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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Homemade Gyros

Another winner from Cook's Illustrated. Not a huge hit with any of the kids, but Mavis and I thought it was delicious. We bought ground,locally-raised lamb at the farmers' market, plus local lettuce and cherry tomatoes.
Homemade Gyros
adapted from Cook's Illustrated Jul/Aug 2007

4 large pitas (I made my own)
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
4 t fresh lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1 T minced fresh oregano leaves (mine dried up in the heat, so I used 1 t dried--from a jar, not from the backyard)
2 med cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press (about 2 t)
1 lb ground lamb
2 t vegetable oil
Tzatziki sauce (below)
1 large tomato, sliced thin, or 1/2 pt cherry tomatoes, halved
2 C shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 C)

Preheat oven to 350. Cut top quarter off each pita bread, and tear into one-inch pieces (about 3/4 C total). Stack pitas and wrap tightly in foil. Process onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and pita pieces in food processor until they form a smooth paste. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and then mix in lamb with hands until thoroughly combined. Divide meat mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls, then flatten to make 1/2-inch-thick mini-patties (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter).

Put foil-wrapped pitas directly on oven rack and heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add patties and cook until well-browned with a crust, 3-4 minutes.

Flip patties, reduce heat to medium, and cook another five minutes or so, until browned and crusty on the second side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Using soup spoon, spread 1/4 C Tzatziki Sauce inside each pita. Divide patties among pitas, then top with tomato, lettuce and feta. Serve immediately.

Tzatziki Sauce

1 C plain whole-milk yogurt (Brown Cow is best!)
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced fine (about 1/2 C)
3/8 t salt
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 med garlic clove, pressed through garlic press (about 1/2 t)
1 T freshly chopped mint or dill (I used mint)

Line fine-mesh strainer set over deep bowl with 3 paper coffee filters or 3 layers of paper towel. Spoon yogurt into lined strainer, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cucumber, 1/8 t salt, and lemon juice in colander set over bowl and let stand 30 minutes.

Discard strained liquid from yogurt and cucumber. Combine thickened yogurt, drained cucumber, remaining 1/4 t salt, garlic and mint in clean bowl.



Blogger New Diarist said...

You might want to try making the tzatziki with a Greek yogurt like Fage or Oikos. It has a tang and a texture like no other yogurt.

August 23, 2009 at 6:02 PM  

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