Saturday, May 26, 2012

Simple Spicy Feta Sauce

Things have been rather simple around here lately. Perhaps too simple. Maybe lazy is really the word I’m looking for. I’ve been settling down from family visits, gearing up for the next ones, exploring new things to do (that aren’t in my kitchen), and recovering from a variety of setbacks. I’m also waiting (not very patiently) for things to come up and/or produce fruits in my garden. 

Luckily, there are local farmers who are way ahead of me, so my recent hankering for Falafel could be sated along with an accompaniment of Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce made with delicious hot-house cucumbers. There was another sauce I wanted to try, however, and my tendency to scarf down all the cucumbers I buy at the farmer’s market before I can use them in any sauce or dish made me think it would be good to have a backup. It’s a very simple, very spicy feta cheese sauce with a touch of yogurt.

There’s a pizza restaurant just up the river that serves some fabulous spicy gyros and a spicy chicken salad that each are dressed with an amazing feta sauce. The sauce is rich and briny from lots of feta cheese and red-orange in color from a generous amount of some kind of hot chile sauce. It’s very spicy but unmistakably feta-y as well. I’ve wanted to reproduce it since the first time I tasted it.

Now, I’m not going to say that I’ve achieved a perfect reproduction in the simple recipe I offer below. I think something is not quite right or is missing or perhaps the differences can be accounted for by my particular brand of feta or chile sauce. At this point, I don’t care. I made a delicious sauce with ingredients I always have or can get easily and can make in just a minute or two in a mini food processor.

This sauce is so simple, one could really do a lot of things to it or with it. I think it could be thinned with extra yogurt or buttermilk to make a salad dressing and that some mint or parsley could be nice flavor additions. I served it with falafel that I formed into small balls before frying and used it as a dipping sauce, but it’s also good with falafel patties in a pita pocket. It could be any other sandwich or burger spread as well.

A huge haul from the farmer’s market this morning has me itching to try lots of new recipes to report on here, so I’m hoping the coming days will have more frequent Messy Apron posts. But, I don’t know. I could really get used to this lazy simple kitchen lifestyle with a pile of fresh vegetables and a bowl or bottle of dipping sauce or dressing.

Spicy Feta Sauce
You could probably use any hot chile sauce you like. I used Sriracha, mostly because it is a thicker sauce. The amount I used makes this quite spicy. Adjust to your liking.

½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon Sriracha (or other chile sauce)
2 tablespoon plain yogurt

1. Combine all three ingredients in a miniature food processor. (You could use a larger processor, but the recipe makes a small amount.)  Process until the sauce is mostly smooth, but there are still a few very small feta chunks present. Chill until ready to serve. Keep leftovers refrigerated for a few days.

Makes about ½ cup.

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