I know what you’re probably thinking: You can’t make Greek yogurt. After all, it’s a product of Greece that is imported, right?
Wrong! Greek yogurt, which is also known as yogurt cheese or labnah, is nothing more than plain yogurt that has been strained to remove most of the liquidy whey, resulting in a thicker, creamier consistency.
Brands like Fage, which can run three times the price of the “non-Greek” brands, capitalize on the fiction that they use special cultures that differ from those domestically produced. Fage even boasts of being made from “a family recipe dating back to 1926.”
In truth, if you buy the store brand of plain low-fat yogurt in your neighborhood supermarket, you can make a “Greek-style” yogurt that will be indistinguishable from the “imported” stuff. Here’s how:
- Place a square of cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or section of paper towel inside a fine-mesh strainer. (Hint: To get the liner to stay in place, crumple it before attempting to insert it.)
- Place the strainer above a bowl or large measuring cup.
- Transfer a pint of plain low-fat yogurt to the paper-lined strainer.
- Place the entire contraption inside the refrigerator and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, you will have an accumulation of cloudy liquid inside the bowl or measuring cup. This is the drained-off whey. (Don’t discard this liquid, which is nutrient-rich. Add it to soups or stews.)
In the paper-lined strainer, you will find a yogurt product that is thick enough to spread on taste.
Serve a dollop of the strained “Greek” yogurt for dessert drizzled with honey or agave nectar.
You can also use it to make this two-ingredient dough that can be used to make pizza, bagels, pretzels, a and more.