A couple of weeks ago, I had company for brunch and I wracked my brain trying to figure out what to make. After consulting recipe books and perusing my blogroll, I decided to keep things familiar. I made some almond & cherry scones, whipped out my apple butter, put out my huge glass jar of homemade granola and I fancified some yogurt. You see, last year (when I had cable tv), I saw the Barefoot Contessa make a fancy brunch for her fancy friends in her fancy kitchen. I was impressed. But I was most impressed by her tricked out orange yogurt. It seemed so easy….drain store-bought yogurtovernight and then throw in some add-ins. She transformed a runny breakfast stand-by into something voluptuous, decadent and still healthy.
So the night before my morning guest was to arrive, I set up my coffee pot and filter and drained my yogurt in that. In the morning I was rewarded with thick, really thick, yogurt. I added in some honey, coconut and of course fresh orange juice to rehydrate and zest. Because I was serving this with granola I didn’t want to add in the nuts and raisins the original recipe called for. It didn’t lack for a thing…it was amazing as is!
Yesterday morning, I decided to try the yogurt again, but since I was planning on eating it with some fresh fruit, I stayed on the Contessa’s side and added some dried fruit and nuts for a bit more depth. Once again, I was blown away! Sure, it requires some advance planning to drain the yogurt, but the results are truly outstanding. I use my favorite 0.3% local Fraser Meadow organic yogurt and you’d never guess it was low fat by how it looked. Spoonable and swoonable, indeed.
1 large container of low fat plain yogurt
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/4 c shredded coconut
1/4 c toasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 T dried cherries, chopped
1-2 T honey
Line sieve with cheesecloth and suspend over a bowl — or just use a coffee pot and filter like I did. Add yogurt and let drain 3 hours or overnight. Throw out liquid and place the thickened yogurt in a bowl and add remaining ingredients, stirring well. Serve plain or top with granola and fresh fruit.