Thursday, August 23, 2007

Take a Tub of Yogurt..

Ways to Use Yogurt:
Depending upon how you wish to use yogurt, it can be thickened further by draining for about three hours using a muslin bag (or sieve lined with a new, clean J-cloth). The whey that drips out can be used for making scones or bread, and the thick yogurt left in the sieve can be swirled into a goulash or stroganoff instead of using sour cream. Leave it to drip for several hours more and you have made your own curd cheese which can be used in many sweet and savoury dishes.

To cook with yogurt it need to be stabilised or it will curdle. So when wishing to add to hot soups, casseroles etc, mix a little cornflour into the yogurt (about a tablespoon to each pint), bring it to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened.

Piquant sauce for hot vegetables:
Blend yogurt with chopped chives, mint or nuts and serve in a sauceboat to pour over vegetables.
Prawn cocktail dressing:
Blend yogurt with tomato ketchup and a dash of Tabasco to taste. Additional extras can be diced green pepper, chopped eggs, olive and spring onions.
Jacket Potato Topping:
Add snippets of crisply fried bacon to yogurt and spoon into the centre of a hot jacket potato.
Tangy Dips:
Stir into thick yogurt some grated cheese, herbs, a dash of Tabasco and mustard. Serve with crudites and tortilla chips.
Or blend yogurt with roasted red peppers, a very little harissa paste, ground cumin and a squeeze of lime. Best done in a food processor.
Salad Dressing:
Take 5fl oz (125ml) yogurt and blend with a teaspoon of honey, some chopped mint, the juice of one small lemon, and (optional) some crushed garlic.
Fat-free salad dressing:
Whisk together 6 tblsp yogurt, 1 tblsp wine vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp crushed garlic, and 1 tblsp finely chopped fresh herbs. Season to taste, use poured over hot vegetables or a cold salad.
Mackerel and Broccoli Pasta:
Cook pasta shapes and add broccoli florets for the final three minutes of cooking time. Drain and stir in skinned and flaked smoked mackerel, plus spoonfuls of yogurt which has been seasoned with wholegrain mustard.
Mashed potatoes:
Use thick yogurt instead of butter and/or cream when mashing potatoes. Add extra flavour with mustard, horseradish or cheese.
Cauliflower with yogurt and cheese:
Fry chopped onion then stir in some steamed cauliflower florets. Take half out and put into a blender with a few spoonfuls of yogurt, and paprika to taste. Whizz to a puree. Put the remaining cauliflower and onion in a dish, cover with the puree, scatter grated cheese on top and pop under a grill until the cheese is melted. Omit the cheese, puree the lot and have it as a soup.
Skewered Tandoori Chicken:
Put 5 tblsp yogurt into a bowl with a little grated ginger, juice of half a lemon, and 1 tblsp tandoori curry paste. Blend well together. Add chunks of chicken, stir so that each piece is coated, cover and leave to stand for at least half an hour. Thread the chicken onto skewers and place under a pre-heated grill, turning occasionally. Baste now and again with any marinade that is left. When cooked through serve on a bed of couscous, rice, or with salads.
A side dish usually served with curry, but would make a good dip on its own. Into yogurt stir in some finely chopped cucumer, and finely chopped mint. Add a little icing sugar to taste.
Lassi: a yogurt cooler
Into a blender put 1 pt (600ml) natural yogurt, 10 fl.oz (300ml) water, 2 tsp rose essence,
sugar to taste. Blend all together, pour into a jug and chill. Pour into individual glasses to serve, topping each with a couple of ice cubes.
Yogurt Ripple:
Mash 8 oz (225g) ripe berry fruits and swirl into 18 fl.oz (500ml) yogurt together with one tblsp clear honey. Don't overmix, aim for a rippled effect. Pour into a 2 lb (1kg) loaf tin which has been lined with clingfilm then freeze. Turn out half an hour before serving, remove cling film and cut into slices.
Other suggestions:
Use yogurt instead of milk or cream when making a quiche.
Blend equal amounts of yogurt and mayonnaise together to make a lighter base for coleslaw, potato salad, egg mayonnaise etc.
Blend equal amounts of yogurt with whipped cream to fill cakes, brandy snaps, eclairs, profiteroles, or use instead of full cream when making mousses or fools.
Blend a little honey into thick yogurt and dollop onto the top of fruit pies, crumbles, ice-cream, and even a breakfast cereal.

Spicy Yogurt Cake:
8 oz (225g) self-raising flour
half a teaspoon bicarb. soda
4 oz (110g) soft margarine or butter
4 oz (110g) caster sugar
4 oz (110g) mixed dried fruit with candied peel
half tsp. mixed spice
1 dessp. golden syrup
5 fl.oz (150ml) plus 1 tblsp natural yogurt
Sift the flour with the bicarb and rub in the fat until like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, fruit and spice. Warm the syrup and pour into the centre of the flour mixture, adding the yogurt. Mix together to a soft consistency. Bake in a greased loaf tin for one hour at 170C, 325F, gas 3. Place a piece of foil (shiny side up) after about 20 minutes to prevent the top browning too quickly.

Yogurt Walnut Fudge:
7 fl.oz (200ml) yogurt
1 tsp bicarb. soda
1 lb (455g) light muscovado sugar
1 tblsp liquid glucose
2 oz (50g) butter
3 oz (85g) walnuts, chopped
Put the yogurt into a saucepan, stir in the bicarb and leave to stand for half an hour. Add the sugar and glucose and bring the mixture gently to the boil, stirring all the time. Add the butter. When this has melted, continue to boil for about 15 minutes by which time it should have reached soft-ball stage (114C/237F). Remove from the heat and leave to stand for five minutes, then beat until it loses its gloss and has turned thick and creamy. Stir in the chopped nuts. Turn out into a greased shallow tin and cut into squares when cold.
Note: If you haven't a sugar thermometer, have ready a small dish of cold water. Drop a little of the fudge mixture into this and, if you can roll it up into a soft ball, then it is ready.
If not available in the supermarkets, chemists usually stock liquid glucose, which keeps for ages, I would say for years. Mine has anyway.