Monday, August 9, 2010

Right now, this is my favorite

Simple, quiet, unassuming: the first glance belies its rich, tart complexity. It is at once cold, tangy, creamy. I smear it on one half of a prune plum, layer it under granita, serve it with bread, eat it from a spoon.

Labneh cheese.

So effortless, yet so decadent. I vow to always keep it around.

Start with whole milk Greek yogurt.* I had a large container of Fage Total in my fridge so I used that. Use as much as you’d like, but I’d recommend that you use as much as you can. This stuff; it is a drug.

Take your yogurt and place it in a cheesecloth- or unbleached paper towel-lined fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Make sure the strainer balances over the bowl. Dump your yogurt into the lined strainer, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight. I think I let my sit about 12 hours and that seemed sufficient. Perhaps you can get away with less time.

Once the manna is thick, thick, thick (think barely whipped cream cheese), remove and place in a sealable container. Eat with everything possible.

*If you can’t find or can’t afford Greek yogurt, you can certainly use knock-off strained brands, or you can start with plain yogurt (the straining step will just take longer). And remember, this is cheese, not diet food, so stick with the full-fat good stuff.

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