yogurt cheese balls in olive oil
I'm a late bloomer in appreciating yogurt. Just a little over a year ago I wrote about my aversion to frozen yogurt although I have always loved tzatziki. I can't remember what brought it on but early this year I started liking yogurt including drinks, smoothies, kefir, and lately cheese which is so much yummier than cream cheese. I can't seem to get enough of it, I always keep a tub or two in the refrigerator. The cookbook FROM THE LANDS OF FIGS AND OLIVES has several recipes for making yogurt (laban) and yogurt cheese. I got curious if it is really that easy to make yogurt at home and yes I can say after making several batches it's a piece of cake but the process takes at least 2 days which is not so bad if I want an endless supply of yogurt. To make a flavorful yogurt at home I only need milk and 2 T of Greek-style yogurt available from the grocery, I make sure they have no additives like xanthan gum, rennet, or gelatin. I use a flat-bottomed super-fine plastic strainer set on a bowl instead of the usual cheesecloth hanging on something to let the whey drip into a container underneath. That method takes lots of space in the refrigerator and I don't know where to hang the cheesecloth bag from. The end result is the same anyway. I also make cheese balls by adding salt to the yogurt and letting them drain some more on several changes of round coffee filters until they are drier and firmer.
Homemade Greek-style Yogurt
2 quarts milk
2 T Greek-style yogurt, at room temperature
Put the 2 T of yogurt in a well-cleaned 2-quart jar with wide mouth (you may use a glass bowl). Stir several times with a wire whisk until smooth. Set aside.
Clip a thermometer on the side of a medium saucepan, add the milk and heat over medium heat to 180°F, stirring occasionally to ensure correct reading. Turn the heat off and let the milk cool to 115°F.
Pour about ¼ cup of the warm milk into the jar, whisk gently until smooth. Add the rest of the milk ¼ cup at a time, whisking after each addition to make sure the yogurt is mixed in thoroughly.
Cover top of jar with a coffee filter and secure with an elastic band. Place in an oven with light on and leave for 6 hours or overnight.
The yogurt should have set after 6 hours. Pour into a fine plastic strainer set over a bowl. Leave in the refrigerator overnight to drain.
Throw the whey away.
The yogurt is now ready to eat or make into cheese. Transfer into a suitable container with a tight lid. This will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Yield: 1¾ C
I'm sending this to Joelen's Culinary Adventures: Tasty Tools (Whisk).