paneer salad

* Paneer cheese
* cucumber
* tomato
* taragon
* a few Romaine leaves

* Dijon style mustard
* Raspberry jam
* Raspberry vinegar
* Vegetable oil (scant amount, much less than ordinarily)

Paneer is a fresh cheese that is set with acid, lime, lemon, or vinegar, and not made with rennet so it's suitable for your vegetarian friends. It's foolproof, and easy to make, and making it at home produces a creamier version than what you would buy commercially. It's a fresh non-aged unadorned white cheese similar to queso blanco except commercially it has no salt added. It's also the sort of cheese that doesn't melt, that's why it's usually pan-fried before including into another dish, much like tofu, or roasted on a stick as with paneer tikka, a sort of shish kabob kind of thing with bell pepper and curry. Here, I completely alter the cheese by adding salt and thyme just as the curds are drained to set.

I brought a half gallon of milk to a full boil then added the juice of one juicy lime, it totaled six measured teaspoons. It was supposed to only take four teaspoons but the milk wasn't curdling to my satisfaction so I added more until I could see the curds separate from the whey. (Oddly, this doesn't make the cheese taste limey) Then I cut off the heat and let it sit for five minutes, drained into a cheesecloth lined strainer and added salt, crushed pepper, and thyme. Then I pressed to drain and compress using the weight of a heavy stone mortar and took a nap. Opened it up a few hours later.

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