Crispy Potatoes with Labneh and Fresh Herbs
Labneh is a thick, creamy, soft cheese from the Middle East is so easy to make and so wonderfully smooth that your friends will be mightily impressed if you produce it for a dinner party.
900g (2lb) cooked boiled potatoes
450g (1lb) soft Labneh (see recipe)
fresh herbs - sprigs of chervil, tarragon, flat parsley and chives
Peel and cut the potato into approximately 2.5cm (1 inch) square chunks.
Heat oil or beef dripping in a deep-fry to 200°C – cook the potatoes in batches until really crisp and golden.
Drain on kitchen paper.
Serve immediately in wide bowls with a few dollops of labneh and a generous handful of fresh herb sprigs on top.
Note:New Potatoes do not need to be peeled
Soft Yoghurt Cheese - Labneh
This thick, creamy, soft cheese from the Middle East is so easy to make and so wonderfully smooth that your friends will be mightily impressed if you produce it for a dinner party. This is an old recipe. I believe that dairy items like these were once made everywhere in Europe and elsewhere over many centuries and then forgotten at some stage, probably during industrialisation, so I have borrowed from those places where the traditions survived. Labneh is a real treat and an easy way to dabble in cheesemaking. It is also much-loved by children and is a good way for you to pass on your knowledge of old skills to them. It can be used for sweet or savoury dishes.
Use whole-milk yogurt for a creamier cheese – this can be made from cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk.You can also use commercial yogurt.
Makes 500g (18oz) labneh
1kg (2 1⁄4lb) natural yoghurt
Line a strainer with a double thickness of sterilised cheesecloth. Place it over a bowl. Pour in the yogurt.Tie the four corners of the cheesecloth to make a loose bundle and suspend this bag of yogurt over a bowl. Leave it in a cool place to drip into the bowl for 8 hours. Then remove the cheesecloth and putthe labneh in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight, and store until needed in a covered glass or plastic container. The liquid whey that has drained off can be fed to pigs or hens.