Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tzatziki and Greek Meat Pies

Every now and then, I make this at our house. My kids call them Greek eggrolls (;

You make the Tzatziki first, since it's best if it's set and blended in the fridge for a couple of hours before you serve it.

Tzatziki

A staple of Greek cooking (:

Ingredients

1 containter GREEK plain yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable or canola, though olive is traditional)
1 cucumber-- PEELED
lemon juice-- to taste
mince garlic-- to taste

The Greek plain yogurt is actually where dinner started. About 9 months ago, Wal-Mart started carrying Greek yogurt in Vanilla flavor, and I said to myself, "You know, if they ever get PLAIN Greek yogurt, I'm SO going to make tzatziki." Well, last time I was in, they HAD it-- and here we are (;

Greek plain yogurt is thicker than the stuff you normally buy and has a fuller taste to it.

Directions

Dump the Greek yogurt into a mixing bowl and add the 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir it in with a spoon until it's mixed. Then squeeze in lemon juice-- not a LOT, but it's really to your taste. Add minced garlic-- also to taste, and again, not really a lot. Then take your peeled cucumber (the rind is the part that makes it taste bitter) and grate it over the yogurt. Stir it all together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to mingle.

It's DELICIOUS! And goes beautifully with the Greek meat pies (:

Now, what I'm going to do is share my original recipe first, then the modifications I've made to it since then.

Greek Meat Pies

Ingredients

Stir fry beef (or lamb if you want to be more authentic)
1 medium onion, diced
fresh minced garlic, to taste
Just enough oil (olive, vegetable or canola) to coat the frying pan
oregano, to taste
parsley, to taste
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Rice, cooked
Package of Eggroll wrappers or filo pastry

I used the steamer to cook the rice, and while that was cooking, I diced up the stir fry beef. Heat the frying pan with oil over a medium high heat, then add the meat and onion. Season with the salt, pepper, parsley and oregano. When it's about half way browned, add the minced garlic (over cooking the garlic will make it bitter). Once the meat and rice are cooked, set the oven for 350, and combine the meat and rice in a large bowl and stir it all up until it's well mixed.

Get out at least one cookie sheet and coat with oil. Using the eggroll wrappers, put about 2 tablespoons of the meat and rice in the center and roll up like an eggroll, then place on the cookie sheet with the 'point' of the side that would open down. After you've filled the cookie sheet, coat the top of the meat pies with a thin coat of oil as well, then bake until golden brown. I did 20, and it took all of 15 minutes.

Serve with the tzatziki and enjoy (:

**The easier and faster way to do this is to used ground beef instead of stir fry beef, to skip making/adding the rice, and to fry the Greek 'eggrolls' on the stove, like you would any other eggroll. It's how I've done it the last 3 times.

We don't generally have any left overs (:

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