I was still in a Greek food mood (I think I am getting excited for Easter–lamb on the spit, YES!), so I decided to make shish kabobs. And you can’t have shish kabobs without pitas and tzatziki sauce! Actually, I really don’t feel you can have them without pilafi me saltsa (rice with tomato sauce), but since I was slightly high on calories today I, sadly, decided against making that. :( Instead we had a village salad, or horiatiki salata.
1 lb. lamb or pork tenderloin, cut into chunks
peppers, onions, or any other vegetables you would like, cut into chunks
Juice of 1-2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Mix lemon juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Put meat and vegetables in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade mixture into bag. Seal and shake bag. Refrigerate for several hours.
Place meat and veggies on skewers (if you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about half an hour beforehand, so they don’t char). Grill!
1 (32 oz.) container of plain yogurt (I don’t recommend fat free; however, a fat free Greek yogurt like Fage is typically fine–I stil prefer 2%–since it’s strained & thicker)
1 hothouse cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers, seeded
3-5 cloves garlic–depending how garlicky you like it, crushed (I usually crush with the help of a little salt and extra virgin olive oil)
1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
salt and a little pepper
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Strain yogurt using a cheesecloth over a bowl (if you don’t have that, a strainer lined with a coffee filter will work) for several hours or overnight to get out as much moisture as possible. If you’re using Greek yogurt, you should be okay just pouring excess liquid off the top and not straining (straining certainly never hurts, though).
Peel and seed the cucumber. Shred or grate the cucumbers and then squeeze the life out of them to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible. I use a kitchen towel to do this, and you will get a lot of liquid so don’t skip this step! Yes, there is a lot of straining and squeezing–and it’s all important! You don’t want a runny tzatziki
Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumbers, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. Salt to taste. It’s best to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, so flavors can meld.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the top.
A lot of people put dill or mint in their tzatziki but I have never liked it as much that way. I’m a bit of a purist. My family always made it this way (without the dill/mint) and I much prefer it, but of course add herbs to your liking.