Monday, August 11, 2014

Palak Paneer for SRC

It's time for the Group B Secret Recipe Club  reveal again.   Yep, it's the second Monday of the month.   And time for me to tell all about the recipe I made from my assigned blog.  When you're a member of the Secret Recipe Club you get assigned a different blog every month to explore and make a recipe from.   

 And this month my assigned blog was Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  

I have to say this, I was a little intimidated.

Yup, I was.  By the sheer volume of posts she manages to do.   But it didn't last long.

And she tweets too.  I still haven't figured out the whole tweet thing. 

I almost got seduced by this recipe, Rabarbersuppe med Vin, I am Danish after all and it sounded good, and I've been wanting to make Gravlax for a long time, but my dill plant got eaten by the swallowtail caterpillars.  So no dill for me.

 But that's OK, I found a recipe to make.  Well, actually a couple of recipes to make.

But they do go together.  

I've gotten to really love Palak Paneer, and when I get to go to the big city on a Friday when my favourite Indian restaurant has a buffet, I always get some.
Palak Paneer

I never realized you could actually make this at home.  I'm in trouble now.

Just kidding.   

I found this recipe for Paneer Cheese.  and now that I know how to make Paneer, I can indulge myself.  Well, not really, but how cool is this?  I can make it at home now, Woo Hoo!   I  have to say, you do need full fat milk for this, and no using ultra pasteurized milk or cream.  It doesn't work, trust me on this.  

Really.

Trust me.

I know whereof I speak, cause I tried making some with 2% milk and didn't get hardly any cheese, and so I went to the store and bought some full fat milk, otherwise known as whole milk.   And the same night I made it with the 2% milk, I tried using some cream I had, and since it was ultra-pasteurized, it failed miserably.  In other words, no curd. That attempt turned into an offering to the Kitchen Goddess. 

And of course you need Palak for Palak Paneer so I did a double.  Recipe that is.   I couldn't find fennel pollen so I just used some fennel seed.    You learn to improvise when you live where I do. 

So, here goes.  And for those who are interested, using 2 cups of 2 % milk got me 2 oz. of Paneer.
When I used the 4 cups of whole milk I got 5 oz. of cheese.   Just sayin...

Paneer Recipe
4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt if you want, I choose not to use it

Bring the milk to a boil, remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice.  Let it sit for a couple of minutes, stir again, you should have some lovely big curds, if not add just a skootch more of lemon juice, and stir again.

Pour into a cheesecloth lined colander or do like I did, cause I couldn't find my cheesecloth, sigh.  I used an old (bleached clean) floursack teacloth, and poured it into that.

Let it sit for about 10 minutes or long enough to eat your breakfast, then gather up the corners of the cheesecloth (floursack) and expel more of the liquid by squeezing it gently.   Place the entire mass of cheese in a press to expel the rest of the liquid.  I used two small plates, on top of a larger lidded plate, and weighed it down with a bunch of cans inside a bowl.  Let sit like that for about hour or so, then peel the cloth off of the cheese and cut into chunks if you're using it right away, otherwise wrap well, and place in fridge.

Now for the Palak.    I found some spinach on sale (WOOHOO), sorry got excited there.   So I followed Camilla's recipe for the Palak.   As I said before, I didn't have any fennel pollen so I just used fennel seeds. 

Palak Recipe

1 lb baby spinach, washed at least three times to remove the grit
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 C homemade paneer
1/2 t cumin seeds
1/2 t fennel pollen (I used 1 tsp. fennel seeds)
1/2 t ground turmeric
freshly ground salt
freshly ground pepper
lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon ghee   (I made some last January, so had some in the freezer)

 
In a large saucepan, melt the ghee and toast the cumin seeds and fennel . Once they are aromatic, add the onion and cook till translucent.

Stir in the tomato and cook until softened and beginning to break down. Season with turmeric. 
Add the spinach at this point, and let it cook down for just a couple of minutes.  Cook it too long and it turns a shade of olive which doesn't look all that great.   If you have an immersion blender, use it here and just buzz the spinach mixture a little.  You want it to break up, but not be too liquid.    Set it aside for a minute.
Take out your paneer and cut it into cubes and depending if you're using the nice fresh-made warm paneer or using it from the fridge, you will need to warm it up a bit. 
You can either brown it a little in some ghee or just warm it in the hot palak for a minute or so.  
Serve with some warm Naan and enjoy.  Or do as I did and eat it for breakfast, and it was so good.  And I have enough for breakfast tomorrow, giggle.  
Palak Paneer
I'll have to try my hand at making Naan next.

I do have a recipe for it.
Somewhere.



Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

13 comments:

  1. You did a beautiful job! Thanks for cooking for the SRC...and from my blog. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I have to thank you for such a great recipe. I love it, and am planning on making it again for Tapas Night this month, or maybe sooner.

      Delete
  2. This is one of my favorite indian dishes and it looks wonderful. Fantastic job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I love this too, and now I don't have to travel to the 'big city' to get it anymore.

      Delete
  3. This looks amazing! I love Palak Paneer!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so intrigued by Indian food. There's no Indian restaurants where I live. Maybe I'll the courage to try making it at home one day. Great SRC choice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This would be a good recipe to try for a first timer. Not spicy, but very flavourful.

      Delete
  5. Wow, I've never heard of this dish, but looks really good.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your made it look so easy and it sure looks delicious! Hope you are having a great day and thanks for sharing.
    Miz Helen
    SRC Group B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was delicious, and surprisingly easy to make. Hope you're having a great day as well.

      Delete
  7. Sounds yummy! And surprisingly not too difficult to make. :) Maybe I'll have to give it a try!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from my readers, so please feel free to drop me a note, let me know if you like something I made, it makes my day.