Yogurt Made at Home

Yogurt Made at Home

 A key element in typical Albanian cuisine, traditional homemade yogurt is easy and is paired with byrek, rice, eggs, meat and both cooked and raw vegetables.


Yogurt is said to be one of those miracle foods - full of calcium and protein, active cultures that help digest food and prevent various infections. It is even easily digested for those with lactose intolerance.
Albanian yogurt is no different. It is typically made from fresh goat or ewe’s milk. Their unsweetened freshly-made yogurt is ideal for digestive purposes after a heavy Albanian meal (a glassful may be served), and combined with rice in the morning for a hefty breakfast. (Hard manual and farming work requires fuel.) It pairs ideally with meatballs (“quofte”) and is the main element in the national dish “tave kosi”- a baked dish with lamb, rice and yogurt. If you’re dying for the good old-fashioned homemade kind and don’t have a goat at your disposal, this recipe will get you started.

There is also an additional recipe to take your yogurt skills to the next appetizing level!

Ingredients:

1 liter of fresh whole milk
3 tablespoons of plain unsweetened (active cultures) white yogurt (store bought, or left over from last batch of yogurt) room temperature
Directions:

Heat the milk in a pot on low-medium heat until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat. (Do not let it boil-forming a horrible skim and bubbling up over the rim of your pot.)
Let milk sit to cool until you can dip a finger in comfortably (room temp), approximately 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Mix the plain yogurt with the room-temp milk. Stir until well incorporated. Cover the pot with lid or a cloth and let sit for another 2-3 hours in an enclosed area (cool oven). Check yogurt by tasting. Consistency is not very dense.
Divide into containers and refrigerate or refrigerate entire pot with lid.

Tarator: cold yogurt and cucumber soup

This dish is similar to the Greek “Tzatziki” and is a version of the Bulgarian Tarator (often with dill and walnuts added). It can be used as a side dish or appetizer, common in the summer months when something cool and creamy is ideal. For richer flavor, try substituting fresh cucumbers with lightly fried thin slices of zucchini…

Ingredients:

2.5 cups yogurt (see above)
1 cucumber peeled, halved and sliced thin
1 clove garlic crushed or finely diced
2-3 tablespoons water (depending on consistency of yogurt)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and drizzle olive oil on top (don’t stir in).
Serve cold.
Yogurt Made at Home Yogurt Made at Home Saturday, August 22, 2015 Rating: 5
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