one quart of plain yogurt (homemade or store bought with no additives)
You can strain homemade or store-bought yogurt to make a thick, Greek-style yogurt, labneh or a “yogurt cheese” by using a jelly strainer or muslin cloth.
If using muslin, lay a one foot square of butter muslin in a bowl. Pour yogurt into the lined bowl. Tie the corners of muslin into a knot and hang on a wooden spoon or a kitchen cabinet handle and drain over the bowl. Make sure you hang your cloth well above the bowl so the yogurt doesn't mix with the whey by-product in the bowl.
This may be done at room temperature. Drain for anywhere from 2-12 hours, until you reach your desired consistency. For the densest, most cream cheese-like consistency, drain for 12 hours, then open, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, mix thoroughly and press the yogurt bundle between two plates with a small weight on top for 2-4 more hours. Refrigerate and enjoy within 3 weeks.
Save the whey and use it in other recipes!
Image: Rebecca Siegel