Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest

13
March
2009

Whey To Go, Cream Cheese

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I really don’t know what to call this mild, wonderfully creamy concoction I made while in the process of making whey for my homemade breakfast cereal. It’s somewhere between sour cream, cream cheese and creme fraiche. I’ve heard it called yogurt cheese but that doesn’t quite describe the nature of this creme de la creme.

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I almost hate to admit how easy it is to make in case I’m ever trying to impress you by placing a dollop oh-so-perfectly on a springtime soup. The truth is, I can barely claim doing much to make it at all. It practically makes itself. I poured a container of whole milk yogurt into a colander lined with cheesecloth. Set that over a bowl to catch the whey. I checked in on it from time to time, but really didn’t need to. The whey drains out of the yogurt after 12-24 hours all by itself, leaving the cream cheese behind to be devoured.

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The real revelation came when I was making broccoli soup from Molly Wizenberg’s wonderful blog, Orangette. The last step of her soup involves making a sour cream mixture that’s the perfect use for this yogurt cream cheese. Add a few scallions, garden-fresh chives, lemon juice & zest, parmesan cheese and garlic and you have a light, tangy dip or topping that is hard to stop eating. Don’t even think of getting it anywhere close to a potato chip.

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Cream Cheese with Chives

1 cup yogurt cream cheese or sour cream

2 scallions, sliced thin (I used baby leeks)

1/4 cup minced fresh chives

1t grated lemon zest

2T fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

1 minced garlic clove

salt to taste

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl.

This recipe uses about half of the cream cheese from a 32 oz. container of yogurt. It will go fast so you might want to double the recipe.

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Then there is the mysterious whey. I used it in my homemade breakfast cereal. It’s said to be loaded with beneficial nutrients, vitamins and protein. It supplies live lactobacilli that aid in digestion and act as a natural tonic. I’ve seen it used in everything from baked goods to a homemade baby formula, curries and soups. I’ve heard of feeding to animals and adding it to your compost. I’m thinking about adding some to my smoothie. There are all kinds of powdered whey protein products. Why not use the real thing instead?


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5 Responses »

  1. I often use whey in cooking, especially breads. Pretty easy, just have to decrease the other liquid amounts. It seems to also give a nice softness/smoothness to the bread.
    Oh, I made the breakfast cereal! So easy and delicious. I am planning a whole post this week devoted to breakfast cereal tests – I’m definitely going to make your recipe again 🙂

  2. Mangochild, I’m glad you like the cereal. I’m going to make another batch this weekend. Thanks for the tip about whey. I’ll try some in my no-knead bread.

  3. Oh, I love that kind of cheese. They serve it at the Mediterranean Kitchen, where it is called Labnie and they serve it with tomato and cucumber slices and kalamata olives.

  4. I’ve always thought of that as yogurt cheese — it is really wonderful stuff and in the summer I love to mix it will chopped dill, pounded garlic and cayenne and eat with fried eggplant. I would guess you could use it for all kinds of spreads and dips.

  5. Audrey & craftydabbler, I love that it is so versatile and works with so many herbs and vegetables. You’re giving me some great ideas to try.