Posts Tagged 'Cheese'

Tomato Mushroom Gruyere Breakfast Casserole

My friend and fellow domestic geek, Katie, was telling me this morning about this amazing sounded breakfast she made….Tomato Mushroom Gruyere Breakfast Casserole! Thankfully she wrote up the recipe on her blog for us all to enjoy.

Tomato Mushroom Gruyere Breakfast Casserole!

Whats great about this recipe is that it can be prepared the night before then cooked in the morning for quick deliciousness. I just wish I had the morning stamina Katie has because on weekday mornings my breakfast usually is a bowl of oatmeal and some grapefruit. Yet everyday shes describing some amazing sounded breakfast she whipped up before fabulously dashing off to work. For me weekends are about the only time I make a full breakfast, so I’ll have to give this bad boy a try on Sunday!

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Bacon Salt review

Yesterday one of my dear coworkers bestowed upon me 3 bottles of Bacon Salt…Original, Hickory and Peppered. She said she didn’t really ever use it and knowing my love of bacon, thought they would have a better home in my kitchen. I immediately changed my original dinner plan to accommodate my new addition to the spice rack. She did give me one word of advice, “you cant really cook with it or it looses the flavor, like if you are sauteing chicken it wont work but you can top french fries with it after they are cooked.”

Hmmm, this was a little disconcerting but I was still excited to give it a shot. I had a fresh bunch of asparagus in my fridge so I decide to do a steamed asparagus tossed with olive oil and bacon salt then topped with fresh Parmesan cheese. The moment I opened the Original Bacon Salt bottle I noticed a problem…it smelled more like BBQ sauce then bacon. I decide to try the Peppered Bacon Salt on the asparagus hoping that would be a little less sweet.

The Bacon Salt Parmesan Asparagus was good…it tasted a lot more unhealthy that it was heh. Ultimately though the Bacon Salt ended up tasting a bit more bacony than it smelled….but it still wasn’t quite bacony enough in my opinion. Needless to say Im a bit disappointed, but then again the essence of bacon is difficult to capture in a bottle. Really its just that its quite sweet and smokey tasting which is close but not quite bacon (Im scared to try the Hickory since I fear that will be even more BBQey). I’ll try a few more experiments (bacon edamame, bacon fries, fried chicken, etc) before I make my final judgment. As of right now Im sadly not totally sold on the Bacon Salt. Dont get me wrong, I’ll still use the Bacon Salt because it has a really good flavor (especially the Peppered one)…its just not quite up to my high bacon standards.

Cheese Making 101- Paneer

Yesterday I was perusing one of my favorite sites Apartment Therapy when I came across an entry about the best cheese making kits which got me thinking about making cheese at home. Why have I never done this?! I guess its because I thought it was something that could not be undertaken in ones private kitchen without fear of creating some strange super mold that would bring about the end of mankind. While pursuing the list of at home cheese kits drooling at the thought of fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese I saw a link about making Indian Paneer cheese at home! Knowing my boyfriend’s love of Saag Paneer I decided to try my hand at homemade cheese.

Using the recipe from Apartment Therapy I went about making my own fresh cheese. The one adjustment I made was to use low fat milk instead of whole milk to make the cheese a bit lighter (next time I plan on trying with soy milk to see if that works). To my amazement making paneer is incredibly easy, in fact so easy I think Im just going to start making my own infused cottage cheeses from home (to make cottage cheese instead of paneer you just skip the pressing step). Basically if you can boil milk in a pot you can make cheese, who knew?! Just make sure to heat it slowly and stir so that you do not burn the cheese.

How the cheese should appear after pressing

Tips

  • If you do not have cheese cloth, just double up some sturdy clean paper towels. Just make sure that you dont get any paper towel bits on the cheese ;)
  • Add a little salt to the milk while you are boiling it to give it a little extra flavor. You can also try throwing in lemongrass, dill, or other seasonings.
  • If youre looking for something to use your paneer in, try making Saag Paneer which is almost as easy as making the paneer itself!

    Saag Paneer

    Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of fresh spinach washed and cleaned
  • 1/2 tbl sp tumeric
  • 1/2 tbl sp garam masala
  • 1/2 tbl sp paprika
  • 1 tbl sp salt
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 chili (either dried or fresh, you can add a second one if you like it spicy)
  • 8 oz fresh paneer (the recipe above for paneer will make about 8 oz) cut into cubes
  • 3 tbl sps Ghee or unclarified butter (if you absolutely cannot find Ghee, a little unsalted butter will work fine).
  • In a pan cook the first 8 ingredients until the spinach has completely wilted. Then remove the pot from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Transfer all contents of pot including liquid into a blender and puree until smooth (but not liquid!). Then in a pan, heat the ghee and saute the paneer until light brown. Add the spinach mixture to the pan and cook for a few more minutes. Taste to see how it is, from here you can add some chili powder for extra spice or a bit more tumeric or masala to add extra flavor. Serve immediately with rice.

    So there you have it, easy homemade cheese and homemade delicious Saag Paneer. All in all everything was incredibly easy to make taking about an hour total. As I mentioned in a previous post, I would include photos, but my camera is broken right now, so once that gets fixed I will update this with photos.


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