Going Greek! (In the Kitchen)
I was in Naples, Florida last week and was introduced to a local gem—a restaurant called Greek Gourmet. Their food was great, and their tzatziki sauce was to die for. I knew Ina had an “Easy Tzatziki” recipe in her “Foolproof” cookbook and I planned to see how she stacked up to my new favorite restaurant in Naples... (Spoiler Alert: It makes the cut.)
2 (7-ounce) containers of Greek yogurt
1 hothouse cucumber
¼ cup of sour cream
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I think this is too much--start with 1 teaspoon and go from there.)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
(No oven to preheat this time!)
I placed the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, dill, garlic, and pepper into a bowl. I only added in 1½ teaspoons of salt. (Start with 1 teaspoon and add more to taste.)
Next, I grated a large cucumber into a separate bowl. In the process of grating my cucumber, my mind decided to check out and I succeeded in grating part of my finger. This was my first kitchen injury... maybe the Greek gods don't like me? (The cut made dealing with lemon and garlic a little tricky.)
The next step in the recipe is to pull the cucumber “guts” out of the bowl, ringing out most of the liquid, and then adding it to the bowl with the other ingredients. I wasn’t about to put my maimed finger in a bowl of grated cucumber, so I created a “press” with a large slatted spoon. If you aren’t privy to getting your hands dirty, or if you also grate part of your hand, use a slatted spoon so scoop out the cucumber pulp and then press the “guts” with another spoon, pushing the liquid out.
After pressing out all the liquid, I mixed up the ingredients into a thick sauce.
Ina suggests serving the tzatziki with olives, feta, and toasted pita breads (you can also use pita chips if you don't want to toast your own pita breads). By the way, is it “kitchen legal” to eat this sauce with just a spoon when I run out of pita breads? Just wondering… it's that good.