Tag Archives: yogurt

Found in the Supermarket: Yogurt Soda

Yes. Yogurt Soda. Carbonated yogurt. The fact that it was even in the house had Tara screaming. This, from the same woman who gave me permission to purchase and bring home a durian fruit.

I didn’t want to make any judgement upon this product until I had a taste. So let me say the following:

A taste is all you’ll need to draw an opinion.

And keep the following in mind as well:

There is a very good reason why the phrase “let’s grab a bottle of yogurt soda” has never really taken off.

Technorati Tags: Drink, Yogurt+Soda

Beef Stroganov (with Yogurt)

Beef Stroganov

One of the first recipes that I had learned from watching my mother was a basic beef stroganov. It was a dish that I had adored as a child and wanted to learn what exactly went into it. Unfortunately I had yet to learn the concept of the precision of amounts and I remember clearly adding way too much tomato past into the mix.

I have since been able to grasp the idea of tablespoons and measuring cups, and have been able to make the recipe with varying degrees of success.

This recipe replaces the traditional sour cream with a bit of plain yogurt, making the taste of the sauce a bit sharper. There are also some ground rules that one must take into consideration as yogurt will curdle easier than sour cream.

First – make sure that the yogurt is at room temperature. Second, only add the yogurt to the sauce after you’ve removed it from the heat.

  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef tenderloin, cut into 2″ x 1/4″ inch strips
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup unflavored yogurt, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt 4 tablespoons of butter.

Season the beef strips with salt and pepper. Then dredge in 3 tablespoons of the flour. Add to the skillet and brown. Once cooked, remove to a plate, cover with foil (to retain heat) and set aside.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet. Once melted, add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Allow to cook until the onions are starting to become transparent,between 5-7 minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon of flour over the vegetables and mix in well.

Stir in the tomato paste and broth and bring to a simmer (175 degrees F). Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.

Remove the broth from heat, and lower the temperature of the burner to low. Add the yogurt and mix until well blended, being careful not to overstir. Return the meat to the skillet and cover. Place the skillet back on the burner, and allow to cook from 3-5 minutes, watching to ensure that the yogurt doesn’t curdle.

Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Serves 4-6 people

Technorati Tags: Food, Recipes, Beef, Beef Stroganov, Sauce

Chilled Yogurt and Cucumber Soup

Chilled Yogurt and Cucumber Soup

One of the better soups I’ve had in my life is one from a nice Persian couple that worked for back in the late 80′s. They owned a little kebab place in the Ohio Convention Center, but they often made food that was not on the menu board and gave their employees tastes of their homelands.

One day, they offered me a soup that was pastey white. When I asked what it was, they said to taste first, and then they’d tell me. As the spoon entered my mouth, it was clear that it was made from yogurt, as well as lemon, mint and pepper. It carried the herbs and spices so well that I was surprised that this dish wasn’t better loved. When I asked why they didn’t tell me what kind of soup, they smiled at me and said “Americans do not know that yogurt makes a good soup”.

Yogurt soup is not an uncommon dish. It’s simply an uncommon dish here in the United States. Done well, the yogurt becomes the vehicle in which other tastes are delivered.

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups unflavored yogurt
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Salt and (white) pepper, to taste
  • 6 ice cubes
  • fresh dill, chopped

In a small bowl, place the raisins and cover with cold water. Allow to set for 5 minutes.

Place the yogurt in a large mixing bowl. Add the half & half and ice water and stir in slowly but thoroughly.

Drain the raisins. Add them to the yogurt along with the walnuts, cucumbers and scallions. Flavor with the salt and pepper.

Stir in the ice cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Serve in the bowl and sprinkle the freshly chopped dill on top.

Serves 4

Technorati Tags: recipes, yogurt, soup

Yogurt Tips and Hints

Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with yogurt. As always, this list strives to be comprehensive, so many things here may be well known by some.

  • Choose yogurt with a sell by date furthest away from the current date.
  • Choose yogurt that lists the active cultures available within the yogurt, including Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus salivarius and/or thermophilus.
  • Yogurt lasts for 10 days beyond its sell by date, but should be eaten sooner than later.
  • The cultures within yogurt give it tenderizing properties, and allows yogurt to make for a wonderful marinade.
  • To replace milk with yogurt, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of yogurt used.
  • To prevent prevent yogurt from curdling when adding to a hot mixture, bring the yogurt to room temperature.
  • When cooking with yogurt, cook it over low heat only until the yogurt is warmed through.
  • Excessive stirring of yogurt will make the yogurt become runny and lose its consistency.
  • Yogurt will not seperate as easily in hot preparations that are flour based.
  • To fix a yogurt that has seperated, dissolve 1 teaspoon of corn starch or two teaspoons of All purpose Flour with 2 teaspoons of cold water. Add this mixture to one cup of the seperated yogurt and fold together over low heat.
  • To retain the healthy benefits of the active cultures, prevent the yogurt from exceeding 120 degrees F.
  • When heating yogurt in a recipe, remove the mixture from heat before adding the yogurt, or stir in the yogurt over low heat.
  • Plain yogurt can replace both mayonnaise or sour cream.

