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Recipe File: Anghelika's Tsatsiki (Tzatziki)
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:22 am    Post subject: Recipe File: Anghelika's Tsatsiki (Tzatziki) Reply with quote


Article Digest:
A few weeks ago, Tina and I went to a garden party hosted by our friends. A variety of authentic Greek foods were available for tasting and enjoyment as we had a good time chatting with friends, meeting new people, and watching children play. In particular, we found that we kept going back to the blend of spicy garlic and cool cucumber in the tsatsiki. We asked Anghelika for the recipe, and she related the procedure to us as taught to her by her grandmother, Anghelika.

The ingredient ratios are pretty flexible with this recipe. Start with 1 pint (470 mL) Greek-style yogurt, 2 cloves garlic, 1 medium cucumber (we'll actually only use half a cucumber), 1 tablespoon (15 mL) red wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Anghelika says her grandmother kept telling her to make sure to remember the vinegar (as if it was the secret to her tsatsiki recipe).
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The amount of garlic used in this recipe is up to the individual's taste. I suggest starting with the two cloves and adjusting to taste when you make tsatsiki in the future.

Peel the garlic cloves and cut off the woody ends. Pulverizing the cloves as best as you can. You can mince the garlic with a knife, rub it with the tings of a fork, run it through a garlic press, or use a zester (shown in the picture).
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Peel the cucumber. Split the cucumber in half (cut crosswise) and then again along the length of the cucumber to expose the seeds. A teaspoon or similar implement can then be used to scrape out the seeds. Whenever I work with cucumbers, I always cut a little bit and taste it before I add it to a recipe. If a cucumber is old or not good quality, it can taste bitter instead of slightly sweet and refreshing. Using a cucumber like that can ruin a recipe pretty easily.
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Cut up one half cucumber into small strips. You can use a coarse grater for this if you don't like fine knife work.
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Cucumbers contain a lot of water which we don't want to introduce to the Greek-style yogurt. (Greek-style yogurt or Bulgarian yogurt is strained to remove excess liquid, so it's a bit thicker than "standard" yogurt. It also tastes a bit different - the flavor seems closer to a really good sour cream than to plain Yoplait.) Take the chopped up cucumber and squeeze it. You can do this by placing it in a piece of cheesecloth and squeezing. My favorite method - squeeze it in your fist.
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Add the drained cucumber to the garlic.
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Mix the garlic, cucumber, olive oil, and vinegar together. Stir it around a little to separate the little garlic and cucumber pieces.
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Put the yogurt in a container large enough to stir in the garlic and cucumber mixture without making a mess. I scooped the yogurt into a 1 quart container.
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Add the garlic and cucumber mixture to the yogurt.
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Stir until everything is evenly distributed in the yogurt. Stir in salt to taste. I found that 1/4 teaspoon table salt was a good amount.
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This step is really important - refrigerate for at least a day. Right after mixing the yogurt, the tsatsiki is a bit runny and somewhat flavorless (it just tastes like the yogurt). After refrigerating for a day, the garlic flavor permeates the thickened tsatsiki.

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Anghelika's Tsatsiki
1 pint (470 mL) Greek-style yogurtmixrefrigerate 1 day
2 cloves garlicmincemix
1/2 medium cucumberfinely shreddrain
1 Tbs. (15 mL) red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) table salt


by Michael Chu
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Sean
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:21 pm    Post subject: Straining the yogurt Reply with quote

I make this often by taking a regular tub of yogurt, dumping it into cheesecloth, and suspending the cheesecloth ball over something (like a tall 2l pitcher) overnight. Just gather the ends of the cheesecloth with a rubber band and stick a chopstick through.

In the morning the yogurt is thick and all the liquid is in the bottom of the pitcher.

I made this last week and used lemon juice instead of the red wine vinegar, it turned out really well.

