(Greek cucumber sauce)
This usually goes with Greek gyros. It also goes well as a topping for hamburgers.
8 ounces plain yogurt (fat, not low-fat; you might need to find this in the Greek section of the store)
1 medium cucumber
1/4 teaspoon, or dash black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon dill weed
2 peeled garlic cloves
juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 tablespoon
ESSENTIAL COOKING EQUIPMENT
food chopper or processor
Peel the skin off the cucumber. It is easier to peel off the skin if you cut the cucumber in half along its width. It is optional to remove the seeds from the cucumber. This, however, will make the sauce sweeter.
Peel the skin off the garlic cloves. Cut up the cucumber into about eight pieces. Put the cucumber and garlic into a food chopper or food processor. Blend, chop, and process away until mixture is almost liquid.
Put the yogurt and cucumber-garlic mix into bowl. Mix with a whisk. Use a hand-held blender if you feel the need for more power. (Don’t overdo it. Too much power will result in an exciting avant-garde tzatziki sauce mural on your kitchen walls.)
Add the salt, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix. Put about 3/4 of the dill into the bowl. Taste the mixture. I’ve learned that dill weed varies in strength. Sometimes two tablespoons is just right. However, another spice company’s dill might taste stronger than you expected. It is better to put in too little dill initially and add more than to put in too much at first. If you put in too much dill, all you really can do is add more of everything else.
If you love this recipe, you will want to find a way to score cheap dill weed. Try the spice section of your local supermarket and see if they have dill weed in large, economy bags. If not, try an ethnic food market. Finally, try ordering online.
1) Dill weed doesn’t seem to have an extensive or humorous history.
2) The inside of the humble cucumber is twenty degrees colder than its outside.
3) So, if you’re in Arizona in August and your air-conditioning fails, cut open a seven-foot tall cucumber and step inside.
4) Ulysses G. Grant’s meals often consisted only of cucumbers and coffee. He became our nation’s most successful Civil War general, one of our presidents, and a best-selling author.
5) I’m not promising any of those things will happen to you if you make this cucumber sauce. Just saying, that’s all.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.