Mark Bittman has done it again.
This DIY greek yogurt is yummy with the Syrian spice zaatar, olive oil, lemon, and salt sprinkled in.
Serve with Matzoh crackers (or pita chips after Passover), of course with a dairy lunch. Spending many summers by my in-laws home in New Jersey, I can still see the blob of yogurt inside the tied handkerchief that was dangling over the sink. Its always considered a delicacy for the family, and my mother-in-law still drops off a batch of home-made yogurt every so often. The time has come for me to start making it myself!! Watch the video and PLEASE send in pictures if you decide to make it yourself!!
Reprint from the New York Times
THE so-called Greek yogurt that has become popular in recent years is neither a special kind of yogurt nor uniquely Greek. It’s simply yogurt from which much of the water has been removed, a concoction that in its thickest form can be called yogurt cheese. You can find yogurt cheese in every country that has a history of yogurt making. In addition to being thicker and richer when eaten straight, it makes superior spreads and dips.It can be made at home from ordinary yogurt, and its consistency can be varied: it can be similar to sour cream, crème fraîche, or mayonnaise, for which it’s a good substitute, or it can be thick enough to cut with a knife.
Producing yogurt cheese is quite simple. It takes a couple of hours, but your presence is required only for minutes. All you do is strain some of the water out of yogurt, until it reaches the thickness you want. For straining, I recommend a colander or coarse strainer lined with a clean cotton dish towel of fairly fine weave, what used to be called flour sack. (Many recipes suggest the use of cheesecloth, but you’d have to use about 10 layers for the same results.) Dump a quart (or whatever quantity you like) of yogurt in there, set the colander over a bowl in the refrigerator, twist or tie the top of the towel, and wait.
To speed the process, squeeze every now and then, or don’t bother. When the yogurt has reached the consistency of sour cream, twist and squeeze once more and scoop out the yogurt, which will have been reduced in volume by about half. (I suppose you could save and drink the yogurt-water, or cook with it, but I don’t.) Store the thickened yogurt in a covered container and use it within a week or so for best quality.