Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Microbes in the Kitchen! (2 also with a minor Edit)

Greek cheese! Locally it's called Greek yogurt, and I think that's what most of the packaged products call it, but I've heard it called both. Either way, it's absolutely fantastic. At the end of this very easy process the yogurt you made in our last episode will be converted into a wonderful, light cheese very similar to soft chevre or cream cheese.

Step 1: place a colander or strainer in a bowl. There needs to be drainage room. Line the colander or strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth (unless your strainer is very fine). Then put your fresh yogurt into the colander. (Still with me? It's easy, I swear.) (EDIT: Optionally you can lightly salt your yogurt at this point to get a cheese that will last a little longer and taste a bit different. Longevity of the product has never been a problem around here, though. It never lasts the week.)

Cover the whole thing with loose cling wrap and put it in the fridge. (Whew, tough. Grab a beer while you're there, you've earned it.) Let it sit in the fridge overnight.

The lactic acid and water will drain from the yogurt while it sits, making thicker and thicker yogurt as it goes. Since the lactic acid goes out with the water, the flavor mellows too. It gets nice and creamy without so much of the yogurt "bite".

If you want a softer (think neufchatel, or Greek yogurt, if you've ever had that) and tangier cheese, remove it from the cheesecloth in the morning. If you want a more thick, mellow cheese, wait until you get home in the evening.

You can either just pour off the juice that collects in the bowl, or you an collect it and drink it. I have heard that with a little salt and or sugar it can be very refreshing on a hot summer evening. I haven't tried that yet, but I'll let you know what I think of it when I do.

Serving ideas? Why yes, I have a few, thanks for asking. The SO makes a great banana nut bread and this stuff is a fantastic spread on it. The softer version (the Greek yogurt) is delish on its own or with honey. How about a schmear with lox on a bagel, why not? Or maybe on toast points with cucumber for tea? Lovely, that. Hmmm... I think I could use a cuppa with some cuke sandwiches.

'Till next time, then! Enjoy.

2 comments:

spurge said...

MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Cheese.

Lab Boy said...

Oh, yeah!