Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Big Fat Greek Taco

I have blogged before about the best husband in the world and I being from different parts of the country and how this has affected our pronunciation of certain words. Tamayto - Toemahtoe, here we go again. 

I'm making lamb tonight for dinner. I'm going to marinade it, then skewer it and TBHITW will grill it. Then we'll fill pita breads with lettuce, tomatoe, yogurt cucumber sauce and the grilled lamb. I call this a Gyro (year-ooh). TBHITW calls it a hear-ooh. The kidadults and middles call it a gi-row. 

In the interest of world peace at the local level we have agreed to call it: My Big Fat Greek Taco. 

My apologies to taco (tah-ko) lovers, any ethnic group I may have slighted, and slim Greeks everywhere. 

My Big Fat Greek Taco: (makes 5 or more)

1 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb cut into cubes
1 Lemon, juiced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground black pepper

Note Added 2 hours after original post:
Just got back from the grocery store and the only lamb they had was a full leg of lamb, on the bone. At $43.00 too rich for my blood and more lamb than I need. But they did have very nice lean ground lamb for $4.49 per pound. No need to rethink dinner and put all my other ingredients back, I'm going to punt. 

2 pounds ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium shallot (or small onion) minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small roll ground into fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten with a fork
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in small saute pan. Add onions and sweat until translucent. Add garlic and saute for 1 more minute until garlic is soft and fragrant. Cool.

Place ground lamb in large mixing bowl. Add cooled onion/garlic mixture, bread crumbs, egg, rosemary, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Mix gently to combine. Form around wooden skewers so the lamb looks like a 5 inch hot dog (slightly fatter). Squeeze meat around skewer. Grill about 8 minutes. Voila! Gyro Punting! 

1/2 cup greek style yogurt (if you can't get it in your area, use plain, non-fat)
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped small
1 small bunch (about 1/4 cup chopped) fresh mint
Squeeze of lemon juice

2 cups Shredded lettuce
1 medium tomatoe, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped fine (optional)

5 or 6 loaves pita bread (or Nan, yum!) warmed in microwave or grilled lightly.

The Meat:
Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a sealable ziplock bag. Add lamb and toss around to coat. Marinade in the fridge at least 45 minutes and up to 4 hours.*

When ready, heat grill to medium high. Take lamb out of fridge about 30 minutes before skewering. Skewer lamb on metal skewers (if using wood skewers, soak for 30 minutes in hot water**)

Grill about 8 to 10 minutes for medium, turning often. Let rest 10 minutes on skewers, tented.

The Sauce:
Mix the yogurt, cucumbers, mint and lemon. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Give everyone a warm pita. Have them fill it with meat, then lettuce, tomatoe (onion optional) then top with sauce. 
Serve with some fresh fruit on side. Watermelon chunks tossed with Feta cheese is lovely. 

A Cook's Notes:

*Studies have shown that the largest flavor transfer when marinading occurs within the first 45 minutes. Less time with light foods like shrimp and fish fillets. Also, people use WAY too much marinade, you only need 1/4 cup per 1 pound of meat. Don't waste your expensive ingredients with using more. 

**Using HOT water when soaking your wooden skewers opens up the pores in the wood and will insure that more water is absorbed into the wood meaning your skewers are less likely to burn up. 

If you're reading this and there is no picture come back later - I'll have a photograph at dinner time EST! Enjoy

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for dropping by my blog. I love your blog! I love cooking. I can't wait to try some of these recipes out! :)


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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