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Tomato, spinach, panir casserole

Recipe from Change of Heart by Kay Baxter and Bob Corker

Tomato Ponsonby RedYou can substitute any of the summer greens for spinach in this quick and easy dish.

8 heritage tomatoes – quartered and cored

2 cups cooked spinach

1 cup panir 1cm cubed* see recipe below

1 Tbsp lard, coconut or olive oil

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

1 cup posole (ground) or breadcrumbs* see below

1/2 cup grated butter

Place tomatoes, spinach, panir, seasoning and oil into a bowl and mix well.Place into a baking dish and cover either with breadcrumbs or ground posole, mix well with the grated butter. Bake at 180degC for about 30 minutes or until brown on top.

*Posole – which you can buy in some supermarkets as Masa flour

Pasole is a traditional way of eating corn where the dried corn is processed with either wood or shell as to increase its nutritional value (up to 60 times more available calcium hydroxide. It’s best made in large batches as it is quite a process. If you have experience of making posole, please get in touch [email protected]
To begin soak six cups of dried corn overnight in water. Pour off the water and put in a pot with 2 cups of bone/shell ash-water, and cover with extra water. Make sure the corn remains covered throughout the cooking process. Simmer for one hour or longer, until the skin can be rubbed off the kernels.
Remove from heat and drain. Place in a colander and rub under running water until you have removed as many of the skins as possible. Then put everything into a bowl or bucket and float off the skins.
Return to the pot and cover with water. Continue cooking for another hour and repeat the whole de-skinning process until the corn kernels are white, fluffy and skinless. They are now ready to be ground for tortillas, added to soup, or dried.

*Panir

3 litres milk

1/4 cup lemon juice or vinegar

1 colander

1 cloth (30x30cm)

Bring your milk to the boil. Slowly add just enough apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to curdle the milk. (I prefer the taste of lemon juice in panir, but either is good).
Next turn heat off and gently stir as little as possible with a wooden spoon until you have a clear yellow why and a mass of panir. If you do not have clear yellow why, add a little more vinegar or lemon juice. Leave the curds in a solid mass, do not break up by stirring.
When you are happy your curds and whey have separated as much as possible, put a cloth inside a colander in the kitchen sink and ladle in the curds. Hang your curd-filled cloth up on the kitchen hook and leave to drain. this will happen very fast and not a lot of whey will come out.
Leave the curds to cool, than remove from cloth and use or freeze for later.
I usually cube the panir and to add to soups or fry and add to veggie dishes.
Because the whey has been boiled and will not contain the life raw whey contains, (although it still has many nutrients), I prefer to feed it to the animals rather than use it in the kitchen, but it can add excellent flavour to soups and stews in place of stock.

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