Friday, September 19, 2008

Tzatziki Poetry Corner (Plus a Tzatziki Recipe)

Today, I will be expressing my feelings for Kalyn’s Kitchen’s tzatziki entirely in haiku.

Tzatziki, so cold.
With cucumber and lemon.
Good on all food, yo.

Goes with souvlaki,
pita, gyros, cereal.
'kay, not that last one.

Sweet tzatziki,
exceedingly hard to spell.
Must look up online.

is thy name, low-fat yogurt.
My stomach, it smiles.

Dill weed, finally,
I have found a use for you.
You spoil so quickly.

Ate it all this week.
Boyfriend asks for other dip.
I say “tough cookies.”

Please, dearest readers.
Excuse my photography.
I suck at pictures.

And that’s it for this week’s edition of Poetry Corner. Yet, before we adjourn to our recipe, a few notes:

1) Here’s something I learned: 3 cups of regular low-fat yogurt, when drained, will turn into 2 cups of regular low-fat yogurt, making it probably not as low-fat as originally intended. That said, this dip is still ridiculously healthy and really, really good. See directions below for straining.

2) Kalyn asks for (unstrained) Greek yogurt in the recipe, which I fully endorse. If you can swing it, go crazy.

3) Kalyn’s original recipe asks you to puree the cucumbers with the dill mixture. I prefer a chunkier dip, so I only pulsed it. However, this is totally open to interpretation.

4) I like Kalyn’s site bunches, and will be returning for more food in the future.

And so we conclude
another Friday recipe.
Have good weekends, folks.

Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce)
Makes 8 servings of about 1/3 cup each
Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

3 cups low-fat plain yogurt, strained
Juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, peeled
About 1 T kosher salt for salting cucumbers
1 T finely chopped fresh dill (can substitute mint leaves for a slightly different version)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1) To strain the yogurt, stack two paper towels in a colander and place it in the sink. Place yogurt in paper towels. Leave for at least 2 hours. (I did it for 3 hours.) When finished, pour yogurt into a medium bowl.

2) Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds with a teaspoon or melon baller. Dice cucumbers. Add them to a colander. Sprinkle chunks with 1 tablespoon salt. Walk away for 30 minutes while water seeps out of cucumbers. When time is up, drain and "wipe dry with paper towel."

3) Add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse a few times, until blended but still chunky. Pour cucumber mixture into yogurt. Stir thoroughly to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. (Try it first.)

4) Refrigerate for minimum 2 hours "so flavors can blend." DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.

According to Kalyn: "This will keep for a few days or more in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it."

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
57 calories, 8 g fat, $0.45

3 cups low-fat plain yogurt: 390 calories, 7.5 g fat, $1.79
Juice of one lemon: 12 calories, 0 g fat, $0.33
1 garlic clove: 4 calories, 0 g fat, $0.05
2 medium cucumbers: 48 calories, 0.6 g fat $1.00
About 1 T kosher salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.03
1 T fresh dill: negligible calories and fat, $0.36
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
TOTAL: 454 calories, 8.1 g fat, $3.58
PER SERVING (TOTAL/8): 57 calories, 8 g fat, $0.45


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