Some people aren’t a fan of the cool and creamy cucumber sauce that accompanies a gyro, but I personally love anything with cucumber. Tzatziki can be used to marinate meats, as a dip, or as a sauce on yummy lamb pitas–and it’s not too hard to make either!
I decided to use Ina Garten’s recipe for it because I have her cookbook “Parties” and her recipes are always a hit. But–I didn’t check out the portion size and ended up making about 5 cups of the stuff, aka way too much for a family of four to eat. Oh well.
I made a few adjustments to the recipe: I skipped the straining yogurt step and just bought Greek yogurt, I didn’t add champagne vinegar because I didn’t have any (a splash of white vinegar was used instead), and I added fresh mint. The key to the tzatziki tasting was good was letting the flavors meld together in a cold refrigerator overnight.
Sorry about the terrible phone photo. Damn you, Blackberry.
About two weeks ago, my Mom & I visited the little BYOB, family-owned Greek place near our house, Greek Stop. The tiny restaurant can maybe fit about 30 people, but that only adds to its charm. Whenever I’m there, I’m always inclined to order a gyro and a side Greek salad, because well, you can’t go wrong with that combo.
So my mother-daughter lunch inspired me to try my hand at cooking some Greek food in my own kitchen. Homemade tzatziki, a Greek salad the way I like it, and tomato & feta roasted shrimp over linguini were on the dinner menu. (I’ll post about the tzatziki and salad recipe I used in a different post.) The tomato & feta shrimp was an easy to make dish that brought a little variety to our dinner table, and the whole family enjoyed it. I mean, anything with feta cheese is going to be good.
Bruschetta is one of my all-time favorite appetizers. There’s something about the fresh basil & tomato combo on crunchy bread that makes me want seconds, thirds, and maybe even fourths. This easy appetizer is sure to be a hit anytime of year, but Ina Garten, my favorite cookbook author and Food Network chef, says tomatoes are best in September.
The first time I made bruschetta, I followed Guy Fieri’s ‘Pomodoro Fresco Sourdough Bruschetta’ recipe. It was okay, but Guy’s bruschetta wasn’t for me. The balsamic vinegar made it too tangy and overpowering, plus I missed the mozzarella. So the next time I made it, I added mozzarella and really cut back on the balsamic vinegar.