Here's how to make your own yogurt

Bulgur with Almonds, Apricots and Greek Yogurt.
Bulgur with Almonds, Apricots and Greek Yogurt.
Posted: April 15, 2010

Want to make your own Greek yogurt? Tom Vasiliades, owner of South Street Souvlaki, describes the process.

Boil whole milk. Vasiliades prepares a gallon at a time for himself and eight gallons a night for the restaurant. When milk rises, remove from heat.

Let it cool to lukewarm. Vasiliades said you should be able to hold your pinkie finger in the milk for 10 seconds - that means it's lukewarm.

Remove a cup of the cooled milk. Mix this with yogurt culture or yesterday's yogurt (2-3 commercial spoonfuls per 2 gallons of milk).

In a large bowl, slowly combine this mixture with the remaining lukewarm milk. Put the mixture in a low oven (no higher than 110 degrees) for 6-8 hours.

Serve as is, or, if you want a thicker, creamier texture, strain through cheesecloth for two days in the refrigerator. (Line a colander with cheesecloth and strain into a bowl to catch the liquid.)

Here's a main dish featuring lamb from Vasiliades.

LAMB WITH YOGURT

3 pounds boneless lamb cut

in bite-size pieces

3/4 cup white wine

1 pound yogurt

4 ounces butter

1/2 cup fresh dill

5 mint leaves

5 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Place lamb in a baking dish, and top with butter cut in pieces. Add a cup of water and white wine, plus the herbs and garlic. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Remove meat from pan and mix the yogurt with the pan juices. Return meat to the pan, cover and bake until golden brown. Serve with potatoes or rice.

PEAR AND WHIPPED GORGONZOLA YOGURT AND PORT GLAZED GRAPE CROSTINI

1 loaf French bread, cut into

12 slices

1/2 cup port

1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup grape juice

1/2 cup red grapes, halved

1 large pear, chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice French bread and lay on a sheet pan. Toast until golden brown. In a small saucepan, bring port to a simmer. Add grapes, grape juice, diced pear and sugar to port. Stir and let simmer until reduced by half. Set port mixture aside.

Whisk heavy cream until soft peaks begin to form. Fold crumbled Gorgonzola and Greek yogurt into whipped cream until just combined.

Spread the yogurt-and-cheese mixture over each piece of bread. Spoon the grape and pear reduction onto each crostini. Garnish with chopped basil.

Source: Chobani.

BULGUR WITH ALMONDS, APRICOTS AND GREEK YOGURT

2 cups bulgur

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups water or vegetable broth

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped

1/2 cup almonds, slivered

1/4 cup apricots, finely chopped

Boil water and bulgur. Reduce to a simmer. Add salt and butter. Cover and simmer 45-50 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally.

In a sauté pan, toast almonds over medium heat until golden.

Once bulgur is cooked, add the toasted almonds, dill, apricots, and yogurt. Stir to combine. Serve warm as a side dish or cold as a salad.

Source: Chobani.

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