Saturday, July 14, 2012

How easy was that?!

This week in camp I decided we were "traveling" to Greece.  I love tzatziki, to the point of ordering extra when I get a chicken souvlaki at the diner.  Whenever I have tried to buy it from the grocery store, however, I found that it just did not taste that good.  I became content with having it only when at the diner. And then....and then I decided to make it 27 times this past week with the campers.

Step one?  Drain the yogurt.  Cheesecloth would be the traditional way to do this, but I used paper towels.  I was a yogurt draining fool!  I should have taken pictures of the inside of the fridge.  I did take some of the yogurt draining.

Isn't that beautiful?  That was after about 24 hours.
This was the coconut yogurt draining.  This was also after about 24 hours.

As you can see from the pictures, the coconut yogurt did not get as thick.  The soy yogurt did get to be the same consistency as the dairy yogurt.  I was reading that you can let the yogurt drain for even longer and it ends up having an almost cheesy consistency.  Then add whatever you choose!  Yum.

The other cool thing was that I found out what whey looks like!  Apparently you can use it for many things but I haven't quite figured out what.  Anyone?  I have lots and lots of whey from above mentioned 27 groups of drained yogurt.

Okay, so for the actual making of the tzatziki, it was so easy.  Add the olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped fresh dill and garlic to a bowl and whisk together.

Add the yogurt and mix until well combined.

Add the chopped and seeded cucumbers.  Mix again.  It tastes best when you refrigerate for a few hours for all the flavors to meld together.  Voila!  We served it with carrot sticks and pieces of pita or tortilla chips for my gluten free campers.  I could just imagine it on my grilled chicken or steak, though, and cannot wait to make some for that purpose!  

Tzatziki Dip

Substitutions: dairy free yogurt as needed.  
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
2 cups greek yogurt, strained
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tsp. chopped fresh dill

Strain the yogurt by placing cheesecloth or a papertowel in a sieve or colander with small holes. Add the yogurt and place the sieve over a bowl to collect the whey.  Strain for at least 12 hours.  Dairy-free yogurts took longer to strain. Measure olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Add the olive oil mixture to the yogurt and mix well. Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill. Serve with pita pieces or carrot sticks.

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