It’s easy for us chefs to think that a recipe like this is simple… second nature… like talking or not soiling your bed. But the fact is it may just be seasoned yoghurt with cucumber mixed through it to us, but for someone who hasn’t made it before it is as foreign as a red headed stepchild… And just as indecipherable.
But the basics are where it’s at! If you can get the basics right you have a great foundation to build on and let’s face it, most people would prefer a well-cooked simple meal, brought to life with a fantastic sauce or other condiments e.g. tzatziki, then a pile of shit train-wreck of a meal that’s well out of your league and tastes like not-very-yummy-ness. Not to mention the pain it’s caused you, the stress, the lack of sleep as you persevered through the night to redo the croquembouche for dessert tomorrow night because your stupid fat boss is coming over for dinner. Keep it basic people; restraint can be the chef’s best friend. All too commonly over powered by ego in the world of the kitchen warrior, but you shouldn’t be afraid to cook within your means. Just because we don’t like to doesn’t mean it’s not a viable option. There are plenty of things we do that you wouldn’t… trust me.
So, as fate may have it, the gypsy witch was correct when she predicted I shall be making seasoned yoghurt for another red headed man. At the time I do distinctly remember that I poo-pooed the idea as preposterous, outlandish, and just bloody silly. A waste of three silver shillings I thought to myself. Three silver shillings I could have spent on cheap sex from the carnies in the next tent over…
Anyhow. Seasoned cucumber yoghurt for Grant. Another ranga (that would be an Australian term meaning “the handsome one”. We have also been blessed with red hair) who tried tzatziki on a lamb burger I made for him one special day. He was sold from the moment it touched his lips (the tzatziki you dirty effer. It wasn’t that much of a special day). And when he came back and asked me how to make that stuff on his burger. Those puppy dog eyes… Err… Well needless to say, I am here now, typing this recipe for him.
Four things Grant. All you need is fours things. Ummm, five things Grant. Five things…
2 cucumber, grated
1 tablespoon salt
1 kg Greek style yoghurt
Juice ½ lemon
1 teaspoon paprika
• Salt grated cucumber and strain in a colander for 20 minutes, this will draw some moisture out of the cucumber. It makes a difference OK
• Mix all ingredients together
• Check seasoning
• Taste delicious? Break out the ouzo, get “Zorba’s Dance” cracking on the grammaphone, maybe do a quick slow roasted lamb shoulder with oregano and lemon, shred the puppy up and serve it on some pita bread with your tzatziki! Enjoy in the company of friends, family and many moustached women.
Feel free to replace the cucumber with radish or beetroot for awesome results. Also, a bit of chilli or fresh herbs are good if that’s what you’re into…