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Food condiments and accompaniments

November 24, 2020

Sauce and dips are very important condiments in many food cultures, they serve as important complements for various food choices and eating styles in different parts of the globe.

In this blogpost each week I will discuss a sauce from a particular regions, how and what ingredients make up the sauce what functions they serve in those regions, in terms of occasions they are mostly consumed, their health benefits etc. However, before we proceed further I will like to give a briefly description of what could be regarded as sauce: 

Sauces are the blending of ingredients such as stocks, wine, aromatic vegetables and herbs and dairy into a harmonious taste. Most small sauces are based on the principle of reduction; cooking down various liquids with aromatics, wine, and herbs, to meld, concentrate, and balance the flavor and consistency. 

Today we will share a receipt of one very simple food accompaniment that you could easily fix at home without much fuss. Tzatziki is a popular and versatile Greece and Middle eastern dip and sauce combined depending on the texture you give it: Good thing about Tzatziki is the fact that it could be twisted to your taste and texture. For example, to thicken it the grated cucumber should be drained or squeeze out of excess liquid and let the only liquid come from the fat free Greece yogurt leaving it creamy and full consistency as a dip.    

  • 50g Greek yogurt (or plain full-fat yogurt)
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dill (optional)
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves (optional)

Method

  • STEP 1

For creamy Tzatziki with perfect consistency we need to avoid any excess water. The best result is achieved by peeling and de-seeding the cucumber. Then either grate or finely slice (with  hand pulled food chopper ) and hang the cucumber in a cloth or a tea towel to squeeze out excess liquid.

  • STEP 2

Combine the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice and garlic.

  • STEP 3

Add a dash of olive oil and some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

  • STEP 4

Sprinkle with the paprika powder.

  • STEP 5

Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours for the flavours to fully develop.

  • STEP 6

(Optional: just before serving roughly chop a bunch of fresh mint leaves and sprinkle on top.)

 

How to consume your Tzatziki

Fortunately,Tzatzikis are full of flavour due to fresh ingredients. Instead of mayonnaise why don’t you try it on your sandwich, burger in potato salad or chicken salad.

Whip it in your food processor with softened cream cheese and goat cheese for a decadent dip. Stir it into cooked rice for an exciting side dish, or into mashed potato instead of just sour cream.

Stir in some olive oil and an extra splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar for a creamy salad dressing that is so much more interesting than your usual pastes. Mix some vegetable stock and extra cucumber for a chilled soup on a hot summer day or use it as a lighter substitute for sour cream on your next baked potato. Get Tzatziki ready for the crowd on a barbecue afternoon.

Health matters: Tzatziki is pretty low in calories, with about 35 calories in two tablespoons of tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki should always be made with Greek yogurt as they maintain very fat content compared to many other types of yogurts.

For good kitchen accessory to blend a terrific Tzatziki visit: https://chettytrades.co.uk/products/anual-food-chopper-food-blender-pull-string-vegetable-cutter-for-onion-garlic-parsley-with-5-blades-900ml?_pos=2&_sid=bce955463&_ss=r


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