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Archive for Yogurt

RECIPE: Red Lentil Soup, Other Greek Yogurt Delights & Aleppo Pepper

Choabani

Red lentil soup is golden and glorious. Photo
by Marcus Nilsson | Chobani.

 

What do you do after your start-up Greek-style yogurt brand becomes the number one brand in the country?

You continue to share your love of your homeland’s foods by opening a café.

Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya moved to New York from his native Turkey and couldn’t find thick yogurt as widely available as it was back home. The rest is yogurt history; now, hopefully, the other wonderful yogurt-based foods at his Chobani Soho café* will find as many fans.

The current café is a revision of the initial concept, which focused on yogurt with savory or sweet toppings†. They’re still on the menu, not joined by soups and simits—the bagel-like, sesame-topped street food of Turkey, available with a variety of fillings.

We’re a sucker for a simit—we had our first one just a year ago when a simit sandwich shop opened on our block.

Chobani Soho’s simits include “Bagel + Cream Cheese” (the cream cheese is actually labne, also spelled labneh, and called “Lebanese cream cheese”; Seasonal Preserves + Labne, Smoked Salmom + Herbed Labne; Spiced Chicken + Pomegranate Onion; and Tomato + Olive Tapenade.

 

We were invited to a media reception where we got to taste everything, all of it terrific. But for us, the star on the menu is the red lentil soup—easy to make, and so luscious and comforting that you’ll be making it again and again. Thanks to Chobani for sharing the recipe.

 
*The cafe is located at 150 Prince Street at West Broadway in New York City; 1.646.998.3800.

† SWEET CREATIONS: Blueberry + Power, Fig + Walnut, Fresh Fruit + Granola, Peanut Butter + Jelly, Pistachio + Chocolate, Toasted Coconut + Pineapple. SAVORY CREATIONS: Hummus + Za’atar, Mango + Avocado, Pomegranate + Caramelized Onion (our favorite!) Red Pepper Harissa + Feta, Zucchini Pesto + Tomato.

RECIPE: CHOBANI RED LENTIL SOUP

Red lentils (which range in color from yellow to orange to red) are sweeter than the green lentils typically used in American lentil soup, and the brown lentils used elsewhere.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups lentils
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Pinch Aleppo pepper‡
  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup plain 2% Chobani Greek yogurt
  •  
    ‡A substitute for Aleppo pepper is 4 parts sweet paprika and 1 part cayenne. See the section below on Aleppo pepper.

     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE lentils in a strainer and rinse under cold water.

    2. COMBINE all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 25 minutes.

    3. ADD yogurt. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.

    4. COOL in an ice bath and then refrigerate. Reheat before serving. Blend with immersion blender after reheating to eliminate lumps and smooth out soup.

    5. MAKE garnish: Melt ¼ pound butter in a small sauce pan until foaming. Add ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper and remove from heat. Drizzle ½ teaspoon (for an 8-ounce portion) or ¾ teaspoon (for a 12-ounce portion). Keep butter warm and garnish with a spoon of Aleppo pepper butter before serving.

     

    Choabani

    Simit, the “Turkish bagel,” ready to meet thick labne. Photo by Marcus Nilsson | Chobani.

    WHAT IS ALEPPO PEPPER?

    Also called halab pepper, halaby pepper, Near Eastern pepper and Syrian red pepper flakes, Aleppo pepper hales from Turkey and northern Syria. The town of Aleppo, a famous food mecca, is located in Syria near the Turkish border.

    Aleppo pepper is used to add heat and pungency to Middle Eastern dishes. It is not a berry, like peppercorns, but a moderately hot red chile that is sun-dried, seeded and crushed. (Ever since someone in the crew of Christopher Columbus came across a chile in the New World and called it “pepper,” the confusion has endured. Here’s the scoop on pepper, here’s the story on chiles.)

    The Aleppo chile’s high oil content provides a deep, rich aroma, somewhere between coffee and smoke; it has been compared to the ancho chile. It has fruity notes with mild, cumin-like undertones. It can be compared to—but is much more flavorful, complex, and less harsh than—that generic pizza staple, crushed red pepper.

    USES FOR ALEPPO PEPPER

    The moderate heat of Aleppo pepper is used:

  • With proteins: fish stews, roast chicken, grilled meats (including kabobs)
  • In veggie dishes: rice pilaf, simmered beans and lentils, to add kick to green salads (it’s delicious with yogurt and cucumbers or melon and mint salad)
  • As an attractive red garnish: on deviled eggs (or with any eggs), on potato, chicken, tuna and pasta salads
  • In any Mediterranean dish: tagines and couscous, for example
  • In classic American dishes: chili, pizza, soup, stews
  • As an everyday seasoning: add the flakes to olive oil to infuse for a vinaigrette, marinade, rub or for sautéing
  •  
    If you can’t find Aleppo pepper locally, you can buy it online. When you empty your jar of crushed red pepper flakes, replace it with Aleppo.

      

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    PRODUCT: Yoplait Fruitful

    There’s a new way to sneak more fruit into your day: Yoplait Fruitful, which blends 1/3 cup of real fruit into each carton. Each flavor contains fruit pieces and/or purée.

