Thursday, May 06, 2010

Etta One Year Ago and Making Indian Cheese
Ok, two odd combinations in topics but I really wanted to put a decent sized entry in tonight. I feel so behind on blogging, probably because I am. Etta's been in her second year of preschool since the beginning of April so these pictures are long over due. The first picture is of Etta when she first started school last April. She's three years and several months old. So little.
Etta, April 2009

Here's Etta on the first day of school last month. A year has made a big difference. She's a lot taller and leaner than last year. Probably has something to do with all the playing she does at school. She's not scared of school like last year and she's talking up a storm in Japanese. We keep thinking that if we do end up staying in Japan (if Eric gets a staff job here), her Japanese will take off and she'll have to teach Eric and I Japanese!
Etta, 2010

Now to Indian cheese (paneer). Eric gave me four Indian cookbooks for Christmas, two of them vegetarian. All of them include lots of recipes that use paneer. I don't feel like driving to Tokyo to see if the Indian grocery stores sell paneer there, so I decided to try one of the paneer recipes in a cookbook. All it calls for is whole milk and lemons! I had some lemons on hand from one of the local veggie stands so all I needed was to pick up whole milk. It had been so long since I bought whole milk I forgot which one it was at the store. I had to call a friend and ask how to figure it out.
I didn't have cheese cloth so I lined a colander with coffee filters
Bring 8 cups whole milk to boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the juice of two lemons. Curds will separate from whey.
About 2-3 minutes later, it's done separating.
transfer to colander
let drain
fold over to make a block
set heavy pot on top of plate, squishing the cheese to extract any more liquid.
30 minutes later
unwrap and store or fry it up for the recipe you are making
I ended up making Saag Paneer (this is the closest recipe I could find online)which is a bunch of spices mixed with pureed spinach and the small cubes of fried paneer. Since this is probably really high in fat (hello whole milk and fried in oil) fried tofu can be substituted in a handful of the recipes. We'll see which we like more next time I make sag paneer.
It's been really fun trying my hand at Indian food. We've been eat a lot more vegetarian food lately and the Indians have that down to a science. The dals and veggie dishes taste great and are filling. We're having a tough time getting the girls to try some of the stuff, which is no surprise. Hopefully they'll realize we aren't trying to kill them, mom and dad are eating it so it must be ok!
If you are inspired to try Indian food, here are the books I have. Everything Indian Cookbook (tons of recipes and great for beginners), Spice Box (a little more vague but consistently have delicious meals from this one), From Mom with Love (I like the layout of this book but all the recipes tend to have way more oil than needed), Pure and Simple Homemade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine (this is the most beautiful cookbook I've ever seen with pictures galore, but the recipes tend to be hit or miss for us).


Jill said...

Those school outfits still crack me up. I wish I liked Indian food, but not a fan especially of curry. The cheese looked recipe looked good.

Christy said...

I remember you ended up liking the Indian restaurant (Taste of India) off of Bell Rd. Even though it looks like crap in a bowl. I wonder what you ordered????