Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yogurt Cheese

The Best Light RecipeI recently purchased a new recipe book: The Best Light Recipe The book was featured on Food Network as having accurate and delicious recipes and the best cheese cake (beating the high calorie ones).  What I love about the book is that it talked extensively about the theory and science behind how they come up with the recipes and even mistakes they made on the way.

My next cooking contest requires me to use yogurt.   Dennis cannot eat dairies and I have no idea how to cook with it.  So I turned to this book for inspiration.  On Page 8, there are two full pages on yogurt cheese and its applications.  There is even a cheese cake you can make out of yogurt cheese!

Yogurt Cheese is a low calorie and low fat alternative to both cream cheese and light cream cheese.  Two tablespoons of plain low-fat yogurt cheese just 25 calories and 0.5 grams of fat.  Cream cheese would have 100 calories and 10 grams of fat.

What do you need:

  • Any type of yogurt (without modified food starch, gelatin, or gums: these yogurt will not drain).
  • a wire mesh strainer
  • a coffee filter or cheesecloth
1. I lined the fine-mesh strainer with double layer of cheesecloths
2. I put the strainers on a bowl that s big enough for enough liquid to drain without touching the stainers
3. Spoon the yogurt into the stainers and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the yogurt has released about half of its volume.  

It will take about 10 hours, but you can leave it in there for 2 days.  If you don't have 10 hours, I cheated by occasionally stirring the yogurt and tighten the cheesecloth to squeeze the water out manually.

The book also noted that in a clean container, covered, without the liquid, the cheese can stay in the fridge for a week.

You can use the cheese the same way you would with cream cheese as cheese spread or filling.  I am going to use this method to prepare my contest dish! 

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