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Anna N

Souvlaki and Tzadziki

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My SIL asked me to make some souvlaki and tzadziki for an outdoor gathering. I said, "No problem." I was SO confident I could just delve into the eGullet recipe archive and come up with a killer recipe. But no. :sad: "Greek" doesn't even show up as an option among the various cuisines!

Yes, I suppose I could just google it but I want the BEST and that means eGullet. :biggrin:

I believe lamb is traditional but it isn't about to happen as

a) it's too expensive and

b) I am only the one who likes lamb in the whole darn family.

Pork seems the best alternative.

Anyone?


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I actually have never seen lamb souvlaki...but that don't mean a thing. Pork is certainly a good choice.

Here in SLC there is a strong Greek population which makes for some damn fine dining....I actually have a lamb rack entree that I do at a Bistro I work at and we use tzadiki as a sauce. It is VERY easy to make...just take some plain yogurt, very thinly sliced some cucumbers, a little fresh garlic, some minced mint, lemon juice and s+p to taste.

And for the souvlaki, I just like to marinate the pork in s+p, olive oil, a touch of lemon juice, lemon zest, and herbs like oregano, rosemary and thyme...

I'm sure there are many other variations, but this one works for me...good luck!


"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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Is there really a recipe to Tzadziki?

Get some medium thickness plain yogurt, peel a cucumber, remove seeds, shred it, mix in to yogurt, add lots of minced garlic. Maybe some mint or some lemon juice and a small amount of olive oil(or I prefer to put this in the actual marinade for the meat) Let sit in refrigerator for several hours or until the next day.

Pork Souvlaki -- marinate pork loin cubes in yogurt with salt and pepper and herbs and a little lemon juice. Grill.

Is there anything else required?


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Can't help you with the souvlaki, but here's the tzadziki recipe I use (it's actually based on a Turkish version I had in a cooking class years ago; I also have a fabulous carrot salad recipe from the same class if you're interested).

Drain 2 cups whole milk yogurt by spooning it into a cheescloth lined sieve. Wrap the cheesecloth over the top and weight it down with a small bowl filled with water. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Peel, seed and grate one medium cucumber. Drain and pat dry.

Mix the yogurt and cucumber with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp. finely minced garlic, 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, and 1 tsp. each chopped fresh dill and mint.

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Add some finely chopped walnuts instead of mint, and you've got a "tarator", the Bulgarian version of tzadziki.


Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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Add some finely chopped walnuts instead of mint, and you've got a "tarator", the Bulgarian version of tzadziki.

Isn't that also called Labneh in other countries? Or is Labneh fundamentally different?

I found a Turkish recipe for "Creamy Yogurt-and-Walnut Dip"

http://www.sudairy.com/mer/recipes/creamy.html


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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World's Easiest Tzatziki

I peel and seed about four cukes and then put them through the shredder disc into the food processor. Dump into a colander, salt and allow to drain. Press down on the solids to get out as much cucumber juice as possible or the end result will be quite watery. Meanwhile, I put the chopping blade back into the processor, drop two garlic cloves into the running machine, and then stop and add two cups drained yogurt, a lot off fresh dill, and the juice of one lemon. Whirl around until the dill is finely chopped. Dump into a large bowl, add the cucumbers back into the mixture, incorporate everything and taste for salt and pepper. That's it.

I just made a big batch a few nights ago. It's pretty good on top of a cold piece of leftover chicken too!


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Labneh?

Never heard, but many of the classic Greece/Bulgarian/Turkish recipes are almost interchangeable and root in the times of the Osmanian empire.

The quality (consistency, taste, acidity) of the yoghourt (or cheese like feta) is a highly important factor. The main bacterium to produce yoghourt is called "bacillus bulgaricus", BTW.

And they love to pour cold yoghourt over warm dishes like moussaka, for example.

A simple, great drink for hot days is "ayran", a mix of yoghourt and cold water (around 50/50) with a bit of salt. So refreshing! Give it a try.

(Dill is not my thing, too)


Edited by Boris_A (log)

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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I suppose you could leave out the dill, or perhaps use a small amount of fresh mint instead?

That classic combo of fresh dill, garlic and lemon just tastes of Greek food to me.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Come to think of it, the only thing I like Dill in is pickles.

Where, oddly, the dill is often absent. Really -- check out most brands of "dill pickles" and you won't find any dill.

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Come to think of it, the only thing I like Dill in is pickles.

Where, oddly, the dill is often absent. Really -- check out most brands of "dill pickles" and you won't find any dill.

