Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Homemade yogurt

Many of you have heard of or read the book "French Women Don't Get Fat." It's a best-seller by Mireille Guiliano, a French woman who fell victim to US-style gluttony but managed to shake it off using traditional French methods and mentality. Here's what I took away from it for me, my condensed version:

Eat more yogurt. I like a challenge. I love a challenge in the kitchen. So when Madame Guiliano suggested a recipe for homemade yogurt, I was on the bandwagon, riding shotgun.

What you'll need:
1-2 tablespoons plain yogurt (with active cultures)
1 quart 2 percent milk
glass or ceramic bowl with cover

Heat the milk in saucepan over medium heat until steam rises and small bubbles appear on edges. Remove from heat and cool to 120 degrees. Put the yogurt in the bowl. Add an equal amount of milk and mix well, blending thoroughly. Add 1/2 cup more milk and blend. Keep adding milk slowly, blending well after each addition.

Cover the milk mixture and put it in a warm place for eight hours. The temperature should be between 90 and 100 degrees the entire time. I put mine in the oven with the pilot light on. Refrigerate the yogurt for six to eight hours before serving.

Serving suggestions:
Add fresh fruit, honey, or granola.

Other uses:
Use as a substitute for sour cream, heavy cream, or strain overnight with a cheese cloth to make cream cheese substitute.

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