Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Kitchen, My World - Greece

I joined a group of cooking bloggers called My Kitchen, My World started by Susan at She’s Becoming Doughmesstic . Every week a new destination is chosen. We all pick a recipe from that country, cook it, and post our pictures and blog on Saturdays. This was my very first week and I am so excited! This weeks country is Greece.

Now, I didn't cook a very tradition Greek dinner. I went for the Greek diner experience. There is a coffee shop in Denver called Pete's Kitchen. The place is an institution. They have been on the corner of Colfax and Race since 1942. I have spent many a tipsy evening eating gyros or breakfast burritos after a night out at the bars or many a still wearing my sunglasses hung-over mornings eating breakfast burritos at Pete's. If you live in downtown this is where you go when the bars close. Saturday and Sunday mornings the place is so packed you can wait up to an hour for a table. But it is so worth it. They have this gyro breakfast burrito smothered in greasy green chile that will cure any hang-over.

I miss Pete's. I miss the greasy food and I miss the experience of hanging out there. This is my tribute to Pete!

Gyro sandwiches on whole wheat Greek pitas (made locally at Alexis Restaurant) with homemade hummus, tzatziki sauce, locally grown lettuce, and locally grown Walla Walla onions. Seved with hand-cut fries. YUM!

I purchased the meat and pitas but made the rest. For the recipe source click on the links.

Hummus ~

Prep Time: 20 minutes


2 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of tahini
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of water
parsley and olive oil to garnish

Put 1/2 the lemon juice and all ingredients into the blender except the chickpeas (and the parsley and oil for garnish) and blend for 5 seconds. Add the chick peas and blend on high until it reaches the the consistency of sour cream, but granular, about 10-15 seconds. Blend in remaining lemon juice to taste. If the dip is too thick but you don't want to add more lemon juice, add a little water slowly and blend until it reaches the correct consistency.

Pour into a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. (It can be eaten immediately, but becomes even more flavorful if left to chill well.)

Drizzle of olive oil over the top and add a garnish of parsley before serving. Serve with pita wedges or slices of whole grain breads.

Note: Be sure to rinse the canned chickpeas well to clear away the taste of any ingredients used in the canning process.

Tzatziki Sauce -

Prep Time: 15 minutes


16 ounces (2 cups) of thick Greek yogurt
4 to 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup of diced or grated cucumber (Kirby or "English")
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Prepare all ingredients in advance. Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the yogurt in slowly, making sure it mixes completely with the oil. Add the garlic, according to taste, and the cucumber. Stir until evenly distributed. Garnish with a bit of green and serve well chilled.

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups

Add mint or dill: Slight variations include 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh dill and/or fresh mint. Tasty additions!

Shopping Tip:

The thick, full-fat yogurts available at Greek, Middle Eastern, and specialty food markets - or a commercial full-fat strained yogurt - will give the best results. You can also make your own strained yogurt using full-fat, low-fat, or fat-free commercial yogurt.

Preparation Tips:

Kirby or "English" cucumbers work best (usually wrapped in plastic wrap at the market). If not available, peel and seed the cucumber before dicing or grating.
After dicing or grating the cucumber, pat it dry with absorbent toweling to remove excess moisture.
The longer the tzatziki is refrigerated before serving, the more intense the garlic taste will become.

Tzatziki will store safely in the refrigerator for several days. If excess liquid accumulates on top, just pour it off.

The whole thing put together ~


Susie Homemaker said...

Great job!! When I think of Greek food, I always think of gyros, too. I thouht about making them, but every other country I have done a pita it seems - so I needed to be different! Yours looks so good!
And thanks so much for the GALS post - it's really getting alot of attention! We now have a blog - - check it out sometime!

Natashya said...

Great dinner! Looks delicious.

Elra said...

Hummus sounds good and oh I love tzaziki sauce!

Dale said...

Wait a minute... you can *make* that stuff? I thought you had to go to Greek restaurants, there was a law or something :->

Michelle Dargen said...

Thanks everyone. It was really fun to make everything. I can't wait until next week!

Dale - It should totally be against the law. My house still stinks like a Greek diner! hahahaha

Laura said...

Your meal looks delicious! I am a sucker for french fries and anything else that is greasy and or crunchy!

jody said...

Pete's was ALWAYS MY FAVE!!
Last Supper (when I left Steve) was Pete's sitting on kitchen floor, packing up before I met you at Nallens
Looks great