Yogurt Cheese

Yogurt cheese is a great versatile spread, and it’s really easy to make.  I usually use it as a spread for crackers or bread, as in the recipe below, and it can also be used as a substitute for cream cheese or sour cream in a lot of other recipes.  I’ve never tried baking with it though – I’m not sure how it would react when heated.  As a person who is lactose-intolerant but can eat yogurt, this recipe has been a god-send!

I like to sprinkle sumac on my yogurt cheese.  I’ve never seen it in my local grocery store, but I found it at a Lebanese shop.  It’s got a bit of a tartness to it that goes perfectly with yogurt, and it’s got a great deep red colour.

What you need:

plain yogurt, must not be no- or low-fat or thickened with corn starch!

salt

ground sumac

cheesecloth

sieve

bowl

What you do:

1. Line a sieve with cheesecloth, and place it in a bowl.  Pour the yogurt into it, then tie up the cloth and place in the fridge.  About half the liquid will drain out, so use about twice as much yogurt as you would like to have at the end.

2.  Leave several hours, up to a day or two – I usually leave it draining for just less than a day.  You may need to pour off some of the liquid that collects in the bowl.

3.  Place yogurt cheese in a bowl and top with sumac and salt. Of course you can also substitute any of your favourite herbs – I’ve used garlic salt before, and a bit of oregano.

4.  Serve with naan, flatbread, crackers or any bready substance of your choice.  It can also be used as a vegetable dip.

I make my own yogurt – it’s easy to do, and really cheap… stay tuned for that posting.

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