13 January 2011

{Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Salad}

Before I start blabbering about the delicious Gyros I recently made, let me stop myself. First, I want to praise my favourite, Greek-themed blog, Ella says Opa!

Ever since I saw the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I have been obsessed with exploring the Greek cuisine. Feta cheese, tzatziki, yogurt, lamb and red wine; scents and tastes sizzling together to create delicious dishes the world has come to adore. 

Elly says Opa! explore the wide world of Greek food; the variaties and beauties; from souvlaki to moussaka.  I've been bookmarking her recipes for months, but never seem to find time to make any of them. A long list of recipes to try has been written on my computer, and although I make a lot of food, the list never seemsto shrink. 

But finally, one of Elly's recipes made it to the top: Chicken Gyros.

Gyros is, in fact, a Greek version of the Turkish döner kebab, originating in the 1800s in Thessaloniki. In short, it's fried lamb or chicken wrapped in a pita along with tzatziki, vegetables and other condiments. I found Lebanese pitas to be good wrappers, as they - for some reason or another - didn't grow like pitas are supposed to. Perhaps I didn't follow the recipe correctly, or made a mistake when I was translating it from French. Whatever it was, they remained flat, without loosing any taste, and were thus perfect for my Gyros. 

Next came the gyros filling. Although I knew that meat marinated in red wine created blissfully good dishes, I was uncertain whether meat marinated in yogurt would do the same. It was wrong of me to doubt. They were absolutely heavenly. And finally, the salad. I like to experiment with salads, adding couscous or pesto or tuna or anything else to vary, but I tend to go relapse back to my original recipe. Because it's good, you know.

Lebanese Pitas
Recipe by Un Dejeuner de Soleil

500g flour
10 g instant yeast
60 g olive oil
15 g salt
300 g tepid water

1.In a bowl, blend the yeast and 100 g of warm water together. Allow the instant yeast to react with the water before continuing.

2.In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, water, olive oil and the yeast mixture together. The dough should be smooth and soft. Allow to rise until doubled in size.

3.Kneed the dough on a floured surface and divide the dough into ten balls. Let them rise for a further 30 minutes. Gently flatten each ball of dough with a rolling pin and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise for 40 minutes.

4.Preheat oven to 240-250 ° C. Place the doughs on a baking sheet, lined with oiled baking paper and cook for about 7 – 8 minutes.

Chicken Gyros
Recipe by Elly Says Opa!

Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsbp plain yoghurt, heaped
Salt and pepper
Sliced tomatoes, to taste
Tzatziki, to taste (see below)
Sliced onion, to taste (I used red, but it's optional)
4 (pocketless) pitas
1 tbsp dried oregano
567g beef pieces

1.Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl. Add the beef and rub the marinade in. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. Preheat the broiler (or grill, or pan on the stove). Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper on both sides, and then broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, depending what size/type beef you are using. Allow the beef to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

2.Meanwhile, heat your pitas. Top the pita with the beef, tzatziki, tomatoes, onions. Roll up and eat!

From Kalyn's Kitchen

810 g Greek yogurt
Juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix the ingredients together.   

Madame Grenouille's Salad
Original Recipe by Marion Fløysvik

Medium-sized salad, shredded and dried
50 g black olives, sliced
50 g sundried tomatoes
50 g feta cheese, crumbled or in cubes
6 medium-sized tomatoes, in cubes or chopped
150 g sugarpeas, chopped

1 dl olive oil
1/2 dl red wine vinegar
2 dl balsamico vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dash of lemon
Herbes de Provençe, to taste

1.Chop the vegetables and mix together. Place in a salad bowl.

2.Dressing: In another bowl, mix the liquid ingredients together. Once mixed, add the spices and mix well. Pour over salad and blend with vegetables.

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