Browsing Tag:

cheese

Cooking

Easy Paneer Cheese

paneer cheese draining in a colander

Paneer Cheese is an unripened soft cheese that is popular in Indian dishes. It is soft, creamy with a mild milky flavour. You can find it in many grocery stores now. But it is super easy to make at home.

It is delicious in Indian dishes such as Paneer Makhti or Saag Paneer. You can also sauté paneer cheese, as it doesn’t melt or break apart.

Paneer is made by heating up whole milk in a pot on the stove. As it starts to boil, add 1/3 cup lemon juice and shut off the burner. As you stir this mixture, the milk will curdle and break apart into small curds. It will smell quite acidic at first, but then start to smell very creamy as the milk continues to curdle.

After stirring for about 3-5 minutes, drain the curds and whey through a cheesecloth lined sieve. After it has drained, pick up the corners of the cheesecloth and and tie them together. Gently press more liquid out of the cheesecloth.

paneer cheese in cheesecloth

Place this bundle on a plate. If you like, you can shape the curds into a roundish or square shape. I didn’t bother with this, and it formed into a nice strong shape on its own.

block of paneer cheese

After you have placed the paneer, still wrapped in cheesecloth on the plate, cover it with another plate. On top of that plate, add something from your pantry that weighs about 1-2 lbs to put on top. Let this sit for about 2 hours. If it’s very warm in your kitchen, do this in the fridge. This is my block of paneer cheese after sitting for 2 hours with a weight on top of it. (I used a large can of tomatoes, but you can use anything that will balance on top. Don’t use any glass jars, as they will make a big mess if they fall).

cubed paneer cheese

After the paneer has been pressed for 1-2 hours, place it in a container, still wrapped in the cheese cloth, for 2-3 hours, until very firm and cold. Just before cooking with it, take it out of the fridge, and cut into cubes of your desired size.

Try to cook with it the same day or the next, as it doesn’t keep for long.

What’s your favourite paneer dish?

Bon Appetit!

Suzanne

Baking

Fantastic Cheddar Jalapeno Corn Bread

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread

I love love love cornbread, and this Cheddar Jalapeno Corn Bread has it all! This corn bread is going to take any meal up a notch with its A-list of ingredients: corn kernels, buttermilk, loads of cheddar cheese and a few nice spoonfuls of pickled jalapeno peppers.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but for some dinners, I just love having bread on the table. I don’t really have time to make yeasted breads everyday, and I don’t necessarily need that kind of bread every meal. Quick breads are amazing, because not only are they quick, but they are often fill with amazing flavours! For us, this quick bread really hits the spot. You can have it ready for dinner in about one hour. And it’s just so darn good.

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread

Let the cornbread cool on a rack until it’s just slightly warm…but without the parchment paper!

Cheddar Jalapeno CornbreadAll ready for slicing up!

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread

This cornbread has a nice amount of cheddar cheese and just the right hit of jalapeno peppers. It has a bit of brown sugar in it, but it’s just enough to give this cornbread a nice mellow flavour.

You can also bake this cornbread in a square 8 inch pan, if you like. I personally like using loaf tins, especially glass ones. The outside of the cornbread browns up really nicely in a glass pan.

This cornbread is delicious on its own, or you can spread it with butter if that’s what you prefer. Also, if you have a favourite flavoured butter recipe, now would be a good time to pull that out and whip some up. Not that this cornbread needs anymore flavour, but there are some great flavoured butter recipes that could take this up a notch.

Cheddar Jalapeno Corn Bread can accompany so many dishes: soups, chili, ribs or stews. Easy to make, and so nice to enjoy.

Let me know how yours turns out!

Enjoy!

Cheddar jalapeno Corn Bread

Print Recipe
Serves: 12-16 Cooking Time: 25-35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups corn meal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3 pickled jalapeno peppers, finely minced

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

2

Line two bread loaf pans with parchment paper.

3

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper and 1 cup of grated cheese.

4

In a food processor, add the brown sugar, corn, and buttermilk and blitz for about 5 seconds. Add eggs and blitz another 5 seconds.

5

Stir the jalapeno peppers into this mixture after it has been processed.

6

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry in a big bowl.

7

Fold the ingredients together, until just combined.

8

Add the melted butter and fold some more until the mixture looks moistened.

9

Pour the batter equally into the two lined bread pans.

10

Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top of each loaf.

11

Bake until the cornbread is a nice deep golden colour which should be about 25-30 minutes.

12

Let the loaves cool in the pans on a rack for about 10 minutes.

13

Then remove from pans and let the loaves cool for another 10 minutes.

14

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

These loaves freeze up beautifully. Wrap the loaves well, pop in the freezer and use within one month.

slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Baking book

Cooking

Cheddar Cheese and Apple Cider Soup

cheese soup with apple cider in a bowl
This recipe is from Nigel Slater. He is a British cook/baker who writes regularly for The Guardian Newspaper in the UK and has published several cookbooks.  I really like his recipes as he has an amazing palette. I have a couple of his cookbooks and all of his recipes exude flavour right off the page.  The recipes caramelize, melt, ooze, saturate, soak, and glisten so much you can taste the finished product just from reading the recipe.  That’s what captured my attention with this Cheddar Cheese and Apple Cider Soup recipe: onions, carrots and celery simmered in butter until soft followed by grated old cheddar cheese, mustard, vegetable stock and apple cider. You can’t go wrong with that flavour combination.

I love having soup at lunchtime. Whether served up piping hot in a big bowl at home with some crackers and a mug of your favorite herbal tea or packed up in a thermos with a couple of slices of bread and a cluster of grapes and taken to work, soup hits the spot. It is healthy, budget friendly and comforting, not to mention warming you up on a frosty winter day. And if you live in Canada, this has been an exceptionally frosty winter.

If you do not own a thermos, you should consider purchasing one. Next time you’re at Mountain Equipment Co-Op or even your local grocery store, have a look out for one.  A good quality thermos can keep soup piping hot for 6-8 hours. Taking soup to work for lunchtime is a good break from sandwiches and much cheaper (and healthier) than buying a take-away meal. Although fantastic at lunchtime, this soup is also elegant enough to serve for a small dinner party with dinner rolls and a simple salad.
cheese soup with apple cider in a bowl

I love this soup for many reasons. For one, it’s not too cheesey as it’s paired with apple cider and has loads of onions, carrots and celery added in so you don’t feel like you’re eating a bowl of melted cheese.  The apple cider is a nice addition, instead of the more common beer. It’s lighter and the apple flavor lifts the heaviness of the cheese. It is simply sublime.

frozen rose bud with rose in background

frozen rose in my garden

The old cherry tree’s

final blossoms are her last

cherished memory

Matsuo Basho

Cheddar Cheese and Apple Cider Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 15-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 30 g butter
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 400 ml milk
  • 45 g plain flour
  • 400 mL vegetable stock
  • 350 mL can of Apple Cider
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 400 grams cheddar cheese, grated
  • chopped parsley for decorations

Instructions

1

Peel and chop the onions. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onions and cook until soft.

2

Add the diced carrots and celery to the pan and continue cooking for about 10 minutes or so, until all vegetables are tender

3

Warm the milk in a small pot. Add the flour to the vegetables, stir everything together, and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add the warm milk and stir until you have a thick sauce.

4

Add in the vegetable stock and cider, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for just a few minutes. Stir in the mustard.

5

Add the grated cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes (Do not let it boil).

6

Serve with bread and chopped parsley on top.

Recipe adapted from Nigel Slater’s Cheddar and Cider Soup.