Saturday, May 19, 2007

Where There's Whey, I Will!

After glaring at that half-gallon jug of local whole milk all week, watching the level drop only slightly with each cup of coffee, it finally occurred to me what I should make with it.

Paneer.

Well, why not? It's easy to make, and I've been getting a craving for Indian food yet again.

Of course, between a hectic schedule through the week and a couple of days' indisposition at the end of it, I didn't get around to making paneer until late this afternoon. Still, I had it all worked out so that I could pace myself (still being tired from said indisposition, of course):

Make paneer.
Take a breather.
Prep vegetables and spices for dinner.
Take a breather.
Start dinner and let things simmer.
Take a breather.
Eat.
Relax!

That works! I made a half-batch of paneer, saving the whey as I drained the curds in muslin, and when I was ready to cook again, I could use the whey to thicken the spinach puree in my palak paneer.

As I started cooking everything, I thought, perhaps I should add some of the leftover whey to the spiced potatoes, too. After all, why not? I knew I'd be adding plenty of water to allow the potatoes to simmer and soften -- why not use half water, half whey?

Ahhh, I do amaze myself sometimes when I actually think. Because as it turned out, adding whey made the potatoes -- cooked with sauteed shallots, garlic, mustard seed, turmeric, cumin, coriander, amchur, and salt -- turned those golden cubes in velvety morsels of potato perfection. I'm not kidding. With the first bite, I just sort of sank back into my chair and melted into the upholstery.


Oh, and that palak paneer on the left? Also pretty darn good.

I've still got about a pint of whey left in the refrigerator, so I'll have to give some thought as to what I'll cook this coming week that could use a little extra rich texture and flavor.

Well, whey not?

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