Sunday, August 12

MAKE IT: Labneh (Greek Yogurt Cheese)

Labneh or yogurt cheese is a smooth soft cheese which is great for making spreads and dips. Labneh is actual just Greek yogurt which has been strained of any whey or liquids. The texture is a cross between yogurt and a soft cheese. Because of the straining processes any Greek yogurt will become rich and creamy, even if it had a reduced fat content or is fat free. Creating a great cheese alternative for those watching their fat intake.

Serve Labneh on a plate drizzle lovingly with olive oil for a great Greek side dish. Feel free to sprinkle over a little salt or fresh chopped herbs for extra flavor.

Labneh is also a versatile ingredient which can be used in multiple ways:
1) replace sour cream in recipes such as cheese cake
2) replace cream cheese or Neufch√Ętel cheese in recipes or on bagels
3) is the perfect base for homemade cheese spreads
4) replace ricotta in ravioli or baked pastas

This can be done with either store bought organic Greek yogurt or my preference is to use homemade yogurt. For my recipe:

(homemade yogurt)

You will need to decide if you want cheese for the same week you make it. Or if you plain to store it for up to two months. Remember you can always use stored sooner.

Will yield cheese equal to the amount of yogurt you start with.
Full time: 49 hours (includes 48 hour set time, unattended)

You will need:

Plain Organic Greek Yogurt (I'm using 3 cups)
Cheese cloth

For stored cheese only:
1/4 salt per 2 cup yogurt
1-2 cup olive oil

Let us begin:

Place your strainer in your bowl. Make sure the strainer sits on the rim and not the bottom if bowl.

Line strainer with several layers of cheese cloth.

Dump yogurt into center of lined strainer.

Fold top layer of cloth over top of yogurt.

Set in refrigerator and walk away for 48 hours.

Once time has past, remove from refrigerator.

Open cloth tucked over cheese.

Carefully lift cloth out of strainer and flip over onto plate.

For cheese being eaten this week or being used for cheese spread:

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. Then serve as directed in intro.

For cheese being stored:

In a small bowl mix olive oil and salt.

Scoop roughly 1/2 cup of cheese and roll into ball.

Roll ball around in olive oil mixture, making sure to coat all of it.

Set aside and repeat until all cheese is used.

Return all the balls to the bowl. Make sure the olive oil covers the top of the balls.

Wrap with plastic wrap and date. These will keep up to 2 months!