Cook: Greek Yogurt

I have recently developed an obsession with Greek yogurt (also called "strained yogurt" or "yogurt cheese").  When I learned that you could easily transform plain yogurt into the thick, tangy Greek yogurt, I had to try.

Greek Yogurt
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 day plus 5 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

16 oz plain yogurt
2 tbsp honey
handful dried cherries
handful of pistachios

(1) Place a mesh strainer into a large coffee cup or other vessel (there should be 2-3 inches between the bottom of the strainer and the bottom of the vessel); line with coffee filters (see notes)

(2) Empty the yogurt into the coffee filters

(3) Place in refrigerator overnight, check after a few hours to make sure the yogurt is not sitting in the liquid draining out

(4) Remove pistachios from shells and break them up by laying the side of a knife blade on top and smashing down with the heel of your hand

(5) Remove yogurt from refrigerator

(6) Save the liquid!  The liquid is whey, and can be cooked to make ricotta cheese (post forthcoming).

(7) Place yogurt on a plate, drizzle with honey and top with cherries and pistachios

Notes:  For this recipe I used the fat free yogurt, but you can use low fat or full fat, whichever you prefer.  You can drain the yogurt using cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel lining a colander, rather than the coffee-filter method above.  If the yogurt is too thick for your taste, stir in the whey one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.  Make extra and use it in tzatziki or as a healthier substitute for sour cream.

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