I’m a confessed Twitter addict. It’s become a bit of a family and friends’ joke and I have cards and even a mug with Twitter references. But I’m happy to admit I’m regularly found checking into my Twitter account and a couple of days ago I replied to a Tweet posted by Total Yogurt, saying something along the lines of I loved their yogurt and regularly recommended it on my blog. Which is true. Normally such responses might yield a thank-you or a Retweet but in this case the lovely people at Total sent me a message saying they were so happy with my response they’d like to send me some yogurt. They asked which flavour I preferred and I said without hesitation: traditional full-fat with no flavourings. They arranged for Ocado to deliver some last night. Thinking of the 500g pot I usually buy, this is what I had in mind; I hadn’t given any thought to how much they’d send. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door last night to be handed two heavy carrier bags full of Total yogurt! My fridge is full and I have a very big smile on my face!
I’ve got some ideas for how to use this yogurt – apart from my usual simple way of eating it with just some honey or maple syrup drizzled over the top. But before I venture into new recipes, I thought I’d return to some of my favourite posts on the blog where Total Yogurt is recommended. I often say ‘use real Greek yogurt, like Total’ because the ‘Greek style’ yogurt found in supermarkets really isn’t the same thing at all. So, let’s start this little yogurt journey in the most appropriate place this blog can head to: Kardamyli in Greece.
It’s three summers’ ago that I had a lovely holiday in Kardamyli on my own (click here) and it was really the seed of the beginnings of the blog – with its emphasis on travelling and eating alone. I had a little balcony with my room looking over towards the sea and each morning I would eat Total Greek Yogurt that I’d bought in the supermarket opposite (which recently had a cameo part in the film, Before Midnight!). I’d slice some fresh fruit to go with it and drizzle over the wonderful local honey that I’d bought from Yiannis in his shop just below my hotel (see Yiannis’s Herbs & Kalamata Olive Oil).
One of the things I ate a lot in Kardamyli was aubergine salad. When I first ordered this I imagined being served a dish much like the Italian caponata. I was a little taken aback to have a plate of thick Greek yogurt with pieces of aubergine in it put before me. However, it was so delicious that I reproduced soon after coming home, frying the aubergine first and adding it to the yogurt with lots of garlic and seasoning (click here for recipe). It’s a fabulous dish. And I’m reminded now that it’s far too long since I’ve made it so I must do so again soon.
Greek Yogurt Makes Wonderful Dressings for Savoury Dishes
A lot of my savoury recipes, especially those from or inspired by books like Moro East and Ghillie Basan’s Classic Turkish Cooking, have dressings and toppings made with Greek Yogurt. It seems especially important here to use the ‘real thing’ and thus I recommend Total. See the wonderful Turkish spinach dish photographed above (click here), the delicious duck recipe (click here) that I cooked after enjoying it at a Moro pop-up supper club (click here), and a Turkish chicken dish (click here).
Panna cotta made with Greek yogurt
Of course the yogurt works well for both savoury and sweet dishes. I discovered an Ottolenghi recipe for making panna cotta using half Greek yogurt rather than just cream and I loved it so much, it’s become my standard way of making panna cotta. The slightly acidic note that comes with the yogurt cuts through the rich creaminess to make this a superb dessert and I haven’t made panna cotta with just cream since. I put three versions on the blog last year: two flavoured with vanilla and served with baked plums (click here) or pears poached with saffron and cardamon (click here); the third I flavoured with honey (click here) and served with red gooseberries.
And of course The Single Gourmet Traveller couldn’t leave out ice cream in a round-up of favourite recipes. I made so much ice cream over the summer and thought it would end with winter. But I’m still making it! Especially the gorgeous brandy ice cream I made at Christmas (click here). But a really easy ice cream I made in the summer was a yogurt one. I’d remember a similar version that I used to make years ago when my kids were small and decided to try it again (click here). The yogurt gives it a special freshness that is great for a hot summer’s day and I guess some might say that it’s healthier for you.
Well, I think there are quite a few more recipes using Greek yogurt on the blog, but these are a few favourites that come to mind and show the versatility of yogurt. I’ve got some great ideas for recipes with the yogurt Total sent me so keep reading and watch out for more ways to use yogurt!