Yes, we know…it’s been forever since you saw a new post at Rampant Cuisine! I blame Nathan for going to China for work for 3 weeks. Anyway, we’re back to normal posts now…just in time for the Super Bowl. (We know we’re one day late but this is a great appetizer for anytime!)
Mexican 7-layer dip is one of my favorite appetizers of all time…I love Mexican food and the combination of flavors in the dip is so good. We thought about posting a traditional 7-layer dip recipe but it’s been done a million times. So, we decided to get creative and concoct a Greek 7-layer dip with the bold and zesty flavors of classic Greek cuisine. Well, don’t tell my Mexican dip but I think I may like the Greek dip even better. I mean…it has hummus…it has tzatziki…it has FETA. We paired our dip with crispy homemade pita chips (from fresh made pita!) for a combination of flavors and textures that was ridiculous in an amazingly perfect way.
We made each layer of our dip from scratch (and would recommend doing this!) but if you’re looking for a shortcut just buy good quality hummus, jarred roasted peppers, tzatziki, and a bag of pita chips and layer it up. Don’t wait until next year’s Super Bowl to try this dip. Cheat on your Mexican 7-layer dip and try this Greek version ASAP!
True confessions: I actually didn’t want to buy a Greek wine because we’ve had some not great experiences with Greek wine in the past. Maybe some of the wine exported to the US from Greece just isn’t great? We decided to live on the wild side, however, and give a Greek red a try. Well, this wine broke the bad Greek wine trend…and the funny thing is that we only bought it because we thought the bottle looked cool. Initially it has an overly raisiny aroma but the taste is a nice balance of dry yet juicy. The berry notes were a nice contrast to the strong savory flavors in the dip. Hopefully, this is the first of many good Greek wines!
Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Joe’s Premium American Pilsner, Avery Brewing Company
Rating: 6.75 out of 10.0
I got this Pilsner with the goal that it would be light, refreshing, and wash down all the rich flavors from our dip. Well, it is certainly light and refreshing but this beer just doesn’t quite do it for me. There isn’t much flavor to this beer and the little flavor that comes from the hops were almost unpleasantly bitter like the pith of a lemon rather than fresh and aromatic. After this initial hop flavor any taste drops off the face of the planet and the beer dies flat in your throat. Don’t get me wrong, this beer is better than a lot of European pilsners that I have had and a step above mass produced adjunct lagers like Miller Lite and Coors Light but there are much better pilsners out there for the $10.00 a six pack that this came at.
Greek Seven Layer Dip
Chopped Roasted Peppers
(All recipes follow!)
Spoon a generous layer of hummus into a glass dish. Spread a layer of the roasted peppers over the hummus. Top the roasted peppers with a layer of tzatziki. Spoon a layer of the cucumber salad over the tzatziki. Top the cucumber salad with a generous sprinkle of feta cheese. Top the feta with the chopped kalamata olives and finish the dip with a garnish of parsley.
Classic Hummus Recipe
Two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
4 Tbs. tahini (we used Krinos brand)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup water
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then turn on and process for 30 seconds.
2. Add the olive oil, garlic, cumin and the salt to whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl then process another 30 seconds.
3. Open cans of chickpeas, drain liquid then rinse well with water. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and smooth.
4. With the food processor turned on, slowly add the water until the consistency is perfect. Make sure to taste as adjust seasonings to your palate!
Roasted Red Peppers Recipe
3 large red peppers
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 30 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are slightly charred, turning them twice during roasting. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
3. Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds.and discard. Cut the pepper quarters into strips and then finely dice.
2 8-oz. containers plain Greek yogurt, strained for 30 minutes
Half a cucumber, peeled, roughly grated, and patted with a paper towel to remove excess liquid
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice from ½ a lemon (or to taste)
15 leaves fresh mint, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste (be generous!)
1. Place strained yogurt in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Add the drained cucumber pieces to the bowl along with the olive oil, chopped fresh mint, crushed garlic, lemon juice, and salt.
3. Whisk to blend the ingredients together. Taste the tzatziki; add more garlic, lemon juice, or salt to taste if desired. Serve cold. Store in the refrigerator.
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, finely chopped
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Combine above ingredients and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.
3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature (10.4 oz./295 grams)
1. About 8 hours to 3 days ahead, mix the dough.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed (#2 if using a KitchenAid) just until all the flour is moistened, about 20 seconds. Change to the dough hook, raise the speed to medium (#4 KitchenAid), and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should clean the bowl and be very soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little flour or water if necessary. (the dough will weigh about 27.75 oz./793 grams.)
2. Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 2-quart or larger dough-rising container or bowl, lightly greased with cooking spray or oil. Press the dough down and lightly spray or oil the top of it. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, mark the side of the container at approximately where double the height of the dough would be. Refrigerate the dough overnight (or up to 3 days), checking every hour for the first 4 hours and pressing it down if it starts to rise.
3. Cut the dough into 8 or 12 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth. On a lightly floured counter, with lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Cover the dough with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes before baking.
4. Cook the pitas: Preheat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly grease the surface and cook the pitas one at a time. Cook for about 20 seconds, then turn the dough and continue cooking for 1 minute or until big bubbles appear. Turn the dough again and cook until the dough balloons. If the dough begins to brown, lower the heat. The entire cooking process for each pita should be about 3 minutes.
6 pita bread pockets
¼ cup olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut each pita bread into 8 triangles. Separate the front and back of each triangle along the seam. Place triangles on lined cookie sheet (we baked our pita chips in 3 batches.)
Brush each triangle with oil and sprinkle the chips with salt.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.