Saturday, January 24, 2009

Adventures with Cows' Milk: Fresh-Made Panir

Danger kitten has other kitchen adventures besides those involved with an oven...

Homemade Panir: No Oven Required!

My culinary project this year (my "year" beginning sometime in August), as some of you may know, has been cheese making. So far, I have made ricotta, mozzarella, and now panir. A relatively easy process, simple cheese making of the sort I've done requires little else than milk, a coagulating agent (such as vinegar or rennet) and salt. It has been immensely satisfying for me to watch the curds separate from the whey (before I made ricotta, I really didn't know the difference between curds and whey; now I've learned that the curds are the solids that separate from the rest of the milk, or the whey, when cooked with a coagulating agent). This panir is probably one of the easiest cheeses to make, and you can make it with ingredients that don't have to be purchased from a cheese making supply. It is delicious in the potato balls I made, but I enjoyed it the most simply fried and sprinkled with salt.

After the cheese has drained for 2 1/2 hours in the butter muslin, I put it in a glass square dish. This made it easy to cut into cubes later on for frying. Some of the pictures below are sideways, but you get the idea.

5. The curds are in the butter muslin (a fine cheesecloth) draining, where they will stay for about 2 1/2 hours.

4. Curds in colander draining from the whey.

3. A spoonful of curds that are ready to be put in the colander to drain.

2. Milk is heating and curds are beginning to form.

1. Equipment is ready to be used.

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