Today I made my version of Greek food. It is very simple, and usually has tons of flavor. First this morning I started by putting some chicken into a crock pot on low before work. I put in 4 chicken breasts, 2 cups of chicken broth, some garlic (maybe two small cloves), and a generous sprinkling of thyme (I wanted oregano, but we didn’t have any). I came home to my house smelling wonderful!
Next I made some Tatziki sauce.
I love this sauce, and it is so simple to make! Usually you use Greek yogurt, but I did not have any, so today I used sour cream. First you cut up one cucumber and take the seeds out. You can do this with a spoon or a corer. Normally I either grate it, or I slice it very finely, however I recently got a papered chef cheese grater that grates very fine. I decided to use this so I got very fine strings of cucumber. I then put the grated cucumber into a tea towel and rang it out very tight. Often you just add some salt and let the cucumbers drain, but I wanted dinner sooner than later, and this was really quick. I then chopped up the cucumber very finely to break up the strings a little bit and added it to about a cup of sour cream. Then I added a good sprinkling of garlic powder (minced garlic is great too), and maybe 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of dill.
After making the tatziki, I started the pita recipe I found on About.com. I used whole wheat instead of white, and used one tablespoon of yeast instead of 2 1/4 teaspoons. I let it raise to double, then formed 10 balls. Next I let it raise for 10 more minutes then started rolling and baking them.
They looked like hamburger buns before I rolled them out.
Here they are baking. However, I had a problem that most of my pita pockets did not puff this time. I have used different recipes where they puff beautifully, but this time I just could not get them to puff. They actually came out rather hard.
I think part of the reason was you are supposed to have the the oven at 500 degrees F for this recipe and my oven only goes to 400.
While I was waiting for my bread dough to rise, I was busy making greek salad. This salad consists of 2 seeded cucumbers, a cup of cherry tomatoes that are quartered, a sprinkle of salt, and 1/4 cup feta cheese. It is super simple and super good!
This is better with crumbled feta that has not been stored in oil, but that is all I can get, so I crumbled up the cubes from the jar and drained some of the oil off before adding it to the salad.
Next I found some Fantastic Hummus in my cupboard, so I made it real quick by adding some warm water and oil and mixing it up.
I had planned on making Gyros, but because my pita came out rather hard, it turned more into a sampler plate with bread for scooping. Dinner was very filling and very good however,
Considering I don’t have an oven big enough to really cook a whole chicken, nor do I have room in my freezer to freeze broth, I usually don’t have any actual chicken stock in my house. I depend on bouillon that comes in jars that my mom sends me from home (no sodium). However, tonight I was excited that I was able to drain the broth from the crock pot into a strainer, and then I took what was in the strainer and ran it through the tea towel I had used earlier. I wound up with my two cups of liquid having turned into nice thyme garlic flavored chicken stock for the next time I need it! I can store two cups in my freezer very nicely! yay!