Monday, February 9, 2009

Chronicles of the Calamitous Kitchen: One Tzatziki to Rule Them All...and it ain't mine.

During my senior year of college, I spent a semester in Greece. It was amazing, and one of the best times in my life. One of the many things that made it a great trip was the food, tzatziki in particular. It became somewhat of a legend - my obsession that is. I ordered the yogurty-cucumber dip with every meal. It was the first thing I bought from the supermarket down the road from our apartments in Athens. I love this stuff!

Since I'm an amazing chef now (not) I decided to try my hand at a pretty classic Greek dish. The gyro.

Which calls for tzatziki. And if you didn't figure that out, you, dear reader, are so fired. Anyway, something I've found out about this yummy stuff is it just doesn't taste the same in the USA. I think it has something to do with the way they make the yogurt over their. I'm not sure. Well, above is my effort at this food to end all foods. And as you can see, its looking a little less than amazing. I didn't cut the cucumber small enough for one - I get nervous about cutting off my fingers when things get really small and I have a big knife. The taste was okay, but it was just too runny to be comparable to the real thing. The Costco version is decidedly better than my attempt. It's thicker and whoever makes it obviously doesn't have the same concerns I do when handling a giant kitchen knife.

So here's the spread. Not to shabby huh? It tasted pretty good - the seasoning on the meat was excellent. The cut of lamb wasn't right, but it was still damn good. Just a bit hard to takes bites of out of a pita.

In case you were wondering, this little gem isn't exactly a Greek recipe. Cooking Trainer said it was french. It's made of goat cheese and french bread baked in the oven. The sauce is a mustard dressing I made from scratch - honest! The tastes were yum, but the bread was already going stale two days after we bought it fresh from the bakery. Also, it was a bit heavy on the goat cheese. I'll have to use less next time I make it.
Guppy Cooking Tip #7: Bakery fresh bread is only fresh for a limited time. Use the same day you buy, young grasshopper.

Additional Random Guppy Footnote: My spellchecker thinks "tzatziki" should be "testis." True story.

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