Monday, December 16, 2013

Yogurt Cheese Dip

 For our Polaris Express Party at work, I promised to bring in all kinds of goodies. We're going for party food that can be nibbled at all day, since we will be working 11-8 in a closed library. It will be a physical day, with everyone shelving and checking in, so folks may want to snack as the day goes by. I promised to bring a fruit and veggie tray with some dips, and maybe some meatballs. I was browsing through my The Best Light Recipe book from Cook's Illustrated when I saw this very simple recipe for making yogurt cheese--only one ingredient that can be mixed with various flavors to make a yummy and slightly healthier dip!

 The recipe calls for 2 cups of plain yogurt, a wire mesh strainer, coffee filters, and a large bowl. Oh, and patience.

The strainer is lined with at least 3 filters and placed over a bowl large enough to hold at least a cup of liquid without the bottom of the strainer touching the liquid. I tried the red bowl, but it was too big and the strainer kept falling down into the bowl. So I ended up using a different container.

This contraption is covered with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge for at least 11 hours, or until a cup of liquid collects. Supposedly, according to the internet you can make Greek yogurt this way if you leave it in the strainer for less time.
To this creamy, thick yogurt, I added some garlic I roasted, salt and pepper, cayenne pepper and blended it smooth. I made the dip in advance so the flavors would have time to really infuse the cheese. Paired with the baba ganoush and hummus I made, it makes a lovely mezze trio with veggies, olives, and pita chips.

The Verdict: A very flexible base for a dip, when paired with roasted garlic it is extremely delicious--creamy, tart and sweet. I also made it with strawberry yogurt for a fruit dip! Be careful to get yogurt with no gelatin or modified food starches so that it will drain. 

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