But this is a food entry, part of my ongoing quest to prove that you, yes you, loser that you might otherwise be in every other aspect of your life, can still cook good. That’s despite what you may think, and what every FoodTV program and Pinterest porn shoot tries to intimidate you into believing.
So. Tonight’s episode: Yogurt.
I love yogurt. But with even generic brand tubs running north of 4 dollars now – 7 if it’s got the word “Greek” stenciled anywhere – I don’t buy it often.
But I do make it often.
You should too. Even if you don’t like yogurt. Just so you can see how easy it is to make yogurt, which might possibly lead to, ‘Hey, I wonder if anything I like is actually this easy too!‘ (The answer, by the way, is “yes”.)
Here’s all you need:
A pot with a lid.
A small amount of already made yogurt – your own, or store bought. If it’s store bought though, make sure it says “Active Cultures” somewhere.
Here’s all you do:
Heat the milk to just below boiling (about 200 degrees), stirring so it doesn’t scorch.
Cool the milk down in the pot til it’s just warm (about 110 – 115 degrees). Putting the pot in a sink with ice water helps it cool more quickly.
Once it’s warm, whisk in some yogurt.
Cover the pan and set it aside in a warm place.
In a couple of hours it will be yogurt.
I repeat: in a couple of hours you will be spooning real, honest-to-Emeril, creamy rich yogurt out of that pot. No 60 dollar Cuisinart yogurt maker that just pops out a few of those espresso size cups. No fancy culture packages. No thermometer (although that might give you some peace of mind at first, if you’re not used to gauging by feel). Not even measuring cups.
A few tips:
I generally make a batch with a half gallon of whole milk, using about half cup of whole milk yogurt starter. You really don’t have to measure, but out of curiosity I measured what I added as I went along this time for purposes of this entry. Really, “some milk + a small amount of yogurt” works just as well.
If you like it thicker, add some dry milk powder or unflavored gelatin. You can strain the final product through cheesecloth or muslin to get it even thicker, like Greek yogurt texture.
If you want actual Greek yogurt, use skim milk and strain for a pretty long time.
I make my batches before I go to bed, setting them overnight in an Igloo cooler with hot water poured around. You could also put it in your oven with the oven light on for a little warmth. Or wrap the pot in some warm towels to keep the heat in. It’s not critical to keep a specific temperature. Just keep it generally not too cold or not too hot, and it will make yogurt.
One other thing about the batch I made tonight. More a point of interest, rather than instruction. I found un-pasteurized milk at the grocery store for the first time, and decided to try it. It produced a nice layer of “cream” on top (that yellowish layer you see). Companies like Stoneybrook Farms feature this, and charge out the wazoo accordingly. Now I know it’s easy to make that style at home, and for only about a dollar more. If you see any on your own store shelf and have the dollar to spare, I say go for it.
So there ya go. Heat some milk, cool it a bit, add a little live yogurt, and wait a couple of hours. Voila! Great yogurt, cheap.
I honestly can’t believe people buy the factory stuff.
When they could have this: