While watching Kitchen Nightmares the other night, I got a sudden craving for Greek food. Not the so-terrible-we-don’t-even-care-anymore-until-Gordon-Ramsay-saves-our-butts Greek food, but the post-makeover-all-the-screaming-was-worth-it-awesomely-gourmet Greek food.
I started with a time consuming but well-loved tzatziki recipe from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook. Next time I’ll probably add a little more garlic to give it an awesome zing.
I also made my own pita bread, because a) it’s cost-effective and b) it’s awesome to watch them puff up in a hot oven.
And finally, to turn this into an actual meal, I made falafel.* Yes, I know falafel is not a Greek dish. But blame my Norwegian college cafeteria for teaching me that tzatziki and falafel go together like choral music and snowflake sweaters.
Sadly, we ate them too quickly for me to post a picture. My bad!
* I used this recipe but substituted dried onions for the fresh onion and used half the bread crumbs. I also baked it instead of frying.
- 2 cups plain lowfat yogurt
- 1/2 English seedless cucumber, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
- 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Spoon yogurt into sieve lined with a coffee filter and set over bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer drained yogurt to medium bowl and discard liquid. (Alternatively, you can save some time and energy by using Greek yogurt, which is essentially pre-strained.)
Meanwhile, in colander set over bowl, toss chopped cucumber with 1 tsp. salt. Let drain at least 1 hour at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours. In batches, wrap chopped cucumber in kitchen towel and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Pat dry with paper towels, then add to bowl with yogurt.
With flat side of chef’s knife, mash garlic to a paste with remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Add garlic, chopped dill, oil, vinegar, and pepper to yogurt and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Source: Slightly adapted from Good Housekeeping