Cool, Tasty, Tangy Tzatziki

Cool, Tasty, Tangy Tzatziki

posted in: Food, Sauces | 2 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

This tasty Greek condiment can be used as a delicious dip for veggies or a piece of pita. It can also be used as a condiment to your choice of meat. The base of this sauce is Greek yogurt, which is quite popular nowadays. You can use your favorite brand whether that may be Oikos, Fage or Greek Gods, just make sure it is plain instead of flavored.

We have tried making this with full fat and low fat yogurt and have not really noticed a difference in taste. Some Greek yogurts are really thick and some are thin. This consistency will impact the texture of your tzatziki. The kind we use, Greek Gods, is very thick and therefore the tzatziki is thick and we like it that way. If you want your sauce to be thinner, use a thinner yogurt.

This mix of cool, tangy yogurt, garlic, cucumber and dill goes great with Chicken Souvlaki, which we have previously posted our recipe. We recently grilled up some steaks and the tzatziki was great with it also.

tzatziki-featured-pinterest

All the ingredients needed for the tasty tzatziki. When I was gathering up the ingredients, I accidentally grabbed dill seed instead of dried dill weed. Don’t make the same mistake! Luckily, I realized it before adding it to the mix it, the sauce would have been extra crunchy and not taste very good. ?

tzatziki-sauce-1

Cut the cucumber in half, scrape out the seeds.

tzatziki-sauce-2

Then shred the cucumber and squeeze well to remove extra liquid.

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Add in the remaining ingredients. If you can get fresh dill you can use 2 tablespoons finely diced instead of dried dill. We have tried both fresh and dried and both are very tasty, however we can’t always get fresh dill at our grocery stores.

tzatziki-sauce-4

Mix and wait 4 hours.

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Tasty Tzatziki

Tasty Tzatziki

Ingredients

  • 1 large hothouse cucumber
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 t dried dill
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 2 t Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Scrape seeds from cucumber and then shred into a bowl.
  2. Take small handfuls of the shredded cucumber and squeeze out the liquid.
  3. In a medium container, mix pressed cucumber and all remaining ingredients.
  4. Cover and put into refrigerator to let flavors meld, at least four hours.
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Coolfreshing Fish Taco Sauce

Coolfreshing Fish Taco Sauce

posted in: Food, Sauces | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

When you get a hankering for a fish taco, you just can’t let it go. The quickest way to make a fish taco at home is to use frozen fish sticks. Pop them in the oven and 15 minutes later, you have the base of your fish taco.

We had these fish tacos for lunch yesterday, topped with pico de gallo, a tangy white sauce, shredded cheese and lettuce. We were inspired by a recent rerun of Chopped, Grandma vs. Grandma, in which one of the four Grandmas made Fish Tacos.

fish taco sauce 5

Our tacos ended up not only being big in flavor with this tasty sauce but also big in size since we only had burrito-sized tortillas on hand.

The sauce is smooth, tart and made with everyday ingredients. We’ve called it coolfreshing because when we called it cool and refreshing, it just didn’t sound as catchy. Portmanteau words are the best.

fish taco sauce 1

It begins with equal part mayonnaise and greek yogurt, mix in some spices and finish it off with some juice from the pico de gallo. If you don’t have pico de gallo then the liquid can be substituted with lemon or lime juice. You could also try sriracha.

fish taco sauce 2

Click here for our Pico de Gallo recipe.

fish taco sauce 3

Seven simple ingredients. One perfect white sauce for fish tacos. It’s quick and easy, too!
fish taco sauce 4

Super Cool, Refreshing Fish Taco Sauce

Super Cool, Refreshing Fish Taco Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c mayo
  • 1/2 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/4 t dill
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T citrus juice

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add more citrus juice if you enjoy a runnier sauce.
  3. Serve on fish tacos with salsa, lettuce, and cheese.
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Perfect Pico de Gallo (Salsa Fresca) for Cinco de Mayo

Perfect Pico de Gallo (Salsa Fresca) for Cinco de Mayo

posted in: Food, Sauces | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

tomato, onion, cumin, cilantro, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder

Pico de Gallo translates literally to “rooster’s beak” in Spanish. It also goes by other names, such as salsa fresca or yummy deliciousness. This recipe is very easy to follow and is just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

When I think about Pico de Gallo, I think firm tomatoes combined with a crunch of onion, a tang of citrus and a hit of salt. My mouth is now watering. That doesn’t mean that the other ingredients don’t matter, they do and they are essential to the overall flavor of the salsa.

A discussion about tomatoes, chiles, onions and lemon. The type and ripeness of tomatoes is a personal preference. I prefer Roma and I like them to be on the firm side.

