Friday, April 3, 2009

Greek night!

I saw a recipe for a Greek salad that I wanted to try. I figured that I could just grill up some chicken and throw it in a pita with some tzatziki sauce to go with it. Nothing fancy. Only I didn't know how to make tzatziki sauce.

I asked around and Marion, Kate, and Kyra were able to help me. I gathered the necessary ingredients:

0% Fage (I only used one container)
Fresh dill
Cucumber (I used half for this and the other half for the Greek salad)
Garlic (not pictured)
Olive oil (not pictured)

First I peeled the cuke and then scooped out the seeds. I did not buy a seedless cucumber because this one was HUGE and only 54 cents. Then I got out my trusty Microplane. I have three Microplanes. I have the long skinny one that you always see them using on the cooking shows. And I have this one and another one like it. This one is the Medium Ribbon Grater. The other one is a zester that works much like the long skinny one only it is like a paddle like the one pictured. The paddle shaped ones have this apparatus that you can slide onto it with a little cubby for the food you're grating and a cover for that. It's so you can grate the food all the way to the bottom without adding zest of finger to your recipe (gross, I know...sorry!).

After all that, place all the grated cucumber on some coffee filters. This is to get all the moisture out. If you don't have coffee filters, here are some other options: fine mesh seive, cheesecloth, or a paper towel even. You can also sprinkle the cucumber with some salt to get the moisture to drain faster, but I find that cucumber drains really fast anyways. I had to switch filters out for fresh ones every few minutes because they'd get soaked. I used 6 filters, 2 at a time. I set the filter over a measuring cup because I'm a nerd and I wanted to know how much liquid would come out of half of a large cucumber. You know, for when I make a recipe that calls for cucumber juice. (By the way it was about 1/4 cup. I knew you wanted to know).

Chop up some dill. Place the cucumber, dill, salt, pepper, about a clove of minced garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and the juice of half a lemon in a mini food chopper (or a bowl and use an immersion blender) and pulse until it's all blended up. Mix in the Fage and stir it all until blended.

And that's it. You've got tzatziki!

Here's the Greek salad. The recipe is from Weight Watchers. It was pretty good. I might make it again.

Chopped Greek Salad

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 15 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy


2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
2 tbsp water
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
3 tbsp dill, or mint, fresh, chopped
3 tbsp scallion(s), sliced
1 1/2 cup(s) tomato(es), ripe, diced (about 7 small tomatoes)
1 1/2 cup(s) cucumber(s), diced, seedless (about 1/2 large cucumber)
8 medium olive(s), Kalamata, pitted, chopped
6 cup(s) lettuce, Romaine, shredded
1/4 cup(s) crumbled feta cheese

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper until blended; stir in dill and scallions. Add tomatoes, cucumber and olives; toss to mix and coat.

Place 1 1/2 cups of lettuce on each of 4 salad plates; top each with about 3/4 cup of tomato mixture and then 1 tablespoon of feta. Spoon any dressing left in bottom of bowl over salads. Yields 1 salad per serving.

For the chicken pita, I just grilled up some chicken breast, sliced it and stuffed it in a pita with tomatoes and tzatziki.

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