YOGHURT, LABNE

Labneh

This is a cheese made from yoghurt. I use low fat plain Greek yoghurt that I buy in 2 kg buckets. To me this is the perfect spread – low fat and good protein = no guilt. It can be used on vita weet biscuits cruskits or Mountain bread as a base for some cucumber, capsicum, tomato, onion, basil etc for a healthy lunch. I also add garlic and use it for a more savoury spread and mix with eggs and Ras El Hanout for a more contemporary curried egg for toppings for the above.

We make a big batch of it to take on holidays – it is used as a spread for bread, topping for cracker biscuits (top with tomatoes, gherkins etc) and on breakfast cereal as yoghurt. It takes up far less space than a tub of yoghurt, is a lot healthier than butter and can be used as a thickener in salads and vegetable dishes.

To make:

A fair bit of natural yoghurt – I now use about 2 kg of low fat Greek yoghurt but have used other types of yoghurt.

About a teaspoon of salt mixed into it.

(at this stage I have also added some combination of chopped, lightly fried onion, garlic, parsley, garlic chives)

Put the mixture into a muslin cloth – I line a seive with a double layer of triangular bandage, I have lots of triangular bandages from first aid courses that I have attended over the years. Lately I have been lining a fine seive with the muslin and sitting it on egg rings inside a bigger steel bowl. I gradually make a bag of the cloth by pulling up the corners and tieing them. This is gradually tightened up by twisting the knot.

Mesh basket over egg rings

Mesh basket over egg rings

labne1

Egg Rings in bowl

Other things to try:

Tie the bag through a wooden spoon and hang it through a rack on the fridge over a bowl to catch the liquid.

Use a lined funnel shaped seive in the top of the empty 2kg Greek yoghurt container which does a good job.

Leave for about 24 hours to drain away the whey. I do this in the fridge but others leave it out to drain.

When it is fairly solid put it into a container and store in the fridge. It keeps for over a week.

Other uses

Use it in cucumber raita or tzatziki, as the yoghurt marinade in Tandoori chicken – anywhere you don’t want that “too runny” yoghurt consistency.

Thickened yoghurt – quick

This can be made in an hour or less – whatever time is available – and is a good way to treat yoghurt when it is being added to a salad or a sauce.

I have a very fine seive, into this I scoop about 1 1/2 times the amount of yoghurt that I am going to need in my recipe and suspend it over whatever bowl it fits over. Leave it for as long as possible to drain out the whey, pouring it off from time to time, while doing the rest of the food prep. The yoghurt thickens quite well as it drains.

Lemon yoghurt sauce

To the thickened yoghurt add 1/2 tsp salt (if using the unsalted quick version), juice of 1/2 lemon and some chopped capers or poor mans’ nasturtiums.

Lemon yoghurt dressing

 

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