Others prefer on the vine tomatoes that are very ripe and squishy and that is okay. Try out different types and ripeness levels to see what you like.

Most people put jalapeños or some other green chile into their pico. I put in chili powder. Again, this is a personal preference, partially to do with convenience.

I prefer white onion in my Pico de Gallo. Others prefer yellow or red onion. Once again, you can try out different kinds to see what your taste buds enjoy the most.

Why do I use lemon juice instead of lime juice?

I have tried making my Pico de Gallo with lime juice and I find it to be too harsh of an acidity but when I use lemon juice, my tastebuds want more and more which is a good thing. Maybe your tastebuds prefer lime juice to lemon juice, experiment and see what happens.

Try using this recipe in my Seven Layer Dip!

 

Ingredients

4 Roma tomatoes
Half a white onion
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove chopped garlic
Juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

Dice the tomatoes and place into a mixing bowl.
Add diced onion, garlic and cilantro.
Add the lemon juice, salt, ground pepper, chili powder and cumin. Mix well.
Refrigerate at least an hour. If I you can, letting it marinate until the next day yields an even better Pico de Gallo.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Ingredients

  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • Half a white onion
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Dice the tomatoes and place into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add diced onion, garlic and cilantro.
  3. Add the lemon juice, salt, ground pepper, chili powder and cumin. Mix well.
  4. Refrigerate at least an hour. If I you can, letting it marinate until the next day yields an even better Pico de Gallo.
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Super Delicious “El Pato” *Spicy* Shredded Chicken

Super Delicious “El Pato” *Spicy* Shredded Chicken

posted in: Food, Main Dishes, Sauces | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our family loves Mexican food. Actually, we are obsessed with it. Consequently, Cinco de Mayo is one of our favorite holidays.

It’s a good thing we live in the southwest… or maybe because we live in the southwest, we love Mexican food. It’s kind of a chicken or the egg question.

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Either way, we are thankful to live in a town rich with many kinds of Mexican food. Around here you can get classic Sonoran-style food (Sonoran hot dogs anyone? Get ’em at El Güero Canelo.) or yummy New Mexican-style food (Wassup, chile rellenos! Get’em at Rosa’s). There are upscale options, like Cafe Poca Cosa, or more economical options like the delicious burritos at Nico’s or Los Betos. It is quite a melting pot.

Today, I am going to show you how to make this delicious wonder:

el pato, chicken, mexican food, recipe

Until recently, I had no clue about the awesomeness of El Pato canned salsas. I mean, I had seen them at the grocery store, but I was kind of wary of them. There are three colors: Green, Red and Yellow. Yellow is the hottest. Red and green are slightly less hot and both have jalapeño in them. To me, they are all very spicy, but you should get all three and try them to see which one you like best. (Unless you don’t like spicy food, then just steer clear.)

El Pato is a slightly chunky tomato-based hot sauce. Some people use it as a salsa straight out of the can. You could use it as a topping for your tacos if you like.

I came up with this recipe one afternoon while having an intense craving for tacos but not wanting to go out to eat. Also, I used shredded chicken because it is more healthy than ground beef but still has a ton of flavor.

Besides tacos, this chicken can be used to make enchiladas, burritos, tamales, or tostadas. The sky’s the limit!

Ingredients

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
½ to 1 7.75 oz can El Pato Green
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
3 chicken breasts

Instructions

Step 1. Heat all ingredients except the chicken breasts in a large saucepan and boil. Add as much El Pato as you like, depending on how spicy you like your food.

el pato, chicken, mexican food, recipe

chicken broth

recipe, oregano, chili powder, salt

el pato, chicken, mexican food, recipe

Step 2. Use immersion blender to make a smooth sauce.

Step 3. Place chicken breasts into sauce and simmer for 2 hours.

el pato, chicken, mexican food, recipe
el pato, chicken, mexican food, recipe

Step 4. Remove chicken and shred into bite size pieces.

Step 5. Add as much sauce as you like to the shredded chicken.
el pato, chicken, mexican food, recipe

Step 6. Assemble tacos with lettuce, pico de gallo, and cheese. (Optional toppings: sour cream, guacamole, beans. I’ve even been known to put rice in my tacos.)
el pato, chicken, mexican food, recipe

el pato, chicken, mexican food, recipe

Super Delicious “El Pato” *Spicy* Shredded Chicken

Super Delicious “El Pato” *Spicy* Shredded Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ to 1 7.75 oz can El Pato Green
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t oregano
  • 3 chicken breasts

Instructions

  1. Heat all ingredients except the chicken breasts in a large saucepan and boil. Add as much El Pato as you like, depending on how spicy you like your food.
  2. Use immersion blender to make a smooth sauce.
  3. Place chicken breasts into sauce and simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Remove chicken and shred into bite size pieces.
  5. Add as much sauce as you like to the chicken.
  6. Use for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, tamales, or tostadas.
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Super Easy, Five-Ingredient Homemade Herb Butter

Super Easy, Five-Ingredient Homemade Herb Butter

posted in: Food, Sauces | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Mmm, herb butter!

