Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Making Yogurt Cheese

We have a ton of yogurt in the house, because we have had a ton of whole milk, because we keep buying it for GoatSpawn, WHO WILL NOT DRINK IT.

So, I decided to make yogurt cheese.

I've never made it before because I don't have the fancy yogurt cheese maker and I've never had cheesecloth. Why I've never had cheesecloth when it's fairly easy and inexpensive to find, I don't know, but that has been the main sticking point in why I've never made yogurt cheese, even though I've been making my own yogurt for a couple of years now.

Then I saw the tea strainer.
It holds exactly one small container of yogurt and it suspends nicely in the tea cup. Perfect!
I put yogurt in the strainer, put the strainer in the cup, and the liquid, which is whey (also called milk plasma, which sounds much worse) drip outs.
Into the fridge it goes ... I poured out the whey after an hour (although the whey is full of nutritious stuff and can be used in other things). Back into the fridge overnight or for 24 hours (checking the cup occasionally to empty if needed) to drain out even more whey and you get ...

Yogurt cheese! It reduced to about half its volume, about a couple big spoonfuls. Not a big volume, but sometimes a little is all you want or need.

The result still tastes like yogurt - in my case, quite tangy - but the texture is creamier and thicker.

You can use yogurt cheese in the same ways you might use sour cream or cream cheese, although it has a stronger flavor to consider. On toasted bagels, it was light and delicious, and I could see it as a good basis for dips. Of course you could also eat in straight up, like a Greek style yogurt. Some people like to use non-fat yogurt cheese as a less caloric version of sour cream, but of course Foodgoat rarely chooses the less caloric version of anything, and would probably look at me like I was crazy if I suggested NOT using his beloved, delicious sour cream.

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