Three Little Birds

Story of 3 little birds and one who soared above us all.

Since I no longer have medical updates or surgeries to blog about, I thought I’d try my hand at some strait up motherly blog advice.

What to do with milk that’s just started to sour? Not yet curdled and a couple days from the expirations date but still a bit funky on your cheerios? You’ll probably want to Pinterest this one for future reference as heres my blogger tip of the day to not waste that 1/2 gallon of white gold.
I hit google with the same questions and while I could’ve used it for a cake or baked goods, I decided I probably didn’t need the tempting carbs around the house. One of the first searches was to make an Indian cheese called paneeer. Nope, I’ve never heard of it either but it sounded good enough.

Well that sounded like fun and pretty easy. Mt. Laundry was mostly done, house was cleanish enough, kids were napping and I was all caught up on draw some and scramble with friends games plus I really hated wasting this milk. Here’s the original recipe and I’ll post my modifications beneath each step to make it easier.

1) 2 liters of full milk (fuller is better) 
2) several limes (the juice is needed, vinegar can also be used) 
3) (optional) some pepper or freshly chopped coriander 

Method

Heat the milk until it boils. The adventurous can add a little crushed pepper or finely chopped fresh coriander to the milk when it starts to boil.

Add lime juice as soon as the milk starts to boil (turn off the heat and keep on stirring!). Add enough so that the milk curdles.

Hmm, no lime but grapefruit was pretty acidy so I squished in some juice and finished eating the grapefruit while this stuff curdles a bit. Seemed to not be quite curdled enough so I added a couple more tsp apple cider vinegar.

Pour everything through a muslin cloth (or use a tea-towel as I always do), rinse it with some cold water, and hang it to dry for a while (30 minutes or so).

Tea towel worked just as well, I think.

Press the remaining paneer under a heavy pan for a while to get rid of the remaining liquid. You should have a reasonably solid cheese left after about an hour.

Here’s where I decided to morph this into recipe #2. As that was pretty much it for the pandeer and it was pretty bland. Not bad, just bland and tasteless.
The second google suggestion for using sour milk was a delicious easy to make Indian desert called Raas Malai that started the same way. Well since sugar makes everything better, why not?

Here’s the recipe and my alterations beneath. Feel free to try either version.

4 cups milk (preferably whole, at least 2%) 1/2 tablespoon flour 2 -3 cardamom 1/2 tablespoon rose extract, essence (optional) 1/2 lemon 1/4 cup sugar

Directions: Pour milk into pot and squeeze 1/2 lemon into the milk. Stir, and let it come to a boil. Let it cook for about 1/2 hour on medium-low heat to allow the curds and whey to separate. Pour the contents of the pot through a very fine sieve, or a linen cloth. After squeezing out excess liquid, the curds should have the consistency of slightly crumbly play-doh. If they are softer than that, it may help to refrigerate the “curd-dough” for a few hours. Mix in the flour with the curds, and make then into ball that are 1 in.- 1.5 inches in diameter.

Or squish into hands into turd shaped logs that immediately fell apart once hitting the milk mixture.

 Pour 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup milk, cracked cardomoms and mix in 4 tablespoons sugar in the pot and keep it on low heat.

Fresh out and my food  substitution bible said it was similar to cinnamon to thats what I had on hand. Who keeps cardomom?

Once the sugar has dissolved, carefully place your curd balls [crumbly disintegrating logs] in the the sugar liquid, and let them absorb the mixture for about 15 minutes.   Pour in more 1/2-3/4 cup of milk into the pot, and stir. Take a taste, and add more sugar if needed. Add rose essence and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Serve cool!

Here’s where things got iffy. Wasn’t sure to keep on low heat or no heat. Figured I’d keep on the low heat to see if these things could become the cheese ball rasf malai I was eagerly anticipating. I cooked them for precisely  the time to fold 3 loads of laundry, watch an episode of something highly educational on TLC (the not so learning channel) and then hear Clay ask how long I was cooking this crap on the stove. So I guess to cook for exactly 117 minutes should be fine.

Well they did kind of reform balls, absorb the remainder milk and I stuck them in the fridge overnight. I was also just out of rose extract so I really think these would’ve been top notch if only I had made it to the store and I was pretty sure the closest feed lot convenience store might be out.

After 12 hours in the fridge, Ava ate one and called it an ice-cream ball. That did made it sound better than raas malai so I went with it. Wyatt just crumbled his and I gave it a taste but it was like a hard sweet cottage cheese. Not bad, just not great. Indians need some better desert recipes. They should try pinterest. If you’d like to try them, they’ll likely be in our fridge until they are green and unrecognizable. With just a little interenet time, 8+ hours on prep and monitoring, you too can give life to that $2 of funky milk that you hate to go down the drain.

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1 Comment

  1. Sounds yummy! I think I’ll give my sour milk to Pete!

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