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Things to do with Yogurt When You’re Bored (or Hungry)

title

We always have tons of yogurt in the house. Little containers of Tillamook Vanilla, Strawberry and Peach, as well of large containers of vanilla or honey for smoothies and plain yogurt for Indian-ish and Mexican-ish dishes.

So, when I saw Alton Brown make Yogurt Cheese on a Good Eats recently, I immediately went rummaging through my kitchen drawers looking for cheesecloth (I just knew I had some somewhere). Because — wow! Cheese from yogurt, you say? That’s sounds so fun.

After locating the cheesecloth and blending my yogurt and herbs together, five hours later I had this easy and tangy yogurt cheese spread. I used a seasoning blend that I had on hand, but fresh herbs could easily be used in this recipe. Chives, thyme and rosemary would be good. So would shallots, chives and tarragon — the possibilities are quite endless!

The secret is in separating the whey from the yogurt. The whey is the watery liquid that is strained from the yogurt, leaving the creamy, thicker yogurt cheese when you are done. Give this one a try.

Herbed Yogurt Cheese Spread
1 quart plain yogurt (low fat)
4 big cloves of garlic or 8 little cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp dried herb seasoning of your choice (I used Penzey’s Fox Point Seasoning — or you could also use a combination of fresh thyme, rosemary, chives or whatever herbs you’d like)
A dash of cayenne pepper

In a mixing bowl, add the garlic, lemon juice, chives and seasoning mix (or fresh herbs) to the yogurt and combine. Place mixture in cheesecloth (I doubled mine up), set over a colander, set over a large bowl.

strainer

Then, wrap the ends of the cheesecloth up over the yogurt to cover.

wrapped

You will see it start to drip right away.

draining

Weight the top down with a saucer and can on top and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours.

weighted down

When it is done draining, the consistency of the yogurt should be like cream cheese and you there will be a fair amount of liquid down in the bottom of the draining bowl.

after

Discard liquid and add salt and pepper to the yogurt cheese, to taste. Use the spread with crackers, vegetables, on baked potatoes or what-have-you. It’s creamy and very flavorful — and good for you too!

4 comments to Things to do with Yogurt When You’re Bored (or Hungry)

  • I am so glad you did this. I also saw Alton’s episode on yogurt cheese, he is really excellent. Your cheese looks divine. Next you should try ricotta. Cooking Light ran some wonderful recipes with homemade ricotta (seems like December). Fresh is just so good.

  • Lynn D.

    Try this with goat yogurt sometime. Fabulous!

  • mlb

    Tanna: Riccota, eh? Mmmmmm…that sounds good!

    Lynn D: Ohhhhh…goat yogurt. What a great idea. It seems like I will be straining many things in the future!!

  • ivi

    my yogurt is in the refrigerator right now!!! i can’t wait to taste the cheese tomorrow morning, i used Provence herbs :)

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