Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Real Food Wednesday: Homemade cream cheese

I didn't have to think too hard about this Wednesday's submission. In fact, this one was in the storage tanks to pull out for just this occasion. A few weeks ago I attended a Sustainable Cooking Cooking class taught by Sharon New-Bauckman.  In that class I learned the MOST SIMPLE thing to do....make cream cheese from yogurt.  It truly is fun to make (and soooo simple) and the possibilites are endless on what you can add to the final product.  In a choice between sweet or savory I usually, always, pick savory so my add-ins include garlic, chopped green onions, and some sea salt.  Sharon added a touch of pure maple syrup to the class version of cream cheese too. 

Basically, all one has to do is get a good quality NON-LOWFAT (yes in bold letters I'm emphasizing) plain yogurt.  What was used in Sharon's class and what I use, because that's what's stocked at the store where I work, is Seven Stars plain yogurt. Depending on how much cream cheese you want (lots or not-so lots) and how big your seive is depends on how much yogurt you dump into the seive for the final product.  I usually dump about half the 32 oz. container into the seive.  Sharon also said that you can experiment and use other flavored yogurt for the cream cheese.  Seven Stars offers Maple and Vanilla yogurt as well.  Just rememeber to always use the full fat versions. 

Equipment needed:
A:  A medium to large mesh seive.
B. A large bowl to place under the seive and to catch the whey.
C. Cheesecloth.
D. Yogurt of your choice.

Place the seive over the large bowl and line with the cheesecloth.  Dump the yogurt in the cheesecloth lined seive (I slightly cover) and wait about 24 hours.  Well, that's what I wait because I want a thicker result but anywhere between 12-24 hours per Kelly the Kitchen Kop

After your cream cheese is at the desired consistancy feel free to add any ingredients to your hearts desire.  The above photo shows what I added.  Refrigerate the final product

I slathered my cream cheese on some bread I got from Magnolia Bread Company at the Chestertown Farmers Market.  I also added some bacon (I have an addiction and will put bacon on nearly anything) from Lew's farm to complete the bliss.

I hope you try this project.  It was fun, easy, and very gratifying to make a food product with my own hands.  The next step is to make my own yogurt but that's another Real Food Wednesday project!  As for the leftover whey from straining the yogurt, store in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator.  Try some new projects with the whey as I have.  You'll be surprised at the foods that stem from whey!

This post is included in: Real Food Wednesday

1 comment:

Butterpoweredbike said...

Hoo-ray for full-fat yogurt and all of it's yummy applications. I can't wait to see your post about making yogurt. I make mine by sticking half-gal mason jars filled with innoculated milk into a cardboard box with a small desk lamp inside. I love the mad-scientist aspect of yogurt making. It's ALIVE!