Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gyro: The Quintessential Greek "Go to" Food


     In America we call them "jye-rows" but I have been told the right way to pronounce them is "Year-row"  (Forgive my spelling of sound).  Either way, if you have had one you know how damn good they are.  It's something simple like this quick "sandwich" which brings forth so many flavors and tastes of a wonderful culture. The hearty juicy lamb meat with tastes of the famous tzatziki sauce of cucumber, yogurt, and mint. The cold and crispness from the tomato and sometimes onion give the rest of the flavors a contrast in texture. I've had these many times, whether at a festival from a vendor or at a little Greek restaurant in my college town.  These are usually served using a spit of lamb meet that has been shaved down.  However in my small town the only lamb I could find was ground lamb or a tiny shank.  So the recipe follows my actions of using the ground lamb. The taste was the same, however it was a bit messier.  I also had trouble finding the perfect pita bread for which these sandwiches are served in. I was looking for a nice large piece of pita, however the only thing I could find in my grocery store was the little sandwich pita pockets.  So these had to suffice. Below I start by giving you my recipe for a simple tzatziki sauce that accompanies this dish.  Please enjoy my take on the classic Gyro.

Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbs dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup small diced cucumber
  • Salt/pepper

Gyro Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced purple onion
  • Pita bread
  • 1 tbs oregano

     First peel and dice up the cucumber portion.  Mix the cucumber into the yogurt.  Dice up the mint and garlic and mix into the yogurt.  Mix in the dill, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Mix until the flavors blend well together and sit aside. Slice up your onion and tomatoes and sit aside.

     Now because I had to use ground lamb I took the lamb and browned it in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Mixed in the oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. 

     Split you pita bread open.  Spread in some of the tzatziki sauce.  Then add a slice of tomato, some onion, and some of the lamb.  Viola!  You have a wonderful, simple, and delicious taste of the Greek islands.

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