May 6, 2013

Project 237: Yogurt Cheese Smoked Salmon Spread

Make my own cheese, you ask? Yes, it's easy. Yogurt cheese is the easiest cheese to make because little planning is required and it's mostly a waiting game. Because of this, I make this all the time. And the flavor combinations are only limited by your imagination. It's a great alternative to cream cheese and mayo.
 Straining the yogurt can happen a few different ways. Usually, I use this handy little strainer contraption. Just a strainer and a container and it comes with a lid.

Alternately, just use a sieve or colander. Either way, you just dump the yoburt into the strainer, refrigerate and wait.
Using the uber low tech method, line a strainer with two layers of cheese cloth. Place your strainer over or in a bowl. Put your yogurt in the lined strainer. Cover the yogurt with the excess cheese cloth and refrigerate. Let it go only a couple of hours or overnight. The longer it drains, the thicker it gets.
In the low-tech strainer I can fit two cups of yogurt - give or take a bit. If I use the strainer contraption I can strain an entire container at home time.

The next day you have yogurt cheese. Think of the possibilities. Simply eat it as is. Salt it. Pepper it. Mince fresh herbs and combine or shape the cheese into a log and roll in the herbs. Add crushed nuts. Add diced vegetables. Use as a dip or spread instead of cream cheese. I've made yogurt cheese with goat's milk yogurt and look out - If you love goat cheese, I suggest you try the goat's milk yogurt cheese.

For this latest batch, I blended in 4 oz. of smoked salmon. No need for additional seasoning because the salmon is flavorful and salty. This didn't last long in our house. It went onto flatbread crackers and was stuffed into celery stalks and finally just scooped up with a spoon.

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