Welcome to my site!

Welcome to my site!
I'm Cindy, and I love to cook! And, I love to eat... hence the size of my rear end! I come from a long line of cooks. My great great Grandmother was a cook in the original Harvey Houses. My grandmother Julia was an awesome cook, and my mom was incredible. I owe my skills to these great women. Especially my Mom who said this to me about making gravy... "Cindy Lynn, wallpaper paste is wallpaper paste & gravy is gravy. Never the two shall meet!" Shall we say my first experience at making gravy left a little bit to be desired! Thank the high heavens my cooking skills have improved since then! Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Indian Spinach with Cheese (Saag Paneer)

This dish is from North India, and it can also be made with cooked diced potatoes instead of the homemade cheese.

Ingredients

1 recipe homemade cheese (recipe to follow)
Vegetable oil for frying the cheese
2 medium onions
½ piece of fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
4 Tbls vegetable oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1” stick cinnamon
2 whole cloves
4 Tbls sour cream
20 oz frozen chopped spinach, cooked & drained
½ cup water
Salt to taste
¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or more if desired
½ cup whipping cream

Directions

Dice the cheese into ¾” cubes. Warm the oil for frying over medium heat. Gently fry the cheese cubes until lightly browned on all sides. (Can be deep fried if you prefer. But I like using less oil). Drain the cheese on paper towels and set aside

In a food processor mince the onions, ginger and garlic together.

In a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat, warm the 4 Tbls oil. Add the cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves. When the spices darken, about 1 to 2 seconds, add the minced onion mixture. Reduce the heat to low and sauté until the onions are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the sour cream and mix well.

Place the spinach and water into the container of a blender and blend to a smooth puree. Add to the onion mixture.

Add the salt, cayenne and cheese cubes and toss gently with the spinach. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the whipping cream and mix lightly. Heat through and serve.

Recipe for Cheese –

2 quarts milk
2 to 3 Tbls lemon juice

Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy pan. Add the lemon juice and stir until the curds rise to the top and clear liquid remains. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Line a sieve with 3 layers of cheesecloth and pour the curdled milk through it. Save the clear liquid (whey) for use in soups, sauces or for making rice.

Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth to form a pouch and tie it to the faucet over the kitchen sink. Twist the cloth lightly and squeeze out the excess liquid. Let the pouch hang for about 30 minutes.

Transfer cheese to a cutting board and shape into a patty approximately 4” wide by ½” thick. Fill a large pot with water and place it over the pouch to compress it. Leave it for about 2 hours.
The cheese is now ready to use. Remove the cheesecloth and cover with plastic wrap.

Note: In order to cut down on prep time, I generally make the cheese a day or two before I make the Saag Paneer.

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3 comments:

Columbo said...

Another great Indian dish I must say. Bravo!

nolablossom said...

I LOVE Saag Paneer! I'll try it.

You are so close to leaving for NOLA! Bet you have ants in your pants...

laura said...

Looks yummy! Great shot too!

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