I am a little freak about everything homemade. I just love making my own stuff, even basic ingredients, from nut butter to artisan bread, handmade jam or plant base milk.
I know it is easier just go to the bakery or supermarket and buy them directly. But I like, even just once in my life to try to make them myself. Thus I fully understand and appreciate the effort it takes to make them, and I learn to value much more all those little everyday things.
Usually to make these products you need time and loooots of patience. Sometimes you have to organize all the process in advance. Probably is even more expensive to make it at home, but it’s that, even just once I like to try, experiment and make them myself. And this is because I believe there is no greater satisfaction than saying “I made it!!”
Today is the turn of homemade cheese! Labnhe, my first cheese, I am so proud of it! I remember I went to a cheese farm before, it was in Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), in a little cottage in the middle of nowhere, an old women show me lots of different kinds of goat cheese, with herbs, with paprika, some softer and others were cured for months. But don’t worry, today’s cheese is soft, creamy and it will need just a couple of days to get ready.
Labneh is a typical cheese in Middle East countries and basically is strained yogurt, removing its whey and resulting in a thicker consistency than classic yogurt, but with its distinctive sour taste.
Depending on how long you strain, you will get a thicker or more creamier consistency. You could even make balls and marinate them in spiced olive oil, serve them with olive oil or fresh crudities. The great thing is that you could even use the whey to make muffins, cakes and much more, yeeah!
Labneh is very easy to make, just need to organized a couple of days for resting. It is exquisite, light, elegant and unusual. If you want to surprise your guests with something that requires minimum effort but which looks super laborious, labneh is your thing! It will make you shine in your next dinner party!
- 1 kg Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp salt
- extra virgin olive oil
- Provenzal herbs, dried oregano, tarragon, parsley, basil, thyme...
- sundried tomatoes
In a bowl mix yogurt with salt. Put cheesecloth over a large sieve, pour yogurt in the cheesecloth and cover it gathering edges of the cloth. Place in a cool room and let drain for 2-3 days.
Gently squeeze out any excess liquid. Keep it to make muffins or any bake good (that liquid is whey and can substitute buttermilk).
At this stage, yogurt will be very thick, like soft goat cheese. Labneh is ready!! You could consume it like this, spread it on bread, for sandiches...
Put olive oil, herbs, garlic and sundried tomatoes in a jar.
Roll labneh into balls and put in the jar with oil, make sure, oil covers all the balls.
Cover, place in refrigerator and let marinate for at least 8 hours.
It will keep up to 2 weeks.