Greek Gyro

I had a craving for tzatziki sauce the other day after having some lebna at Mona’s Cafe. Now, it is great as a dipping sauce but it is even better in a Greek sandwich called a gyro.

The original recipe calls for lamb but you can use pork loin (which I did) or even chicken. Put the gyro together like a Greek fajita – sauce, meat, garnishes and then roll up in a pita instead of a tortilla and eat.

Greek Gryo

Meat Marinade

4 lbs of meat (leg of lamb, pork loin, chicken breasts)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice plus zest from one lemon
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2-teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Tzatziki Sauce:

16 ounces Greek yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and very finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice plus zest
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh mint
1 large pinch kosher salt

Garnishes, etc:

6-8 pita rounds
1 red onion, sliced thin
Ripe tomatoes, sliced thin
Romaine hearts, chopped

 

Line a medium mixing bowl with cheesecloth or use a clean, thin kitchen towel; dump the yogurt in the center. Gather the corners of the cloth and suspend the cloth over the bowl (to catch the drips) overnight.

Combine the marinade ingredients in a baking dish large enough to hold the meat of choice. Rub the marinade well into the meat. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours and up to overnight.

Discard the yogurt water and combine the now thickened yogurt with the remaining sauce ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate until use. This is best done a few hours before meal time so that the flavors can meld together.

Bring the meat to room temperature and then barbecue, grill or flame broil, turning and basting frequently until cooked to perfection. Use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness and cut the meat thinly after resting for ten minutes.

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Pork loin – butterflied, marinaded and grilled to perfection

Wrap pita in foil and heat at 350F for 5 minutes until warmed through.

To serve:  Spread pita with tzatzili sauce. Pile the meat into the sauced pita. Garnish with tomato, red onion and lettuce.

 

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Fireball Apple Cider Ice Cream

It is finally getting cold outside so that means apple cider is easily available. Add to that some Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and you’ve got the makings of some damn fine ice cream.  I used as a starting off point, this recipe.

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The apple flavor is crisp and bright and the cinnamon packs a little bit of heat. Perfect for a winter ice cream.

Fireball Apple Cider Ice Cream

2 cups apple cider
34 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
14 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

Whisk apple cider, sugar, and the cinnamon stick in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.

Stir in milk and cream until smooth, and then add ground cinnamon and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth. Add in the Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and stir. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Pour custard through a fine strainer into a medium bowl, and let cool. Refrigerate over night.

Process chilled custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a storage container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.