I guess they realized people really don't like Dill.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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OK, the tzadziki is made - NO DILL - I'm with Jason on this. The pork is marinating in the lemon/oregano, thyme, garlic, etc. etc. and I will let you all know tomorrow how the SIL likes it.

Many, many thanks for all the help.

(And I made my own pita breads!)


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Good choice on the pork. It's actually more common in souvlaki than lamb.


Kevin

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I actually have a lamb rack entree that I do at a Bistro I work at and we use tzadiki as a sauce. It is VERY easy to make...just take some plain yogurt, very thinly sliced some cucumbers, a little fresh garlic, some minced mint, lemon juice and s+p to taste.

One thing you have to remember to do is to salt the cucumber heavily and let it drain in a colander for about 30 minutes before putting it into the yogurt. Otherwise, your tzadiki will wind up too watery. After lettignt he cukes drain, rinse briefly and wrap in a clean towel to squeeze the excess water out.

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Add some finely chopped walnuts instead of mint, and you've got a "tarator", the Bulgarian version of tzadziki.

Isn't that also called Labneh in other countries? Or is Labneh fundamentally different?

I found a Turkish recipe for "Creamy Yogurt-and-Walnut Dip"

http://www.sudairy.com/mer/recipes/creamy.html

Labneh is a yogurt cheese. I think it is usually plain.

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Add some finely chopped walnuts instead of mint, and you've got a "tarator", the Bulgarian version of tzadziki.

Isn't that also called Labneh in other countries? Or is Labneh fundamentally different?

I found a Turkish recipe for "Creamy Yogurt-and-Walnut Dip"

http://www.sudairy.com/mer/recipes/creamy.html

Labneh is a yogurt cheese. I think it is usually plain.

Labneh from the Lebanese grocer is actually what I use to make my tzatziki. Saves the draining step *(for the yogurt at least,) if I don't feel like dealing with it.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Add some finely chopped walnuts instead of mint, and you've got a "tarator", the Bulgarian version of tzadziki.

Isn't that also called Labneh in other countries? Or is Labneh fundamentally different?

I found a Turkish recipe for "Creamy Yogurt-and-Walnut Dip"

http://www.sudairy.com/mer/recipes/creamy.html

Labneh is a yogurt cheese. I think it is usually plain.

You're right. I got it confused with "LEBNI". Actually there seems to be many kinds of Lebnis, with the walnut one being the most prevalent.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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The tsadziki was really, really good. I think the secret is in hanging the yogurt and draining the cucumber really well. My SIL was suitably impressed with the quality but whined a lot about the quantity - not enough!

The souvlaki was not quite as good as I hoped but I don't fault the recipes. Either I chose a poor cut of pork to use or I didn't use enough marinade (my guess) or didn't marinate long enough (around 10 hours!). It was a bit tough and a bit dry. I used a leg of pork cut into about 1 1/2" chunks. Next time I will try using a loin of pork.

This was only a trial run - the big day is on the 17th July.

Thanks again for all the help.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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sounds strange, but I would brine the pork BEFORE marinating. Use a brine of sugar or maple syrup and salt... Only hold it in there for about a half and hour, and then put into your marinade.


"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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Good choice on the pork. It's actually more common in souvlaki than lamb.

Does this mean every where or in Greece or in the USA? Melbourne has a very large Greek population (second largest after Athens I think) so Souvlaki is common, but I have never seen pork, only lamb or chicken.

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Good choice on the pork.  It's actually more common in souvlaki than lamb.

Does this mean every where or in Greece or in the USA? Melbourne has a very large Greek population (second largest after Athens I think) so Souvlaki is common, but I have never seen pork, only lamb or chicken.

In Greece.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Thought you guys might want to see our picnic spread for tonight, inspired by this thread:

i9273.jpg

Greek/Mediterranean-Style picnic spread for 4th of July Festivities tonight

i9274.jpg

Turkish/Iranian Egglplant Salad and Baba Ghanouj.

i9275.jpg

Mexican Corn Salad (okay, maybe its not entirely a Mediterranean meal) with roasted corn, sundried tomato, fresh chopped tomato, roasted red pepper, red onion, parsley, cilantro, lime juice and chopped up dried chipotle pepper.

i9276.jpg

Pork Chops Seasoned Greek Style, which will be cut apart and put into pita bread sandwiches with the Tzadziki.

i9277.jpg

Pork Chop meat cut apart and trimmed, with cut up roasted mushrooms

i9278.jpg

Tzadziki Sauce


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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