Thursday, April 18, 2013

yogurt with poached rhubarb and almonds

Yogurt is one of those foods that is satisfying any time of the day. It can be used in many sweet or savory dishes adding a rich tangy creaminess to everything. In my house we make yogurt several times a month and use it in smoothies, eat it with nuts, honey and fruit, and add it to blanched spinach for making borani.

This yogurt dish was inspired by the spring rhubarb plants in my garden that up until now I've had to leave alone to develop roots properly.  Poaching these new spring stalks in a simple syrup with some aromatic orange peel and a vanilla bean makes a wonderful accompanyment when mixed with fresh yogurt. I had wanted to make a rhubarb strawberry pie but we don't have strawberries yet so that will be a story for another time.

For crunchiness add toasted nuts and for a little more
flavor add a little of the sweet poaching liquid.

Yogurt is really very easy to make, so good eat and has the added health benefit of live cultures to help keep you healthy. I like to make yogurt two quarts at a time using a yogurt maker with a water bath incubator, that way I know the incubating temperature with stay constant no matter how cold the temperature of my kitchen.

Here is the recipe:

Slowly bring milk up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, the slow heating keeps the milk proteins from combining to make the milk grainy.

Let the milk cool to 120 degrees.

Use whole milk for richness

Add 1 tablespoon of room temperature yogurt culture for each quart of milk and whisk until combined.

I use plain Greek Gods Yogurt as a culture.

Pour 115 degree water in the incubator and place the milk container in the water.

The milk container sits in a water bath.

Cover and keep warm for about five hours or until set.

Plug this unit in to keep the water warm to promote milk fermentation.

Then you get yogurt!

I like to hang the yogurt to let the whey drain out to get a thicker consistency.  Then place the yogurt in a bowl and whisk until smooth. If you want, use the whey to braise or lacto-ferment vegetables and fruits or as a liquid substitute in baking. 

Use a muslin bag or strainer for hanging yogurt

Poached rhubarb recipe:

2 C rhubarb 1/2" pieces
1 C sugar
1/2 water
3 strips of orange peel about 11/2" wide each
1/2 vanilla bean and seeds

Place sugar, water orange peel and vanilla bean pod and seeds in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then add rhubarb. Turn heat off and let the mixture sit for an hour and a half. Strain the rhubarb and keep in a covered container until read to use. Save the liquid for more poaching or drizzles a little on top of your yogurt.

1 comment:

  1. hello darling!

    i'm featuring this post on the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up monthly round up this week - I hope to see you there!

    xo, kristy