The “magic” of yogurt that turns into cheese. This cheese is widespread throughout Southern Europe, the Middle East and Southern Asia. I discovered it in the Middle East and loved it instantaneously.
The perfect cheese for me: tasty, light and healthy. It is nutritious because high in beneficial bacteria for your intestine and it can be used by people who are lactose intolerant, yogurt if it has live cultures which convert lactose to lactic acid . It is versatile too – you can enjoy it at breakfast, lunch or dinner with both sweet and savory dishes. Discover many ways to enjoy in The Mamma Mia! Diet book.
I usually serve it as a tasty appetizer (my clients of the cooking classes love it), seasoned with olive oil (extra virgin), taggiasche olives and oregano, accompanied by crackers. You can also flavor it with fennel seeds, parsley, mint, paprika or cumin, as you like. It makes a nice side dish with honey and mint to serve with spicy food. It has a slightly acidic taste and a creamy consistency.
It is very easy to make it and actual working time is only 15 minutes, although it takes longer to reach the final product. The yogurt needs to strain through a cheesecloth-lined colander, over a bowl to catch the whey, for about 10-12 hours at room temperature (in the summer I would suggest placing it in the fridge). The secret is the quality of yogurt (whole milk plain yogurt). It should be already creamy without any artificial thickeners or sugars. The result will be a fresh and soft cheese, a delicious spread for bread, crackers or a base for many recipes.
FORMAGGIO FATTO IN CASA CON YOGURT (HOMEMADE CHEESE WITH STRAINED YOUGURT)
1 l (1 quart) plain whole milk yogurt (cow, goat or sheep)
1 pinch of sea salt
1 large piece of cheesecloth or gauze
1 large and deep bowl
1. Place the colander over the bowl and line with the cheesecloth. Mix the yogurt with a pinch of salt and spoon it into the cheesecloth. Gather the edges up tightly and tie into a knot on top. Let it rest at a cool room temperature (otherwise in the fridge) for about 10-12 hours
2. Remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and place it in a closed container. You can store in the fridge up to 4-5 days. You can also use the whey for smoothies and cakes instead of water. – Paola