Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Yogurt Cheese

Simplicity itself: just dry out some yogurt. There's a big target window, and it's hard to get wrong.

What follows is practical info on manufacturing and presentation.

  1. Buy a large container (a quart) of plain yoghurt.
  2. Shlurp it into a cylindrical, half-gallon, juice pitcher.
  3. Spread cheesecloth over the top of the open pitcher, then wedge in with the lid, with the lid turned to "strainer." ("Open" probably works, too.)
  4. Upend the pitcher into a big, mixing bowl The yoghurt will come sliding down to sit on top of the cheesecloth.
  5. Leave the pitcher upside-down for everything from here, on.
  6. For the next few days, the whey will drain into the bowl, out the pitcher's pour spout.
  7. Empty the whey from the bowl into another container from time-to-time, for the next two or three days, until you stop getting much. You'll wind up with a cup to a cup and a half of whey, which you can use as an all-purpose cooking liquid.
  8. Remembering to keep it upside down, take the pitcher off of the lid+cheesecloth.The cheese round will be resting on the cheesecloth, upside-down.
  9. If the pitcher's been sitting at a slight slant, the bottom of the round (the part not touching the cheesecloth) will be slanted. You can smooth it out with a table knife or something.
  10. Cover the bottom with a plate, flip it over, remove the cheesecloth/lid, and presto! a round of low-fat, soft cheese.
I often sprinkle it with some seasoning (paprika or mint work well), and pour olive oil over it.

I've mixed spices into the yoghurt before making the cheese, but I didn't personally like it as well. If you add the spices as topping, you can make pretty designs.

It's good with these crackers.