Yogurt Cheese

Total Time:
10 min
Prep:
10 min

Yield:
Approximately 1 quart

Ingredients
  • 2 quarts plain yogurt
Directions

Place 4 layers of cheesecloth in colander set over a bowl. Add the yogurt and let drain overnight in the refrigerator. The desired consistency is that of soft cream cheese.


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    Anyone have any suggestions on flavouring this? I'm specifically looking for an alternative to those tasty Philadelphia flavoured cream cheeses - herb and garlic, strawberry, smoked salmon...is it as easy as just adding those ingredients to the finished product? Anyone have any tips/experience?
    So delicious, Alton! Thank you! I value so many of your recipes. I keep your Southern Biscuit recipe taped to my spice cabinet. I made them again this weekend and so good. They would probably be good with the yogurt cheese. You have influenced my cooking for over a decade and are my favorite chef on TV.
    For best results, use a good quality plain yogurt. If it has any stabilizers or "gum" ingredients, pass. This rules out many grocery-store lowfat plain yogurts...to compensate for being lowfat, manufacturers add lots of other ingredients to give a similar mouth-feel to the full fat stuff. For making yogurt cheese, I use the full fat stuff and run extra laps. lol. Also, I use a couple of coffee filters in a strainer rather than cheesecloth. The final product releases very nicely off the filter. (I actually don't even drink coffee....but I keep coffee filters on hand for this purpose alone! :
    @Prashantha, exactly! Yogurt is so easy to make -- we keep fresh yogurt in the house at all times. It is an essential for afghan cooking.
     
     Ashton's Yogurt Cheese is what we know as Chaka-e Moss. Another slightly more sour version is Chaka-e Doogh, made starting from what's left after making butter from yogurt.
     
     Try making a dip by adding some fresh garlic, dry mint and salt to the Chaka, Dip pieces of fresh bread in it -- this is excellent for people who need to increase their appetite.
     
     Another way to enjoy Chaka is Ashe Keshidah Nana Dagh. Cook and drain fresh homemade noodles. Mix Chaka the same as above, with garlic, mint & salt. Spread a thin layer of the Chakah mixture on a plate, then layer the noodles, and then drizzle more Chakah mixture on top. On top of this, some people also like to drizzle melted butter to which has been added more dry mint.
     
     Enjoy!
     
     Sayed A. Shah, Proprietor
     Bamiyan Afghan Restaurant
     358 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10016
     www.bamiyan.com
     
    To make yogurt affordably, mix 2 tbls of original, unsweetened yogurt with a litre of warmed organic milk. Place it in an airtight container before you go to bed and by the next morning, you should have perfectly smooth yogurt.
     
     To make yogurt cheese without having to worry about constantly checking on it, put the home made yogurt into a cheesecloth bag, knot it and hang it from your faucet overnight. It will drip the whey into the sink, so you can get on with other things :)
    Alton,
     
     There you went and DONE IT AGAIN!!!!! Delicious......
    When using a strainer, do not use metal unless it is a good quality stainless steel. I followed the suggestion of one of the other comments and it was a disaster. The "cheese" turned grey and discolored. I tried it again by lining the metal strainer with coffee filters. That was a bit better, but it still discolored. Not usable at all. You get a much nicer product by using plastic lined with coffee filters. I left mine for 48 hours and it was very firm - the texture of cream cheese.
    I really dislike cheesecloth and find it difficult to clean and work with so I looked for an more convenient cheese making substitute. Are you ready for this? Birdseye cotton flat fold diapers!!! They?re very inexpensive, readily available and are the perfect single layer mesh for yogurt cheese. A dozen will cost you around $10.00 and last much longer than cheesecloth. The mesh is so perfect that you can actually squeeze out much of the whey by hand. If you?re creative and so inclined, you can also sew them to form a bag which you can then hang from your kitchen faucet overnight. Needless to say, only use a brand new diaper and not one used for its original purpose. Give it a try. You won?t be disappointed.
    We enjoy the "Greek style" of yogurt which is very expensive to purchase.
     Now i save lots of money by using Altons yogurt recipe also found on the foodnetwork and add this step only a shorter time to create the Greek yogurt style. After a few hours it is thicker and i add some flavored syrup (the type you add to coffee) such as blood orange or any fruit flavored syrup and our own seasonal fruits. With the yogurt strained the extra juice from a tad of syrup and fruit make a creamy delicious flavored yogurt. You can also use this with your store purchased yogurt.
      The recipe he has for yogurt also makes the best frozen yogurt we have ever tasted!!! Such a fresh non chemical flavor. All i add is 1/2 cup whole milk-
     1/4 unrefined sugar-2 tsp vanilla flavoring -small bag of frozen fruit.
     i use the 1/2 milk to blend the fruit in a blender to make creamy. It makes
     a very simple frozen recipe ---from smoothies to frozen yogurt this recipe just keeps giving ideas. I also keep the drainage to add to soups and for making bread. no need to toss anything away that is full of nutrients :)
    I use a full-fat Greek yogurt, and drain off about half the volume in whey. To speed up the process, I lay the cheese-cloth (coffee filters also work) on several layers of thick, absorbent paper towels. I change the towels as soon as they're soaked through (every 5-20 minutes), and also "stir" the cheese each time to insure that it drains evenly. It takes about 1 hour.
     
     Following a traditional Greek recipe, I shape the resulting cheese into small balls, and cover them with a mix of olive oil, chili, and fresh herbs. Last approximately 1 month in the fridge.
     
     This really works best with a very good, full-fat yogurt. Otherwise it ends up tasting sour and somewhat bland.
    Alton's recipe said to use cheese cloth in a collander. I just put the plain yogurt in a wire strainer with plastic wrap over it and suspend over a bowl, or if the strainer is small enough, over the yogurt container. A lot of water will come out. I like to leave it for about two days.
     
     Spoon some into a small bowl or dessert dish, pour about a teaspoon or so of honey on top, and top that with some chopped nuts.
     
     Delicious!!
    I normally like to get soft cheese, crackers, and make a night of it. So I really was looking for something like this, since it can get a little expensive after a while.
     
     I picked up some organic, grass-fed whole milk and plain yogurt (for starter) and made a few quarts of homemade yogurt. After a day the yogurt was all ready.
     
     It took about 6 hours for the cheese to be ready, and didn't last long. Luckly I still have yogurt around. :)
    The texture (not quite as smooth) and flavor don't compare to my cream cheese, but it may serve as a great base for dips and the like. I'll have to try the vanilla yogurt which was suggested by another reviewer.
    Never tried it, definately a tasty treat, and easy to make (once the yogurt is ready).
    Use yogurt cheese as a low fat alternative to sour cream.
    I've been doing this for sometime, and it's a great base for dips, where you'd normally use cream cheese. Also great for tzaziki. Try using coffee filters instead of the cheese cloth. And vanilla yogurt drains out to something like cheesecake
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