Keeping cheese firm in a dish

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midnight

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
2
Location
USA
Hi!

I'm fascinated and in love with Indian food and cooking. I have a favorite dish that I enjoy and have not been able to replicate called Sag Paneer. It's basically spinach with goat cheese. One of the things I love about it is how the chunks of cheese are nice and firm, even though they are swimming in a piping hot dish. I try to duplicate this at home and - you guessed it - the cheese melts and incorporates into the dish. NOT the same. Any tips or tricks on how to cook with cheese to keep it firm???

Awesome forum, I look forward to perusing the many discussions.

Richard
 

marmalady

Executive Chef
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
2,642
Location
USA,SouthCarolina
Paneer is not goat cheese - it's an Indian fresh cheese - here's a recipe for it -

Paneer Cheese

Bring 4 cups low fat milk to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. Stir until curds form and whey is clear. Strain through cheesecloth. Put a weight on top after it is drained to pack it down.
 

Haggis

Sous Chef
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
750
Location
Sydney, Australia
And here is another one:

2L milk
wine glass of white wine vinegar
piece of muslin

In a thick bottomed pan, bring 2 litres of full cream milk to the boil, remove from the heat and add a wine glass of white wine vinegar. Stir, then leave for 5 minutes. The milk will begin to curdle. Now pour it through a fine sieve or a colander lined with muslin. Allow the water to drain, then squeeze the remaining curd and chill in the fridge.
 

midnight

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
2
Location
USA
Thanks for the replies! I have actually made the form of cheese you mentioned, but it was also too soft to cook with. I compressed it and got as much liquid out and it was still mushy. Doing some research, it seems the vinegar started method is supposed to produce a firmer product, so I will give that a whirl. Will "aging" it tightly sealed in a fridge help it to firm up??

Richard
 

kansasgirl

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
469
Location
USA
Where is Yakuta when you need her?

The recipe I have calls for frying the cheese cubes slightly to form a golden crust before adding them to the spinach. I think this helps the cubes to hold their shape and not melt into nothingness.
 

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