September 30, 2009

Late for Everything! and Oikos Greek Yogurt....


A belated Eid Mubarak to all my friends and readers. This year Eid was on a Sunday which in this country means, everybody had a holiday and could really celebrate it. Unlike India, only common holidays are the public commemorative ones and the religious holidays are limited to only some factions. Hope you all had a wonderful time with your families and friends.

I am still catching up on my old posts and this was one I started a couple of months back. One of the funny things about being a food blogger is that I keep getting offers to advertise or showcase different food products. That's not what this blog is for so I mostly turn them down... but when I got an offer for coupons for something I always buy anyway, I couldn't resist it. If you have been following this space, you would know the importance of yogurt in my house and the versatility of it in my recipes.



Home Made Yogurt cream: Just a substitute for sour cream. Hang yogurt in a muslin cloth or line a handled sieve/colander with a paper towel or muslin cloth and hang over a deep bowl. Keep this in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or even over night and you will get thick creamy yogurt. Add 1 crushed garlic, a bit of salt and 1/2 tsp olive oil for a yummy spread. But this Greek yogurt is a thick ready to use product available in all supermarkets......which has a better texture than the homemade version..its thick, ultra creamy and seems fattening but its not!!

Oikos offered to send me coupons for free containers of the new Oikos Nonfat Greek yogurt to try. I used to always buy the Fage 2% greek yogurt so decided to give this new one a try. The plain version of Oikos has a great thick texture, but is a little tart on its own. Its perfect for cooking and baking but to use as dessert, needs to be sweetened. Mix it with honey, or any jam for an instant dessert.

Fage had a slightly less tart taste, probably due to the fat content in it. Maybe Oikos should have a 2% or full fat variety too; all their products are 0% fat. Its completely organic and its from StonyField farms, the company which introduced the creamy organic plain yogurt for toddlers and babies when all the tiny yogurts were festooned with cartoon characters and horrible colored flavored yogurts.

Oikos Organic offers Plain and Vanilla flavors in handy 4-ounce four-packs as well as in 5.3 oz. cup, 16 oz. tub. The single serves also come in blueberry and strawberry flavors. I preferred the plain which I could modify to my taste... savory or sweet.

Beyond the hyperbole, these are the final uses of the Oikos yogurt in my house:
1. Sweetened with Honey and topped with cereal, they make an excellent snack. Sweetened with sugar, saffron and cardamon.. instant srikhand without the hassle of hanging the yogurt.

2. I used it in our regular Chocolate cake for a luscious texture.
I added it to the chicken instead of yogurt for the Chicken Malai tikka. I also added it to my Butter chicken instead of cream to give richness. Added a teaspoon to the fish marinade too for grilling along with the regular red chili powder, ginger garlic and lemon juice.

3. I did make a mango pudding and a cheesecake with the yogurt but no photos so will post it when maybe next week!

4. A no-brainer use of the Oikos Yogurt is to make the delicious Taziki sauce. Costco retails a nice taziki sauce but its made with sour cream which makes you  look at it twice before devouring.  Taziki sauce made with this greek yogurt is just as good, or even better and much more healthier. Works as a dip with chips or as a white sauce with the pitas, tortillas or any sandwich.

Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce)
1 cups Greek Yogurt
Lemon Juice- 1 tsp
Garlic- 2 clove, minced fine
Cucumber- 1 medium sized one- center seeded and diced, salted with 1 tsp salt and then rinsed.
Fresh Dill or Fresh Mint- 1-2 tsp finely chopped
Good Quality EV Olive Oil-  1 to 2 tsp
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preparation:
Chop up the cucumbers, sprinkle on a bit of  salt, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, rinse and wipe dry with paper towel.
Add the cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill or mint( use either one but not both) and a few grinds of black pepper. to the yogurt.  Add salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend.The sauce tastes better the next day or even later. Stays in the refrigerator for up to a week.

The photo shows the sauce to be a bit liquid but that happened as I didn't drain the cucumber and it gave out water as it settled into the sauce. So the salting and draining of the cucumbers is important to maintain the consistency.




14 comments:

Happy cook said...

Love this, it is always so refreshinly delcious.

Geeta said...

Love the yogurt hints and recipes!
Just wondering where to buy it?

s said...

love milk and its byproducts..this is great so very vreamy looking..sadly we dont greek yogurt here in Goa ..but it looks great

Bong Mom said...

I love Oikos with honey.

kadumangacolors said...

Hi Shaheen .. have nominated you for the kreativ blogger award.. and a belated Eid mubarak to you!!

Smitha

Uma said...

looks yum :)

Hb said...

I love the idea of mixing it with jam,yumm!Salad looks great though :)

sra said...

I tasted Greek yoghurt for the first time two months ago - can't say I found it all that interesting. Or maybe I expected more.

Mallugirl said...

Happy cook, hmm.. the cucumbers make it a light summer sauce.

Geeta, it should be available in most supermarkets.. else u can just hang yogurt at home and make a slightly different version of it.

s, u can make it at home too.. try it.

Sandeepa, oikos with honey is too good...i like it with sugar as a spread too on toast.

smita, Hey thanks!!on both counts.

Mallugirl said...

Uma,thanks!

HB, yeah any jam is god instead of getting the yogurt with the fruit at the bottom.

Sra, on its own, its tart and just like yogurt. Its more famous for its versatility as dips and spreads. The craze for it is more among the people here as they are not used to yogurt as much as we are.

mathew said...

i love tzatzki...its a regular for me to have it with a chicken wrap!

A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Looks refreshing & tasty.

Anonymous said...

if u have more of ur free samples send them over to me ;)
ki

mona said...

Belated Eid Mubarak to you and your family Mallugirl!