This is the book that everyone has thought about writing based on their mother’s or their grandma’s out-of-this-world recipes but has not yet written. I did it for all of us out there who simply don’t have the time, the energy, the patience, the wherewithal, nor the skills to take on such a passion project. This cookbook is a gift to all of you. I also did it for my mama’s legacy.
Call me selfish, but I want someone to pick up this cookbook — say 500 years from now — and make her recipes, which I know will stand the test of time. Her meals are magical. Delicious. Palatable. Full of life. My 88-year-old mother lives for kitchen-table visits from hungry strangers from all walks of life just for the pleasure of stuffing their bellies with her exceptional fare until they can’t eat any more.
So for one year, I braved a series of intense hands-on cooking demos with my Greek mama to capture an oral history of her gastronomical treasure trove. And the result is My Big Fat Greek Cookbook. With that in mind, I present to you four simple, mouth-watering meals. Remember, this is just a taste of my mother’s cooking prowess . . . You’ll just have to pick up the cookbook to find out how it all ends. With eighteen dessert recipes, of course.
Tzatziki is by far the most popular Greek dip. When people find out that I’m Greek, many respond by saying, “Oooh, I love tzatziki!” Which is like me saying to a white American: “I like ranch salad dressing.” Seriously folks, enough.
But everything has changed recently with the popularity of the Mediterranean diet. It’s great to see the general population trying to “educate” themselves. So next time you meet an “ethnic,” please spare us the nervous spasm. Just be cool and make eye contact; we won’t bite.
Tzatziki (“za-ZEE-kee”): hard to pronounce, more difficult to spell, easy to eat. Consume tzatziki with bread or slather onto your favorite grilled vegetables or meats. Just make sure to rinse with mouthwash before you kiss your loved one, because it’s SOOOO garlicky.
Prep: 10 min
- 2 cups Greek yogurt (ideally 10% or other high fat)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- ¼ cup freshly grated cucumber
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Combine all the ingredients into a bowl, mix, and serve. For additional taste, top with olives and drizzle olive oil.
Like this recipe as much as we do? Click here to purchase a copy of "My Big Fat Greek Cookbook: Classic Mediterranean Soul Food Recipes."