Happy weekend y’all!
I’ve had a long but productive week. I took a break from work yesterday, and today I feel like a brand new person! Always good to have ‘rest’ days. Days where we take a break from things that we routinely do every day. Whether it’s work, the gym, or just life in general.
Taking a break and rejuvenating the mind is good for not only our energy levels, but for our mental focus and concentration. Even if it’s just laying by the pool for an hour, or taking a walk outside (especially since the weather has been cooler), it’s something I’ve been trying to do more of so I don’t get mentally burned out.
Now that I have my focus back, and I’m not suffering from writer’s block like I was the past couple of days, I’m able to share one of my favorite recipes with you guys: Tzatziki.
If you don’t already know about my ethnicity, I’m half Greek and half Swedish.
I was brought up watching both my grandmother’s cook and bake constantly. So it wasn’t a huge surprise as I got older, that I wanted to do the same thing. (Cause, you know, my love of food has absolutely nothing to do with it.)
When both my grandmother’s passed away, I found my maternal grandmother’s (graham cracker) recipe box. She was a sugar-aholic, so I was able to dig in and find all of her amazing dessert recipes, breads, cheesecakes, and much more to keep me occupied and baking for life.
My paternal Greek grandmother (yia-yia), made all her recipes by memory.
Unfortunately when she passed, it was too late to have written all of her recipes down. So I was stuck trying to re-create her recipes until I could perfect them.
However, the one thing that I had never seen her make, was tzatziki (aka yogurt cucumber sauce). You know, the white stuff they put on gyros.
I had tried almost every other Greek dish she had ever made, from her pastitsio (Greek-style lasagna), to her koulouria (butter cookies).
I don’t know if I don’t remember because she just never happened to make it, or if she just didn’t like to make it. It’s not something all Greeks like. I know plenty of people who are Greek that would rather have mayonnaise on their gyros. I know, I know.
Personally, I love tzatziki sauce. I can put it on ANYTHING.
Bread, wraps, chicken, pork, fries. It’s a versatile sauce that’s good on so many things! And last night I was craving some good Greek food.
I try and make tzatziki every couple of months, because it seems like every few months I just have to have it.
There are so many recipes out there for tzatziki sauce – some with sour cream, some with yogurt. Some with dill, some without. Everyone has a different variation for it.
This one is mine.
The ingredients are pretty simple, and you probably already have most of them.
The trick to getting thick tzatziki, is after grating your cucumbers, to put them in a colander, weigh them down with something heavy, and get rid of the water that they hold. Cucumbers are loaded with water, and if you don’t get out all, or most of the liquid, you’re going to end up with watery sauce.
My suggestion would be to use fresh dill, as opposed to dried. It makes the world of a difference, but for some reason, every grocery store I went to was out of fresh dill last night. If you can’t find it, don’t worry. Just use what you can find. The flavor will still be there.
These are the ingredients I use:
It’s hard to find 100% authentic homemade Greek yogurt, even where I live which is near a highly populated Greek city. I’ve made this with sour cream several times, but I always prefer it with Greek yogurt.
I used low-fat Chobani Greek yogurt, because this brand is easy to find in most stores. You can use whole milk, but I try to keep the calories low on this, because it’s easy to eat the whole damn thing by myself. There’s also a little bit more protein with the low-fat yogurt, so I prefer it.
While you’re doing that, place your Greek yogurt in a bowl. You’re going to want to mince your garlic cloves – you do not want chunks of garlic in this. Add in your dill, white pepper, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.
Once your cucumbers have dried out, throw them in the mix and stir it until it’s fully combined. And wala! Easy peasy, and you’ve got yourself a sauce that you can put on almost ANY meat or vegetable – even fish!
Warning: This sauce is incredibly addicting! It is refreshing, cooling, and super super yummy!
My only gripe with making this, is that I wish my yia yia was still alive to taste it and give me her nod of approval. I know she would be proud.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, or have any questions about making this, please let me know by leaving a comment below!
As always, thanks for reading!
Kisses and hugs, love bugs.