Sean
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spribyl
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: Additions Reply with quote

It is very common to add chopped freash mint.
I think for this recipie you would add a 2 Tbs spoons.
If you don't have freash mint add 1 teaspoon of dried mint.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's basically the same as the (not necessarily authentic) recipe I use, except that my recipe also calls for fresh dill.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:52 pm    Post subject: Serve with? Reply with quote

I know that you can use the sauce on Gyros. Do any of you have reccomendations for what you can serve with it as a dip? I was thinking of pita bread, but are there any other ideas?
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Andy
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:15 am    Post subject: Cucumber Reply with quote

Great recipe. If possible and you can find them in your area I would recommend an english cucumber for this dish over the standard american one. Alot less seeds and a slightly different flavor. Also while we call it english it is the more common cucumber you find throughout Europe (including Greece!)
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EngineeringProfessor



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 3:14 am    Post subject: Re: Straining the yogurt Reply with quote

Sean wrote:
I make this often by taking a regular tub of yogurt, dumping it into cheesecloth, and suspending the cheesecloth ball over something (like a tall 2l pitcher) overnight. Just gather the ends of the cheesecloth with a rubber band and stick a chopstick through.

In the morning the yogurt is thick and all the liquid is in the bottom of the pitcher.

Sean


I use the same method to thicken yogurt (after the hint from Alton Brown--not an engineer, but cooks like one!); however, you only need about two hours to get a good and thick result. Also, FWIW, I use a woodskewer to support the cheesecloth and a plastic "bag clip" to secure it.
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Nia
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:43 am    Post subject: Chicken Souvlaki! Reply with quote

I love tzatziki on chicken souvlaki (broiled chicken on wooden skewers). It's also magnificent on french fries with crumbled feta on top! Greek food rocks! Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 cloves? That's it?!

We are Greek and like many more. Big smile

Of course, everyone has to try some then.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: Lebanese way Reply with quote

I'm from Brazil, but my mother's family is from Lebanon.
I don't know any Grrek food, but guess what! It just suits our arab cuisine perfectly!
Tzatziki, after all, turns out to be an spiced "labanie" (dry yogurt).
I'll try it your way.
If you want to try it our way as well, we usually add olives and the spiced olive oil it comes in. Great to eat with pita bread.
Try the yogurt with tomatoes, olive oil and salt on a pita bread sandwich.
It's funny to see how food is an universal language, isn't it? Big smile
Daniel Montanha.
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Marina
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:50 pm    Post subject: Tzatziki Reply with quote

Hi
This is generally the Greek way: Greek Yogurt, (very good idea of Sean's to strain regular yogurt if Greek one not available), I don't peel the cucumber or remove the seeds but grate it on the thick side add salt and let it drain then squeeze the water out. (The cucumber peel makes it more digestible). Mix into the yogurt with the crushed garlic (some put more cloves some less). Add more salt if necessary, olive oil and a dash of vinegar. Adding chopped dill is optional but a very good addition.

Tzatziki is also delicious with fried zucchini, aubergines and is an excellent dip for raw vegetables, and anything you feel it tastes good with.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I absolutely love tzatziki- especially with Triscuits! The texture is perfect with the sauce, and the saltiness of them is a great compliment to the flavors.
(I also use fresh mint & dill, it brings a nice subtle coolness to the dip)
Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: The best Tzatziki Reply with quote

I am Greek and i think the best Tzatziki is made from traditional goat yogurt,lemon from Korinth,olive oil from Kalamata,cucumber,garlic and anithos(i dont know how its called in english).This is the recipe of my grandmother.I love it.Try it Smile

Kisses from beautifull Greece

Nikolas apo Korintho Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nikolas,
"anithos" is "dill" Smile

Stefanos
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:27 am    Post subject: some ideas Reply with quote

in lieu of greek style yogurt, try mixing roughly equal parts of a thicker brand of low fat yogurt and sour cream and using less vinegar. also, you could substitute white vinegar and lemon juice for the red wine vinegar. and if you prefer not to use garlic, consider using white pepper for a little spice.

in honor of valentine's day one year, we used red vinegar and food dye to color the tzaziki and feta sauces pink. unfortunately, the gesture backfired as many customers mistook it as a sign of undercooked meat....
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