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Experiments in Cooking

So awhile ago hitchhiker  gave cjsmith  a recipe for Palak Paneer. Which I made...I thought it was very good, but I wasn't successful in treating the ricotta cheese sufficiently so that it wouldn't fall apart when I went to fry it.

I don't remember where I saw the instructions but someone said that you can put the ricotta in a pan and bake it for about a half an hour, which would firm it up enough to use in the recipe. I tried that. It didn't work.

Last week I got 3 bunches of cooking greens in my CSA box. One being spinach. Time for Palak Paneer!

So this time I baked the ricotta in a glass bread pan, for about an hour at 350, (basically I let it sit there until the moisture wasn't bubbling out anymore), then turned off the heat and left it there for another couple of hours until I could deal with it. It was perfect. Sliced up beautifully, it was already a golden brown on the exposed edges, so I didn't bother frying it. I just cubed it up and tossed it in the recipe. Worked great! W00T I get to skip a step and it makes the recipe that much faster.

I also used a mix of spinach (wasn't enough in the package) and dinosaur kale sliced fine.  Also worked great. The kids ate the greens as long as it was covered in the sauce from the Tikka Masala, and none of them liked the baked ricotta. I give props to Elli, who actually put it in her mouth and chewed (unlike the other two). She spit it out...but at least she tried it.

Also, I found that using bacon grease does nothing to improve the flavor of the dish. (My mom made bacon in my cast iron pan this weekend and since it was sitting around, I decided to try it rather than get another pan dirty)
 


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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
mactavish
Nov. 12th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Have you tried with actual paneer rather than ricotta?
aelfie
Nov. 12th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
no, not yet. I have a hard time getting out to specialty stores with the kidlets, so I kinda have to depend upon what I can get from Safeway.
amphipodgirl
Nov. 12th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
I've bought paneer at the Milk Pail a couple of times, if you happen to be up in Palo Alto without the kids at some point, ha ha ha I tell such funny jokes don't I? 8^) I've totally converted from a daily boutique grocery shopper to a weekly industrial-sized Safeway run since Harold went back to work and I became the girls' main daytime caretaker.
aelfie
Nov. 12th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I make a grocery shopping run on Saturday morning (Joe stays home with kids), a farmers market run Sunday after church (Joe circles the parking lot with the kids)...a Costco Run every other week (with the girls...that one is easy 'cause of the double seat cart and snack give away) and anything else as a catch as catch can.

The things we do to get our food without hassle!
hitchhiker
Nov. 13th, 2008 08:16 am (UTC)
good to know it worked! will update my recipe file to say 'bake until it stops bubbling' :)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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