- 1 cup low fat mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced ( a good handful)
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- Dash hot sauce (Recommended Sriracha)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
With the weather getting warmer (finally) in Western Washington my mind has been drifting to fresh clean flavors. One of the things I love about Greek food is the flavors and tzatziki sauce is one of my favorite things. The taste of fresh cucumber and dill with a little pop of garlic? Mmmm so good. So now I have been trying to come up with a few Greek inspired meals. One of those meals will be a Greek burger for #sundaysupper. If you don’t follow me on Twitter give me a quick follow and keep an eye on that hash tag this Sunday. You will find so many wonderful recipes, many of which get picked up for the top 9 on Foodbuzz. It is wonderful being included in such a terrific group of bloggers.
So today’s post is the sauce that is part of many a delicious Greek meal. Tzatziki sauce. This recipe couldn’t be simpler and is so flavorful. You can use it on burgers, chicken, sandwiches, or even just dip fresh vegetables in it for a snack. It is very healthy as well. It calls for Greek yogurt, but you can use regular yogurt if you can’t find Greek style. You just have to drain it first. Place it in a strainer lined with cheese cloth over a bowl and allow it to drain for a couple of hours to get as much liquid out of it as possible.
Last night I did not have an idea what I was going to make for dinner. It was again another day that I had no idea how many people were going to be here and what I had planned only fed 4. With a possibility of there being 5 people eating I had to quickly switch gears and come up with something on the fly. I found a chicken recipe for the slow cooker that only took 4 hours to cook frozen (yes FROZEN) chicken thighs and I will post that next week. But now I am stumped. I have my main dish but what do I serve it with. I can’t just throw the chicken on the platter and say TADAAA dinner is served.
So into my pantry I go, thanking the Lord I chose last weekend to clean it out and organize it. Do you have any idea how messy 4 20 year olds can get a pantry? But I digress. Yes, pantry, side dish, on the fly. Oh I am back now.
I knew I had some frozen peas and I was thinking about a pea side dish my mother used to make with them but that would take a while because you had to let the peas slowly defrost in the salad. Hhmmm, OK peas, pasta, bacon, green onions, yessss I am on to something. The result was a great pasta salad that everyone loved. This is on my must make again list!
Would be great for a Memorial Day Weekend side dish!!
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 pound chicken or turkey sausage, casings removed
- 2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), diced
- 3/4 cup diced celery (2 or 3 stalks), diced
- 10 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups orzo
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
- 12 ounces baby spinach, washed
OK I know that is a mouthful (and a tasty one at that, trust me) but really it is just fancy talk for cod cooked in parchment paper with a truck load of vegetables and a yummy herb salad on top of it all. But I figured that wouldn’t fit as a title so I went with the foo foo wording.
I was really excited to cook fish again because it gave me the opportunity to use some of my O Olive Oils. Remember I won the O Olive Oil and eRecipecards.com recipe challenge a while back? Well they sent me some of the olive oils I won and they have been staring at me from my counter saying “use me, use me!!” I didn’t marinade in the oil, which afterward I thought “dangit why didn’t I marinade?” but I did give the veggies and fish a good dousing of their Myer Lemon Olive Oil. I can’t say enough about their oils. The crush process they go through just gives the oils a fresh clean flavor. You can actually taste the fresh fruit in them sooooo yummy!!
I also got to break out the new Cuisinart food processor Kevin bought me for Christmas. He was disappointed because he thought he bought the one with the wide feed tube, but I am happy with it. I can chop the bigger stuff if needed. It sure made quick work of my zucchini I can tell you that!
But enough about my toys and gadgets. Lets talk about the food. I have to admit, this recipe looks a lot harder than it really is. The hardest part is slicing all the veg (unless you have a food processor…or a sous chef hehe). Once you get the fish in that paper the oven does all of the work. No worrying that you have overcooked the fish or wondering if you should flip it over yet. Bing, bam, boom, fish done. Top it with the herb salad and you have a wonderfully healthy and tasty meal that the family, at least my family, will gobble up in no time flat! We had 2 pounds of fish for 4 people and I only eat small portions because of my surgery. So I will say that between the 3 of them they consumed 1 3/4 pounds of fish in mere minutes!
