Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Homemade Yogurt and Shankleesh

I promised you in an earlier posting about a homemade yogurt recipe, also from the same recipe we can make a mezza platter which we all enjoy- Shankleesh - you can serve it as a mezza platter or as side dish, or even for lunch. 

Homemade Yogurt is a healthy source of protein, calcium, magnesium, and other essential vitamins, whose active bacterial cultures aid in digestion. You can make yogurt in your own home for a fraction of the cost of the typical store-bought type and it requires no special equipment

Home made yogurt tastes better, and it doesn’t include preservatives, sugar, or chemical added, no packaging wasted.  This an old posting for making homemade yogurt.

In a heavy bottom pot, dissolve the powder milk in liquid milk and heat on a medium heat to start the small bubbles around the edge soon as it reached the boiling point take it off the heat and let it cool to reach the finger test.  Make sure that your hands are extra clean; you are using your index to test the milk. To test the temperature of the milk, dip your index in the milk , you should be able to handle the heat till you count till No. 10 before the heat force you to withdraw your finger, if its cold you need to cook it couple of seconds more , if its too hot you need to cool it and try your index again. Make sure that the milk is at the right temperature to add the starter, if it’s cold it will not ferment, and if it’s too hot you will kill the starter.  Temper your yogurt starter with some warm milk mix well then add it to the milk and stir well to combine.

cover the yogurt and let it ferment in a non draft place.  It takes between four to six hours.
check after this time and if its turned to a solid yogurt leave the cover and put it in the fridge. 
for Shankleesh keep the yogurt covered in the fridge for at least four days to obtain the right flavour.

Now we are ready for the Shankleesh Recipe

In a clean thick bottom stainless steel pot add the yogurt and cook on a medium heat .  You will notice after 10 minutes it is starting to break and gather in the centre (like making homemade ricotta)

when you get the right consistency and you had a separated mixture transfer the cooked yogurt to a clean cheesecloth and let it drain

 drain well for couple of days , changing the cheese cloth every day
or you can let it dry on paper towel in the fridge.
before it dries completely add 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp chili pepper, and 2 tbsp of ground oregano, mix the spices well and roll the yogurt ball in this and let it dry completely (should feel like a dry white cheese, but still crumble)
some call for adding the salt and chili in the yogurt before you drain it, and I think you will loose the flavour as it will keep draining.

Leave it to dry in a cool place for couple of days more before serving.

Don't throw the leftover brine.  You can use it in making bread

To serve the Shankleesh, crumble in a plate and add chopped green onion and chopped tomatoes , adjust the salt and black pepper and cover with olive oil.
The flavour is a cross between Cottage Cheese and Greek Feta Cheese.

Note:  I am getting lots of emails asking about the temp of the milk before adding the starter.  I did some this weekend and I used a thermometer and i tried my finger first then took it off the heat and measure it , it was 54C or 136F try to take it of the heat when it reaches 53C .