Hey, everyone! This week, I was wondering what to do for a blog post, and a classmate of mine actually asked if I would make them some paneer. Paneer is a fresh cheese that comes from the Indian subcontinent. This quick and easy cheese has a number of uses and is delicious in many applications. This seemed like a good food to showcase, especially because I am a sucker for cheese! I went to a local market and picked out a gallon of whole milk for a two-pound yield of cheese. One of my all-time favorite dishes to eat that showcases paneer is Saag Paneer. A rich gravy of spinach and aromatics make up the sauce, and paneer soaks it right up, making for an irresistible combination. I really enjoy Indian cuisine, and over the years I’ve actually found that I like the vegetarian dishes better. In my opinion, paneer makes a fantastic substitute for meat and is easier on the stomach as well.
In my Canning, Jarring, and Preserving class here at WHC, I learned a great recipe for paneer that is very easy to execute. With only two ingredients, it is a procedural recipe that is very user-friendly. If you don’t quite get the separation of curds and whey the first time you add the lemon juice, you can always add more until you get the desired curds. Some important things to note are that when making any type of cheese, it is a good general rule to have cheese cloth or butter muslin on hand. A large sieve proves to be very helpful, as well as a half-sheet pan with a rack if you don’t have a proper cheese press. Something heavy such as a gallon of milk or heavy pans are good for pressing in a pinch. The following is the recipe I use from the class that I took. I think that it’s a good ratio and yield for milk to cheese. I really enjoyed making this recipe, and I hope that anyone reading does, too!
1 gallon whole milk
½ cup lemon juice
Bring milk to a gentle, rolling boil.
Reduce heat to low, and stir in lemon juice.
Cook for 15 seconds, then remove from heat.
Stir gently to see separation (large curds),
then leave for 10 minutes.
Ladle curds into strainer lined with cheese
Rinse curds gently with warm water to remove
Tie off cheese cloth, and hang for 1-2 hours to
Place cloth-bound cheese on a sheet pan with a
rack, and apply 5 lbs. of pressure for 1 hour. (A cheese press can be used as
Remove cheese from cloth, and store for up to 2
The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can easily change the batch size. The above recipe yields two pounds of paneer. Simply cut the recipe in half for a one-pound yield. Once you get the hang of making this, explore the many recipes that give paneer the showcase that it deserves. As previously mentioned, Saag Paneer is my favorite panir recipe, but there are most likely hundreds of recipes and variations to explore. Try substituting this in place of meat in a curry recipe. I’m sure the possibilities are endless, and I always have fun learning new ways to spice up ingredients that I love. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post and that you now have a platform to follow your path to paneer perfection. Thanks for reading!
Hey, everyone! This week, I really
wanted to highlight one of my all-time favorite foods to make and eat. Since it’s
Napa cabbage and Joseon radish season, it’s the perfect time to make some
lovely Kimchi! Traditionally in Korea, a great harvest takes place during late
fall, when a year’s worth of Kimchi is made. This event, called Kim-Jang,
brings together an entire community for making hundreds and hundreds of heads
of Kimchi. This is then shared by families and community members. Kimchi is a
staple food in Korea, and what better way to use the harvest then to make lots
of it! Nowadays, most people make Kimchi for their families and most people’s
recipes and ratios differ from household to household.
One of the
reasons why I love Kimchi so much is that it’s incredibly versatile. It can be
used as a side dish, a base for soups or stews, stir fried, boiled, and so on.
When you get the hang of making Kimchi, you can start to experiment by adding
other ingredients that you like that are fit to ferment. In some parts of Korea,
you can find thinly sliced carrot in Kimchi as well as a certain type of
seaweed. A handful of chefs and culinarians in Korea and around the world have
taken it upon themselves to make Kimchi with just about anything. I recently
had pear Kimchi, which was actually really refreshing. I would say the most
important things about making Kimchi are to salt, wash, and drain your cabbage
well, have everything measured out and ready to use, and to really focus on
making a flavorful paste to smother your cabbage with.
I have been
lucky enough to taste some incredible Kimchi in the past few years and have
learned how to make a delicious, traditional Kimchi. This recipe can be
modified to make either Pogi Kimchi (whole cabbage) or Gat Kimchi
(cut-up cabbage). When I first learned about all the ingredients that go
into Kimchi, I was amazed at such a combination. My wife’s mom makes the most
incredible Kimchi, and learning what her secrets and procedures were really
inspired me to start making more at home. I would like to put a disclaimer out
there right now and say that I am not going to disclose exactly what goes into
the broth for my mother-in-law’s Kimchi. However, a simple broth of vegetables
and Dashima (also referred to as Kombu) works well for this and is what I will
include in the recipe. As silly as this may sound, this is another one of those
dishes in which you can really taste the love if you put in the time and
effort. People typically spend all day making Kimchi and will sometimes make
enough for months if not a full year. The recipe below is good for one head of
Napa cabbage. As the weight of a cabbage does range, I’ll also say that the
cabbage should weigh about three pounds.
1 head Napa cabbage
1 Joseon radish
2 bunches spring onions
1 cup red pepper flakes
½ cup anchovy fish sauce
¼ cup salted shrimp
3 tablespoons sugar
½ head of garlic
1 thumb of ginger
1 jalapeño (optional)
½ cup sweet rice
3 cups seaweed and vegetable broth
Cut cabbage into quarters and submerge in a
brine of 1 part salt and 10 parts water.
Leave in brine for 12 hours, then remove and
Let the water drain from the salted cabbage for
2 hours in a colander.
Take any trimmings from the cutting process and
make a stock with that, 2 slices of Dashima, and 4 cups of water.
Reduce the broth down to 3 cups, strain, and
make sticky rice paste.
Boil, then simmer rice until a paste and cool.
In a food processor, blend the onion, garlic,
ginger, and jalapeño, if using.
Once blended into a paste, add to a mixing bowl
and combine with salted shrimp, fish sauce, sugar, and red chili flakes to make
Cut spring onions into 2-inch pieces.
the Joseon radish after scrubbing the outside of it. Do not peel.
radish and spring onion to the paste and prepare a workstation that can handle
a potential mess.
each layer of cabbage leaves, smear the paste and make sure to cover every part
of the cabbage.
these smothered cabbage quarters in a container and let sit out 1-3 days, depending
on how sour you want your Kimchi.
Kimchi is now ready to eat!
A few pointers for making Kimchi are that you want to let
the radish and the paste sit together for about half an hour before using on
your cabbage. Also, it’s important to recognize that Kimchi keeps fermenting in
your fridge, so you don’t want it sitting out of the fridge for too long. For
most beginners who have never tried Kimchi, I would recommend letting it sit out
for 1 day and then refrigerating it to maintain a slow fermentation. I always
love making this, and I hope this recipe gives people the ability to make some
proper, delicious Kimchi. Thank you for reading and have a great week!