Friday, August 2, 2013

FFwD: Tzatziki and Graffiti


This week´s recipe for the French Friday´s with Dorie group is Tzatziki.




Tzatziki is a classic meze dish consisting of that very popular thick Greek yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and mint. There are many variants of this recipe, today´s recipe is Dorie´s take on it.

In addition to the traditional ingredients, this recipe calls for some freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, fresh dill, mint (which I always omit) and freshly ground white pepper.




Since the pronounciation of the word "Tzatziki" sounds similar to "Graffiti" (at least the way we pronounce those words in this country), the idea was born to take pictures of these two things together. Simple as that. No olives, no pita triangles, no store bought stuffed grape leaves next to a bowl of this omninpresent Greek yoghurt dip/sauce that you find on the shelves in every single store and on the menue of many everyday (fast) food restaurant here. Not that we do not like these lovely things, I just did not feel inspired.

So we went to the park where the City of Bonn built a wall that is expressly meant for spray-painting, these are not pictures of private houses or buildings - just a wall in a parc, meant for that purpose and that pupose only.




Tzatziki makes a very nice condiment for gyros or kebabs. And it goes very well with pork or lamb.




It is also very nice served as a dip or as a perfect accompaniment to fish, lamb burgers, spanakopita or grilled halloumi.




When I made the Tzatziki yesterday, we enjoyed it with grilled Salmon Burgers on Whole Wheat Buns and I loaded it with finely chopped cucumbers and fresh dill and we loved it that way…




…but today I just served it as a dip for some summer tomatoes – and I made a somewhat toned down version and, yes, the second time I prepared this, I did omit some of Dorie´s ingredients simply because it was one of the hottest days of the year today. It was so hot that the relentless sun even melted part of the Autobahn that leads to the Frankfurt Airport.




There is no reason to buy bland, watery Tzatziki when making your own is so simple.




The second set of pictures I took in the same parK but this time the graffiti is on a privately owned Skating Ramp (not any walls of sprayed houses either) that was meant to be spray painted.- for more information, you are welcome to take a look at the facebook page mentioned at the end of this post.




For creamy Tzatziki with perfect consistency you need to avoid any excess water. The best result is achieved by peeling and de-seeding the cucumber. Then either grate of finely slice (with a vegetable peeler) or cube and hang the cucumber in a cloth or a tea towel to squeeze out all excess liquid.You can also squeeze out any liquid by squeezing the grated cucumber in a ricer (a little trick I recently learned).




Then all is left to do us to combine the thick (preferably) Greek yogurt with the cucumber, lemon juice, dill and garlic. Add a dash of olive oil and some salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Greek yogurt is widely available in stores around here, so I never really use anything else but that for Tzatziki.




Cover with wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours for all the flavors to fully develop. Optional: just before serving take a bunch of fresh dill sprigs and decorate the top.

To see what my fellow Doristas thought about this “Tzatziki”, do click here.

For more information on the Skating Ramp, please click here.


Dedication: This post is meant as a dedication to three very very important people in my life that I miss terribly! You know who you are!

Caveat: As an internationally trained lawyer, I certainly do not condone spray painting buildings or other persons private property but I appreciate graffiti art when it is confined to areas specifically designed for it.





39 comments:

  1. So many dishes to add this tzatziki to! It looks wonderful Andrea, and those graffiti are so creative! I´m always in awe of people who can draw, or sing for that matter. I can´t do either, ja.

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    1. Paula, ah, the artists, love them (got a few artists in the family) and I personaly consider graffiti as a wonderful and modern art form - and it is very photogenic too and certainly never boring.

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  2. Ah dear Andrea! Another lovely post. Tzatziki always reminds me of Paris (funny I know). We had the most amazing falafel with tzatziki there. I enjoyed seeing this light and creamy sauce against the graffiti. What an excellent contrast! Thank you for sharing, sweet friend!

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    1. Monet, not funny at all that Tzatziki reminds you of Paris - it is so totally omnipresent here and in all of EU that I did not really feel like making this in the first place but I am glad I did. But it will certainly not be part of a weekly rotation because I have some much more flavorful dip/sauces that I am aking these days, our favorite being a grilled aubergine sauce with goats milk yoghurt, now that is flavorful.

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  3. What an assortment of graffiti. I hope it cools off soon. We had our own heat wave a few weeks ago. It was brutal. Crazy weather in the world these days. Tzatziki is a good way to help temper the heat though. It looks very cool!

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    1. Betsy, thanks s o much - the heatwave took a (one day) breather and it stormed last night, glad I took the pictures in time before the clouds darkenend the skies.

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  4. I like your graffiti snaps. I have a friend who collects photos of street art, so she'd love these. Great job on the tzatziki - would have been delicious on burgers.

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    1. It was just a fun idea to take pictures of the graffiti and I must admit that I personally kind of like it. The Salmon Burgers with Whole Wheat BUns were delicious topped with this Greek sauce - I just did not feel like taking pictures the day before - who needs another picture of burgers?!

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  5. where was this graffiti? your tzatziki looks very white - so pretty! :) I bet it tasted great!

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    1. Alice, this graffiti is in a public parc in the City of Bonn - graffiti artists are welcome to express themselves by spraying the wall and the other graffiti is in the same (huge) parc but is part of a skating ramp. The Tzatziki that I made yesterday is so white because I omitted part of the ingredients because we simply did not want to eat the same dip/sauce twice in a row.

