Monday, June 21, 2010

Fun With Yogurt

I've been playing with yogurt a lot lately. You can bip over to Simple Bites to check out my article on how to make yogurt. I'll wait here for you.

Back already? I hope you enjoyed that. Now that you know how to make yogurt, here's how to make yogurt cheese. It's beyond simple. All you do is drain the yogurt. Really, that's it.

I put an unbleached coffee filter in a canning jar funnel. Mine has a removable mesh insert that keeps the filter from falling through, but even without that, I don't think the filter would fall through. If you don't have a funnel, you can use a strainer or whatever you have in your kitchen that will allow it to drain, while supporting the sides.

Spoon as much yogurt as you'd like to drain (I like to put in as much as it will hold) and set the funnel over a canning jar to catch the drips of whey. Cover the top with plastic wrap and set the whole thing in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

At the end of that time, you should have something with the consistency of cream cheese that peels away easily from the filter. Store it covered in the refrigerator. Also, you don't have to pitch the whey. Keep it in the refrigerator and use it in place of water in baking.

You can use the yogurt cheese in place of cream cheese in many recipes. Be aware that it won't behave the same as cream cheese in baked goods because of its lower fat content. Also, it has the same tang as yogurt, so consider the flavors you'll pair it with. I like it particularly in dips that are savory.

Recently we grilled some salmon that was amazing and when we had some leftover (what is it with weird kids not eating salmon?), I put some into this lovely dip. Add a few crackers and a glass of wine and you've got the makings of a beautiful evening.

Salmon and Yogurt Cheese Dip
- adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style

8 oz yogurt cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced fresh dill OR 1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp prepared horseradish, drained
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 oz smoked salmon, minced

1- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the yogurt cheese until it's just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add the smoked salmon and mix well.

2- Cover and chill. Serve with crackers or rounds of crusty bread.


CaSaundraLeigh said...

Yogurt is so good! I love using it cheesecake recipes. Adds a tangy flavor!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This is lovely Lynn. I will have to look into making my own yogurt and yogurt cheese.

Daphne said...

I have been making my own yogurt for several months now and love it! I make it in my crockpot. Super easy! I have found many ways to use it in my kitchen other than eating it with granola. Come check out my blog sometime for some ideas!

Abby said...

What a great idea - with the leftover salmon. Also: If you use the yogurt milk in baked goods does it affect the flavor?

grace said...

hey now--i'm one of those weird kids. salmon ain't for me, but bravo on your yogurt-making. :)

Elle said...

Love salmon and yogurt, so this is a sure thing. Then there will be whey for bread baking...something nutty maybe...yum!

Barbara said...

I've never made I'm going to try!
I love Ina's recipe; she's my favorite Food Network chef.

We Are Not Martha said...

Oooh yum, that looks and sounds fantastic! I've never made my own yogurt, but really want to now :) Thanks!


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

YES and then freeze the whey in an ice cube tray for bread making!
Love yogurt cheese.

kickpleat said...

I love dips and this one looks amazing. I'm hoping for hot days soon when I can just live on a dip like this! Yum.