June 03, 2010

Cucumber Dill Dip, or Modified Tzatziki in a Hurry

Part of the end of the school year craziness is party after party, for which one is always expected to bring some sort of food. So far I'm committed to bringing chips and hummus to one shindig, Granny's homemade cheese crackers to another, and good old chips and dip tonight.

I grew up eating leek dip (for which my family has an affectionate, if inappropriate nickname) with Cape Cod Potato Chips (ahem, and I'm actually from Cape Cod, so they mean more to me), and I'm often disappointed by other attempts at chips and dip. To me, the dip needs to be completely fattening and the chips need to be kettle cooked and really salty. If you're trying to stay skinny, don't do it by ruining the dip. Just eat a celery stick, ya savvy?

Since I was too lazy to go from Whole Foods to a conventional grocery store to find the Knorr Leek Soup packets that are the go-to dip seasoning in my family, I decided to make a modified tzatziki and serve it with crostini.

The defining characteristics of true Greek tzatziki sauce are cucumbers, yogurt, and garlic. I decided to use up the giant bunch of fresh dill I already had, and add cucumbers, sour cream, lemon juice, and a teensy bit of mayonnaise (thanks to mon papa for this trick).

Cucumber Dill Dip (or Modified Tzatziki in a Hurry)
  • One 16 oz. container of sour cream (preferably organic, preferably whole fat)
  • 1-2 cucumbers, seeded, chopped, and salted
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/8 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
1. Salting the cucumbers is worth it, since they're so filled with liquid. Simply cover them with salt (liberally...the salt will wash away with the cucumber liquid), put them in a sieve, and let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour.

2. I only had about 30 minutes to let the cucumbers sit, and I still got a good amount of liquid out of them. This will keep the dip from being too runny, which is good if you want to avoid being the person who brings the awkward chin drip dip.

3. One thing I really like to do when I know I'm pureeing something with dill in it is add about half the stems, chopped up, to the mixture. They have a lot of flavor, and they puree really nicely so you don't even notice them, texture-wise.

4. Once all the ingredients are prepared, puree them in a blender or food processor for about 30 seconds, or until it reaches the texture you like. Chill before serving.

This dip did come out a little bit runnier than I would normally like, but the mayonnaise does a nice job of thickening it up (and clogging arteries, of course), and the longer it cools, the thicker it'll get.

If you're around guests who don't like chunks in their dip, this isn't the recipe for you. Alternately, you could tell them to try it or take a hike, although that would probably make you a bad host/hostess.

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