Spring Supper

2:49 pm by

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted! I have a million pictures, but have been very busy with work and other activities (including: teaching Art Literacy, spearheading a Youth Group Room remodel, speaking at conferences, re-painting my kitchen, dealing with pets, dealing with tweens… :)

Anyway, it’s been a very wet spring here – we finally broke the 70-degree mark for the first time this past week (the 3rd WEEK OF MAY!). And today, wonder of wonders, the sun is out, the skies are blue. I rode my bike to my 12.30 class and the kids made fun of my helmet hair. :)

So, what do we do when it’s warm? We open *every window in the house* and enjoy/ignore the neighborhood sounds. Enjoy: birds, lawnmowers, happy kids. Ignore: neighbor revving car, leaf blowers, chainsaws, crying kids. And serve a light spring supper in keeping with the weather. Since my life dream is to spend a month in Italy and Greece, I’m serving up:

Lemon Pepper Pork Gyros with Homemade Tzatziki and Xioriatiki

(sounds fancy, eh? Skip to the bottom for the details. Note: you can also use thinly sliced steak or chicken in place of pork. Someone will suggest lamb and you go ahead & have fun with that. I cannot stand lamb as food, tho the little smelly things are adorable in person and not on my plate.)

an Angelicious recipe

Gyros (30 min marinade):

  • 1 1/4 lb. pork sirloin (or chuck steak, or boneless skinless chicken breasts), sliced into thin strips
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 T chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

In a glass bowl, toss pork strips with remaining ingredients. Cover and let stand, at room temp, for 30 minutes to marinate.

Meanwhile…

Homemade Tzatziki – the easy way

  • 1 c plain yoghurt (Greek yoghurt works best, but regular yoghurt is fine)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded & finely diced
  • 1/2 small cucumber, peeled, seeded & finely dice
  • 1 T chopped fresh mint
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Other:

  • 1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • flatbread OR pita bread pockets

In glass bowl, mix all tzatziki ingredients and stir well. Season with salt, pepper & parsely; stir, cover and set aside at room temp.

(Tzatziki – the not as easy, but seriously yummy way.)

Heat grill (I use my old, battered, but still reliable George Foreman!) and spray with non-stick cooking spray or brush with oil. Grill meat in batches, placing in a slightly warm oven to keep until ready to serve.

Let's get grilling!

While meat is cooking, slice pita pockets in half, or prepare flatbread slices for serving. Tip: warm your bread before slicing to prevent tearing; about 15-30 seconds in the microwave should do it.

To serve, stuff pita pockets – or layer on flatbreads – with grilled meat. Drizzle with about 1-2 T tzatziki.

It's pita time!

Xioriatiki (Greek Village Salad)

Super simple & super yummy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, shredded (by hand)
  • 3 tomatoes cut into wedges OR 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c crumbled feta cheese (TJs has a great Greek feta)
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata or black olives, drained
  • Capers (optional)

Mix first 3 ingredients in medium bowl; top with remaining ingredients.

(NOTE: You can also layer the ingredients (starting from the top) and drizzle dressing over individual plates.)

DRESSING:

  • 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried or 1 T fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

Combine dressing ingredients; shake well and let sit for about 15 minutes at room temperature. When ready, pour over salad & toss. Serve with gyros.

Pictures to come!

BTW, here is what you’re making:

Gyros = YEER-ohs. Essentially “Greek sandwiches,” consisting of meat and dressing (sometimes veggies) wrapped in flatbread. The typical ingredient is lamb. (yuck.)

Tzatziki = tsah-ZEE-kee. A sauce/dressing made of yoghurt and cucumber. Yummy & lowfat!

Xoriatiki = HOHR-ee-ah-tiki. “Greek Village Salad” or “Traditional Greek Salad.” A very simple and easy to prepare salad that brings out the true flavors of Greek food. Serve as a main dish with a nice, crusty bread, or as a side to dish with chicken, steak, seafood or – as above – gyros! The salad is typically made with chunks or slabs of feta, rather than crumbled, but I’m cooking for a family and chunks of feta do not live in my fridge.

Last but not least: this is a very kid-friendly recipe. The gyros are mild, minus “scary” ingredients and plus the fun of folded sandwiches. The tzatziki is smooth and creamy – again, nothing scary – and the salad is very basic (just watch out for the capers, some kids think they look like fish eyes. Some kids who ┬ámay have once upon time been, um, me).

Happy spring!

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