In an earlier post, I took at look a using yoghurt as a source of liquid whey, which in turn can be used to make all sorts of great stuff like lacto-fermented ketchup or raisin chutney. I also touched on some of the ways to use the solids that are left after the whey is removed.
In Show Me The Whey part 2, I take a closer look at some of the ways to use those solids, including a fresh cream cheese replacement and the traditional Middle-eastern labneh and oil-preserved, spice-coated dried labneh balls, all of which may be made at a cost of less than $5.
Once separated from its liquid whey, the solid labneh is ready for use as a replacement for cream cheese, including everything from a sweet or savory spread to crab & cream cheese wontons to cheesecake. In this form, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to about a week, a little longer if salted.
Here, I’ve spread labneh on some thin pumpernickel (made from whole-grain sprouted rye) and topped with lingonberries & rosemary, fresh chives & black sea salt flakes and homemade orange-ginger jam with red pepper. It would work just as nicely on a sprouted bagel with smoked salmon..
Another good use for labneh is as labneh balls, which are made by rolling the labneh into balls, removing the remaining water by air-drying on absorbent paper for a day or so, rolling in spices such as dried mint or za’atar (sumac, thyme, sesame seeds and salt) and then preserving in olive oil. Made this way, the labneh will last indefinitely on the counter (no refrigeration needed), or at least until it gets eaten..
This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday
I use whey for all sort of things here and am often asked both how to make it and what to do with the leftover solids. Here’s a really easy demo..
You’ll need a strainer, clean cloth, bowl or jar and a tub of plain yoghurt. Be sure to use plain, cultured whole milk yoghurt without gelatin.
Line the strainer with the cloth, pour in the yoghurt and fold the towel over to keep it clean. Let it sit on the counter overnight. That’s it!
In the morning, you will have collected approximately 12 ounces of clear, greenish looking whey. Pour the whey into a jar, cover tightly and refrigerate. It will keep up to 6 months.
The leftover solids (roughly 18 ounces) are variously referred to as strained yoghurt, yoghurt cheese, labneh or dahi. By any name, it is similar in taste and texture to cream cheese, which is how I typically use it.
It’s great plain, with fruit, or with herbs and spices. I’ve added Lebanese Za’atar (sumac berries, toasted sesame and sea salt) to half, and fresh oregano, basil and garlic to the other half. The cheese will keep up to 1 month in the fridge.