5 September 2007

Souvlakia with Tzatziki Sauce



















My mind is wandering again to Greek mountain hikes and small friendly villages..... Perhaps that is because one of the ladies 5 ladies that was on our 2 week sojourn in Greece is arriving here today!!! She has been driving slowly north from Arizona for the past few weeks. I will get to be a tourist in my own town once again and show her around my neck of the woods. I love having company as well because then I can also make desserts. Wink..wink...


Meteora in Thessaly is the home of amazing medieval monasteries on top of needles of rock. The monasteries extraordinary geological setting is a vivid contrast to the rest of Thessaly, a huge plain in Central Greece. It is almost entirely surrounded by mountains. On my sojourn in Greece last Spring I spent some time in the small hamlet of Kastraki at the starting point of of the drive or hike through this amazing area.

Our guide Thordis Simonsen from Astra Tours  told the 5 of us that the souvlakia here was the best she had had in Greece. She lives in the Peloponnese, so, she should know!!! It did not disappoint!

Usually the souvlakia is simply grilled meat, but, this recipe calls for vegetables on the skewers as well. So maybe that makes it a kebab. I am unsure. I had more than my share of souvlakia for dinner that's for sure. In Greece dessert is for a special occasion so we always had fresh fruit brought to the table...whatever was in season! Or perhaps a spoon sweet!! The Greek people are very warm and generous!!! We were given flowers everywhere we went especially when I was with my daughter for the 8 days prior to this two week stretch of my sojourn.

Photo taken in Meteora on mainland Greece.

**Souvlakia with Tzatziki Sauce**

Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 32 bitesize pieces

Skewers:
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 8 pieces (1-inch)
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces (1-inch)
  • 8 button mushrooms
  • 8 large cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • cooking spray

1. To prepare marinade, combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 3 hours, turning occasionally. prepare grill. Remove chicken from bag, discard marinade. Thread 4 pieces of chicken, 1 piece red onion and bell pepper, 1 mushroom and 1 tomato alternately onto each of 8 (10-inch) skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 12 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once.
Serve with Tzatziki Sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce
  • 1 cup finely chopped, seeded, peeled cucumber
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-oz) carton plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

1. Place cucumber in a colander over a bowl; sprinkle with salt. Toss gently to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour.
2. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Squeeze until barely moist. Spoon yogurt onto several layers of heavy duty paper towels; spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 5 minutes. Scrape into bowl using a rubber spatula. Combine cucumber, yogurt, parsley and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Serve with souvlakia.

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15 comments:

  1. Isn't Greek food amazing? I love it. This has made me instantly hungry. And it is early afternoon. THANKS!

    Cheers
    David

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  2. Tzatziki sauce sounds almost like the raita that we make in India. There is a lot of similarity in both the cuisines.

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  3. David took the words right out of my mouth :)

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  4. This dish sounds marvelous! I just adore tzatziki sauce. I can just eat it all by itself by the spoonfuls!
    That photo is soooo great! What great memories! And now you have a friend from that trip visiting and you two can reshare those memories! Have fun!

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  5. Hey "More Than Burnt Toast," we have been admiring your blog just now! it's really grown! Lots of great recipes!
    Keep it up!
    Costas- Aglaia

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  6. Hi Valli, have fun with your friend. It's a good excuse to explore your area with fresh eyes. Thanks for the tzatziki sauce recipe.

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  7. I love your beautiful photos of Greece, Valli...they make me wish I was perched somewhere amidst the gorgeous scenery. :-) And this recipe, like ALL of your recipes, sounds fantastic. I love oregano!

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  8. I'm making Souvlakia this coming Saturday. So the recipe came on time. Loved to visit Greece someday. Maybe at the cooking school. I hope you will enjoy your time with your guess.

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  9. Souvlakia with tzatziki sauce it one of my favorite meals. Place it in a lightly toasted Greek style pita and it is even better.

    The photo of the monastery in the mountains is really beautiful.

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  10. I am glad to be learning about Greek food. Last week I made the Tzatziki and totally loved it.

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  11. This is great Valli! My favorite kind of dinner! Just mouthwatering!

    Just to let you know - you have come in 2nd place for the Royal Foodie Joust! Nice job! Lucious cake!

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  12. Your photo brought back many memories. I hiked those hills way back in 1999 during a backpacking trip. What an amazing spot, eh? I remember eating moussaka. I love all Greek food, though.

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  13. Hey guys...I love Greek food and all things Greek myself. My friend and I are having a great time exploring and doing a fair bit of hiking. Thanks for all your lovely comments, I really appreciate it!!!!

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  14. This recipe says 'make me'. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. This blog is beautiful to read. I will be making the feta pancake pronto!
    Charlotte

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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