Homemade Labneh: a seriously addictive Levantine strained cheese

I need my cheese every morning and whatever I eat for breakfast, my brain does not compute is as fulfilling food until cheese is part of it.

Now would you call labneh "cheese"? I think it is, it's white, it's dairy, it's spreadable..Say no more, it's cheese :).


Labneh to me is the healthiest form of cheese and it's dead easy to make. One of traditional Levantine forms of breakfasts come in this combination : A plate of labneh (or bowl) served with flatbread (Lebanese bread, Eish balady, Pita...), a good drizzle of olive oil, a good sprinkle of za'atar mix (thyme, oregano ,sumac, sesame seeds blended all together), some mint leaves or dried mint. Then on the side, tomatoes, cucumber and black olives come in a separate plate to make a preper breakfast.


Having lived in 3 of the 6 G.C.C countries where Lebanese/Syrian food has an important fingerprint in the local Cuisine, I just got used to this white bliss. 

Now I make my own labneh, twice a week and I just feel like I can't live without it. I also know what's in it and that's important. I'm sure you'll like it too..

Ingredients
Makes 1 1/2 cup of Labneh
Prep: 3 min - Waiting time: 4 to 8 hrs.
  • 500g of Greek yoghurt or a good plain yoghurt, not the light stuff
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • A cheesecloth/Muslin cloth, a thread/string
  • A strainer


Preparation

Stir the salt in the yoghurt.


Line the cheesecloth/muslin over a strainer which you need to place inside a deep bowl. Scrape all the yoghurt into it.

Bring up the sides and tie with string, leaving a length of string to hang and drip the excess whey. Hang it for 4 to 8 hours..


I like my labneh thick with most of the whey gone. Transfer it to a jar and keep it refrigerated.


Spread it on bread, serve it with crackers, make mana'eshs with it (Lebanese pizza with labneh, za'atar and olive oil topping), samosas, mini-cheese balls to be served as appetizers (see picture in the beginning of the post).

Version Française de la recette

Ingrédients
Pour 1 1/2 tasse de labneh
Préparation: 3 min - Repos: 4 - 8 hr

  • 500 g de yaourt nature de bonne qualité (Grec ou Bulgare)
  • 1/2 cc de sel
  • mousseline pour 

Garniture
  • 1/4 tasse de ganache au chocolat ( recette iciOU/ET
  • confiture d'abricot

Préparation

Mélanger le yaourt et le sel et transférer dans une passoire recouverte d’étamine (2 épaisseurs de préférence) disposée sur un bol. 

Ramasser les bords de l’étamine et nouer le pochon avec une ficelle ou un fil. Réfrigérer pour la nuit ou faites comme moi, accrochez-le a hauteur pour égoutter le petit-lait.



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