I haven't been talking about my old non-paying job in a Greek restaurant last year. Not that there's nothing to talk about. In fact, there is a lot.
My family had a canteen twice in the past. Working in food production isn't new to me -- but the experience I've had in that specialty restaurant is a whole-world kind of different.
Whenever I think of it, studying in a culinary environment, lectures and laboratories -- I can say nothing beats the first-hand experience of hot busy kitchens, real customers with real expectations, bosses counting on you to deliver the best service you can give.
I confirm those three months of hustling and bustling stepped my game up a notch.
Here's one of my most favorite side/dip recipes I've learned (and tweaked a little) from that place.
It's very easy, very simple but so good it should be a staple in your home.
You will need:
3-5 medium-sized Cucumbers
1 cup plain cold Yogurt
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Lemon or Calamansi Juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh dill or mint
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bowls, clean pieces of cheesecloth or paper towels, strainers, a grater, a knife, a spoon
- - -
1. Ready a piece of cheesecloth (katsa) or paper towel over a strainer and place the strainer over a bowl.
2. Pour cold yogurt on the strainer and set aside.
2. Wash and peel cucumbers and cut in half. Take out the seeds with the use of a spoon.
3. Grate the cucumbers and squeeze out its juices. Season it with salt and place it on a cloth-lined or paper towel-lined strainer.
4. Set the bowls of yogurt and cucumbers in the refrigerator for an hour.
5. After chilling, transfer the yogurt to a mixing bowl.
6. Squeeze the cucumber some more to take as much juice from it as you can and mix it to the yogurt.
7. Add the sour cream, vinegar, lemon or calamansi juice, olive oil, garlic, and dill or mint.
8. Season with salt and pepper.
Tzatziki is best served chilled.
I highly recommend it as an alternative for slaws or pickles.
It's perfect with steaks, grilled meats, burgers, pita bread, etc.
Till the next eats!