Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Unappreciated Ingredient: Yogurt

One of my favorite ingredients is yogurt. And I love it with my other favorite ingredient, garlic. Yogurt & Garlic. A match made in heaven. Why haven't all those T.V chefs discovered yogurt yet? Its the most amazing ingredient ever. Syria has the best yogurt ever. It's kind of sour, creamy, and delicious. It's perfect for cooking. Most yogurt here on the other hand is watery and sweet, and falls apart completely when you try to cook it. I remember when I was younger my mom would spend hours making her own yogurt. Do I really want to do that? No. So I found an alternative. I discovered Greek yogurt. Its thick, creamy, and slightly sour. PERFECT for cooking. Today I'm making one of my favorite dishes, Greek yogurt pasta. It's similiar to shish barak, but easier.


1) One container of greek yogurt ( usually found @ trader joes or other organic stores)
2) Box of shell shaped pasta ( the small one not the kind you stuff)
3) 1 lb of ground beef
4) 2 finely diced onions.
5) Minced garlic ( you have to determine how much you want, just add it to the yogurt and keep tasting until you get the flavor you want.)
6) 2 Tablespoons of ground coriander.
7) 2 teaspoons of cracked red pepper ( also, add as much as you want, whether you want a hint of flavor or spicy.)
8) 2 tablespoons of butter

Get a pot of water boiling, and add ALOT of salt but no oil, because you want the pasta to remain starchy so that the sauce will stick to the noodles.

Add the onions and saute them in some olive oil in a skillet, and add the ground beef. Brown the beef till its done.

In another pot, dump the greek yogurt into it and add as much garlic as you want. Put it on LOW heat and stir until it becomes a liquid and is warm. You have to stir non stop or else the yogurt will fall apart. If it does fall apart, put it in a food processor or use a hand mixer. This takes about 10 minutes, or longer, and is the most labor intensive part of the meal.

Finish cooking the pasta, drain it and put it in a large bowl. Add the ground beef mixture and yogurt.

Take a frying pan and melt the butter, and add about two tablespoons of olive oil. Put it on medium low heat, and add the coriander. Let it sizzle for a minute or two, until you start smelling it. Then, Lift the frying pan off the heat and add the red pepper flakes. They burn reallly fast, so just leave it for 30 seconds and then dump all of it on top of the pasta and mix it. And your done!!! =)

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