Things that amuse me – Yogurt Labeling

One of the many aspects I love when it comes to writing about food is to point out the little games that many of the national food producers pull. Sometimes the games have major consequences, other times not so much.

In reviewing various yogurt products, I found myself reviewing a container of Dannon’s Lite + Fit brand when I noticed a bit of labeling that caught my interest. It read (and I’m paraphrasing a bit here):

“This product Meets the National Yogurt Association’s requirements for live and active cultures.”

Now if you’re a consumer looking for a distinction between higher quality yogurts with health benefits versus a lower quality yogurt, this sounds rather impressive. After all, the National Yogurt Association has allowed Dannon to use their name on their labeling.

When one is at the supermarket, one doesn’t have quick and ready access to the internet which would allow one to research just who the heck is the National Yogurt Association. By the time one comes home with the groceries, one has probably forgotten or has lost interest in following up on this Association.

As I am a bit of a freak and have a finely honed sense of cynicism, I have no problem in following up on these tidbits of information.

The National Yogurt Association consists of five members. Right smack at the top of the list? Dannon Yogurt. In fact, on the National Yogurt Association’s Board of Directors sits two co-chairs…one from Dannon, the other from General Mills (maker of Yoplait yogurts). When Dannon says its yogurt meets requirements set by the National Yogurt Association, what Dannon really means is that Dannon’s yogurt meets requirements set by Dannon and Yoplait.

Depending on your perspective, this may not seem like a big deal. But it’s clear that the National Yogurt Association isn’t as independant as one might initially think upon reading Dannon’s label.

Technorati Tags: Food, Yogurt, Food+Labeling, Dannon Yogurt

Café au Rhum

Yogurt drinks take some getting used to if you grew up on ice cream milkshakes. The yogurt can and often does leave an additional “tang” upon the palate that can come as a bit of a shock if you’re not expecting it.

There is a trick however. The colder you serve a yogurt-based, the sharper and more distinct the taste of the drink. If you chill a glass in the freezer for 10 minutes before pouring, it will help greatly.

This coffee and the ice cream blend quite nicely into the yogurt and the rum adds a richness. If you’re into yogurt drinks, this is a nice recipe to have around.

Oh, and the ice cream and yogurt are listed by weight. Milk is listed by volume.

  • 2 cups, whole milk
  • 2 cups, unflavored yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons instant coffee
  • 4 Tablespoons spiced rum
  • 2/3 cup chocolate ice cream

Place all of the ingredients into a blender. Pulse until the concoction is smooth. Serve into your fantastically chilled glasses.

Serves 8
Technorati Tags: Recipes, Yogurt, Drinks,

Yoghurt, yogurt, yoghourt, joghurt or yogourt: It’s all sour milk

Yogurt is one of those products that owes its popularity to various health movements. in 1908, a Russian biologist by the name of Dr. Elie Metchnikoff, wrote The Prolongation of Life. In this book, Dr. Metchnikoff documented that a certain type of white blood cell known as phagocytes ingest and destroy various dangerous bacteria. He later won a Nobel Peace Prize for this discovery.

Dr. Mechnikov then popularized the idea of lactic acid-producing bacteria as a means of increasing life span. Supporting his theory, he offered up the heavy yogurt eating and long living Bulgarians as evidence for his hypothesis. He traveled Europe, stating that eating yogurt would prolong your life, and quicker than you can say “Immortality”, yogurt became a cause celebre on the Continent and later the world. Yogurt was the antioxidant of its time.

Yogurt has been around far longer than the 20th century. Around the time milk started to become prevelant, yogurt was discovered, probably when staying out in the sun for a titch to long, long enough for the lactose to ferment into lactic acid. It’s this acid that gives yogurt its bite.

This cultured milk product was probably discovered in more than one area of the world, as it’s fairly easy to stumple upon soured milk (whether it be horse, cow or otherwise). India has a strong history of dairy products, and Persia/Iran has its own take on the product. Kefir is a fermented milk drink originating in the Caucasus. Heck, even Genghis Khan is said to have drank a brew called kumiss, made from horse milk.

Of course we Americans would probably blanch at the idea of drinking a glass of yogurt. We prefer ours with pectin or gelatin, thank you very much.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m moving on from milk and heading over to yogurt. Expect a few posts and recipes based on the stuff over the coming weeks.

Technorati Tags: Dairy, Food, Yogurt