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  6. Only you could take the two most unrelated things and find a way to make them fall in love.
    What an imaginative post, Andrea. I love it! xo

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    1. Colette, I have amended my post and added more pictures to it as well so it is evident that I certainly do not condone spray painting at a person´s whimp but I appreciate it when it is confined to areas that were specifically designed for it. It is colorful and a modern form of art that has certainly gotten a certain amount of public approval - just think of Andy Warhol for example.

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  7. Andrea, your photos are a feast for the eyes. The graffiti park looks so interesting, and really shows it as an art form. The heat melted the Autobahn - I thought that only happened here in Palm Springs!

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    1. Christy, so glad that you like this post that, admittedly, is more about the pictures than it is about the food. But after all, all good food has a story to tell. Thanks for nice comment!

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  8. Love the pairing with the graffiti very hip... sounds like you enjoyed it. I enjoyed your pictures.

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    1. Diane, then I am glad you enjoyed the pictures!

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  9. Just love tzatziki!!! Can put it on almost anything... One of my favorite ways it with plain pita chip!! Delicious!!!

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    1. Thank you for commenting, tzatziki seems to be a sauce/dip that is universally liked. It is all the rage in this country too.

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  10. Sounds like a lovely pairing with your salmon! And you win for most creative setting for tzatziki :)!!!!

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    1. Liz, actually it was quite nice on the Salmon Burgers (an idea I found at the MS website) but alas, no picture, who wants to bring salmon burgers to this setting, not even me - besides it was sweltering heat that day. Thanks for the kind comment!

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  11. You always have the best ideas for shooting your photos, love your pictures and this tzatziki (although I always struggle to spell it). I can think of a zillion ways to use it!

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    1. Chris, tzatziki is extremly versatile and easy - it goes well with lamb and porc and grilled veggies but there is no limit to what you can use it for - that is one of the resaons why it has gotten somewhat of a "ho-hum" reputation around here and it is hard to get away from that.

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  12. I loved your tzatziki and graffiti post! I am not pleased when I see graffiti (especially as I fear it might have been an American invention...) but I love the idea of a place that is designed to show the creative and technical side of this street art. Well done, City of Bonn! While you leave the mint out of tzatziki, I leave out the knoblauch... Allergic, alas... I will trade you my garlic for your mint! :) ~ David

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    1. David, to each activity its place...glad we have a few designated ares for graffiti - I certainly appreciate this street art when I see it withinh certain (legal) confines. And I have yet to meet anyone around here has not taken a liking to the wall and skating ramp in this park. Thanks for your nice comment, David!

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  13. The grafiti art is so cool. I love the idea of a place to make it legally. Both of your tzatziki pairings sounds excellent. The salmon burgers sound especially good. I hope you had a great weekend!

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    1. Jora, yes, it is cool and the kids and I enjoyed this photo session quite a bit, although I was a bit hesitent at first to bring my Greek yoghurt dip to a skating ramp...

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  14. I kind of like the idea of a sanctioned graffiti wall.
    Salmon & tzatziki are a perfect match!

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    1. Cher, yes, salmon and tzatziki are wonderful together and I will certainly be making these burgers again when the wheather cools down a bit and I will take picture sof the "real thing" - it was just too hot last Friday to be carriyng fish burgers all the way to our "location".

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  15. Great photos, the graffiti is so colourful. More cities should sanction places for these artists to express themselves. I love tzatziki and combined with the salmon that sounds so good!

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    1. Karen, slamon and tzatziki complement each other perfectly - the burgers on the first day were the treat, the dip on the second way was a compromise for the pictures. But a nice recipe all in all.

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  16. I Love your blog. It's one of my favorites.

    I LOVE how you incorporate the dishes into the outdoor environment.

    Superb...

    Xxx

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    1. Kim, you are very kind, my dear! It makes me extremly happy that you enjoy my blog and I apprecaite all your kind comments!

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  17. I love your creative way to share this recipe - yeah tzatziki and graffiti sounds similar and actually graffiti helps me pronounce tzatziki. Haha. I never paid attention to graffiti so closely but it was fun looking at your photos. I need to make homemade tzatziki one day!

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    1. Nami, these two words do sound alike and I could not let the opportunity pass to take pictures of this colorful (and officailly sanctioned) graffiti street art in the park. There is no graffiti in the vicinity, the artists seem to stick to the rules. Thank you for all your nice comments, Nami, and I hope you are having a wondefrul time with yor family in Japan!

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  18. Another stunning and informative post, as usual ! I have to tell you that I actually called my husband over to read your post and I was bragging about what a wonderful job you do each week sharing history, stunning photos and background on the recipes or region. I was literally gushing that it was such a treat each week to read your post and that you also take the time to leave the kindest comments to everyone. I don't know how you do it, but I think it is wonderful that you do - and I thank you for being you !!! Note that I did not dare show the graffiti post to my two teenage sons, lest they get any creative ideas..... all the best !

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    1. Tricia, now you certainly managed to make my week - thank you for the incredibly kind and thoughtful complment! You cannot believe how much that means to me - blogging takes a big chunk out of my days and nights and I am certainly not always the most motivated one either and there were many times when I wanted to throw in the towel, but it has also meant that I have met some incredibly talented and kind persons along the way and that means a lot to me! Thank you for all your kind support and encouragement - about your sons, I have the distinct feeling that Europeans seem have a different view of this street art than Americans that why I include my caveat at the end of this post but then who wants their house spray painted without their express consent?!

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  19. Great, GREAT shots. I took a class once in graffiti art appreciation and wow... even they didn't pair it with food! I loved this and after going through the list of all the other things I could do with it I basically just ate it with a spoon out of the bowl. The best way for me. So glad to finally get to it for a make up day.

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