I spent my Saturday night having a blast, making my curds and whey! I decided to make two types, mozzarella and paneer (Indian cheese).
Here’s how it all went down:
Step 1: I poured myself a glass of wine. This is my “welp! don’t know how this one’s gonna turn out!” face.
Kristen got me a Mozzarella-making kit for Christmas!:
Step 2: Boil milk with citric acid until the curds and whey start to separate.
After letting it sit for 10ish minutes, drain and strain.
Knead it after heating, and then repeat (OUCH! sooo hot!!!)
To make paneer, I went old school. None of this fancy-schmancy citric acid….I squirted some lemon juice up in there!!!
And then promptly dropped an almond that I was eating in there. Had to fish that out. Crapskies!!!
Strain, drain, and HANG!
Then press it for 3 hours. They suggested using a chapathi-maker. Uhhhhhh, riiiiight….I’ll just use my own version of a paneer-press….
To use both types of cheeses, I decided to make two dishes that use them. For the paneer, I made Palak Paneer, which is an Indian dish with chopped/sauteed spinach, onion, tomato and spices. The cheese is chopped up into chunks and then added. I got to take a bunch of cooking classes while we were there and I finally got to use a recipe from one of them!! For the mozzarella, I sliced up some of it and put it over tomatoes with some salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.
The paneer came out perfect! The mozzarella…..welllllll, it wasn’t bad. It warned me in the packet not to knead it too much or else it would come out rubbery and that’s exactly what happened. But now I know this, and will do much better next time I make it!!
Other notable firsts:
* I had never read my India journal all the way through. When we were traveling, I wrote in it everyday, drew some sketches, and glued ticket stubs, fliers, and other handouts into it. What a ridiculous trip that was! I’m still reflecting and synthesizing everything that I learned during it.
* I had never seen an example of a ridiculously awful, terrible, horrible teacher before.
* I had never danced with the Gray school of Irish Dance before!!! I couldn’t walk from Tuesday-Friday because of the workout I was put through! The girls are a level or two higher than me, and 15-20 years younger. I’m feelin’ my age, man!!!! But it felt GREAT to be able to dance again.
* I had never seen a school-wide geography bee before.