I have a list in my head of lovely things which I want to make. This particular list is more of a challenge list than a “Now, that sounds delish I want to make that list”. Remember my Pasties de nata? Yip, straight off that list.
Labneh and macarons are just two items on my 2016 kitchen challenge list. My decision to tackle Labneh first was based wholly on the fact that it is so ridiculously easy to make that I pretty much had success in the bag before I even sniffed at some double thick yoghurt. Sometimes I have no shame. Macarons are going to stretch me further, of this I am certain, so I am keeping my eye out for an official workshop or an otherwise patient master baker from whose deft hands I can learn.
So no friends, labneh does not represent a challenge, neither for me nor for you, but we are still trying something new so it counts.
Christmas 2013 (have I really been writing this blog that long?) and my sweet Scottish friend Karon Grieve over at Larder Love wrote a guest post for me. Karon shared her recipe for Labneh in Herb Oil. Karon is the queen of preserves and jams and the homemaking of things you probably just buy at Woolies. So why another recipe?
Firstly, to reiterate, making Labneh is the Duh! kind of easy. You need just one ingredient and teaspoon of salt. Secondly, I was making a batch anyway because I am constantly trying to outdo all the other mothers and pack my kiddos crazy good school lunches. (You can relax, I jest). And finally, you can literally tell people you made cheese.
If you have never tried it, you should know that Labneh is just lovely. Smooth as silk, down soft and with a subtle almost tangy flavour that goes with ANYTHING. Around here, we spread it in wraps, smear it on crackers and dunk it it dukkah.
Let me outline the process of making Labneh in a nutshell:
- Pour natural full-fat yoghurt into a sieve lined with cheesecloth. (Sound too fancy? Use clean mutton cloth or a clean cotton kitchen towel, no one is there to judge.)
- Tie up the cloth and suspend the yoghurt bundle over a bowl and let it drip away for a day or two.
- Voila, you just made labneh clever sprite.
The longer you leave the yoghurt to drip, the firmer your result. In fact after 3-4 days, you will be able to roll the yoghurt cheese into small balls which you can coat in a layer of herbs, spices or dukkah. When stored in olive oil it is perfect for a mezze or cheese platter.
So there is literally no reason for you not to try it. I suspect that you may even have some yoghurt in your fridge right now. Not even being lazy is a good enough excuse not to make this recipe. We all have five minutes to spare, right?
- 250 ml (1 C) full fat thick plain yoghurt
- 5 ml (1 t) salt
- to serve: dukkah
- olive oil
- fresh ciabatta or crackers
- Stir the salt into the yoghurt.
- Pplace the yohurt in a muslin or cheesecloth.
- Suspend above a bowl and leave to hang for 24-48 hours.
- To serve, sprinkle with dukkah and a smidge of olive oil