Monday, February 23, 2009

Homemade Gyros

Who doesn't love Greek food? I mean, come on now, you have to love any food that comes from such a beautiful country. I am a sucker for gyros and soft pita bread and tangy tzatziki....YUM. We are trying to be easier on the budget and eat out less and this recipe I came across totally does it for me! Killer. You have to try it.

Yummy Gyros
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 pounds ground lamb (I used 1 lb ground lamb and 1/2 lb ground turkey - you can substitute however you choose, but the lamb gives the most authentic flavor)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pita bread, cut in half to form pockets (I used pocketless pita, it's way softer & chewier)
Tomato, sliced
Red onion, thinly sliced
Tzatziki (recipe below)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and let it cool. Add the lamb, lemon juice, oregano, rosemary, cumin, salt, and pepper to the onion mixture and mix well. Form the meat into 8 thin patties, each about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Heat the remaining oil in the sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the lamb patties and cook for about 5 minutes or until the juices run clear, flipping the patties halfway through. Place meat on warmed pita bread then top with lettuce, tomato, onion, and plenty of tzatziki. Makes 8 gyros.

Tzatziki Sauce
(I could eat an entire bowl of this with soft chewy pita bread - YUMMY!)

2 cups plain yogurt
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 large cucumber - peeled, seeded and shredded

Use a cheesecloth or coffee filter to strain the yogurt in metal sieve over a bowl for 3 to 4 hours, until most of the water has drained. Press excess liquid out of the shredded cucumber. In a medium bowl, stir together the cucumber and strained yogurt. Mix in the garlic, salt, pepper and mint. Chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours.