Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Paneer / Cottage Cheese, the most versatile ingredient in Indian, especially vegetarian cooking is easily available in all Indian grocery stores. So, why bother making it at home??! Well, there are a couple of good reasons, at least for me. First of all, the ones that you get in stores has this rubbery texture to it. Even though you can live with it, the homemade paneer has a different fresh texture and taste and absorbs the flavour better than the store bought ones. Now especially with paneer, which doesn't have any particular taste to it, this is a very important factor. Second is the cost factor – you will easily spend 6-7 bucks for a block of paneer where as a similar quantity can be made at home with about a gallon of milk which is anywhere between 2-3 $. I know, I know its not a HUGE difference. But don't you feel good when you get better quality and better tasting product for lesser price and the best thing is the satisfaction of making paneer at home! Hope at least some of you agree with me :)You will need:
1/2 gallon 2% milk – whole milk will be better
2 oz (1/4 cup) distilled white vinegar ( you can use equal amount lime/lemon juice also)
A heavy bottomed pan
cheese cloth, to strain
heavy pans/canned food/other heavy things as weightsHeat the milk in a heavy bottomed pan/cast iron pan on medium heat. Keep stirring so that the milk doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Just when the milk starts steaming and just before it comes to a boil, add the vinegar to it. The milk will curdle and you will see something like whats shown in the photo below.Now strain this on a cheese cloth spread over a colander. If you want you can collect the whey (the liquid part) for later use. Wait for sometime till the water drains out completely and then take out the cheese cloth. Place a plate or a chopping board in the sink, place the cheesecloth folded on top it. Place another plate and put some cans of food or a heavy pan on top of it as weights. After about an hour – hour and a half, remove the plates and weights and take out the block of paneer. Chop into small pieces and store or store as it is in the refrigerator for later use. Here are some recipes using paneer :
Paneer Makhani / Paneer Butter Masala – An Easier Version
Paneer Butter Masala on a Pizza
Um, yeah...awesome, right!? Thanks so much for sharing your Paneer making method with us, Manju! And believe me, if you don't visit Mirch Masala already...you will get lost in this fabulous world of spices n' more!!
Monday, December 7, 2009
from The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley (see sidebar to get your own copy)
1-2 Tbs. cultured Buttermilk
2 c. (1 pint) heavy cream do not use ultra-pasteurized (needs that good bacteria!)
1. Combine buttermilk and cream in medium saucepan and heat only to tepid (not more than 85 degrees F). Pour mixture into a clean pint jar. Cover partially and let stand at room temp (between 65-75 degrees F) for 8-24 hours or until thickened. Don't be scared of leaving it out...it is an essential step and so worth it. I've made it before. Really.
2. Stir and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using. The cream will continue to thicken and develop flavor in fridge. It will keep for ~2 weeks.
We look forward to seeing your Créme Fraîche and what you've done with it this month! Once you've posted...or made and pictured...email us with a link or picture/text you'd like to be included in the roundup (by the end of the month). Forge!
*source The Home Creamery
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Watch for next month's adventure to be announced soon! And don't forget that if you make a cheese ball or cheese dip or something cheesy this holiday season to send us a link or picture and we'll round 'em all up in the new year!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I read this post for a savoury and delicious cheese recipe on my friend Mary's site, One Perfect Bite. It is a great way to use the fresh cheese we have been making here at Forging Fromage, or even with store-bought cheese, and she has kindly agreed to let us reproduce her post here. Can't wait to try this recipe!
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...
I know that early exposure helps us develop an affinity for certain foods. It's the only plausible explanation for my love of Central European food. I had my first taste of Liptauer cheese at the age of 4 and we've had an improbable love affair ever since. Lipto is a fresh Hungarian cheese that's made with sheep's milk. It has a very soft consistency, but it's so mild that it's almost flavorless. That's taken care of by the addition of herbs and seeds and spices that are used to flavor the food of the region. A little paprika, a few capers and a spoonful of caraway seeds help move the bland to "bingo." When we lived in Chicago, Lipto cheese was just a bus ride away. It became harder to find in the suburbs of New Jersey and I haven't been able to find it at all where we now live. This cheese spread is popular in Slovakia and Italy , where it's called Spuma di formaggio all'ungherese, as well as in Austria and Hungary. It's almost effortless to make and it's wonderful for those occasions where beer is the beverage of choice. Liptauer cheese spread can be made with any soft cheese. Cottage cheese, cream cheese, quark, and soft goat or sheep cheese are all great substitutes for Lipto. The cheese is mixed with sour cream, butter, and finely chopped onions. Spices like ground paprika, fresh parsley, and bruised caraway seeds are added to the mix along with mustard and anchovies. The cheese is served with crackers or dark breads such as rye or pumpernickel. Some folks serve it with vegetables and others use it to stuff vegetables. All in all, it's an amazingly versatile spread. If you add two or three extra tablespoons of sour cream to the mix, it becomes a dip that's not at all bad with chips or pretzels. Liptauer takes 10 minutes to assemble, but it's flavor improves if it's allowed to sit for a few hours before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
8 oz. of Lipto or cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup soft butter, softened
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 mashed anchovy fillets or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon capers
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds smashed or bruised to release flavor
1/2 teaspoon salt
1) Combine cream cheese, butter, sour cream and anchovies in a small bowl. Mix well to combine.
2) Add capers, minced onions, mustard, paprika, caraway seeds and salt. Mix well.
3) Form a smooth mound. Make slight indentations in mound using tines of a fork. Sprinkle with paprika.
4) Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish as desired. Yield 1-3/4 cups.
Remember, November's cheese challenge is Mascarpone!
