Add enough water to plain yogurt so that it’s thin enough to drink. Stir to remove any lumps.
Crush a little dried mint (fresh can be used as well, but bruise the leaves a little to release more of that minty flavor), sprinkle a little salt - optional - and add an ice cube.
2. Chilled Yogurt-Cucumber Soup (Jajik)
Yield: about 4 servings
1 long, seedless cucumber, washed and peeled
2 cups plain yogurt
½ cup cold water
1 clove garlic, squeezed through a garlic press, or hand-mashed (optional)
2 tsp. crushed dried mint
1. Cut the cucumber in quarters, lengthwise. Slice each section into thin pieces.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt with the water.
3. To the yogurt, stir in cucumbers, garlic, if using, salt, and mint. To keep this very cold, add a few ice cubes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. To serve, stir, ladle into bowls, and add an ice cube in each bowl. Garnish with fresh sprigs of mint.
1. Line a large strainer with cheesecloth or coffee filters. Set the strainer on top of a bowl or large liquid measuring cup.
2. Place 2 cups (more or less) of plain yogurt into the lined strainer.
3. Cover the top of the strainer with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator - bowl and all- for up to 24 hours. The whey (liquid portion of the yogurt) will drip into the bowl. What will be left in the strainer is the curd, “yogurt cheese”.
4. The yield will be at least half the original amount of yogurt you started with.
Here are a few ways to use yogurt cheese:
* As a spread (add your favorite seasonings)
* As a dip with olive oil
* Shape into small balls and coat with sesame seeds, chopped parsley, zataar, etc. (makes a nice appetizer)
* Mix with pasta to create a cream-like sauce
* Blend with sun-dried tomatoes or red roasted peppers in food processor, then spread on crackers, pita bread
* When making tuna or chicken salad, use instead of mayonnaise