Authentic Gyros (without the spit)

If you know even the slightest thing about me, you know I am a darn sucker for a gyro sandwich. Whether it’s in line at 1am after too much wine in my much younger, more hip days or takeout from our favorite hole in the wall local gas station, I am a proud, obsessed supporter of that perfectly flavored, juices running down your arm, all wrapped up in a pita bundle of goodness. And fortunately, my hubs and kiddos are equally on board.

I mean what’s really better than seeing them slice that glorious, salty, savory meat off that spinning spit? It’s magical. I get all giddy just thinking about it. I’ve always wished that I could have my own spit at home…and someday when I have that giant industrial kitchen I’ve been dreaming about it just may happen. But for now, I’m left with no other option than to research the heck out of that there Interweb and find a way to make that melt-in-your-mouth meat sans the spit.

And thanks to good old Epicurious, my dreams have come true! This is an unbeatable method, guys, for achieving a truly authentic, perfectly textured and flavored meat. And the best part is that if you can make a meatloaf, you’ll rock the heck out of this recipe!

It’s perfect for weekdays…from here on out I’ll make the meat on Sunday’s, let it chill in the fridge overnight and then serve it all week long for quick, easy meals. . The chilling is key so that the flavors all develop and the texture becomes perfectly sliceable. After you make the meat and it has chilled, all that’s left to do is fry it up and pack it in a pita with all the goods. You can also pile it on a salad or serve it bowl-style with rice or quinoa. Winning, friends. Straight up winning!

Authentic Gyros (without the spit)

Note: you can very easily swap the lamb for ground beef here

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

For the Gyro Meat

1 Yellow Onion, grated

1 Pound Ground Lamb

1/2 Pound Ground Pork

2 Large Garlic Cloves, grated or pressed

2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

3/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon Ground Corriander

1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

2 Eggs

Olive Oil, for frying

For the Sandwiches

Pita Bread, slightly grilled or warmed

Rich Mans Salad, for topping *recipe here

Yogurt Sauce, for topping *recipe here

Directions

For the Gyro Meat

Preheat oven to 375 and grease an 8×8 glass baking dish with olive oil.

Grate the onion in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir gently with your hands until combined. Add the meat mixture to the prepared baking dish and gently pack it in and smooth out the top with your hands. Bake for 50 minutes or until nicely browned on top and the edges are starting to come away from the pan. Remove, chill to room temperature and cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

When you’re ready to serve the gyros add about 1/4 Cup olive oil to a pan (i use cast iron) and heat over medium high heat. Remove the meat from the baking dish with a large spatula and slice it as thin as you are able with a serrated knife. Fry the slices in olive oil, adding more oil if necessary as you go, until deep golden brown, turning occasionally.

For the Sandwiches

Pile the meat in pita bread and top with Rich Mans Salad and Yogurt Sauce.

Sheet Pan Chicken + Veggie Ranch Wraps

SONY DSC

So really, dinners have been about as quick and effortless as ever around here for the last few weeks.  You too?    Getting back into a school routine can be challenging for everyone involved so easy breezy meals help out a ton while trying to get everything else in order.  So heres a quick success from this week:  Sheet Pan Chicken + Veggie Ranch Wraps. Continue reading

The Maverick Blended Burger

SONY DSCA couple of months ago I had the honor of attending the launch of the James Beard Foundations Blended Burger Project here in Minneapolis.  The blended burger initiative aims to influence chefs to incorporate mushrooms into burger recipes, both for sustainability and health benefits.  Makes perfect sense to me.  And the coolest part is that this movement is being welcomed and respected to no end.   From elite restaurants to classic burger joints, these blends are showing up on menus all around the world.  And get this, schools throughout the country have incorporated blended burgers into their menus.  Can you imagine?  It’s time for change, friends, and I suppose we could start one household at a time.   Continue reading

One-Pan Chicken Philly Pitas with Sriracha Mayo

SONY DSCOye.  One-Pan Chicken Philly Pitas with Sriracha Mayo.  Thats a mouthful.  They’re a mouthful.  Happy mouthful to you, my dears!

SONY DSC

These types of “sheet pan meals” are all over this here interweb these days.  The plot:  put it all on a sheet pan, bake it and eat it.  Clever, no?  Makes a great story for a quick weeknight meal. Continue reading

Grilled Chicken Summer Clubs with Garlic Mayo Sauce

SONY DSC

Well, folks, my lovely oven is not working…it’s been a sad couple of days.  But you know what?  If my oven is going to go on strike it couldn’t have picked a better week for such a catastrophe.  It’s hot outside.  Like, reeeeaaaaalllyy, really sticky hot.  There is just no way I would be using the oven in this heat, that I can assure you.  So with the heat, and an oven thats waiting for the doctor to arrive, the grill saves the day!

Here we’ve got Grilled Chicken Summer Club sandwiches; start to finish in way less than 30 minutes.  And  these are not just any sammich.  These are little delicious packages that have summer written all over them.    Continue reading