Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Greek Tacos

One of the few prime-time Food Network shows
that I will actually watch is the Food Network Star.
Up until this past season,
it had been called the Next Food Network Star.

Why the name change?
Who knows.
But then again,
many of the decisions of the powers that be (TPTB)
don't seem to make much sense at  the Food Network
these days.

The winner of this year's the Food Network Star
is Jeff Mauro, the self titled Sandwich King.

He claims that he can make any meal into a sandwich
and any sandwich into a meal.
His prize for winning the competition was a
show that would last six episodes.

Jeff proudly put forth his six episodes of
"Sandwich King".

I do believe that FN was happy enough with him
that they renewed the show.

And now let's look at the food.

One of the recipes Jeff presented was his version of a gyro.
Since it is not truly a gyro, made in the traditional method,
Jeff called it Greek Taco!

Here are the ingredients,
with my substitutions noted.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 red onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste**
1 tablespoon dry red wine

*I halved this part of the recipe
**I used 1/2 tablespoon minced sun-dried tomatoes instead.

Feta Mint Tzatziki:
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

Cucumber Tomato Relish:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 firm tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 red onion, diced
freshly ground black pepper

The Bread:
4 non-pocket pitas, oiled and lightly grilled on one side

Brown the lamb in oil over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the lamb
gets golden brown.
Lamb is very fatty,
so I drained the fat off so that the meat 
would actually brown instead of simply steam.
For this pound of meat I drained off 1/2 cup of fat.

While the lamb was cooking,
I made the cucumber tomato relish.
Mix together and set aside.

I also made the Tzatziki sauce
and put that in the fridge to let the flavors meld.

After the meat was nicely browned
I removed the meat from the pan and set it aside.

The recipe called for the onions to be sauteed 
in the lamb juices, 
but lamb fat is rather strongly flavored,
so I discarded that and used olive oil instead.

Once the onions had softened,
I added the oregano and garlic and cooked that for 
another minute.
Then I tossed in the minced sun-dried tomatoes
before pouring in the red wine.

Add back in the meat and stir together.

The meat mixture is now ready.

Spread the tzatziki sauce on the warmed pita 
before adding the other sandwich components.

Eat and enjoy.

We decided that we didn't care for the feta in the tzatziki,
but other than that,
this recipe is a keeper.

The flavor profile is very close to a gyro.
But this is a gyro you can make at home.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I haven't bothered to watch the sandwich show. I was rooting for the Hispanic chicka.