November 26, 2012

Dear Greek Yogurt:
(+ Figs & Dried Cherries in Vanilla-Honey Syrup over Yogurt)

Dear Greek Yogurt: I don't know what kind of game you're playing, but you're not fooling anyone.  Well, actually, you appear to be fooling everyone.  But not me.  Do you know how many years it took me to get to the point where I could choke down regular yogurt?  Like, twelve.  Other members of the white-and-creamy family?  Not so lucky.  Cottage cheese will never grace this table.  And Fred?  We do not even speak its name.  But here you come, sashaying in, glooping it up like the King of Creamytown.  Ick.

It really seems like you're overcompensating for something.  Did you get dumped?  Lose out on that big promotion?  Whatever happened, it doesn't justify a campaign of global domination.  Especially one that involves mind control, which is the only logical explanation for your popularity.

Your rabid fan club just won't shut up about you.  They keep telling me how awesome it is that you contain almost no sugar.  Let's be straight with each other, Greek Yogurt.  You and I both know that sugar is the only thing that makes yogurt remotely edible.  Otherwise there's nothing to distract a person from the fact that it's fully of crawly invisible critters that would, in any other circumstance, be treated with antibiotics.  That tangy flavor?  That's the taste of bacteria.  Stop trying to convince me I should like it.

And you can also stop trying to seduce me with your sexy European origins.  No one cares that you're Greek.  It's not that big a selling point.  Know what else is thick and white and Greek?  Tzatziki.  And I'm not about to eat that for breakfast either.

To review:  You're totally gross.  I don't know what kind of Bond-villain mind ray you're using to convince people otherwise, but knock it off.  Because I'm tired of having to redact every recipe on the internet to figure out what was taken out and replaced with Greek Yogurt.  I like full-fat cake.  There's nothing wrong with it.  Please leave it alone.  Thanks bunches,



Figs and Dried Cherries in Vanilla-Honey Syrup 
adapted from Bon Appetit

I'm not sure if you picked this up from the above essay, but I'm not particularly what one might call a fan of yogurt - and I've certainly never been willing to eat the plain unsweetened kind.  Which is why it's so important for you to make this simple stewed fruit compote right now - because it was so good that I was willing to eat plain yogurt for breakfast with it - and then went back and had more for dinner.  Seriously, make this.  It lasts forever in the fridge and would be great over anything.  Pound cake?  Ice cream?  Panna cotta?  Go for it.

Water  [ 2 cups ]
Sugar  [ 1/4 cup ]
Honey  [ 1/2 cup ]
Dried Calimyrna Figs  [ 8 ounces, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise ]
Vanilla Bean  [ 1/2, cut in half again lengthwise ]
Dried Tart Cherries  [ 1/3 cup ]

Plain Yogurt [ to taste ]
Unsalted Pistachios  [ chopped, to taste ]

1.   In a medium pot over Medium-High heat, bring Water and Sugar to a boil.
2.   Stir mixture until Sugar has all dissolved.
3.   Add Honey and Figs.
4.   Scrape seeds out of Vanilla Bean.  Add Bean and Seeds to mixture.
5.   Bring mixture to a boil.
6.   Add Dried Cherries to Mixture.
7.   Cover pot and simmer Mixture until fruit is softened [this will take about 10 minutes ].
8.   Pour Mixture into a bowl and chill until cold [ this could take up to 3 hours ].
9.   Remove Vanilla Bean from mixture.
10. Serve over Yogurt, sprinkled with Chopped Pistachios.

[Notes: Bon Appetit's version of this recipe suggested that you make the compote, ladle yourself up a bowl, and then top it with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of pistachios.  I'd like to ask Bon Appetit how much of a fool they think I am.  If we're going to pretend that this is a dessert, I'm certainly not going to ruin its inherent dessert-ness by topping it with yogurt, for goodness' sake.  It's going to be whipped cream.  But I prefer to avoid the whole controversy and serve the compote as a topping to yogurt.  A little bit of dessert in your breakfast is a good thing.  A little bit of breakfast in your dessert?  Meh, not so much.]

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