I have made a soft blue cheese by skewering cream cheese with a bamboo skewer dipped first in blue cheese crumbs. The yogurt cheese seems to combat any other cultures and doesn't work well. However, I have wrapped the yogurt soft cheese in fresh rosemary or oregano and boy it is very flavorful. Black cracked pepper and smoky paprika also is winner.
I'm not sure about Kefir, but I use Greek yogurt in place of mayo, sour cream, whip cream and I make mine in the crock pot (super money saver)
1) Pour a gallon of 2% or whole milk in the crock pot on high for about 30 minutes. Check the temperature and turn it off when it gets up to 111 degrees (it is actually 110, but the other is easier for me to remember). 2) Let the milk drop a few degrees and add starter. (Greek yogurt from store or saved starter from your last batch) 3) Stir and keep the temperature above 100 but below 109 for about 15 minutes. Turn off the crock pot, wrap it in some towels and let it sit for about 8 hours (go to bed)
After 8 hours it will be thick. As is it is a standard plain yogurt. You can mix fruit into this for a naturally sweet flavoring.
For Greek Yogurt - Strain it and the part that stays in the strainer is the Greek yogurt. How thick your Greek Yogurt is, is based upon how wide of a strainer you use. The liquid that remains can be used in soups, smoothies or over cereal.
For a "soft cheese" Think goat cheese like - reheat the yogurt (you can mix back in the liquid that came from the Greek yogurt is you want more than one product. Heat until is just separates. Strain using cheese cloth or a coffee filter and let drip overnight in the refrigerator. If you cook it longer it will develop a light yellow color and will have a richer cheese flavor. The whey that drops off can be used to boil vegetables in, some people water plants with it (I had mixed results), with lemon juice and water for a drink.
So from one gallon I get a roll of soft cheese, a 32 oz container of Greek yogurt and some thin yogurt that I mix the whey back into and use for baking, or blending with fruit. So 10-15 dollars of product for $2-3.50 worth of milk.
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place. - Kurt Vonnegut.
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