Non-Indian uses for paneer?
I've been thinking about making my own paneer, since it looks so easy, and I intend to make saag paneer et al. but I was wondering about non-Indian food and paneer. I've only ever had it in Indian food,, and can't imagine it any other way, but I'm sure 'hounds have used it in a variety of ways. How can I use it up? Baking, desserts, other mains?
I've made panir-paneer for years and I seldom cook Indian food. Big Bunny's salad suggestion is a good one.. and one step further, marinate the cubes of panir in salad dressing or, as I used to, in sliced red onions, garlic, herbs, pepper, olive oil and vinegar. I keep these marinated cubes in the 'frige and they are great for garnishing a salad or dropped into a vegetable or minestrone soup at serving time. They're also great mashed and in a sandwich. I sprinkle garlic granules, dried onions and chile flakes into the curds before I drain and press them sometimes, and use this grated into Mexican food like beans or enchiladas, etc. Know you can add all kinds of seasonings to the curds as you lift them from the whey.. just gently fork them into the hot curd before twisting the cloth and pressing. One of our favorites is to add chopped dried fruit like apples or raisins(golden raisins) or cranberries or blueberries into the curd, then season with sweet spices like cinnamon and ginger; and add brown sugar to the curds. We serve this sweet panir crumbled on waffles and pancakes for protien. You can also make fritters, savory or sweet, with crumbled panir as it doesn't melt. A friend of mine makes panir with her Jersey cow milk (so rich!) and she gently smokes it over applewood. OOOHH it is so delicious!.
I'd think you could swap a good fresh paneer for queso fresco in any Mexican dish -- they'll both have that fresh, milky taste.
Paneer is incredibly easy to make. I've done it many times, and even I can't manage to screw it up. ;-)
It would probably go great with scrambled eggs, with or without a curry leaf or two stirred in...
Cut it into cubes or fingers, drizzle it with olive oil and add za'atar and serve with pita bread as an Arabic style mezze dish.
Use it in place of queso blanco in Mexican dishes, like to crumble a top a dish, or to stuff into things.
Once you have strained the whey from the paneer but before you weight it and set it to drain, add in some chopped nuts and/or dried fruit, just eat it like this.
Marinade the paneer in seasonings you like and eat it on a sandwich.
Make jacket potatoes, hollow out the the inside of a boiled potato, mixed the insides with seasonings and paneer, stuff back into the potato, dress with a meltier cheese, and bake.
All amazing ideas above
One thing I like is to grate paneer and mix it with other appropriate ingredients (e.g. corn kernels) and make fritters.
I am sure you could modify and make sweet fritters too.
The texture of paneer is harder, but you could use it instead of ricotta in some Italian recipes (not sure which), especially sweets.