Saturday, July 10, 2010

Assignment: Yogurt Cheese!

Hi all!!  Did you think we left you in the lurch with two semi-tough assignments (gouda & cheddar)?  Not to worry.  For those of you still a bit nervous about making your own cheese...and those who want to forge something between lengthy assignments, we promised we'd keep adding some quicker/beginner cheeses to the mix!!  And this assignment couldn't be any simpler...Yogurt Cheese.  All you need to make it is...can you guess?...yup, yogurt!  Well, yogurt and a few various odds and ends for draining and forming.  This recipe comes from my new favorite book jam it, pickle it, cure it.  Seriously, this book is my new boyfriend.  I can't get enough of it!

The books author, Karen Solomon, says "Yogurt cheese- sometimes called strained yogurt, Greek yogurt, or labneh- is a sharper alternative to cream cheese, but it has a similar consistency and thus can easily take its place atop bagels or toast, stirred into mashed potatoes, or plaing the starring role in cheesecake.  Other attributes of this cheese include its utter simplicity to make, all the health benefits of yogurt, and a tangy personality."

Yogurt Cheese
adapted slightly from jam it, pickle it, cure it by Karen Solomon

1 (32-oz.) container plain yogurt

Instructions: Line a large bowl with a clean, think cotton or linen towel, positioning the middle of the towel in the bottom of the bowl.  Pour the yogurt into its center.  Gather together all 4 corners of the fabric and twist lightly; cloudy whey should be leaking out of the bottom.  Tie the bundle up securely and hang over a large bowl or the sink.  Let hang, undisturbed for at least 8 hours or overnight.

You'll end up w/ ~12 oz. of whey in the bowl and a very thick, spreadable tangy cheese in the cloth.  Transfer cheese to small container w/ lid.  Refrigerate covered for up to 2 weeks.

Variations:
Lemon Yogurt Cheese: Add 1 tsp. kosher salt and the juice of 1/2 lemon to cheese.
Garlic Yogurt Cheese:  Add 1 clove garlic, minced, and 2 Tbs. fresh chopped dill to cheese.
Chive and Black Pepper Yogurt Cheese:  Add 2 Tbs. fresh chives and several grinds of fresh black pepper to cheese.
Cranberry and Green Onion Yogurt Cheese: Add 1/4 c. chopped dried cranberries and 1 minced green onion to cheese.

Here is Karen herself showing just how easy it is...seriously, the video is under a minute....




So, no excuses okay?  It doesn't get much easier than this...come forge with us!  Feel free to ask any questions about any cheese or process either in the comment section of that cheese assignment or by email. Since this is sooooo easy, it'll be due July 30!

*Also, we're gonna try something new.  We're going to add a linky at the bottom of each assignment post.  If you've made the cheese and posted it, please add the link to the bottom of the appropriate post.  We'll still do roundups for each assignment...this'll just make it easier to submit your cheesy adventures!  Also, please leave a comment once you've linked up so we know to head over and check out what you've done!  But, you are alway welcome to email in your link if you do not have a blog or if you can't figure out the linky.



This linky list is now closed.

30 comments:

Midnite Skys said...

You leave it out? No refrigeration? Won't it go bad. Sorry I have made cheese before and think I could do this.

girlichef said...

Hey Midnite Skys...Yes, you leave it out. The thing with cheese is it feeds on those 'good' bacteria. It is okay to leave it out for that initial time while draining. Although if it's very hot in your house or if you are very leary of the process, I don't think it would hurt it to hang it inside the fridge. When we forged feta last month, we had to leave it out for a whole 24 hours...I know, kinda freaky at first. But totally awesome results!! I hope you join us!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I use my cool basement for the leaving out period - after the initial draining. Sometimes I use a banana hanger over a bowl for the firmer cheeses.
I actually have a yogurt cheese strainer/container so I am all set! First I have to make some yogurt though..

ap269 said...

Cool, this is easy. I've been making yogurt cheese for about 1 year already. Have never posted about it though. I don't even just strain plain yogurt, but add about 4 oz of plain yogurt to 1 quart of milk and let my yogurt maker do the job and then strain the yogurt to get Greek-style yogurt! We'll be on vacation soon, but I think I'll manage to put up a pot until July 30!

ap269 said...

Of course I mean "a post", not "a pot" - LOL!

astheroshe said...

wow i have never made cheese! This looks interesting...i have you followed. :)

Andreas said...

Nice one. I think I will give it a try.

On a side note, since the IHCC themes for August have just been posted: How about doing a "cheesy" week in September? There are quite a number of recipes for easy cheeses made from scratch in HTCEVegetarian.

girlichef said...

Oh man, I just returned that one to the library...off I go to get it again. I don't even remember seeing that section!! Great idea =)

Bethany said...

