Friday, April 8, 2011

Good Food Friday: Herb Yogurt Cheese from Homemade Yogurt

Hi neighbors! Welcome to Good Food Friday at Two Blue Houses!
Be an Artist in the Kitchen, Woman Cooking
I've been living in the country for about 6 years now. Food I prepare has always been on the wholesome and healthy side but it wasn't until the move that I truly started cooking and baking from scratch. The switch was gradual. First I started shopping only the perimeter of a grocery store. Then I started buying the essentials like flour, sugar, beans and rice in 25 lb brown paper bags to make my own basic foods like breads, cookies and simple suppers. Today the list of my kitchen accomplishments is respectable but I still feel I can go farther. To date I have learned to:
  • bake yeast breads and flat breads
  • make soy milk
  • soak and cook dried beans
  • make and cook fresh pasta
  • raise and preserve a garden
  • prepare a cream sauce (couldn't survive without this one for sure!)
  • fix granola bars
  • raise and butcher chickens (sorry guys but I like knowing my meat had a great life)
  • dehydrate fruit and make fruit leathers
  • make applesauce
  • whip cream
  • make all desserts (even doughnuts)
  • can jellies and jams
  • ferment wine
  • cook and process ice cream
  • culture yogurt
As I re-read that list I am dizzy with responsibility. These are all part of a regular cycle. When the kids want brownies, I head to the pantry. On taco night, they know that they are going to get homemade beans and wraps. Bread gets made on Fridays so I can also make them fresh pizza. Soy milk is made as needed, about twice a week. I add something new every couple months. As soon as things settle down in the kitchen, I am looking for something new again. Yes, I am crazy. My latest addition has been homemade Greek style yogurt. That blue cooler has become a permanent fixture on top of my freezer. As I mentioned at the bottom of that post that this creamy stuff can be taken a step further and made into a soft spreadable fresh cheese that tastes excellent. I can not make this fast enough for my house but it is so easy I don't mind making it often. This recipe is based on one I found in my Mediterranean cookbooks. The major difference is they use sheep's milk. Yeah, I know.

I couple weeks ago, I posted the how to for homemade Greek style yogurt. Hope you are loving it! So, follow the steps here until the yogurt is hanging. At this point you want it to be suspended over a bowl until it stops dripping, maybe 2 full days. When you open it up it will look like this.

If not, tie it up again and wait. I would just give mine a little squeeze now and then when I walked passed to check the consistency. I used a pillowcase and it works great. I think I even like it better for cheesecloth because it was easier to pour the yogurt into.
You can tell the cheese is nice and thick, not runny at all. About the consistency of cream cheese.

Sprinkle with garlic, herbs and salt. On this batch I went with garlic, oregano and hot pepper flakes (only in between layers, unless you like things really really spicy). My last batch was garlic and rosemary and thyme. You really can't go wrong. Another option is to sprinkle the seasonings in the jar between layers. I prefer to mix it in because the flavor is more intense.

Mix in the seasonings and then refrigerate for about half an hour, or longer. You want the cheese to be cold and solid enough to be handled.

Using a teaspoon, measure out a small amount of cheese and roll it in your palms to form a ball. Layer the cheese in a sterilized glass mason jar.

Your original two quarts of yogurt makes about a pint of herb cheese. After all the cheese is rolled and in the jar, fill the jar with oil. I used half olio beato and half chipotle olive oil. Try to really pack in the cheese, keeping their shape but allowing little space in between to use less oil. This is definitely the expensive and elegant part of the recipe.

Oh isn't it beautiful. If cheese could be breathtaking... sigh.
Serve with crackers, fruit, anything.

The longer the prepared cheese sits in the fridge, the louder the flavor will get. The recipe recommend it be eaten in three weeks, but when you make this, I doubt it will be around that long. Trust me. And keep the oil when the cheese is gone. It has great flavor so cook with it or keep it around for your next batch of herb yogurt cheese.

To all those who are interested in kitchen stuff...

I'm up for a challenge. Is there a recipe that you can't quite perfect or a favorite dish that you wish were a bit lighter or made with better ingredients, let me know. I'd love to take a shot at a Two Blue Houses version of it. Leave a comment below and we'll pick one to work out and post it on a Good Food Friday! Thanks for stopping by Two Blue Houses.


  1. Great blog! I am a food person too. It looks like you have a great handle on that department!

  2. This was a great, easy, straight-forward, honest tutorial on making such easy cheese! Thank you! I am about to milk my goats for the first time and want to make such delicacies as these! Any generous support like this post for learning to make cheese is welcomed by me! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I had a milk goat a couple years ago and I remember my first recipe was goat milk fudge! Good for you!

  3. The cheese looks delicious ! I don't think it would last very long in our kitchen either. I'm going to check-out your post on how it was made. Thanks for sharing.

    ~ Many Blessings ~

  4. Lovely! Would this be similar to laughing cow sold in the grocery store? My daughter is wild about it but as we are changing our kitchen to healthier she is losing some of her faves! Thanks for any help!

    1. It is very creamy and spreadable like the laughing cow chesse but this version since made with plain yogurt is a bit sour like plain yogurt. Give it a try... My kids love it!


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