If you can’t find Greek yogurt in your local grocery store, you can strain regular plain yogurt at home. Whatever you make with your home-strained yogurt, however, may taste a little less rich, depending on the yogurt you start with.
To strain regular yogurt to a Greek yogurt consistency, set a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or a plain white paper towel over a bowl and spoon plain whole-milk yogurt into the sieve. Refrigerate and allow the liquid to drain off for two hours. One cup of regular yogurt yields about 1/2 cup of thick, Greek-style yogurt.
To make yogurt cheese, start with a yogurt that has no added gelatin, starch, or pectin, because these ingredients keep the yogurt from draining as well. Strain the yogurt until it’s about as thick as cream cheese, 12 to 24 hours.
If you think you’ll frequently strain yogurt at home, consider getting a yogurt strainer, like the Cuisipro Donvier strainer shown at right. It consists of a covered plastic container fit with a specially designed mesh strainer that efficiently drains yogurt. It’s easy to fit in the refrigerator, and it protects the yogurt from picking up odors in the fridge. They are available online at Amazon.