Sunday, October 9, 2011

Milk Flow

It's been a busy week and what's new you ask?  Three more lovely goats..we are excited to announce.  Two Sable Sanaans (currently in milk) and one Kiko meat goat.  As a first time milker, I can't express the satisfaction I feel in greeting these ladies each morning with an empty pail, and walking back to the house with it full.  I never thought of myself as much of an animal person but I am finding such solace and pleasure in tending to and playing with these goats.  They each have such distinct personalities not to mention that they are supplying us with the creamiest, most nutritious raw dairy products.  I know it is an adjustment for our family to use goat milk in our diet.  It definitely has a different taste so I'm starting out disguising it in other foods that I know the kids will eat (typical momma move).  We have used it in our morning pancakes, smoothies, made some yogurt, paneer cheese, and on the list for cream of course!  I have the feeling I might quickly develop one of those cheese making obsessions I've read so much about.  Chevre and mozzarella are on the list for this week.  Can't wait.  Here is an easy paneer recipe adapted from William Sonoma's Savoring India, by Julie Sahni.  (You can use store bought cow's milk too.)  This was so yummy, it barely made it to the dinner table with hungry hands snitching off the counter. 

I started with a little under a gallon of milk.  Poured it into a pot and gently brought it to a low boil. 

I then added 1/2 cup of white vinegar, you can also use lemon juice.  Stir until the curds separate from the whey, about 1-3 minutes.  Remove pot from heat, then use a fine mesh cheese cloth or a cloth napkin to strain the whey out.  (You can save this and water your plants with it, use it in your compost, or feed it to your chickens.)  After you have successfully strained the whey out and the curds are fairly dry, pour or dump them into a square or rectangular casserole.  Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to flatten the curds down.  Cover with the cloth napkin and press them down with something heavy like a pot full of water.  Leave the curds like this for an hour or so.  They will become firmer and easier to handle. 

When you return to your curds they should look like a brick of extra firm tofu.  Cut the cheese into small squares or triangles and dust them with flour.  For you gluten free folks out there, any type of flour will do, I have tried sweet white sorghum flour and it is super yummy.

Next fry your cheese in coconut oil or the high heat oil of your choice until golden brown and there you have your own homemade paneer.  Serve with any saucy, spicy dish.  It's really good. 

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