Yogurt is a great ingredient when you are cooking light. You can use it to substitute sour cream, butter and cream cheese. The problem is that regular yogurt is fairly runny since it contains so much water. To make it a better consistency for cooking and baking you need to strain it. It is easy - it just takes some time.
First off you are going to need:
- Yogurt, I prefer to use low fat yogurt over non-fat because the non fat can get a little chalky in its consistency.
- A piece of cheesecloth, if you have no cheesecloth you can use a thick paper towel.
- A strainer or sieve
- A big bowl and space for it in your refrigerator
What you do:
- Place the sieve in a bowl.
- Line the sieve or fine strainer with cheesecloth / paper towel.
- Put the yogurt on top of the cheesecloth.
- Lightly salt the yogurt and gently stir - this helps pull the water out of the yogurt.
- Place bowl in your refrigerator and wait.
It takes just about an hour for 20% of the water to strain out of the yogurt. This texture is great in salads - from tuna salad as a mayo substitute or fruit salad since the consistency is similar to whipped cream.
Let is strain for several hours and the yogurt will decrease in volume by half and this consistency is great for dips and as a base for marinades.