Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Marinated Greek Yogurt Cheese Balls (Labneh)

Marinated Greek Yogurt Cheese Balls (Labneh)

I'll be the first to admit that I'm completely obsessed with Greek yogurt. If I don't have my daily serving, I get a little cranky. If my supermarket runs out of my favorite brand, I will go to another market to find it. I need my fix! But apart from my daily treat, I love using it as an ingredient in dips, dressings and even cakes and quick breads. But my number one passion these days is turning it into cheese.

Marinated Greek Yogurt Cheese Balls (Labneh)
A little salt, some cheesecloth (available at any supermarket) and a bit of time is all it takes to achieve a creamy, tangy cheese. The taste and texture is somewhere between goat and cream cheese and it's absolutely wonderful as a substitute for either.

I've marinated feta cheese before and loved using it as an appetizer so it was time to do the same with my Greek yogurt cheese (called labneh).

The result was so tempting and so hard to stop eating that I found myself making a meal of it instead of the starter. And you won't hear any complaints about that from me. Enjoy!


Marinated Greek Yogurt Cheese Balls (Labneh)
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 48 Hours Refrigerator Time
Ingredients (8 Servings)
  • 2 Cups Greek yogurt (full fat or 2%)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon za'atar seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped chives
  • Olive oil plus additional teaspoon of za'atar for marinade
Instructions
Marinated Greek Yogurt Cheese Balls (Labneh)
Combine the yogurt, salt and za'atar. Scoop the mixture into cheesecloth and knot tightly. Place the cheesecloth bundle into a mesh strainer over a bowl. Leave on the counter, at room temperature for 1 hour, drain the liquid that forms in the bowl and then refrigerate for 24 - 48 hours.

Remove the strained yogurt from the cheesecloth and form 1 oz. balls with your hands or a cookie scoop. Place the cheese balls in a jar and fill with olive oil, an additional teaspoon of za'atar and the chives. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve spread on crackers or crusty bread and topped with a sprinkling of sea salt.

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18 comments:

  1. These look perfect to pair with crackers and a nice glass of wine!

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  2. :0 :0 This is such a great idea! I need to try this asap. Love me some soft cheese.
    -

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  3. Love this! Thanks so much for your love for Greek Yogurt. :)

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  4. This has been on my list for so long, hoping to get to it this weekend. Yummy stuff!

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  5. I love the idea of homemade cheese! And I love Greek yoghurt too (definitely have to get my daily fix in!).
    I can just imagine pairing this with some homemade dukkah, crunchy bread, and a light salad for a quick and indulgent weeknight meal :)

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  7. When refrigerating, does it remain over the bowl to allow liquid to drain or just for the first hour?

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    Replies
    1. Hi David - You should still keep it over the bowl when it's in the refrigerator since it will continue to drip out liquid.

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  8. I've been making this for years. I had no idea it is considered cheese. It is very good though, so I don't care what it's called.

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  9. May I use any other type of seasoning and would you happen to have some suggestions please?

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  10. How long does it last in the olive oil before spoiling?

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    Replies
    1. The olive oil doesn't preserve it so we're still dealing with a fresh dairy product. I would plan to eat it within a week.

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  11. Would it be possible to make this with store bought labneh? Thanks!

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  12. Store bought labneh can be delicious but is usually a fairly soft consistency. For this recipe I've drained the yogurt for a longer period of time in order to have a firmer cheese that will hold together in a ball. I'm not certain that the store bought will be firm enough.

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