Okay, so my family's favorite cheese is the salty Mediterranean (c)haloumi - I love those gutterals!. It's so good fried, so golden, chewy, and crispy. So when I got those two packages of raw, fresh, milk through a splendid friend, I was excited to try it.
I was not deterred by the fact I didn't have rennet. I planned to make haloumi but haloumi requires rennet. I was very excited, so I made paneer. Oh yum! It's so good. so GOOD! And like 5x cheaper than haloumi. It's a sustainable recipe, because I don't have to import rennet to make it. Oh am I going to make this again.
It's so simple - if you can boil spaghetti you can make cheese - I mean it!
1 liter of whole, raw milk
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Two stock pots
Kitchen cloth - smooth
Spagetti drainer - I used one from IKEA
Now here's the secret I stole from haloumi to make the paneer really tasty!
To make the brine - enough for 1 liter's milk worth of paneer cheese:
3/4 cup whey
3/4 cup boiling hot water
1 heaped tbsp of sea salt
Pour the whey into a container. Warm the water in a mug in the microwave and dissolve the salt inside. Pour that into the container too. Stir well. When the cheese is cut, let is soak in brine for about 5 hours. That will make is really fluffy and salty - yum!
To fry the cheese:
Oil (Olive and/or Ghee, or even vegetable oil)
Paneer, brined and drained
Fry the cheese until dry, stir until golden brown. There should be a good but not excessive amount of oil. The cheese will be chewy, crispy, and very much like haloumi only made without rennet, not because I'm a vegetarian but because I don't have rennet on hand.
This cheese is a good accompaniment to salad or rice. It's good with anything Middle Eastern/Mediteranean/Indian/Fusion. It's a bit like feta, too, when it isn't fried. I love the crispy, salty, bits. It will be good with Indian spice, dried chilli, etc. too. mmm... We are having it with curry fried rice tonight. It's going to be a real treat.It's good for Pesach too!