Yogurt Cheese

I have made this yogurt cheese from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking twice now. I still don’t fully understand the difference between this and Greek yogurt, except that there is even less water content in yogurt cheese than there is in Greek-style yogurt. But still, what makes it cheese?

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Either way, it’s good! Eric and I have been eating it on crackers, but it’d also be good slathered on some toasted french bread. The combinations of spices are endless, but I’ve been sticking with my new favorite spice of the moment, turmeric. Add in some really fruity olive oil and fresh black pepper, and you have a snack worthy of those moments when you’re procrastinating on writing a paper related to healthcare in Nicaragua.

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Yogurt Cheese with Turmeric, Olive Oil, and Black Pepper

adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking

1 32-ounce container plain yogurt (I have been loving Brown Cow brand)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper

Double line a strainer with cheese cloth and place the strainer over a bowl. Pour the entire container of yogurt in and let strain for 8-12 hours, depending on how thick you want it to be. After 12 hours, I had almost two cups of liquid when mine was done. Transfer to another bowl and mix in the turmeric, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for 15-30 minutes to allow the flavors to mix and penetrate every bite, then eat on crackers, bread, or by the spoonful!

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Friday Nights

Remember when you were young, and school was ending, and if you lived in Cadott, you took the bus home and ran up the driveway on that last day of school for the year? Remember that feeling? Freedom, yes, it was freedom. Well, that’s how every single Friday night feels now.

Except you know at the end of summer, when you’ve had enough freedom, and got a new haircut and fancy new shoes, and you’re so ready to go back to school? Well, come Sunday night, I’m still not ready to go back to work.

Nonetheless, I love love love Fridays. This past Friday, I wanted to stop at Saigon Sisters – a new favorite of mine that serves some of the very best Banh Mi in the city – but you see, when you sneak out of work early and show up before 5pm, you have to change your plans. Lucky for me, right around the corner in the French Market, where the sistahs also happen to have a stand. Unlucky for me, the French Market is dangerous.

Yes, dangerous. The moment I walk in, Delightful Pastries in staring me in the face. Around the corner, Pastoral is screaming cheese at me. City Fresh Market’s seafood counter is calling my name, and Flip Crepes has me wondering if I really want banh mi tonight. What do you do when faced with so many choices? Buy it all, I tell you – buy. it. all.

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And that my friends, are the ingredients for a glorious Friday night. A superb salame with whole peppercorns.

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Some seriously amazing double cream cremont cheese from Vermont.

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Wine. Banh Mi. Pho.

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Pho.

Like I said, I love Fridays.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

This stuff is so good. I won’t bore you with words. Just look, drool, and then head straight to the kitchen. You must make this immediately.
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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

recipe courtesy of Tasting Table

1/2 gallon whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, bring the milk, cream and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add the lemon juice and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to curdle (about 2 minutes).

Line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let the cheese curds drain, at room temperature, for one hour. You can save the water the strains out – it’s loaded with protein and apparently you can add it to soups or anything else that calls for water or stock.

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The original recipe said to whip the ricotta with olive oil and salt and pepper in a blender. I did not do this – I couldn’t be bothered. I’m sure it would taste amazing, but to be honest, this cheese is good as is. I just drizzled it with olive oil and topped with fresh ground pepper, then served with a really nice whole wheat ciabatta bread and tomatoes.