Sunday, September 8, 2013

Yogurt "cheese" Caprese

Maybe you've heard of yogurt cheese. I don't know if, technically, yogurt cheese is actually cheese, but it tastes like cheese. And that's good enough for me.

The best thing about yogurt cheese is that it's incredibly easy to make. There's only one necessary ingredient. And then you can add a touch of salt, if you like. Easy peasy.

Then, it's just a matter of time. The yogurt needs to drain, which makes it thicker. And thicker and thicker. The longer the cheese drains, the thicker it gets.

You can stop draining when the cheese is a soft, spreadable consistency. Or you can drain even longer until it gets to the thickness of cream cheese.

And then you have a cheese that tastes a lot like cream cheese.

For straining, this time I use a tamis, which is basically a flat strainer. Before, I've use a fine-mesh metal strainer - and it does need to be a pretty fine mesh. Or, you can use a strainer with larger holes, but line it with cheesecloth before straining.

To make your yogurt cheese

Just put some plain yogurt (you can start with regular or Greek style yogurt) in the tamis or strainer, put that on top of a bowl to catch drips, Put a cover over the top, and put the whole shebang in the refrigerator.

If you want to encourage faster straining, you can stir the yogurt occasionally, but don't push it through the strainer.

When it's as thick as you like, transfer it to a storage container and stir to smooth it out. Add a little salt, if you like. I think a little bit of salt is a good idea. And that's it.

You can use it like you'd use any soft cheese - spread it on crackers, use it to make dip, or ... how about some caprese.

Okay, technically a caprese salad is tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. But this is very similar. And very good.

And then, I decided to make sandwich with some tomatoes and cheese - on a biscuit.

Tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches are one of my favorite things, and this was similar - but with the cheese in the place of the mayonnaise. And then, to guild the lily just a little, it was on a bacon biscuit.

Yogurt Cheese Caprese

Tomatoes, sliced, as needed
Yogurt cheese, as needed
Fresh thyme

Arrange the tomato slices on a plate. Add a dollop of yogurt cheese to each slice - about a teaspoon for a smaller tomato or a tablespoon or more for larger tomato slices.

Strew fresh thyme leaves over the top of the tomatoes and cheese.

A drizzle of good balsamic vinegar would be appropriate, if you like.