    It’s available in six palate-pleasing flavors: Blueberry, Cherries & Red Berries, Mango Pineapple & Orange, Peach, Pineapple and Strawberry.

    In general, both Yoplait Fruitful and Yoplait Original have around 170 calories per six-ounce container. Fruitful has a higher fat content, as it made with whole milk yogurt. Yoplait Original is made with low-fat yogurt, but has a higher sodium and sugar content.

    The company also recommends Yoplait Fruitful as an ingredient in different recipes that call for yogurt—from baking to pancakes. A recipe for pancakes using the Peach flavor follows.

     

    New Fruitfull, in three of the six flavors. Photo courtesy Yoplait.

     

    Find more information at Yoplait.com.

    Discover all the different types of yogurt in our Yogurt Glossary.

    Check out the different grades of maple syrup.

     

    Peachy pancakes: peach yogurt is mixed in.
    Photo courtesy Yoplait.

     

    RECIPE: PEACHY PANCAKES

    Even when peaches are out of season, you can still enjoy peachy pancakes. Here, Peach Fruitful stands in. Prep time is 20 minutes.

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 container (6 ounces) peach yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup real maple syrup (or maple-flavored syrup)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted (how to toast nuts)
  •  

    Preparation

    1. HEAT griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 350°F. Grease griddle if necessary.

    2. BEAT beat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl, with a whisk. Stir in milk, yogurt and egg. To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If bubbles “dance,” heat is just right.

    3. POUR slightly less than 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto hot griddle. Cook until pancakes are puffed and dry around the edges. Turn and cook the other side until golden brown.

    4. GARNISH with syrup, pecans and optional cream/yogurt and serve immediately.

     
    BAKING POWDER VS. BAKING SODA

    You may have used both for years, without knowing why they’re different. Each makes a particular contribution to the cooking/baking process.

    Here’s the difference between baking powder and baking soda.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Pumpkin In Every Recipe

    Pumpkin is a wonderful fruit*, loaded with the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene, which research indicates may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer, among the degenerative aspects of aging and other conditions. One cup of cooked pumpkin has just 49 calories.

    One of the nice things about fall is that food producers launch limited-edition pumpkin flavors, from yogurt to tortilla chips.

    Every morning, we’ve been enjoying this pumpkin yogurt from Siggi’s. If you can’t find pumpkin yogurt in the store, just make your own:

  • BLEND two tablespoons of canned pumpkin into vanilla yogurt, or into plain yogurt sweetened with a bit of maple syrup.
  • ADD several shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg; blend, taste and adjust seasonings.
  •  
    After you’ve mixed the pumpkin yogurt, there are quite a few things to do with the rest of the canned pumpkin.

     

    Seasonal treat: pumpkin yogurt. Photo by
    Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    *Botanically, squash group members are fruits—the seeds are carried inside. There’s the difference between fruits and vegetables.

     

    Pumpkin cheesecake. Photo courtesy House
    Foods.

     

    WHAT ELSE TO DO WITH CANNED PUMPKIN

    If you only think of canned pumpkin as filling for a pie, you’ve got much to discover. If you like it enough for pie, you’ll like pumpkin in other recipes as well.

    Transfer leftover canned pumpkin to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge to use in everyday dishes—or buy a can just for this purpose. Add two tablespoons to 1/2 cup to everyday recipes.

    Be sure to use pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugar and spices.

    You can make the recipes sweet with some brown sugar or maple syrup, or savory with thyme and/or sage. Add pumpkin pie spices—allspice, clove, cinnamon and/or nutmeg—as you wish to sweet or savory recipes.

     

  • Beverages: Add 1/2 cup pumpkin to a smoothie with some cinnamon and nutmeg, or to a milkshake with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream; make your own pumpkin simple syrup to add to cocoa, coffee, tea or cocktails. For a creamy pumpkin cocktail, combine 2 ounces rum, 3/4 ounce pumpkin, 1 ounce half and half and 1 ounce simple syrup.
  • Breakfast: Add 1/2 cup to muffin, pancake and waffle batter; stir into oatmeal; make pumpkin cream cheese for bagels*.
  • Desserts: Add to a cake mix (chocolate, spice or yellow cake), make pumpkin brownies or chocolate chip cookies, bake a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust, make pumpkin crème brûlée, panna cotta or pudding.
  • Pasta & Risotto: Make pumpkin cream sauce (†see recipe below) or a lighter sauce with stock, sage, thyme; add to risotto, orzo or mac and cheese.
  • Sauces & Sides: Add 1/2 cup to mashed potatoes, serve pumpkin as a side dish with fresh herbs and/or pumpkin pie spices, add 1/2 cup to a cream sauce or hummus.
  • Soup: Mix pumpkin into chicken or vegetable stock and season. Add milk or cream for a cream soup.
  •  
    Let us know your favorite pumpkin recipe.
     
    *Mix 1/2 cup of pumpkin into softened cream cheese, with 2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. You can substantially reduce or omit the sugar or use a noncaloric sugar substitute.
     
    †Combine in a sauce pan: 1/2 cup pumpkin with 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup quality Parmesan and a chiffonade of fresh sage (about 16 leaves, cut into thin strips). Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper. Simmer until thickened, stir in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and serve.

      

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