A simple yogurt cheese that includes spicy chiltepin, herbs and salt that is perfect for dipping vegetables or smearing on toasted bread.
Over the last few years, I transitioned from homemade yogurt in the crock pot to making yogurt in the Instant Pot. The process is fairly easy — pour the milk in, push a few buttons and wait.
Allow that milk to cool to as specific temperature, and then add your starter culture. Then place the lid back on the Instant Pot to do it’s “thing” for 8 hours.
Homemade Yogurt. The hardest part of the process is waiting – indeed that wait can drag on.
But when it’s done, it’s thick, delicious goodness. Jar up half for breakfast and smoothies, then use the other half to make an easy yogurt cheese that you can transform with a few fun ingredients.
Once you have your homemade yogurt done, line a strainer with a cheesecloth. Pour in the yogurt, and a tablespoon of rock salt. Hang that cheesecloth over a bowl as it sits in the fridge, and allow that whey to drain.
After 24 hours, unfold the cheesecloth and you’ll uncover a much thicker, spreadable cheese that you can hike up a notch with herbs or flowers.
Now you can transform with an array of spices to make it something you’ll love.
In this case, we’re infusing chiltepin chiles for a spicy kick. Chiltepin chiles are the only wild, native chile to the U.S. They are quite small in size and have a smoky bite with a touch of heat.
Chiltepin Yogurt Cheese Recipe
- Yogurt cheese (above, which is homemade yogurt that has been strained)
- 1 tsp dried, crushed chiltepins (aka pequin chile)
- 1/8 tsp ground oregano, coriander, pepper and garlic powder
Combine the strained yogurt with the herbs above or your own choice of herbs in a new cheesecloth. If you have a garden, grab some fresh rosemary. Edible flowers can add flavor and color, too.
Once you have your ingredients mixed in the cheesecloth. Tie it up again, over a clean bowl and tuck in the fridge for an additional 12 hours. The herbs and spices will infuse the yogurt cheese not only with color but with flavor.
When you open the cheesecloth 12 hours later, you’ll see a visual transformation. Give it another stir and enjoy this new chiltepin yogurt cheese by the spoonful, on toasted bread or as a dip for your fresh vegetables.
I like to keep mine in a low profile glass canning jar, with lid, in the fridge. Refrigerate to keep it fresh, then spread on toast and veggies when the craving strikes. Feel free to experiment with your choice of spices to try some new flavors.
Or if you like things with extra kick, double the chiltepin chiles. Just remember though: you can always up the heat. However… once you are at the maximum heat tolerance, it’s hard to scale back.
Chiltepin chiles are a wonderful way to spice up a pot roast, too! Check out our recipe for Carne with Chile Rojo (Beef with Red Chile) where we used chiltepin chiles to give an extra kick.