Once you Greek you never go back – My recipe for Tzatziki
As I wait for Steph Curry, and the rest of my Golden State (San Francisco) Warriors to culminate a record shattering 73 win season by raining buckets on Lebron James and the entire state of Ohio, some friends and colleagues asked me about my Tzatziki recipe. Yes, shocking, I posted a pic of me cooking in the Napa Valley on Facebook cooking in my home. Indeed, real men can cook!
Since, I drink my fair share of wine, single malts, craft beers, and other adult libations, which enter easily into my system. I’m also fed well on press trips. I do make some attempt to feast healthy. I also spend time in four foodie destinations: San Francisco, Napa Valley, Los Angeles, Puerto Vallarta, and topped off with a month in London, Greece, Italy, and around Europe.
It has been said that the Greek diet or Mediterranean diet, and yes, that includes red wine, is just about the healthiest diet in the world. The use of olive oil cleans the system.
It was been said that eating in Greece is a way of consuming history and the birth place of western civilization. A bite of dolma or a slurp of lentil soup, a whole lamb cooked on a spit, or a slice of honey drenched baklava is a small taste of life in ancient Greece.
Tzatziki is a yogurt spread that like all things Greek that has become in vogue in the U.S. among foodies. Unlike the Greek economy, Greek cuisine has truly taken off.
As a child in Greece during summer vacations I learned about Greek culture through Greek cuisine. I would eat Greek Yogurt and honey for breakfast, I remember telling my father something like, “dad, how come we don’t have Greek Yogurt back home?”
I especially like Tzaziki with lamb, or even pork. I also simply like to use it as dip for pita, and chips, yes fries.
Furthermore, I preach that using a quality feta, preferably from Greece is a must. One can also find exceptional feta in artisan food shops or charcuteries. Another key is the addition of mint, especially when paired with lamb.
Tzaziki includes three main ingredients: Greek yogurt, cucumber, feta cheese…
Take 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt – which is seemingly everywhere nowadays
3 tablespoons of crumbled feta
A squeeze of a lemon, around a tablespoon
Here’s where I don’t skimp – 2-3 tablespoons of any quality Greek, Italian or Spanish olive oil
Two cloves of garlic which I mash in a mortar and pestle….
Sprinkle in kosher sale or Himalayan sea salt, 1 tablespoon
One cucumber peeled and sliced thin on a mandolin slicer, not the instrument, or use any simple potato peeler
Some chefs strain the yogurt, but I don’t think that it matters.
Combine all of the ingredients minus the cucumber…
Once blended together, add in the grated thin slivers of cucumber,
Cover the bowl….
I chill it in the frig overnight, but 1-12 hours is fine.
Now, who said that I’m just another pretty face?
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