Step 1: Get These Things:
The first is a tub of plain yogurt. I like to use a whole milk yogurt, such as Mountain High. You'll need a quart of it (yes, I know that's a lot, but it reduces quite a bit). I found that 1 quart of plain yogurt weighs about 2 pounds. Yogurt is sold by weight in the bigger containers, so you can just use a 2lb tub of it, and it will be plenty. (at Safeway, that size tub sells for about $3)
The other 4 ingredients that you need (the ones you should already have in your kitchen) are:
-1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
-2 Tbsp parsley (you can either use fresh or dried for this, it doesnt matter)
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
In terms of tools, you just need a colander, a bowl that the colander will fit into nicely, and cheesecloth. I found my cheesecloth at Fred Meyer, sold in a package in the cooking utensils area, sold for about $4.
Step 2: Assembling the Pieces
The first thing to do is to set up the draining system (this part is very easy). Put the colander on top of the bowl, so that it rests with most of the colander inside the bowl. Now line the colander with the cheesecloth.
*NOTE*: if you bought the same cheesecloth as I did, it comes in a long, narrow strip. Just fold the long strip in half, then in half again (lengthwise both times). With the second fold, you want to spread it out so that just an inch or so of it overlaps inside the colander.
Next, mix the yogurt and spices together thoroughly, so that everything's smooth. You'll notice that when you open the yogurt, there is already liquid on top. This is the whey, which you'll mix right back into the yogurt, only to drain it later.
Once everything's mixed, pour the yogurt mixture into the cloth-lined colander. Fold the excess cheesecloth over the top of the mixture, so that it is covered completely. To speed up the whey's separation, put a plate on top of the package, and then put some weight on that (a can of vegetables works well. The plate is to distribute the weight evenly across the yogurt. Without this weight, the process could take up to 2 days). Stick the entire assembly in the fridge to rest and drain overnight.
Step 3: Check It Out!
This cheese is very good on crackers at parties. is is very tasty, and slightly tangy.
If you want to present it, you can put it on a platter (it will flatten out) and put a ring of crackers around it (like I did). It looks good with some parsley sprinkled on top.
There are alternatives to the spices you put in the cheese. I found that it tastes very good with sliced pimentos instead of the parsley. Feel free to experiment with different combinations!
Feel free to ask if you have any questions.