| easy peasy labneh | let's make homemade cheese
The thought of making cheese never entered my mind. In fact, making this type of cheese seems somewhat fraudulent…like it really isn’t cheese…but it is…and it’s so amazingly luscious and delicious you will never not (love a double negative) have it in your fridge. At all times. It’s true, I like to dazzle people with food. I like it to look pretty. I have expectations that can’t be adulterated. But I also want it to make taste buds sing. And when you add on top of all of that that it’s easy and make ahead, you’ve truly hit the trifecta of cooking and entertaining.
You seriously mix together full-fat Greek yogurt and sea salt and then set it in the fridge and forget about it. For a couple of days. Say you want to eat it on a Friday night, you would throw everything together on Monday. Pull it out of the fridge on Thursday night, roll the labneh into little balls, submerge in olive oil and you’re done. Appetizers are ready for Friday. It’s that easy.
Let’s get to what’s really important. It has the tang of creme fraiche, the spreadability of cream cheese and the consistently of a really great quality goat cheese. It adds fresh, bright flavor to whatever you pair it with.
The possibilities are endless. Seriously. I’ve been eating it smeared on grilled baguette (which seems to be my go-to these days). Throw some fresh herbs (lemon thyme, basil, mint, whatever are your favorites) on top, a quick zest of lemon and you’re done. It’s also great on said baguette with some of my five-spice plum jam (recipe forthcoming). But you could just as easily pick up some fig jam (or any jam) and do likewise. Dried za’atar is especially amazing sprinkled on top with a side of pita chips. You can throw delicious labneh balls in a salad to take it to next-level status (and add protein). You can also roll them in herbs or chopped nuts. Shove them in a pasta salad… Ditch mayo on your next turkey or veggie sandwich and use a thick layer of labneh instead. You could also smear it on bagels in place of traditional cream cheese. Grab a grainy piece of toast, give it a nice coating of labneh, a topping of sliced bananas, sprinkle of chopped nuts and drizzle of honey…breakfast is done. Are you getting the point? So so many uses…how can you not have this in your fridge?
The two most amazing words ever written in the English language: healthy cheese. This bad boy is loaded with probiotics, protein and calcium. Also, if you have any dairy intolerances you might just luck out with labneh. Greek yogurt is already lower in lactose as much of the liquid has been drained out. Since you’re draining out even more you get rid of most of the whey. Lastly, save your leftover whey (if you have no lactose issues) and throw it in a smoothie.
Before We Get Started
Some specialty items that you need: cheesecloth, kitchen twine or a rubber band and a strainer. That’s it. Really aim to get top quality ingredients as there are so few that comprise this cheese. Shoot for the best quality/tasting olive oil that you can get as any off-flavors in the oil will impact the quality of the cheese. Lastly, make sure your yogurt is pure: no stabilizers, thickeners or preservatives. It should have only milk + yogurt cultures in the ingredient list.
This is happening people.
easy peasy labneh
Makes About 2 Cups of Labneh
- 500 grams (a little over 2 cups) plain full-fat Greek yogurt*
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large jar of good quality olive oil (about 2 cups-ish)
*If you don’t use Greek yogurt, you may need to strain it longer to get the desired consistency. Also, make sure there are no added fillers, preservatives or stabilizers in your yogurt.
- Dump your yogurt in a bowl and sprinkle with the sea salt. Stir with a spoon.
- Drape some cheese cloth over a strainer, set over a bowl.
- Scrape the yogurt into the cheese cloth. Grab the sides of the cheesecloth and gather up at the top and secure with kitchen twine or a rubber band. Make sure the strainer is high up above the bowl so that at no point will the yogurt be sitting in the strained-out liquid.
- Set in the back of your fridge to sit and chill for 2-3 days. The longer it sits, the thicker your labneh will be.
- After several days, pull the labneh out of the fridge. Have a clean, sterilized medium-size jar with a fitted lid handy. Roll the labneh into small, quarter-size balls. Place the balls into the jar and cover with olive oil. The labneh covered in oil will keep in the fridge for several weeks.
If you make this recipe, please tag #displacedhousewife so I can see your creations! xo
| on my mind |
- Labneh is a middle-eastern cheese made from all types of milk (goat, cow, camel…) and has a zillion uses. Poke around the internet and you’ll see an equal number of labneh recipes, all using the same few ingredients as above. I do hope you’ll give it a try…it’s my new favorite cheese/condiment. Felt I wanted to give a shout out to the peeps that created it.
