Monday, June 7, 2010

A Tale of Two Tzatzikis

I am on a Greek kick lately, with no real explanation as to why. I bet Dave's getting tired of having some variation of a yogurt-dill-lemon-garlic sauce at least once a week, but that's just the price he has to pay as I'm becoming comfortable with a new set of ingredients/flavor profile.

I have never been to Greece, but I hope to go as soon as things calm down over there. Until then, I'll play with Greek-ish food and pretend I'm on the Mediterranean coast. Although nightly entertainment on this particular Mediterranean coast involves a 17-year-old cat who likes to torment chipmunks that hide in the gutter... and a husband who tries diligently to "rescue" the chipmunk by flooding him out with the water hose (to no avail, I might add)... and while we're dining on our "lanai" (read: tiny little concrete patio) every few minutes we hear a frantic sound of little chipmunk claw on metal gutter, while Chloe sits patiently, just outside of the chipmunk's view... yep, my life is pretty awesome!

Tonight, I present to you a Tale of Two Tzatzikis. No shame: I am so proud of coming up with that title.

I researched several yogurt-dill-sauce recipes, and decided to try two versions tonight. The first one (on the left, above, in the yellow bowl) is the chunky version, while the one on the right is the food-processored version. The ingredients were the same, and they are as follows:

1 7-oz container Greek yogurt made with 2% milk
juice of half a lemon
one big garlic clove, minced finely with salt into almost a puree
couple tablespoons fresh dill
some salt
one cucumber, seeded, diced, salted and drained of excess water (dice up the cucumber into small pieces, toss it with salt, and allow to sit in a colander for 30 minutes to drain)

For the chunky version: just mix all of the above together, cover with plastic wrap, chill for 1-2 hours before serving.

For the food processor version... take a guess... throw it in the food processor!

Tonight's sauce was served with a sweet potato that I diced into bite-size pieces, tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, fresh thyme, and dried oregano, then roasted in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes, as well as cedar-plank grilled salmon, that I marinated for 20 minutes in a combination of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, dill, thyme, and lemon zest. I preferred the pureed version on my fish (which was pretty tasty), but plan on snacking on the chunky version tomorrow. It's a whole lot like a very southern cucumber salad, made with mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, salt, and dill. The yogurt version is much healthier.

I think in the future, if serving as a sauce to top fish or chicken, I'll definitely be pureeing it. However, I am anxious to see how both hold up in the morning, after they've been in the fridge overnight.

And I also hope that overnight Chloe has sweet dreams of catching that poor little chipmunk she's been chasing for 3 days straight.

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