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Greek Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki

Posted May 03 2011 7:25am

As most of you know, I grew up outside Detroit, where there is actually a pretty fabulous Greek influence. We have Greek-themed Coney Island’s everywhere that serve the best Coney dogs, Greek salads and Hani’s (chicken finger pitas), though they aren’t truly traditional Greek food.

However, we have Greektown in downtown Detroit, and that’s where you go for the good stuff! I’ve eaten at a few restaurants down there but they all serve up the true Saganaki (flaming cheese – opa!) and Baklava (a honey, nut, phyllo pastry dessert). Greek food is delicious!

So when I saw a chicken pita with Tzatziki sauce in the most recent Real Simple, all the chicken gyro memories came flooding back (I was ever into traditional lamb gyros) and I had to have it.

I ended up making Greek chicken pitas with traditional Tzatziki sauce and Tomato Fritters with Greek salad.

Tzatziki sauce is a cucumber and yogurt sauce used on top of gyros. It all starts with a cuke.

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Traditional Tzatziki Sauce (Cooking Light)

  • 1 cup grated seeded peeled cucumber
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

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Grate your cucumber – my medium-sized cuke made about 3/4 cup, so you’ll need one large or two medium cucumbers. Put the grated cuke on several paper towels and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, to soak up all the water.

(I did this part wrong – I salted before grating. My cuke was still very watery and thus it made for a much thinner dip. Still delicious though!)

Combine all ingredients and chill for 1 hour before serving.

This is true Tzatziki!

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Tomato Fritters , or Ntomatokeftedes

(I halved the recipe – this makes 4 servings)

  • 4 large tomatoes (peeled, seeded and diced)
  • 4 sundried tomatoes (omitted)
  • 4 oz feta (crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup herbs (such as dill, mint, parsley, chopped)
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fine bulgur wheat (I used quinoa instead!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

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Combine the tomatoes, feta, herbs, green onions, oregano, paprika, eggs, bulgur, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly mix in flour until the mixture becomes thick enough to form into patties.

Heat the oil in a pan. Form the tomato mixture into patties (mine never got that thick, so I basically dolloped them into the pan) and fry in the oil until dark brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.

I’ve never had a fritter before so I had no idea what I was in for. I believe they’re supposed to be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I didn’t cook mine long enough but all in all, not bad topped with some Tzatziki!

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For the pitas, I toasted whole wheat pocket pitas and sautéed the chicken in a pan, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of cayenne. We sliced them up and made pitas with lettuce, red onion, feta, and Tzatziki, with a simple Greek salad on the side.

The Tzatziki sauce was very much my favorite part. It tasted just like the traditional sauce and the thinness of my version didn’t both me in the slightest.
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I wish I had some Baklava for dessert! Instead, I switched cultures and had mochi, hehe.

Have a great Tuesday!

Question: Do you like Greek food? What’s your favorite Greek dish or food to eat?

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