- We’re going on a trip for my daughter’s sport’s team (go water polo!) and we’ll be living out of a hotel room for days. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand eating out for every meal. By the end of the day it leaves me feeling gross and bloated. I’m going to put together some noshables to keep in our hotel room, to feed my daughter in between games and to just have handy when we’re too tired to go out. I’m thinking overnight oats (love these), jar salads (amazing) and these noodle soups (here, here and here) that I’m going to give a pho vibe. If you have any recipe suggestions (tips, etc.) I would love to hear them and likewise I will be Snapchatting (@displacedtaitai) about my creations this week if you’re interested in seeing what I come up with!
- Who else is excited for the Olympics? Who else thinks the situation sounds a little sketchy down there? I’m happy to sit on my comfy couch and watch from here. Thanks.
- Been really into getting good-for-you stuff such as bee pollen (I love things that I can throw on top of smoothies and oatmeal to make them that much healthier), chia seeds, flaxseed oil and my recent purchase, MCT oil. My cousin (#iambubby) recently asked what bee pollen and MCT oil are supposed to do for you and I had no idea. I’m such a marketing sucker…tell me it’s great for me and I’m on board. I looked them both up later and they really are supposed to be good for you (although I’ve already forgotten why…). So my latest ‘must have’ is a collagen powder. Debbie @simplybeautifuleating wrote a post about it…Jeanette @shutthekaleup includes it in her posts…and then my cousin, Bubby, started talking about it as we drove over the hill to Santa Barbara last week. I was driving, so I said quick, look it up on Amazon and order me EXACTLY what you use. She did. Here was her pitch: ‘It has 18 grams of protein per serving, it’s tasteless, you can add it to anything and it’s supposed to be great for your skin…’ And then I didn’t hear anything else. ‘Quick,’ I screamed, ‘hit the one-touch!’ I bought this brand, which appears to be the most popular/trusted/blah blah blah. I’ll let you know how youthful and radiant I look next week.
- I recently bought the cookbook Cravings on many recommendations. Has anyone cooked from this? Any recommendations?
- So, I’m thinking this is it for now. I hope you all are doing great. The weather is hot as BALLS. It’s really killing my baking game but I’ve decided to nut-on through as I have three baking recipes that I wrote up this weekend and I’m dying to try. Did you like my use of ‘nut-on through’? That might find it’s way into regular use around here.
- Did anyone watch The Night Of like I asked you to?!?!
- This was a fascinating read on what’s going on with Instagram. I loath the new algorithm. From a work perspective it has had one photo not show up in my profile (I had to tag myself in it) and made the success (or not) of a photo wildly unpredictable…more so than before. 100%. I’m comfortable speaking for all food bloggers when I say, we usually spend a lot of time trying to make our photos look great and for their success or failure to be dependent on some computer coding rather than our followers (and placement in their feeds) is annoying. At best. From a personal perspective, it stinks as well. I loved scrolling through photos as they happen. The fact that Instagram thinks it has any idea what order I prefer to view my photos and my interest level on accounts is insane. It’s inclining me to follow fewer people, not more. It’s made it less interesting. And I don’t often feel like the man is getting me down, but he is with this one. They took something that was amazing and creative and cool and made it lame…like Facebook. I’m gonna say it. Not a Facebook fan at all and I feel like Instagram is headed in that direction. OK, I’ll get off my soapbox. Would LOVE to know what any of you think about the new order of things. Truly…likes, dislikes…I’d love a new perspective. ;) This was interesting too. I’m actually growing to really like Snapchat although I’ll never (ever) get used to the sound of my voice and I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I think it’s OK to get on there with bedhead and morning face. Discuss.
- Recipes from one year ago: Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps + Holy Shit S’more Cookies.
- These Triple Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies and this Chocolate Pavlova with Mixed Berries are coming up. I recently made this cocktail (recipe in link) and messed around with these Chocolate + Cherry Cookies (you interested in these?). And I’ve been working on some delicious apple recipes…my pink ladies are in early and it’s the perfect time to prep for Fall. I know…I hate myself for bringing it up. I’m not ready either.
- Check out Your Best Summer Breakfast on HuffPost Taste...which is basically last week’s completely delicious olive oil fried egg, smashed avocado + heirloom tomato toast. They’ve jiggered around their site and food is a bit buried more…sigh. BUT, would love any likes, love + shares!
- Coupon codes for DisplacedHousewife followers: Daily Harvest (rebecca25; 25% off first six) and Hatchery (DHW10; 1st box for $10).
- Lots of peace and love to all of you.
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