I love making yogurt cheese. It's one of the few cheeses I feel really comfortable making so far. It's so yummy! I'm loving your blog and I have a fun award for you :) Here's my post about the award, giving a shout out to your blog and a few others I've recently discovered and am truly enjoying: http://bethstedman.com/2010/07/13/versatile-blogger-award/

girlichef said...

Thanks so much, Beth!! I hope you blog your next Yogurt Cheese and link up with us over here at FF! =)

ejm said...

So THAT'S what "Greek Yoghurt" is. I thought it was just plain "Balkan style" yoghurt!!

We often make yoghurt cheese for a really fabulous Indian dessert called "sri kund" (it's yoghurt cheese mixed with sugar, cardamom and saffron and optionally garnished with fresh berries and/or toasted almonds).

And now that we're making our own yoghurt, we really must make Srikund again!

I've also had labneh with za'tar on our list of things to make soon. We learned about it from Anissa Helou (have you seen her blog?). Augh!! So many things to try and so little time!

-Elizabeth

(srikund recipe here)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Elizabeth, that Astro Balkan Style is my fave too!
Thanks for the recipe, looks delish.
I love Anissa Helou too, I really should look at her site more often.
Cheers,
Natashya.

the clark clan said...

Hi Heather! I want a good yogurt RECIPE for raw milk--any thoughts? I love all you do, and gave you a versatile blogger award which you can pick up at my site! http://amoderatelife.com/?p=344

girlichef said...

Thanks so much, Alex...that's so nice of you =)

Now, I'll answer that raw milk yogurt question. I looked into it when somebody else asked me a similar question a few days ago. I wasn't sure, but...I asked an expert. Really. She is an old friend who has a farm that houses an organic, grass-fed dairy herd locally where us folks can potentially be shareholders and enjoy raw milk.

She had this to say... "Nope, raw milk yogurt doesn't work, or at least I don't like it. My recipe for Bulgarian yogurt calls for heating the milk to 180º and holding it there for five minutes, by which time it is no longer raw. If you don't kill off all of the bacteria, good bad or indifferent, from the milk before you inject it with the yogurt culture, you are going to have a mishmash of bacteria, not just the one you want.

So anyway, heat to 180, hold for 5 minutes, then cool to 110º, stir in room temperature yogurt (about a tablespoon per quart of heated and cooled milk) and then proceed with whatever method you use to incubate it."


I hope this helps!!

Foodycat said...

Isn't there a difference between Greek yoghurt and yoghurt cheese? IO thought yogurt cheese/labneh was much thicker. I wouldn't want to try rolling Greek yoghurt into balls!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Hi there Foodycat! Yup, you are right, Greek yogurt is strained/thick yogurt style, yogurt cheese is strained... more! Just a degree of thickness/dryness really.
I strain an hour to a couple of hours for Greek style and overnight for Yogurt Cheese.

Pam said...

This is very interesting; I've never heard of this. Thanks for the video! I'm new here and know I will be back to see what's cooking! Great blog!

Foodycat said...

I'm making mine tonight, for eating tomorrow night.

Foodycat said...

Paul's going to be lucky to get any of this! It's so delicious!

girlichef said...

LOL, FC. I really liked it too...and way too simple ;)

ap269 said...

I made yogurt cheese and used it to make muhammara. You can check it out here: http://ap269.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/forging-fromage-2-yogurt-cheese/

girlichef said...

YUM ap...it looks awesome! =)

Andreas said...

Just posted the yoghurt cheese with whey bread.

girlichef said...

My yogurt cheese is up!! YUMMY =)

Foodycat said...

Haven't the foggiest to do your linky thing! http://foodycat.blogspot.com/2010/07/forging-fromage-labneh-and-gouda.html

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

No worries Foodycat! You can always add the link in a comment like you did today. Just perfect. ☺

girlichef said...

ha ha ha, FC. Leaving it in the comments is fine, too of course! I added it to the linky thing...you just click on the gray box that says 'click here to enter' then you add that same URL you put in comments, add a name and it'll ask you to pick a picture (click web) it'll pull 'em from your post. That's it.. But still, adding it to comments works just fine, as well ;)

Rebecca said...

I'm making the cheese, but running late on the blogging (shades of the BBA challenge)!

Just posted about my yogurt cheese here: http://grongar.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/yogurt-cheese/

Am writing about gouda (and whey ricotta) next!

Elizabeth said...

Of course I'm too late to use the linkytool. But I finally posted about making yoghurt cheese (I needed the whey to make bread)

http://etherwork.net/blog/?p=1318

Adelina said...

a staple cheese in Moldova, where I am originally from- love your beautiful post!