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  Tomato Croquettes with Cucumber Yogurt –   
                                Domatokeftethes Me Tzatziki






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Tomato Croquettes with Cucumber Yogurt
I cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed 
1 plum (Roma) tomatoes 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon finely chopped roasted oil-packed Calabrian chilies or 2 or 3 small red chilies, roasted oil-packed Calabrian chilies (see Resources, page 190) or 2 or 
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-Leaf) parsley 
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions 
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano 
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil 
Pinch of sugar, if needed 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs, preferably panko crumbs (note: Japanese panko crumbs, coarser and lighter than ordinary bread crumbs, give a crisper coating to this) 
Cucumber Yogurt - Tzatziki: This cool, tangy yogurt takes just minutes to make, and yet it's so delicious on so many foods, it makes its way to my table on a regu­lar basis. Add a little diced red onion and try this as a wholesome substitute for mayonnaise in tuna or chicken salads. My family in Greece treats this as a condiment, and prepares it just about daily to serve with roasted chicken, brisket, pita bread, meatballs, and fried fish. It's considered essential with roasted lamb; even the gyros vendors on the streets in Athens won't let you walk away without a dollop of tzatziki on top of the meat. There are a dozen different ways to cut cucumber for tzatziki­sliced, chunky, minced, diced-but my favorite method is the one I learned while on Skopelos. Using an old-fashioned metal grater, I grate my peeled cucumber right up to the seeds while holding it over the yogurt to catch all the juices and the flavor. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 cups plain yogurt (regular or low-fat) 1 medium cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and yogurt. Grate the cucumber halves into the yogurt mixture up to the seeds; discard the seeds. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve chilled. SERVES 4 TO 6 Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Core the tomatoes and slice them in half lengthwise. Place in a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, cut side down. Pour any oil remaining in the bowl over the tomatoes. Bake until the skins are wrinkled and tomatoes are soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the skins from the tomatoes and discard. Place the tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl for about 20, minutes. Press on them occasionally to break them apart and release their juices (see note). Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and chilies and stir for another minute. (If you don't have Calabrian chilies, roast, skin, and seed the fresh chilies use resource page.) Pour the onion mixture into a bowl. Divide the mixture into 6 balls and then form into patties about 1/2 inch thick. Heat the remaining 10 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add 3 of the patties (the patties should be half-submerged in the oil; add more oil as needed.) Brown for about 3 minutes on the first side, turn, and brown for another 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. Remove and drain on papertowels while cooking the second batch. Sprinkle with salt and eat while warm or let the croquettes cool, place them in a sturdy plastic container, and pack them in your picnic basket. SERVES 4 To 6

excerpts from: "Cat Cora's Kitchen", by Cat Cora

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