Chef Dez.

On Cooking: Pita chips and tzatziki in 2019

All the best of health, happiness and prosperity.

Whether you’re staying in for a quiet evening, throwing a party, or visiting someone else’s party, a common standby for snacks is potato chips and dip.

But in 2019, I am proposing that you try something different.

These baked salt and pepper pita chips with freshly made Greek tzatziki is the perfect solution. The best thing (other than how great they will taste) is that you can make these recipes earlier in the day.

Store the tzatziki dip in the refrigerator, but the chips should be left at room temperature. You can cover the chips to keep them fresh, but just make sure they are completely cooled to room temperature, because if they are still warm, condensation could form and make them soggy.

If you don’t want to use fresh dill for the tzatziki, you can substitute this with a teaspoon of dried dill, but if so, make sure you let the dip sit for a few hours in the refrigerator before serving so the dill has a chance to rehydrate and release its flavours.

I hope you have a wonderful 2019, and all the best of health, happiness and prosperity.

Salt and pepper pita chips:

• six pocket style pita breads;

• olive oil;

• salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With a sharp knife, separate the top and bottom halves from each pita pocket to create two rounds from each bread.

Brush both sides of the rounds with olive oil. Cut each round in half and then each half into four equal pie-shaped chips. Place these chips on a baking sheet and dust with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Bake for approximately four to six minutes until mostly golden brown. You may want to rotate the halfwayf way through the baking time.

Makes 96 chips.

Greek tzatziki:

• one long English cucumber, grated;

• 500 g plain yogurt;

• three to four garlic cloves, crushed;

• one tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill;

• one tbsp. olive oil;

• salt and pepper to season.

Put grated cucumbers in a clean towel or cheesecloth and squeeze to remove moisture. Place drained cucumbers in a bowl and add all the other ingredients; stir to combine.

Makes approximately three cups,

A Greek mealtime favorite – serve it on grilled Greek souvlaki or simply use it as a dip for pita bread. Do not peel the cucumbers, as the skin adds a lot of colour.

Chef Dez is a chef, writer and host. Visit him at chefdez.com

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