Even if you aren’t a big vegetable person (this has eggplant which I know some people will say eeewwww to right off the bat) the veggies are sliced so thin and they cook in the oilive oil, butter, and white wine which gives them an amazing flavor. A great way to get your vegetables without having to eat plain boring ones.
Oh, little side note, my parchment paper was not wide enough to wrap completely around the fish so I topped it with another sheet and folded up the sides. I even secured them with paper clips just to make sure it stayed sealed so all of the yummy steam and juices properly cooked the fish and veggies.
I know the dish looks a bit “rustic” but it is oohhhh sooooo yummy!!
Ok, so now I am sure it looks like I am obsessed with tacos, which I assure you I am not. However, Rachael Ray is the self professed “Burger Queen” so who knows, maybe I will be come the “Taco Queen”. Seriously anything you put into a burger you could put into a taco. Both are nice hand held food options. Anything that reduces the amount of dishes to wash is alright by me. But I leave the grilling to Kevin so burgers he does, taco’s I can do.
This recipe was actually my answer to a burger patty I saw available at my local grocery store. They have a lot of pre-made dishes you can buy. Chicken Cordon Blue, Steak Pinwheels and burgers. They have bacon and blue cheese burger patties, cheddar burger patties, and they had turkey with feta and spinach patties. I decided that I wanted to make my own patties so I could add the seasoning I wanted. I was discussing the idea with my daughter Jessi and told her that I wanted to use pita bread instead of a burger bun. She felt that a patty on pita would be a bit awkward to eat so, WALA the Greek taco was born!
I did a search on Greek seasoning and Tzatziki recipes. I saw a couple of advertisements for Greek seasoning blends, but I prefer to control the amounts of each seasoning going into my recipes. You can substitute ground lamb for the turkey in this recipe. I opted for a lean turkey (97%) to lower the calories a bit. Pair it up with some rice pilaf and you have a great meal. I use the rice on the as a side but the kids just added it in with the other ingredients.
I hope you give this recipe a try. Oh and make sure you save your extra Tzatziki sause. It is awesome with veggies for a snack! If you don’t want leftover sauce, just cut the recipe in half, but we always love leftovers. Try using the Tzatziki in the place of mayo on sandwiches too!
If you can’t find Greek yogurt strained plain yogurt can be substituted.
Greek Turkey “Tacos”
For the tacos:
1 package ground turkey (approx 1 1/4 pounds)
8 ounces baby spinach (one very large fistful)
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/4 onion, finely chopped
For the Tzatziki:
3 cup Greek Yogurt, strained as described below (low fat can be used)
juice of one lemon
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and chopped (save 1/4 of one of the cucumber for garnish)
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (a good handful)
salt and pepper to taste
With a small strainer or coffee filter over a bowl, strain the yogurt for about 2 hours to get as much liquid out as possible.
Peel the cucumbers and then cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrap out the seeds, then dice the cucumber, making sure to reserve half of one half for garnish. Place the cucumbers in a colander and salt them to draw the liquid out. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Drain them well and pat dry with paper towel.
In the food processor puree the cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and fresh ground black pepper. Stir the mixture into the yogurt. Add salt to taste. Place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the thyme, basil, marjoram, oregano, minced onion and minced garlic, season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until turkey has been broken up and it browned all over. Add baby spinach and stir to wilt it down into the browned meat, then add 2 ounces of the feta cheese. Stir to combine all ingredients well. Remove from the heat.
Heat pita bread in the microwave approx 30 minutes to soften the bread.
Spoon the turkey mixture into the center of the pita, top with Tzayziki, chopped onion, chopped cucumber, and chopped tomato. Fold like a taco and eat.
Serve with rice pilaf.
Makes 8 tacos