read_w (read_w) wrote,

Drained yogurt

I haven't posted this earlier because it seems more like an ingredient than a recipe, but I do have a couple uses for it. I've started making well-drained yogurt and like it. Put a quart of full-fat yogurt (it doesn't seem to have to be great yogurt—I'm using my grocer's house brand—but full-fat definitely makes a big difference) in a dish towel in a colander and let drain (in the fridge) 6-10 hours; then put a saucer on top and a 1.5-2 lb weight on top of that and drain another couple hours. The result is thick enough to come off the towel in a few chunks. The whey that drains out can be used as yogurt or buttermilk in most baking, or makes a decent (if odd looking) lassi. Makes about 2.5 c drained yogurt and 1.5 c whey.

What to do with it:
The result is a kind of über-yogurt: really thick and rich; approaching cream cheese in texture but without cream cheese's heaviness. Toppings of various kinds work well. I've tried toasted pecans with maple syrup and rum, which was pretty good (though the tanginess of the yogurt wasn't quite right with that); orange juice concentrate is also nice. My favorite is a pineapple-ginger syrup: finely grate 1–1.5" fresh ginger and squeeze the juice into a cup, and add 12 oz pineapple juice concentrate (the frozen stuff, thawed). 3-4 spoonfuls of that over 2/3 cup of the drained yogurt, as desert or breakfast, is pretty spectacular.

You can also use it where you might use sour cream. I'm not one of those people who thinks you can substitute yogurt for sour cream, but you can substitute this stuff for sour cream, and the result is even richer. (I don't know that I'd do it where the sour cream is standing nearly alone, the taste isn't the same, but if it's doctored up the mouthfeel makes it great.) I've made a topping for steamed or boiled potatoes with this yogurt, with mustard, garlic, and shoyu, that I like very much. (A bit less than half the fat of sour cream, if that matters to you.) I heated it in something and it didn't break, as sour cream can, though I should experiment with it more before making that a strong claim.

That pineapple-ginger syrup, by the way, is pretty good other ways too. A fair amount added to seltzer makes a very nice soda, or a little added to iced tea, or spooned over fruit. I used it in a Thai-ish curry and liked it that way too.
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