Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Recipe for Greek Tzantziki (Tzatziki)- Xs' version (yogurt dip)

1 cup of drained yogurt (preferably of 0% fat)
½ Cup of a fresh cucumber grated
1 garlic clove (optional if you do not want to have garlic breath tomorrow at the office)
Dried mint
Freshly grated black pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil

About 1 hour or more before you prepare the Tzantziki, grate thickly the cucumber and place it in a deep dish. Place that dish in the refrigerator for at least one hour so that the cucumber will lose any extra liquid. Do the same with the yogurt. Remove it from its package and place it in a deep plate. Place the plate in the refrigerator.
One hour later, both the cucumber and the yogurt will have extracted some liquid. That liquid is mostly water which you have to get rid of it. You might even hold the grated cucumber in your palms and press it so that any extra liquid might be forced out. If you do not follow this procedure your Tzantziki will look watery and the taste will not be perfect.
Place both the yogurt and the cucumber (now drained) in your final serving bowl. Smash the garlic clove on your cutting surface pressing it with the side of your knifes’ blade. Throw a pinch of salt over the smashed garlic. The salt will absorb the juices of the garlic. Cut as thinly as you can the smashed garlic and throw it in the bowl with the rest of you ingredients.
Grate a small handful of dried mint leafs over the yogurt and season it with some black pepper. Add some more salt and the olive oil.
Mix all the ingredients together into a nice thick sauce.
The Tzantziki can give great taste to many dishes. Use it in a pita bread with some salad, or on the side with some grilled pork chop, or as dipping sauce in a cocktail party.