*Email your cheese-filled adventures by the last day of the month.
If you make this liptauer, or any special cheese spread or cheese ball, before the end of the year, feel free to write to us. Send in a picture and a link if you post it, and we will post an extra round-up in the new year. I think it would be a wonderful holiday appetizer.
Please direct any entries or questions...or just write to say howdeedoo...to forgingfromage at live dot com
Friday, November 6, 2009
4 cups (2 pints) heavy cream
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1. Pour the cream into the top of a large double boiler and slowly heat to 190 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Check the temperature with a thermometer.
2. Stir in the vinegar, and continue to stir until the cream begins to curdle. Remove the pan from the water, cover and let stand about 15 minutes or until the curds begin to firm.
3. Pour or ladle the curds into a butter muslin-lined strainer set over a large bowl. Let the curds cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to continue draining and to firm.
4. Discard the liquid and transfer the mascarpone to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Stir well before using.
Okay, make it and blog it and send me your link by the last day in November!! Good or bad, success or failure...share with us your cheesy adventure! And remember, if the urge ever strikes to do a guest post about a particular cheesy subject here at Forging Fromage...just say the word...and it's done! Feel free to ask any questions or make comments about MASCARPONE in the comments at the end of this post...hopefully we can learn how to do it...and what not to do...together!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
First up is my cheese making partner in crime...Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. Natashya was the one who actually nudged me into starting a cheese making blog...and now I've nudged her into joining me! But we have been working our way through the successes and failures over the past few months anyway...now we can just share them with others! Look at her Cottage Cheese! Pretty, huh? She used a slightly adapted recipe from The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley...allowing her to "make up" for the homogenization and pasteurization of her store-bought milk.
Next we have Susan from The Accidental Farmer...who actually posted her own recipe from many, many practice rounds right here on Forging Fromage! Her method was different in she let time (and the wonders of raw milk) do the work, instead of rennet!
And bringing up the rear is yours truly...originally posted over at girlichef. I became a convert...where I once was a bit suspicious of cottage cheese...I now cannot wait to make it (and eat it) again!! But I prefer it un-creamy. I also used The Home Creamery recipe...sans changes! See how easy that was!!!??? And super rewarding...seriously, it feels really awesome to produce your own cheese. Yes, I love cheese.
Stay tuned for Novembers Cheese Adventure...I promise you...it's SUPER EASY!!! And you can jump right in without any "special" starters or cultures. No better place or time to begin.....
Saturday, October 17, 2009
· A heavy bottomed two-gallon stock pot and a larger pot to make a double boiler
· A spoon for stirring (unless you are using the metal whisk – see below)
· A large metal whisk OR a long serrated bread knife OR a long frosting knife with a bend in it for cutting the curd
· Professional cheese cloth – you might find at a fabric store, or order from Dairy Connection.
~Butter muslin is too tight a weave. It will take forever to drain and it will be hard to wash the curds if you use it.
· Six quarts milk, preferably raw, most of the cream skimmed off and reserved
I made my own double boiler by putting a two gallon stock pot inside a three gallon stock pot. I have two Dutch ovens and four stock pots. And some days I wish I had a couple more. My stove is always busy!! I put the milk into the smaller pot and set it into the larger pot, into which I put about 3” of water. Water should come up the sides of the pot with the milk, to about 4” from the top. This creates a water bath and prevents the milk from scorching as you heat it. If you don't have two pots, then just remember to stand over the pot as you heat the milk! Scorched milk does not make good cottage cheese. I start with six quarts of raw milk. I skim most of the cream off the milk and put the cream in a pint jar in fridge. I'll use that at the end, adding it to make the finished cottage cheese creamier and richer. If using raw or unhomogenized milk, the cream will rise to the top while you are making the cheese and you will lose some of it. That's why I save it and add it back in after the cheese is made.
Okay, by now your cottage cheese has drained enough. Fill a large bowl (or your emptied pot) with ice cold water and swish the bag of curds through the water several times. It will get kind of milky looking. Then let the whey drain again for about 15 minutes. Swish in fresh cold water and drain again for 15 minutes. This is a really important step, because the cheese will last longer if it has been washed well.
Here is one of my favorite ways to eat my homemade cottage cheese. Oh Mama’s Deli at the South Bend Farmers Market sells this great Muffaleti Olive Salad and I mix it about 5:1, cottage cheese to muffaleti. Stir, add some fresh ground black pepper, enjoy!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
That's it...find a recipe, any recipe for making Large Curd Cottage Cheese at home. Give it your best shot, take notes, take pictures...and post about it on your blog! We'd love to know whether it works or fails....what your experience was like...would you do it again...are you totally and completely in lust with making your own cheese now!?
Please feel free to use any recipe you like...maybe one is easier than another...or tastier...we'll never know unless we try! If anybody has trouble's finding a good recipe to use, please let me know and I'll send you one I have. Don't know if it's good or not, as I haven't made it yet...but. :D
Check out this post if you have any questions about submitting your post...or feel free to ask questions here!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Many years have past since I first fell for 'C'. I actually married and had kids, but 'C' stuck by my side through it all. And how amazing is it to have your whole family be supportive of that never-ending love!? I mean, this affair is carried out on a daily basis...IN MY OWN HOME! Yes, my love affair with CHEESE is a lifelong one that will endure!! Since I began making cheese at home, my affection has never wavered, even through the ups & downs, the twists & turns...nothing good comes easy. Right?
This brings me to my point. Yes, there was a point. I ADORE MAKING HOMEMADE CHEESE. I ADORE EATING HOMEMADE CHEESE. Won't you join me?