Thursday, April 8, 2010

Greek Feast, Part Three: Making Your Own Greek Yogurt

Our planned dessert for Greek feast was Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts. We had honey, we had walnuts; we just needed the Greek yogurt! Which I wasn't able to find at my local grocery store. There are plenty of recipes out there for making your own yogurt, where you actually MAKE the yogurt. But there is also an easy shortcut for 'making' your own Greek yogurt. Just buy whole milk plain yogurt at the store and drain the whey out of it. This will result in the creamier, less bitter, thicker, delicious Greek yogurt that we desire. (You will also need it for the tzatziki sauce, so be sure to make extra if you plan on eating some of it!)

To make your own Greek yogurt at home, you will need:

* a container of whole milk PLAIN yogurt (quantity will vary depending on how much you need; remember you will be straining liquid out of it so you will end up with less, overall, than you start with)
* some clean food-grade cheesecloth (can be found in most grocery stores)
* A strainer or colander
* A bowl to catch the whey as it drains

Set your colander on top of the bowl. Line it with four layers of clean food-grade cheesecloth. Open your yogurt container (save the container!) and dump it on top of the cheesecloth. Fold the top layers of cheesecloth over it gently and pop it back into the fridge. You're going to want to let it sit and drain, slowly, for about 12 hours to get the right consistency. You can check it a little before and a little after; when it's thick enough to pop a spoon in and have the spoon stay upright, it's good to go. (We drained ours for 12 hours.) If it gets a little too thick, you can always re-incorporate some of the whey. It's a pretty forgiving process.

Greek yogurt on the right, whey on the left.

That's all there is to it! When it's ready, put the yogurt back into its original container and store it in the fridge. Great for dips and some people, like my husband, love to eat it plain. You can also treat it as a dessert by topping it with honey and walnuts or a variety of fruits. Quick, easy, healthy, delicious.

I am participating in the Global Cook Along project, where we try recipes from around the world. We focus on one region's cuisine each week. We try to do ours as one big potluck-style meal each week, but other people are doing one meal a night, a week, whatever works for them! To learn more, see additional recipes, or to participate yourself, check out our livejournal community and / or our facebook group!

with love from K-Pidge :)

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