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Cream cheese

A delicious spread made from strained yoghurt.

1 recipe of homemade laban (yoghurt) or 4 cups of store bought yoghurt

Mix the laban with 1 tablespoon of salt and pour into a strainer lined with paper towels. Set over a large bowl to allow the water to drain out. Place in the refrigerator for at least a day.

Then remove the soft spread (labneh) with a spoon into a covered container. Pour some olive oil on top, to prevent a dry crust from forming.

Spread the Labneh on a small platter and drizzle some olive oil on top. Labneh is traditionally served with fresh cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, olives and Arabic bread at breakfast or as a mezze dish.

Serves 2

Recipes for homemade laban:

1 quart of milk
(2 pints or 1.2 liters)
1/4 cup of starter (laban made from a previous batch of yoghurt. If the starter is 'new', the laban will be sweet; if it is 'old' it will be a little tart.)

Boil the milk, then lower heat and allow cooling. When the milk is lukewarm, add the starter, then mix.
A good way to test if the milk has cooled down sufficiently is to dip your pinky into the milk: if you can hold it there until the count of 10, it is ready.

Cover the saucepan of milk with a lid, and wrap a blanket or a wool sweater around it. Store in a warm place. Let it stand undisturbed for at least 6 hours so it can set. Then place the new laban in the refrigerator until you wish to make labneh.



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