Tuesday, March 29, 2011


(stolen from Duylinh)
Paneer is a common type of cheese used in south asia, india, and iran. It's really easy to make and is very good in curries or salads w/ tomatoes and cucumbers.

Things you need:
half gallon milk
lemon juice (or vinegar )
cheese cloth

1. Heat the milk up in a heavy bottom pot. Be careful not to burn it.
2. Mix 1/4 cup of lemon juice (or vinegar) with 1/2 cup of hot water and set aside.
3. When the milk beings to boil (that is important), pour the lemon juice/water mixture into the milk slowly and carefully. Turn off the heat.
4. You will notice that the milk will start to curdle. You can stir it gently once or twice. When the milk has curdled and there is nothing left but whey, you can use a ladle to scope the curds into the strainer lined with a cheese cloth.
5. Now just twist the cheese cloth so that the curds are packed and squeeze it. Leave on a plate still wrapped in the cheese cloth and put a heavy pot on top of it for an hour (but preferably two). This will help to remove excess water and make it firm. From time to time during this process, you can remove water from the plate to help keep the cheese dry and firm.

To Eat:
Remove from the cheese cloth and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat up some oil in a nonstick skillet and fry the cheese until the sides are brown.

The pictures below were stolen from google images to show what it looks like:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Marty and Dad's Margarita recipe

I don't know where they got it but it's the best homemade one I've tasted. Marty told it to me in "shot glass" amounts but I thought I better include the standard measurement as well. 

Take a 6 oz. glass and run a cut lime around the rim. Turn it over and dip it into a shallow plate of salt. Now fill that glass with ice. Add:

1 shot glass Tequila (3 T.)
3/4 shot glass lime juice  (just a little over 2T ) - we used Mexican limes, of course
Fill up the rest of the above shot glass with Triple Sec (1 T.)
1 shot glass of Margarita Mix (3 T.) we used Jose Cuervo brand


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cheese Fondue

from Joy of Cooking

Legend has it that fondue was invented during a 16th century siege of Zurich, when inhabitants had to feed themselves on a small stock of available ingredients--which fortunately included bread, cheese, and wine.  The dish later became a tradition throughout German-speaking Switzerland and in the mountainous French region of Savoie. It was popular party fare in the 1950s and 1960s, and after a period of culinary disrepute is now enjoying a revival here.  
2 to 3 cups; 4 to 6 servings

Tear into bite-sized pieces:
some bread (preferably a baguette or any loaf bread that is stale and hardened)

Rub the interior of a medium stainless-steel pot with:
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
Discard the garlic and add to the pot: 
1 1/4 cups Dry white wine

Bring to a simmer over medium high. Add:
1 pound Gruyère cheese, chopped.  (You can also mix, match or substitute with Emmental and Comté. Jesse's favorite is Comté.)
Pinch of freshly grated or ground nutmeg.

Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the cheese is melted (the cheese and wine will not yet be blended.)
Mix together thoroughly in a small bowl:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons kirsch (We have used vodka as substitution to kirsch, so that could be a good substitution if you are on a budget or can't find kirsch in your area.)

Stir into the cheese  mixture. Continue to stir and simmer until the cheese mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Season with:
Salt and ground black pepper

If the fondue is too thick, add up to:
1/4 cup of the dry white wine

To serve, transfer to a fondue pot or chafing dish set over a flame. (We have an electric hot plate that works great.)  To eat, spear bread pieces with fondue forks and dip into the cheese, continuing to stir the mixture with the forks as you dip.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

lazy smoothies

I've been experimenting with smoothies lately. They are easy, healthy, and filling.  Having a hand blender is useful here.

Here are some variations:
(1) one banana, 5 strawberries, silk brand plain soy milk
(2) 1/2 large avocado, silk brand plain soy milk, and sweetened condense milk (longevity brand preferred)
(3) frozen durian (only if you're strong enough), soymilk 
(4) i will try mango next

 Basically just mix and match your favorite fruits with soymilk. And only use sweetened condense milk if you want it to taste sweeter like in the case of the avocado smoothie.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

two variations on the salsa recipe

1. spicier bean dip: mix the salsa and the bean dip 1:1.  use it as a dip.
2. parsi chips & salsa: i feel confident that i am the first person (but who knows) to ever think of this recipe.  you will be surprised how good it is. 

first, make a green curry massala (recipe from King's "My Bombay Kitchen" pp.135-6):
1 cup cilantro, leaves and stems
1/2 c roasted cashews
3-6 green thai chiles
2t Ginger-Garlic paste(this is equal parts pureed ginger and garlic)
1t cumin seeds, ground in spice grinder
1/2 t turmeric powder

blend this in a food processor until it is a smooth paste.

now mix it about 1:2 or 1:3 with the salsa

the curry paste is incidentally good for making different types of parsi curries.