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Make this ahead so the flavors will meld.
2 cups skyr or yogurt cheese*
4 ounces or 1 stick of butter (whoops -- but at least you're not using cream cheese; you can always substitute margarine or a blend)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh minced oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
3/4 teaspoon fresh minced basil (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
3/4 teaspoon fresh dill weed (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
3/4 teaspoon fresh minced thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
3/4 teaspoon fresh minced marjoram (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
Blend this together well and chill. Serve with crackers.
*To Curdle Milk for Skyr: Heat and cool 1/2 gallon of milk the same way you would for yogurt, but let it cool further, to about 85°F. Crush 1/8 tablet of rennet (available in most groceries) in 1 tablespoon of the cooled milk. Beat this together with 1 egg, 1/2 cup of buttermilk with an active culture and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Blend some of the cooled milk into this mixture and mix this in turn back into the cooled milk. Cover and let work for 12 to 24 hours. As soon as it has set, chill.
*To Make Skyr or Yogurt Cheese: Suspend about 3 thicknesses of cheesecloth over a container large enough to hold about 2 cups of whey (if you're buying yogurt by the quart) or 4 cups if you've made a half gallon yourself. Make sure the cheesecloth is secured with string, a rubber band, etc. Carefully spoon the curdled milk into the cheesecloth making sure to disturb the curds as little as possible. When you've removed as much whey as you want, remove the skyr or yogurt cheese from the cheesecloth and refrigerate, and do likewise with the whey. Because of the acidic environment of both curds and whey, they will keep for a month or so in your refrigerator, plenty of time to think up ways to use them.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 7, End of Summer 1992 issue.