but not too much more. So my friend Alisha came over and we decided to tackle the Indian Paneer cheese recipe in the book.
We got to work. We brought the milk to a gentle boil, which took quite some time, but we were being extra cautious and kept it on pretty low heat to avoid scorching the milk.
The best part of the process was hands down when we added the lemon juice and saw the milk coagulate before our very eyes. Gets me every time.
Then we drained the curds in a cheesecloth.
And pressed the curds with some weight. We used some heave books and heavy votives.
And three hours later, voila! Paneer!
Another great thing about the Home Dairy book is that after giving you a number of recipes for cheese, yogurt, and ice cream (among various other delicious dairy delicacies...), Ashley includes recipes that incorporate the dairy products you just made, such as Saag Paneer. It's a delightful combination of Indian spices, spinach and the paneer cheese. Mmmm.
The day was a raging success. Next we will try our hand at another cheese - goat perhaps? Then onto the complicated cheese section - swiss and gorgonzola here we come!