Side Dish Recipes

Tzatziki Dip

1 c. plain Greek yogurt (not non- or low-fat, as you lose flavor)
1/2 cucmber, mostly peeled and seeded
1 1/2 Tblsp  tzatziki flavoring (minced garlic, lemon juice, chopped fresh mint leaves, Greek oregano) 

Grate the cucumber into a strainer and smoosh to get all the juice out (the juice us delicious to drink or use as a facial mist.)
Add to yogurt in small bowl with top.  Add the tzatziki flavoring or the fresh items, being careful about the garlic as the flavors will grow much stronger when sitting in the yogurt.  Mix together and let sit in refrigerator for at least an hour.  Taste the dip and add more garlic or mint as needed, let sit another 15 minutes if you add more.

Serve with flatbreads, on gyros or any grilled meat or vegetable.  Serves 3-4.



Flatbread

2 c. whole wheat flour*
2/3 c. water (or more as needed)
2-3 Tblsp olive oil
1 Tblsp yogurt

Combine ingredients and knead until dough is well-mixed, it will be very stiff.  Form into a ball and place into a greased bowl and cover with a clean towel.  Let rest for at least 30 minutes** in a warm area.  Separate and roll dough into about 12 smaller balls and cover and let rest again for 20 minutes. 

Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat with olive oil on it.  (I use a Mr. Misto and spray the pan after every other batch.)  Roll out the dough balls to about 1/8" and immediately put in the hot pan.  Let cook about 1-2 minutes, until they start to puff up a little and there will be blisters forming.  Flip over and cook another minute.  Remove from heat. 

Before serving, if able to, roast on a grill on higher heat until bread gets "grill marks."  Serve with tzatziki dip and grilled meat.  Makes about 12 flatbreads.

*substitute 1/2 white flour if you prefer. 
**The more the dough rests, the softer it will be in the end. 



Mushroom, Chard and Beer Risotto-  risotto funghi, bietole e birra
I totally made this up myself! 


Wish I had a Emile Henry Flame Top Risotto Pot,4-quart - Olive - Flame risotto pot to cook this in!


1 cup orzo
1 med. onion, diced
5-6 mushrooms, diced-enough to make about 1/3 c.
1/3 c. swiss chard, (mine was frozen, so I chopped it up a little bit)
1 3/4 chicken broth
Beer (doesn't matter what kind, but ales and dark beers give more flavor.  I used Coors the last time and it was just fine)
1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. olive oil
1/3-1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese


Melt butter and olive oil in medium pan.  Saute the mushrooms for about 3 mins.  Add onion and saute until translucent.  Remove veggies from pan for this next step--You may need to add a little more olive oil if it seems the veggies have absorbed it all.  Add orzo to the pan and let roast until it is slightly translucent and pearl-like.  Add back in the mushrooms and onions and stir. 


At this point, turn up the burner a little bit and add 1 cup of chicken broth. Continue stirring until the orzo has absorbed the broth, add chard at this point and mix in.  Open your beer, take a swig and then give the orzo a swig!  I then add 1/2 c. more broth and stir and let absorb in, then add one more generous swig of beer to the orzo and the rest of the broth.   


Turn down the heat a little and let orzo absorb the last of the liquid.   At this point, taste it to make sure the orzo isn't crunchy and is 'al dente.'    Add in the parmesan and stir gently-grated doesn't work well, so use the shredded kind.  Serve immediately.  Makes about 4 servings.