Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Labneh Lebanese cream cheese made simply at home.

"This is the Lebanese version of cream cheese and is a lot tastier and lower in calories and additives than commercial cream cheese.
It is sort of a cross between cream cheese and yoghurt. I made mine with low fat Greek yoghurt. Next time I will try making it with Kangaroo Island sheep yoghurt.
I first tasted this at the Darwin markets with an amazing eggplant pickle that contained pomegranate molasses and other spices. It was served on a zattar pitta bread. Trying to develop this pickle recipe myself as I can't find one that tastes the same as I remember.
The good news is that you don't need any special equipment to make this cheese and it is very easy to make. The most important thing to remember is that everything must be scrupulously clean.
The concept is to strain the whey or liquid out of the yoghurt. Rather than using a colander over a bowl I used my stainless steel saucepan and steamer and it worked well.

I lined the steamer with a double layer of immaculately clean, undyed muslin and to be sure it was sterile I soaked it in boiling water.

2. I spooned in the yoghurt and sprinkled it with rock salt and gently stirred it in.

Put the lid on and place in fridge.

If you are using bowls and a colander then tie the corners of the muslin together to keep it covered. If you want the whey to be forced out faster, put a plate on top as a weight.
4. Leave for about 12 hours in the fridge.

When well drained it will be the consistency of cream cheese.
Spoon and scrape from the cloth, drizzle a little good quality olive oil over it and store covered in the refrigerator until needed.

You can mix in fresh or dried herbs, minced garlic, cracked pepper or anything you would use to make a herbed cheese. It also makes a great base for your favorite dip recipes.
Or you could add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some cumin and spread it on pita bread.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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