Recipe: Yogurt Cheese

Years ago I was at a friend’s house and looked in her fridge and discovered something strange. When I asked her what it was she said that she was making yogurt cheese. It was something that her grandmother had taught her how to make.

I had not really thought of it until recently, when this website (bzzagent) I am a member of asked me to review and give feedback on FAGE Greek yogurt. Since I was getting three 17.6oz containers of yogurt I figured this was the perfect situation.

You are going to need:

1 ½ teaspoons dry dill

1 teaspoon freeze dried garlic

¼ teaspoon salt

The zest of one lemon

2 cups of Greek yogurt

The non-food items you need are:

32oz wide mouth canning jar with lid

12oz wide mouth canning jar (you can use the same lid as above since you only need one at a time)

Cheese cloth 1’x3′

A rubber band

A small mixing bowl and a spoon

In the bowl combine the ingredients and mix in thoroughly. If you are impatient you can stop there and use the mix as a delicious dill dip for veggies or chips or on salmon.

Take the cheese cloth fold it into a 1’x1′ square and set it in the 32oz jar so it hangs about halfway down the jar and secure it below the jar threading with the rubber band.

Spoon the yogurt mixture into the cheese cloth net. Be sure not to press it in too hard so that it doesn’t press the mixture out.

Secure the lid and let the mixture refrigerate overnight.

When it is ready it will have lost about a half cup of liquid. Carefully remove the cheese cloth net, remove the yogurt cheese from the net and place it into the smaller jar.

Serve on crackers, toast, or bagels with lox or whatever you think is delicious.

Enjoy!

Hey Puddin’

I wanted cake, well I wanted to bake a cake because my house is hot and I wanted it to smell like cake, but I lack necessary ingredients.
I do however have a mango and all the necessary ingredients for this:

Recently I took this cooking class with some friends from work. I like cooking classes generally, that said, this one was a little disappointing. The food was good, but it was a little more demonstration than hands on. Everything was partially prepared and the woman running the class seemed a little apprehensive about folks using knives. I mean seriously kids, I have some serious knife skills; I know this, because I tool a class. That last bit should have resulted in an eye rolling and maybe a snicker.

The food in the class was mostly good. I say mostly because a lot of it was prepared ahead of time. The one thing that stood out the most was a really simple rice pudding. I like rice pudding. This particular recipe was also vegan, which I am not, but I do occasionally like to clear out the animal proteins. And it has coconut, I mean COME ON! Coconut is freaking delicious.

So I took the recipe and then altered it a little, I found it a little sweet with the already sweet mango, so I adjusted accordingly. Personally I think it is delicious, even if you have to start your prep a day ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Sweet Rice
  • 1 Can (13.5-14oz) Coconut Milk (light or regular)
  • 1/3 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 ¼ Cup of Water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Lime Zest
  • 1 Mango

Directions

  • Using cheese cloth or a mesh strainer: rinse the rice in cold water. Then place it in a bowl and cover with cold water and set aside to soak overnight.
  • In a pot (or rice cooker if you must) on medium heat, cook the rice with 1 ¼ Cups of water until the rice is tender. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Do not shake the coconut milk before opening. Open the can and skim about ½ of the fat off of the top and set aside in a bowl.
  • Pour the remaining liquid and fat in a saucepan and add sugar. On medium heat, stirring constantly, melt the sugar into the coconut milk.
  • Once the sugar is melted add the remaining fat and mix in until melted.
  • Mix the coconut milk and sugar mixture together with the rice in a bowl and set aside until warm (not hot) to the touch.
  • Zest your lime and mix most of it into the pudding.
  • Slice the mango avoiding the seed.
  • Serve ½ cup of pudding with mango, garnish with remaining lime zest.
  • This can be refrigerated and served warm or cold.
  • It is also delicious with other tropical fruits.

Hey Puddin’.

Urban Garden to Basil Pesto

Today I decided to trim back my basil and with garlic I got from my Boston Organics Dogma Box this week, make some pesto for lunch.
I am not going to pretend I invented this recipe or insult you will loads of details, I am just going to show you some pictures of the process… enjoy.

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Roasted Roots

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My friends and I have a variety of local sources for our meats and veggies depending on living arrangements. Since there are different sources there are different items that folks get.
It isn’t unheard of for people in my circle to barter, in the summer this includes veggies.
Currently I am working on a resume for a friend in exchange for farm eggs and veggies.
Anyway, especially so it seems in recent years one of the items you see a lot of, that certainly (in my opinion) is not worth bartering is kale.
Yeah, I know, it is supposed to be some superfood because it is full of all sorts of good stuff for you, but you know what, I do not like kale. Don’t worry the feeling is mutual I am certain.
At any rate I occasionally end up with a bunch of it, those are the days I wish I had chickens, actually most days I wish I had chickens.
In the line of other veggies that I don’t like includes carrots, but only cooked carrots am as it turns out only water cooked carrots (steamed, boiled, chopped and added to soup).
What I have found however is that many of these that I do not like, I quite like when roasted.
Roasting is pretty easy, it’s one of the things I show friends who don’t know what to do with an oven.
Depending on what you are roasting the times and temps will carry, for this purpose we are going to use an oven at 400 and a cast iron skillet.
Rumor has it cooking in a cast iron skillet can ward off anemia.
Anyway, chop up 2 fist size beets, 1 yam, a rutabaga, 3-4 carrots and put them in the skillet.
Now add about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (or rendered bacon fat), a pinch or two of salt, crack about a quarter teaspoon over it and then squeeze the juice of an orange (2 blood oranges if they are handy).
Next up, stick your hands in there and toss it all together to get everything coated and pop it in your oven and wait.
You will start to smell them as they roast. About 20 in open the oven and see if they are starting to brown and toss everything and return it to the oven.
Chop up a bunch of kale (bunch being a vague unit of measurement), and after another 5 minutes add it to the veggies. And leave in there for another five minutes.
All the root veggies should be soft and the kale a bright shade of green.
Enjoy.

This combination also makes a delicious tipping on pizza along with blue cheese.

Hot Pot Inspired Hot Day Soup

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It is hot, but all the same I wanted hot soup. Something that was quick to make so I don’t heat myself out of the kitchen. I got to thinking of HotPot. I figured I could probably pull something like that together.
So I pulled out the cast iron Dutch oven and set to work.
First I added about a tablespoon of rendered unfiltered (still had salt pork nuggets in it) bacon fat. I turned up the heat and melted it down. Then I added a box of Pacific brand mushroom broth (you could also use beef) and a 1/2 cup of water (careful of splattering grease) and brought it to a rapid boil.
Next add about a pound of thinly sliced beef strips that you’ve let sit for about 15-30 minutes with salt on each side and a finely sliced jalapeño.
Next in goes the green onion about 5 chopped up.
Add some mushrooms, the fancy kind as pictured, also called shimeji if you want to get official. You can find them in the same section as the mushrooms in the grocery store in packages, you’ll use the whole package, just separate them from each other and drop them in.
Now add 2 chopped garlic cloves and about 10 shredded basil leaves.
Next up add a bunch of bok choy, chopped and two sliced tomatoes.
Turn off the heat and throw in some cellophane noodles (aka: bean thread noodles).
Add salt to taste and serve hot.

It is super easy since really all you have to do is rinse, chop and boil. Since it only takes about 15 minutes top to make it won’t heat up the whole house.