Liberte Yogurt with Chef Vitaly Paley


Liberte yogurt, well known in Canada, is bringing their rich creamy yogurt across America. And more specifically, Portland Oregon, where they have partnered with James Beard Award winning chef and restaurateur Vitaly Paley to create a variety of unique food pairings. And lucky for me, I was invited to a one-on-one tasting with Liberte and Chef Vitaly Paley.

Between the clean, rich flavors of liberte yogurt and Chef Vitaly Paley's flare for Pacific Northwest flavors, he was able to create several food pairings that will be offered at his restaurants Imperial and Portland Penny Diner for a limited time only.

The Greek yogurt, which comes in 6 flavors, has 0% fat. Although you would never know it with its creamy rich texture and high quality fruit flavor. This truly, is the best greek yogurt I have tried. The lemon was by far my favorite. But I do see myself using the plain flavor for more everyday cooking and baking.

The Mediterranee yogurt is made up of whole milk and comes in 7 outstanding flavors. The mix of real fruit, whole milk and cream, give this yogurt a silky texture. The best part is, they refrain from adding gelatin, sugar substitutes or preservatives.

When I arrived at Imperial for my tasting, I was immediately welcomed by the gracious people of Liberte yogurt. The tasting room was set up with all of their yogurt samples, Chef Vitaly Paley's food pairings, and Chef Paley himself!  I was beyond thrilled and truly honored to not only be in his presence but also to have him prepare a meal just for me.

I started off sampling Liberte Mediterranee yogurt, made with whole milk making it extremely silky. The coconut was my favorite, but really, they were all good. Next up was Liberte Greek yogurt. I love greek yogurt, but this greek yogurt was unreal and I cannot wait to pick some up to bring home.

My first sampling of Chef Vitaly Paley's food pairings was his Hazelnut Yogurt Tea Cakes with Raspberries featuring Greek lemon yogurt. The lemon yogurt and raspberries mixed lovely together. I would definitely eat this for breakfast!

Next up was Bananas Foster Parfait featuring Mediterranee French Vanilla yogurt. The caramelized bananas served with French vanilla yogurt and walnuts was absolutely delicious. I know I will be making this one at home.

Now as someone who makes smoothies about 4 times a week, I understand how great they can be. Until I tried Chef Vitaly Paley's Peach Passion Coconut Smoothie with Chia Seeds and Coconut Water featuring Mediterranee Peach Passion Fruit yogurt and coconut yogurt, this was unlike any smoothie I have ever had before. Great tip that he taught me, instead of using plain ice, make a batch of coconut water ice to add that extra flavor. So smart.

At this point of the tasting, I had eaten quite a lot, so I wasn't quite prepared for what came next. I was asked to join Chef Paley where he would then cook for me Quail Tikka Masala served with Radish and Cucumber Raita. I was completely mesmerized  watching the chef cook the quail over the wood fire grill. Very cool. Now I was a little full before the quail, but one bite into it, I couldn't stop. It was that good.

Lucky for me, Chef Vitaly Paley shared with me all of his recipes featuring Liberte yogurt.

So now I am sharing them with you too. Enjoy! 

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Peach Passion Coconut Smoothie with Chia Seeds and Coconut Water featuring Liberte Mediterranee Peach & Passion Fruit Yogurt and Liberte Mediterranee Coconut Yogurt

1 (17.5 oz) can pure coconut water, frozen in an ice cube tray
1 container of Liberte Mediterranee Peach and Passion Fruit yogurt
1 container of Liberte Mediterranee Coconut yogurt
2 fresh peaches
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons chia seeds

Place all ingredients in a blender and liquefy

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Hazelnut Yogurt Tea Cakes with Raspberries featuring Liberte Greek Lemon Yogurt
{provided by Chef Vitaly Paley}

2/3 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 container of Liberte Greek Lemon yogurt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted butter
1 pint raspberries

1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small bits
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and ground

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare streusel by mixing all ingredients together until coarse meal forms. Set aside.

Grease 12 standard size muffin tins.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In food processor, grind sugar with hazelnuts then stir mixture into dry ingredients.

Whisk together Liberte Greek Lemon yogurt, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients then add butter.

Portion batter into greased muffin tins. Divide raspberries and push gently into batter. Sprinkle crumb topping over the tops and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Serve slightly warm, dusted lightly with powdered sugar.

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Banana Foster Parfait featuring Liberte Mediterranee French Vanilla Yogurt
{provided by Chef Vitaly Paley}

2 bananas
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rye whiskey
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
2 containers of Liberte Mediterranee French Vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts

In a sauté pan, combine brown sugar, whiskey and butter. Over low heat, cook to melt sugar. Continue simmering until thick and syrupy.

Peel the bananas and cut each in thirds then each third split lengthwise, for a total of 12 pieces. Add the bananas to the pan and cook until just soft. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

In a clear glass, spoon half the container of yogurt. Top with 3 banana pieces and sprinkle with nuts. Spoon remaining yogurt over, then 3 more bananas and some of the pan syrup and a last sprinkle of nuts.

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Quail Tikka Masala featuring Liberte Greek Plain Yogurt
{provided by Chef Vitaly Paley}

3 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 teaspoons of ground turmeric
2 teaspoons of garam masala
6 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped 5 teaspoons of finely grated peeled ginger
4 containers of Liberté Greek Plain yogurt
Large pinch of sea salt
8 semi-boneless quails
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion peeled and thinly sliced
8 cardamom pods, smashed
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups coconut milk
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more leaves for garnish
1/3 cup fresh mint, plus more leaves for garnish

Combine coriander and cumin in a small sauté pan and toast over high heat until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder, add turmeric and garam masala, and grind till very fine. Transfer into a bowl and mix with garlic and ginger. Transfer half the spices into a different bowl and mix with 2 containers of Liberte Greek Plain yogurt and salt.
Coat the quail thoroughly, cover and refrigerate.
Heat the olive oil in a 6-quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, cardamom and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining spices and cook stirring for another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a boil, stirring over medium heat until the flavor concentrates, about 15 minutes.
Add coconut milk, bring to a boil and cook stirring often until sauce thickens, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the grill. Grill the quail on both sides over very high heat until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the quail into the sauce. Gently stir in the chopped herbs and remaining 2 containers of Liberte Greek Plain yogurt. Bring the whole thing to a simmer, do not boil.
Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with remaining herbs.

Liberte Yogurt Raita
{provided by Chef Vitaly Paley}

1 bunch French Breakfast radishes, cleaned, finely diced
Radish greens finely chopped
1 small English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
¼-cup roughly chopped fresh mint
1 bunch green onion, roots trimmed, and thinly sliced
2 containers Liberte Greek Plain yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium sized bowl mix the radishes, radish greens, cucumber, chopped mint and green onion with yogurt and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

Big thanks to Liberte yogurt and Chef Vitaly Paley. The yogurt and food pairings, were amazing!

Liberte is now available at local retailers including Fred Meyers, QFC, and Target. And if you have not done so already, be sure to check out Chef Vitaly Paley's three restaurants, Paley's Place, Imperial and Portland Penny Diner. All three in Portland. All three excellent.