2013/08/02

No arguments (French Fridays with Dorie: Tzatziki)


We are going to have some real talk today.

Despite the façade of domestic bliss that I try to create here, life is not always seamless at Chez Cher.  I hope that I am not bursting your bubble and I am sure that the scenario I am going to play out ONLY happens in my house. It must be so…  (Editor’s note: please realize that I am being sarcastic – not literal)

Here is how it happened. 

Him: “What are you making?”
Me: “Tzatziki (tdz-ZHEEK-ee) sauce.”
Him: “Oh, ‘its-iki’ sauce?”
Me: “No, ‘tdz-ZHEEK-ee’ sauce.”
Him: “Oh. Why are you making it with yogurt?”
Me: “Because that’s how it’s made.”
Him: “No, ‘its-iki’ sauce has mayonnaise in it – like the kind they serve on gyros”
Me: “But it comes from Greece – why on earth would they use mayonnaise?”
Him: “Because that’s how they make it at XYZ”

At which point, I let out groan of frustration and walk away in a huff - stifling the urge to pull ten cookbooks by authoritative sources with Tzatziki recipes that will prove that mayonnaise is not a standard ingredient in Tzatziki.

My very heart of hearts was jumping at the bit to prove that I was correct, but my brain knew that we were having my parents over for dinner in an hour and there was still work to be done and proving my case would not help me out in the cooperation front.

So, I bit my tongue for the greater good.

Someday, I will circle back around on that point – but I must choose my moment carefully. (Although, some piece of me thought that there might possibly be some logic to the concept that a Tzatziki recipe coming from a French cookbook could possibly include the use of mayonnaise...)

The real news this week is that I followed a recipe.

I know, I know, shut the front door.

But it happened, it really happened.

No shortcuts, no substitutions. I followed the whole stinking recipe as written.

I gave myself a gold star.



I found it kind of ironic that this was the FFwD recipe following a week in which My Big Fat Greek Wedding was viewed no less than four times in our house... (Its one of Culinary Kid's "feel good" movies)

One of my all time movie scenes is when Tula's aunt offers to cook dinner for Ian (the non-Greek fiance). They try to explain to her that Ian is a vegetarian and doesn't eat meat. Of course, the aunt is taken aback and exclaims that "He doesn't eat meat?" very loudly - at which point, the family gasps and stares. An inspirational idea then enters the aunts head - she says that instead, she will cook lamb. Problem solved...

Fortunately, tzatziki is something that can be enjoyed sans lamb.

Thick Greek yogurt was blended with lemon, garlic, mint and basil and studded with chunks of fresh green cucumber. It was a perfect complement to a summer dinner served on the back deck of pita bread and grilled chicken.

And that was something we all could agree on.

Peace out. 



This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. I couldn't find Dorie's tzatziki recipe online; however, Martha Stewart has a very similar version that can be found here.

26 comments:

  1. Cher, thank you for my morning smile :) And congrats for following the recipe. I kinda did. Sorta.

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  2. Love tzatziki so much. And what place is making it with mayo???? Good grief!!

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    1. Someplace I never want to eat at, that's where...

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  3. LOL, never a dull moment at Chez Cher...and here you go shattering your image by following the recipe!

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  4. Your tzatziki looks fantastic!
    I'm laughing, that movie sums up my life, that's pretty much how I grew up.
    And of course I had my tzatziki with some vegetarian lamb! Lol!

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  5. Great post, Cher! So glad you perservered & made it the "correct" way! Enjoy your weekend!

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  6. Hahaha. That definitely sounds like a scene from my house. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

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  7. I have a similar story with caesar salad and that movie IS a feel-good one! I ate this sauce/dip with cold chicken too, so amazing. You made a great tzatziki Cher, looks perfect!

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  8. LOL that conversation exchange would drive me bonkers! I bow to your restraint. Yes, pick your moment carefully and let him know. :)

    That was my favourite scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding too.

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  9. Hubby watches the Food Network and knows everything about cooking..... There is
    nothing worse than trying to prepare a recipe and having him tell me how to do it.
    Drives me nuts. This was a good recipe and easy, I ended up loving it so much that
    I bought more yogurt today to make another batch. Have a great weekend.

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  10. So can relate. Household bliss does it exist? Windex might be good for that -

    Happy French Friday!

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  11. so funny - I can relate so well! Just LOVE tzatziki and yours looks fabulous. Glad to have found your blog and happy to follow you :)
    Mary x

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  12. Is that the first time you followed the recipe? I fainted when I heard that. I definitely think the scenario you described only happens at your house. I can't imagine a conversation like that between anyone I know. ;) Serving tzatziki with grilled chicken and pita sounds like a perfect summer dinner.

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  13. Where is Cher?!!! What have you done with her?!! She doesn't follow recipes as written - great post, Cher. Our daughter made tzatziki sauce once - so good! I love that movie too! I'll have to watch it again soon. I may even own that one..

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  14. LOL - this week you followed the recipe and I diverged! You will have to bring the true origin of tzatziki out of the cupboard at the right moment.

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  15. LOL love that movie and love the gold star! Make it two gold stars this week! :)

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  16. Well at least he knew that Tzatziki is served on gyros... I found the dip idea strange, but I've always been around Greeks and I never got the hole in the cake either... love that movie.

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  17. Good for you following a recipe (once in awhile that just happens) and does it look good! I like the idea of serving tzatzki with grilled chicken, lettuce and in a pita bread-now that's a wonderful meal ;)

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  18. You definitely earned a gold star!

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  19. Ha ha- I give you three gold stars - one for the recipe and TWO for holding your tongue. That special time before guests arrive (crazy time) is not worth losing that helper, as you well know. But you had me rolling with your description. I tend to get very little input other than "when is it done ??". This week was the exception when I jumped ship and did the banana bread. And yes it was lousy, which I knew when my hubby asked if I had added bran. The answer was no. Nuff said.

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  20. I have never seen that movie all the way through. I am going to watch it tonight with the rest of my Tzatziki.

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  21. Looks great, Cher! I can’t tell you how many times I have held my tongue…but my hubby would probably say not very often! I love that movie…so funny!

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  22. I only watch movies once. Emma and Clara have watched "UP" six times and other films just as much or more. But, I think I am wrong about that. I loved My Big Fat Greek Wedding but don't remember that line. There were so many funny parts to that movie. So this week I am going to stream it and re-watch it (the alternative was "The Gatekeepers" and Part `1 and 2 about Fracking!!!) Good for you that you could drop the Mayo discussion. Pick your battles. Will be glad to meet you both in Seattle. I have not made Tzatziki three times for various gatherings in one week. Didn't use Mayo.....

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  23. I love that line from that movie and I use it all the time. That movie has a special place in my heart because I had to deal with something quite similiar...only Iran. Where they also have a dish much like this called mast o khiar (yogurt and cucumber) that is made all sorts of ways too and served with meats or just by itself. The peanut gallery had such fun watching me make this dish according to a jewish woman's instructions. "Thats not what you put it it!" "I'm not making mast o khiar, I'm making tzatziki!" "But don't use that kind of yogurt!" Sigh.

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  24. Great movie line. My in-laws are not Greek, but are similarly confused by the concept of not eating meat. As Catholics, they follow the tradition of no meat on Christmas Eve and the menu is always the same, fish and white sausage. I once asked why it was ok to eat white sausage if we were avoiding meat, and my mother-in-law looked at me completely confused and said that white sausage isn't meat. I, equally confused, pointed out that there is veal in the sausage. True, but she clarified that there was potato in the sausage too, so that makes it meatless. She went away satisfied that the confusion had been cleared up and I was left to question my sanity.

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