JACKSON, Wyo. \u2014 Yogurt. For many of us, this tangy, creamy dairy product is a staple of our morning. Sprinkled with some crunchy granola, a few fresh berries and a dollop of local honey, the probiotic-packed protein-filled stuff is the perfect way to start the day. In my household, and in many across the Middle East and the Mediterranean, yogurt is a fundamental element of every meal. Following are a few of my favorite ways to utilize the acidic and sour ingredient.\r\n\r\nLabneh\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nYield: 3 Cups\r\n\r\nAlso known as \u201cstrained yogurt\u201d, Labneh is made by straining yogurt in cheesecloth to remove as much whey and liquid as possible, giving you a cheese-like consistency. My favorite way to eat Labneh is by simply pouring good olive oil over it and sprinkling with Za\u2019atar, a beautifully herbaceous and nutty Lebanese seasoning blend, and serving with fresh vegetables, crackers or warm pita. There are all sorts of ways to incorporate the home-made cheese, however. Use it as a cream-cheese alternative, cover it with roasted stone fruit and fresh mint or fresh tomatoes and basil. Truly, the options are endless.\r\n\r\nYou will need:\r\n12\u201d cheesecloth\r\nA strainer\r\nA deep bowl\r\n\r\nIngredients:\r\n1-quart full-fat yogurt (I prefer a good Greek yogurt)\r\n1 tsp salt\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLine your strainer with the cheesecloth and set over a deep bowl. Mix your yogurt and salt well, then scrape into the cheese cloth covered strainer. Place into the refrigerator and allow to strain for at least one day if not two. Serve to your preference.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYogurt Marinated Chicken Thighs\r\n\r\nYield: serves 6\r\n\r\nWhen you marinate meat with yogurt, not only does the acidity tenderizes the meat much more gently than citrus or vinegar, the dairy sugars give you a delicate, complex caramelized crust. Because yogurt has such an intense and distinctive flavor, I don\u2019t like to overcomplicate my marinades. There are plenty of other varieties out there to look at, like a classic Indian Tandoori.\r\n\r\nIngredients:\r\n8 chicken thighs\r\n1 C yogurt (I prefer full-fat Greek)\r\n2 cloves garlic, finely chopped\r\n1 tsp ground turmeric\r\n1 tsp ground cumin\r\n1\/8 tsp cayenne\r\n\u00bc tsp smoked paprika\r\n\u00bc C finely chopped cilantro\r\nSalt and pepper\r\n\r\nCombine all ingredients and marinate for at least 2 hours. The chicken can be grilled, pan-seared, or roasted in the oven at 375 for 10-15 minutes. For the best crust in the oven, finish under the broiler. Serve with roasted potatoes, broccoli, rice or over your favorite salad.\r\n\r\nFor more yogurt recipes, Yotam Ottolenghi has an arsenal of excellent ones to try varying in complexity.