Saturday, September 25, 2010

Paneer Indian Cheese

I'm attempting palak paneer tonight. I found this very simple video about making the paneer. I've made mozzarella before, which you have to have rennet for, so I'm not really daunted about this. I'm pressing my first batch right now. This video does not have any amounts in it, though. I thought maybe my large skillet (like the one pictured here) would hold a gallon of milk, but it's more like a little over 1/2 gallon. I used vinegar and put in only maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons. He does not say how you know if you are using the right amount, just that you want to avoid using too much! So I poured in about a teaspoon and let it curdle. Then I added a little more to see if it would curdle more.

I'll get back to you about the palak (spinach gravy), and how it all came out.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pasta Salad: Part Deux

Today was our second monthly "Fat Friday." It's a day when we sign up to bring stuff and then all gorge ourselves on it all. I decided to try my hand at another pasta salad, this one with a Greek flair. I'm a sucker for feta cheese and kalamata olives, so this was right up my alley.

I found this recipe on a website called "Three Many Cooks." Check it out here.

They have a nice photo of the salad there, too. But because I'm trying to shoot more, I figured I'd take another of my own. I've never shot food from the side before. I'm pretty happy with it. I maybe could have used a slightly smaller aperture so I'd have more of the salad in focus, though.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aloo Gobi & Naan

Sounds a little like a song, doesn't it?
So I made this Aloo Gobi, which is an Indian dish consisting of cauliflower and potatoes. You cook them with onions in a skillet for a while and then add this amazing sauce you've pureed out of tomato, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and chili powder. The garnish should be cilantro but I didn't have any. Also the recipe called for lemon juice. None of those around, but this lime was happy to fill in and add color to this photo.

Taylor and I had this with naan and I have to say this was my best batch yet! Each time I make it, I refine my technique just a little bit  more. Tonight's addition was brushing it with the milk solids I had saved from my super-clear batch of ghee from Sunday. Sprinkled on a little kosher salt and we were good to go!

So now I'm overstuffed with bread. Ugh. But a nice meal. It didn't take long to put together, either. I found this recipe on Here, try it.

On a side note, and completely unrelated, I accidentally called my poor mother this morning. At 6:30 their time. OOOPS! SORRY MOM! Each morning I call Taylor at 7:30 to make sure he's gotten himself awake. Since iphone STUPIDLY DON'T HAVE AUTODIAL, I use "recent calls" to call him each day. Unfortunately, I guess my finger slipped and I hit Mom & Dad's number instead.

But look at the bright least I had been a dutiful daughter yesterday and CALLED my mother. Otherwise, she wouldn't have been in "recents!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pure Ghee

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
This is my purest batch of ghee yet. I used my little slow cooker. The one that you use for stuff like appetizer dips? I put my 4 sticks of unsalted butter in there and just let it go.

I skimmed off the milk solids as soon as the butter had melted. I've left those in a bowl on the counter for now. I figure I'll stir them into something later tonight.

Then I just let it go for another 3 hours. The rest of the milk solids cooked to a nutty brown crumbly consistency. I strained the ghee through my All-Clad hand-held strainer and let it cool.

Considering the very small amount of work involved, and the high cost of store-bought ghee ($7 or $8 for this amount), I'd say I have now adopted a new habit.