When my Chief Culinary Consultant lived outside of Washington, D.C., his apartment was within walking distance of umpteen restaurants, which we took advantage of regularly. One of my favorite places to grab food before we settled in to watch an afternoon football or hockey game was Moby Dick House of Kabob. We ordered the same thing every time – gyros and a platter of hummus and pita. We’d bring it back to my CCC’s apartment, spread it out on the coffee table and enjoy while we watched a game. Ever since he moved back to Pittsburgh two years ago, I’ve craved gyros. There are some places around downtown that I’m sure have some good ones, but none where either of us lived. Once we bought our house in May, I discovered that there was a gyro place about five minutes away… and they are good! Gyros are officially back in my life.
Even though I can get them readily again, I have long wanted to try my hand at making gyros at home. I finally made it happen, and as everyone knows, the first step to great gyros is great tzatziki sauce.
This sauce is incredibly easy to make, and the key is to make sure that the cucumber is salted and drained before being thoroughly dried and chopped fine. This ensures that the cucumber has had its water extracted before being mixed into the sauce. If you skip this step, the sauce will become watery. Once the cucumber is taken care of, the rest of the sauce is simply mixed together, with classic ingredients of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and dill. (This is a fabulous recipe to use that homemade Greek yogurt we whipped up a few weeks ago!)
This tastes best when it’s been refrigerated for at least an hour or two so that the flavors have a chance to meld together, but I dug in immediately; no harm, no foul :)
Place the cucumber in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Let sit and drain for 30 minutes. Dry thoroughly with paper towels, then chop very finely.
Combine the finely chopped cucumber with the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and dill. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days.