Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to Make Labneh Cheese

So this morning I decided to finish up a cheese-making project I have been working on. It is a cheese made from drained yogurt called labneh usually found in Mediterranean cuisines. A few weeks back, I found a deal where I could get full-fat Bulgarian yogurt for fifty cents a pint and so creating an opportunity for this experiment. Making yogurt cheese is not new to me but taking it further than a creamy spread is.

After draining the yogurt in the refrigerator for three days, I let it dry out for almost another week. Draining is simply a matter of placing a coffee filter in a steel strainer and then placing the strainer over a collection bowl before dumping in the yogurt. After draining, I wrapped the mass in wax paper until I was ready to form cheese balls. This morning seemed a perfect time since yesterday I purchased a gallon of good Italian olive oil.  I picked a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme to add an interesting flavor to the creamy but tart flavor of the cheese. I also added dried onion and peppercorns to another batch as you can see in the picture.

Now all I have to do is keep it in the refrigerator for the next couple of weeks to continue the ripening process. The labneh should be ready to serve with some spiced flatbreads just in time for the holidays. I am happy with the results and look forward to see how the flavor changes from the herbs!