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Making Paneer at Home

It feels like it's been ages since I've posted a cheese making recipe...bad cheeseslut!  I'm sure it was just last month, but I've gone into withdrawal and need to get my fix, so... just a quick fresh cheese today to appease that beast.  Paneer is one of those simple ones.  The kind that takes milk and an acid and turns it into something far more glorious than its parts.  There are many "recipes" out there...they all use milk and lemon juice.  I just went with the amount that worked for me; not a new discovery by any means.  I used the resulting cheese to make my Paneer Tikka. Paneer is very milk and non-descript, taking on the flavors that you cook/mix/pair it with...not much of an eating "out of hand" cheese.  Unless you want to, that is.  Who am I to argue?

1 gallon whole milk
~½ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place milk in a large, heavy pot and slowly, over low heat, bring it just to the boil.  It will look very thick and creamy.
Turn off the heat.  Stir in  ½ c. lemon juice with a wooden spoon...
...for a few minutes until the curds begin to separate from the whey.
If, by chance, the curds don't separate, add a bit more lemon juice and continue stirring.
Scoop/pour curds into a colander lined with butter muslin or cheesecloth.  Reserve the whey for another use.
Run cold water over the curds until the water runs clear.  Squeezing a bit.  This step gets rid of most of the lemony taste.
Gather up the sides of the cheese cloth and squeeze gently.  Tie/hang the bag for ~3-4 hours at room temperature.
You will now have a solid mass of Paneer that can be used in many applications from this point.
Or you could load it all into a press.  (I use a 28 oz. can w/ the top and bottom cut off...and used underneath and on top.)
Place the top lid on the mold...or use a plate if you're pressing in a colander.  Place a couple pounds of weight on top.  Refrigerate overnight.
Remove the top and bottom of the mold and slide the pressed cheese from it.
You now have a solid block/round/cylinder of Paneer. 
From here, you can slice it, cut it, crumble it...use it however you need it in your application! 

forgingfromagebutton2 #cheeseslut

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