My tween daughter likes to cook so I have given her Emeril Lagasse’s kids cook book for a gift. There were a few things that she made and we devoured and few things we wanted to make but frankly did not get the time to do so yet. This recipe has been on our to do list for a long time. It reminds me of basic ways of making cheese which I remember so well from my childhood. The cheese comes out soft and creamy, and tastes like a mixture somewhere between cream cheese and sour cream. The best part about it is that it is very versatile. You can sprinkle with garlic or chili infused oil, or squeeze some fresh lemon juice and use favorite herbs, peppercorns and berries (like juniper).
This for me is the kid friendly version, even though I am the one that ate it all. Yes I did. Next time I think I will serve it at a dinner party as a dip. I will try to make a version of my favorite cheese Fleur Verte. Fleur Verte (green flour) is a creamy chevre (goat cheese) from France that is coated with thyme, tarragon and crushed pink peppercorns. This will be a perfect, less expensive version. Plus I will not have to drive all the way to Georgetown’s Dean and Deluca to get it.
For this (Emeril’s) version I used: 2 cups (whole container) of Greek yogurt, 1 tsp coarse salt, 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp fresh oregano, 1 tsp fresh cilantro, 1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, cheese cloth.
For serving: pita wedges, carrot sticks, radishes, celery sticks, olives etc
Note: Emeril does not specify Greek yogurt so I am assuming this can be done with any plain one. For creamiest results use whole milk yogurt. I have also substituted cilantro for parsley since I am not a big fan of parsley. Please do not hold it against me. But play here as you wish, basil, dill, whatever you have growing in your back yard will work.
You will need to purchase a cheese cloth unless you have one at home. Place a colander over a medium bowl, making sure there is enough space between the strainer and the bowl for liquid to drain to). Place the cheesecloth over the strainer.
Place the yogurt into the cheesecloth
cover with plastic wrap and place in a refrigerator and chill overnight. Mine chilled for about 24 hours since the longer it sits the thicker it will be
When you are tired of waiting or need space in your fridge take the yogurt from the cheesecloth
Season with salt
Sprinkle with thyme, oregano and cilantro
Drizzle with olive oil. Remember the flavored ones will really work well here so if you want to open that decorative one that has been sitting on your counter since last Christmas here would be a good time. If you did not get any flavored oils for the Holidays and want one this would be a perfect time to drop hints. “Oh this would be so good with that Chili Oil that Mary got for Christmas last year don’t you think?”
If you are interested in Emeril’s book click on my Amazon here.