Homemade Paneer Cheese and Perfectionism?

Hello everyone. I have been hearing from some women who are learning that it is not always necessary to make things perfectly to feel successful in the kitchen. This desire or need to have everything go perfectly in the kitchen can sometimes limit us and make us so stressed that we rarely want to step foot in the kitchen for fear that the food will not come out perfectly or even O.K. Nobody wants to waste their time:

“Alma, thanks for having this blogsite. I usually cook at home but always found it stressful during the week. I get home at a reasonable hour but my husband commutes from NYC by car. I was always juggling to have things ready when he walked in the door, not knowing when that would be. One day out of nowhere I realized that he is not starving the minute that he comes in the door and actually likes some down time to relax. Now cooking is more fun.”

Another reader shows how you can make mistakes but still have a fruitful outcome:

“Alma – you’ve totally inspired me. Made your amazing shrimp dish with the caramel sauce. Took absolutely no time at all and was delicious! (Of course I had to run to the supermarket 15 minutes before I made it b/c I do not have a fully stocked pantry – YET). Also screwed up the rice (completely forgot to put water in the bottom of the rice cooker– oops) but my sweet and oh-so appreciative husband said it was just as well b/c he’s trying to stay away from carbs! Also picked up some ginger which I peeled and froze. Thanks thanks thanks for inspiring me! Am going to try your salt and pepper shrimp next. Would love some more simple (low-ish fat) Asian recipes if you’ve got any.
PS – when the rice finally finished cooking, an hour after we finished dinner, it came out great. 😉 I’ll have it for lunch tomorrow. . .”

That, to me, was a perfect example of turning a lemon into lemonade; The rice wasn’t a waste of time, it became tomorrow’s lunch. It also didn’t hurt that she has a supportive husband.

Well, here is an easy recipe that you can make in no time and with your kids. My kids wouldn’t eat it but loved making it. It is also very healthy and can be used in many Indian or other dishes where you use a mild cheese. How many recipes use 2 ingredients? Not many…

Paneer Cheese:
1/2 Gallon skim milk
1-2 TBS lemon juice

Heat the milk in a large, heavy pot until bubbling. Watch it so it doesn’t start boiling over! Keep stirring as you pour the lemon juice in. Continue stirring until the milk starts to separate and you see curds on the surface of the milk. When the curds seem to have finished separating after a few minutes of stirring, strain the curds by taking them out with a slotted spoon, poring them through a sieve or pouring them into a clean towel. If you use a towel, squeeze the milk-water out as much as possible.

Take the curds and form them into one ball, squeezing the milk- water out. Lay on a cutting board or plate, cover with another cutting board or plate with something heavy on top (I used a jug of O.J.). Leave in the fridge like this for 2 hours or over night and you have cheese! Slice up into cubes, fry or sautee up and add to your dish or eat as is. Enjoy!

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One Response

  1. I am, sadly, a perfectionist, although I’m learning to let stuff go and get over it abit. I recently screwed up your apple cider reduction sauce by cooking it too long, but as I was getting ready to dump it, I noticed that it looked like the consistency of cooked candy syrup, so I thought quick and drizzled it out onto wax paper to cool. It was awesome and we had it for dessert!

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