Paneer is a simple, un-cultured cheese used often in Indian food, and is basically identical to queso blanco. It goes great in curries, or you can slice it or cube it and season it and fry it for a snack, or crumble it and put it on tacos. All you need is a pot, milk, a colander, an acid and some cheesecloth.
- 1/2 gallon whole milk, non-homogenized and non-ultra-pasteurized
- 1/4 cup vinegar (apple cider or white), or lemon juice
- Scald the pot and cheesecloth with boiling water.
- Pour milk into pot and bring to a foaming boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a slotted spoon (be careful, the milk boils over quite suddenly).
- Remove pot from heat, and slowly pour in the vinegar or lemon juice, while stirring gently in one direction.
- Continue stirring for 30-60 seconds as curds start to form.
- Cover the pot and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Lay the cheesecloth in a colander and place either in the sink or over a large mixing bowl.
- Scoop the large curds out of the pot and into the cheesecloth with a slotted spoon.
- Pour the rest of the liquid through the cheesecloth, so that the rest of the small bits of curds get filtered out.
- Pull the cheesecloth together so that the curds are sitting in the bottom.
- Rinse the curds out under cold water, twisting the cheesecloth and lightly pressing the curds to squeeze liquid out.
- Tie some kitchen twine to the excess bit of cheesecloth and hang over sink or bowl to drain for about 4-5 hours (less will do if you’re in a pinch).
- Take cheese out of cheesecloth and store in your favorite container in the refrigerator until needed for cooking or eating.