COOKING IN LANGLEY: Chef ends 2018 with New Year’s Eve snack idea

Instead of regular potato chips and dip, here’s a pita chip and tzatziki idea.

What do you have planned for New Year’s Eve?

Whether you’re staying in for a quiet evening, throwing a party, or visiting someone else’s party – food is a big part of the celebration.

A common standby for snacks is potato chips and dip, but this year I am proposing 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 one 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 celebration, and may the new year bring you all the best of health, happiness and prosperity.

.

Salt & Pepper Pita Chips

6 “pocket style” pita breads

Olive oil

Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 450F.

With a sharp knife, separate the top and bottom halves from each pita pocket to create 2 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 pans half way through the baking time.

Makes 96 chips

.

Greek Tzatziki

A Greek mealtime favourite – 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!

1 long English cucumber, grated

500g plain yogurt

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill

1 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 3 cups

.

Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley.

Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com

or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4

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