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June 5, 2008

Ridiculously Easy Labneh Cheese

Labneh

As much as I love to cook, I really, really, really, really, really, really and did I mention really HATE to shop! I don't like to shop for clothes, shoes, craft supplies, gardening equipment, computer stuff, food, or well anything! I'm just not a shopper. I never really have been. I'd rather spend time at the park, or near a body of water or at the library or on a picnic or on a walk or with friends or well you get the picture.

Anyway, now that you get how much I hate shopping we'll get on to the real story. Sometimes you just run across the most interesting people when you're out and about and I just love it when you click with someone right off the bat. The other day when Alexis and I were at the market I grabbed a tub of Greek yogurt. A lady standing nearby asked me if I had ever made cheese before. I told her about my mozzarella and goat cheese. She then told me I had to try to make yogurt cheese. "Take that container of Greek Yogurt, add the juice and zest of a couple of lemons, along with a pinch of salt (which I actually forgot, but oh well), tie it up in some cheesecloth (we'll talk more about this below), tie it onto a dowel rod and suspend it in your refrigerator overnight over a bowl and in the morning you've got yogurt cheese. It's perfect and just so tangy! I forget what the actual name of the cheese is...Google 'yogurt cheese' and you'll be set!" We talked for a few more minutes about other things and then went on our respective ways. I call this a drive by friendship. ;oP

So it's no surprise I was completely intrigued. I came home and got started. I Googled 'Greek Yogurt Cheese' and found that it's called Labneh. I also discovered that a lot of different people make it many different ways. I decided to follow the lady's description from the store since we hit it off so well and she swore it was the way to go. What I ended up with is a smooth, creamy cheese along the lines of goat cheese, with a hint of tangy citrus and the best part is this is ridiculously easy to make!

What You'll Need:
1 - 1 pound container of fat free Greek yogurt (Note: I used Okios.)
The zest of 2 lemons
The juice of two lemons
A pinch of sea salt (Note: I forgot to add the salt and the cheese turned out fine.)

In a bowl stir together yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and sea salt until fully incorporated. Place yogurt mixture into triple layered cheesecloth. (Note: I have very fine cheesecloth and I originally tried to use just one layer and the yogurt oozed through so I had to use another piece of cheesecloth and layer it to get it to work correctly.) Secure the edges of the cheesecloth into a bundle and tie onto a dowel rod:

Labneh In Cheesecloth

Place the dowel in the fridge propped up over a bowl so that the cheese can drain overnight, but make sure it's up high enough so that the bottom of the bundle does not go into the liquid that has drained.

The next day open the cheesecloth remove the cheese. Place it into a glass jar and store in the fridge.

Labneh Chilling

Notes: You could add herbs into the cheese after it's made by blending them in. As I mentioned this cheese has much the same consistency of goat cheese, so you could use it anywhere you would use that. It's also cheaper to make, than to buy goat cheese so that's always a plus. And the coolest thing...It's fat free, though you would never, ever guess that by taste!

Posted by Dianne at June 5, 2008 2:42 PM

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Comments

I will definitely try this, as Greek yogurt is one of my faves. I also intend to try your Greek yogurt mashed potatoes!

Posted by: Noelle Markus at June 5, 2008 6:40 PM

Great post, I'll give this a try. There's a Lebni Tart in a book I've got that I've always wanted to make. I just looked it up and Labneh and Lebni are the same thing so I can make this tart now. Awesome city. Good thing for random, informative people from the store.

Posted by: rainbowbrown at June 5, 2008 7:36 PM

Great photos and thanks for the recipe, I have to try this. I am not a shopper either.

Posted by: Kim at June 6, 2008 7:18 AM

The Greek yogurt mashed potatoes are really good. I hope you enjoy them!

Oh a tart...Now that sounds delicious and makes me start thinking! ;o)

Thanks Kim!

Posted by: Dianne at June 6, 2008 3:48 PM

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