Homemade butter is a little touch that can make a big difference. I’m not talking about c.y.o.b (churn your own butter), although that does seem very cool and is actually on my bucket list.

I’m talking about adding mix-ins to your butter. One of my favorite butter recipes is for Berry Butter from Pioneer Woman. Today, we will make a simple, five-ingredient herb butter. It is the perfect ingredient to spruce up a roast chicken.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 stick butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

STEP 1. Chop the rosemary and thyme into small pieces.

rosemary, thyme, kitchen, cooking

Side Note on Herbs

The fresh herbs need to be removed from the stalk. No one likes little chunks of wood in their food. Stripping rosemary is a pretty simple task. Holding the sprig by the growing end in your left fingers then with you right hand, drag your fingers down the stem. The rosemary leaves fall right off. This technique does NOT work at all with thyme. Thyme has a thinner stem that will snap if you try the same method. I delicately pulled all the thyme leaves off, which took ages. After I was finished, I found this clever tip from epicurious, which makes use of a common kitchen utensil: a fine-mesh strainer. In the future, I will use this method.

STEP 2. Soften butter in microwave in microwave safe dish or in a pan on the stove top. (Don’t want to melt, just soften.)

STEP 3. Mix herbs into the softened butter.

rosemary, thyme, kitchen, cooking,

STEP 4. Add a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Mix.

STEP 5. Use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap, form into a roll, and freeze.

In this case, I used the herb butter to top a whole chicken before roasting (pictured below). Here is the recipe for Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter.

rosemary, thyme, kitchen, cooking,

Herb Butter

Herb Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Chop the rosemary and thyme into small pieces.
  2. Soften butter in microwave in microwave safe dish or in a pan on the stove top. (Don't want to melt, just soften.)
  3. Mix herbs into the softened butter.
  4. Add a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Mix.
  5. Use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap, form into a roll, and freeze.
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Super Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Super Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

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This balsamic vinaigrette is my favorite salad dressing for spring mix.

According to Annette Heisch in her book, Oil and Vinegar, there are two types of balsamic: traditional and non-traditional.

Traditional is aged in barrels for at least 12 years and made from white Trebbiano grapes. Non-traditional is considerably more affordable, but quality can be sacrificed in the process. In fact, some products marketed as balsamic may actually just be dyed wine vinegar. Yikes!

For this recipe, I used Kirkland brand balsamic.

It states this on the label: “Certified by control Body authorized by Ministero delle Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali.”

Seems legit.

There are only six ingredients for this recipe.

salad, dressing, oil, vinegar

Here is a quick video showing how I made the dressing:

The key to the dressing is using three parts oil to one part vinegar.

So if you need more dressing for a larger party (or to save for the next day), you can use 3/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup vinegar, increasing the other ingredients to your personal preference.

Instead of whisking, you can put all ingredients into a small glass container with a lid and shake vigorously.

salad, dressing, oil, vinegar

Yummy yummy balsamic!

salad, dressing, oil, vinegar

Super Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Super Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large pinch brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

Instructions

  1. Whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Alternatively, combine in glass jar with lid and shake vigorously.
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salad, dressing, oil, vinegar

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Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel Sauce

posted in: Food, Sauces | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

 

Bechamel Sauce!

With a name like Bechamel, your friends will be impressed!

This sauce is quick and easy to make. Plus, it tastes FANTASTIC!

 

 
Printable Recipe

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cups milk
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg (fresh grated)

 

Directions
1. Pour milk in small saucepan and warm on low.
 
2. Melt butter in another saucepan on medium low.
 

bechamel, sauce, delicious, cooking, nutmeg

3. Add flour and whisk for two minutes or so (but don’t brown the mixture like I did the first time I tried making the sauce.)
 
4. Add the milk.

4a. I added the milk all at once and was pleased with the results.

4b. However, others suggest adding the milk more slowly to avoid the formation of lumps. Gordon Ramsay adds the milk in 1/3 at a time.

5. Continue whisking as the mixture comes to a boil.
 
6. Season with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg.
 
7. All done! Add more milk if sauce has become too thick.
 
8. Top with wax paper to prevent skin formation.

 

Inspired by Epicurious and Gordon Ramsay.

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