Sunday, April 3, 2011

Greek Gyros

Sorry I didn't take a picture of these. We had company, and it feels odd to pull out the camera before allowing guests to eat! (Although Bart did pull out the camera before allowing them to eat dessert after they exclaimed that the dessert looked so pretty that it should have its picture taken! It was the chocolate-covered strawberry cake I posted previously.) These sandwiches were fabulous! I prefer to use the Soft Wrap Bread from the King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion. I had to ask at the meat counter for the lamb. At Fred Meyer, it was located in front of the fish counter (I wouldn't have thought to look there). According to the original recipe, if you want you can serve these inside pocket pitas if desired--I just happen to like the soft, pillowy texture of the pocketless wrap breads better for this type of sandwich.

Greek-Style Lamb Pita Sandwiches with Tzatziki Sauce

5 large (8-inch) pita breads (I prefer to use Soft Wrap Bread from King Arthur Flour)
½ medium onion, chopped coarse (about ¾ cup)
4 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 2 teaspoons)
1 pound ground lamb
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 recipe Tzatziki Sauce (recipe follows)
1 large tomato, sliced thin
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Tear about ½ (or up to 3/4) of one pita bread into 1-inch pieces. Stack remaining 4 pitas and tightly wrap with aluminum foil. Process onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and pita bread pieces in food processor until smooth paste forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer onion mixture to large bowl; add lamb and gently mix with hands until thoroughly combined. Divide mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Gently flatten balls into round disks, about ½ in thick and 2 ½ inches in diameter.

Place 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 and crust forms, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip patties, reduce heat to medium, and cook until well browned and crust forms on second side, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer patties to paper towel-lined plate.

Place patties on top of a square of aluminum foil. Using a soup spoon, spread ¼ cup Tzatziki Sauce on each pita, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides.. Divide patties evenly among pitas; top each sandwich with tomato slices, ½ cup shredded lettuce, and 2 tablespoons feta. Fold one side of pita over filling. Fold opposite side of pita over filling so it overlaps first side. Fold one side of foil over sandwich. Fold up bottom of foil. Wrap other side of foil over sandwich to fully enclose it.

Tzatziki Sauce

½ cup Greek yogurt
½ medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced fine (about ½ cup)
3/8 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed (about ½ teaspoon)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves or dill

Combine cucumber, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and lemon juice in colander set over bowl and let stand 30 minutes. Combine yogurt, drained cucumber, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, garlic, and mint (or dill) in clean bowl.

1 comment:

  1. I love gyro sandwiches, but I usually use chicken (souvlaki) The first time I tried tzatziki sauce was at a RS meeting. A lady was raised on Greek food (her grandmother was from Greece), and this was one of her favorites. She shredded the cucumber, but finely diced would be good too. It is so light and refreshing!