Monday, August 3, 2009

Gyro's and gooood friends!


It was decided that we would make Gyros with some ground lamb that we had from "The Lamb". Mr Food had wanted to try the Alton Brown recipe for a long time. So, after reading up on the recipe we decided to make it and I decided that I would make the Pita from scratch as well. We invited our victims (better known as "the neighbors") to try it out with us. Along the way we got a phone call from our pals who were visiting from California. They were here with their kiddos and so we invited them all to experience this experiment.


We were lucky enough to have a grill with infrared rotisserie. Perfect. Some preparation beyond Alton's description had to be made with the lamb so that it would not fall apart. When Alton tells you to process the meat for 1 minute don't believe it. It needs to be processed for more like 3 or 4 or even 5 minutes.


Everything went according to plan.


I am very lucky to have "Mr Food" as my grillmeister. He is the best. Ya know a Texan CAN even grill Gyros!


Another trick that isn't in the recipe but we saw it being down when we watched the Alton Brown episode on TV is that it really needs to be cut with an electric knife.

Just for the record, homemade pita is worth making. It comes out great


I am so happy that I got to see my pals and share dinner with them. I miss you already A and D and K and J! Come back soon.

1 medium onion, finely chopped or shredded
2 pounds ground lamb
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon dried ground rosemary
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Tzatziki Sauce, recipe follows

Process the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds and turn out into the center of a tea towel. Gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze until almost all of the juice is removed. Discard juice. ( DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP)

Return the onion to the food processor and add the lamb, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, salt, and pepper and process until it is a fine paste, approximately 4 minutes. Stop the processor as needed to scrape down sides of bowl.

To cook on a rotisserie, proceed as follows:

Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape and place on top of 2 overlapping pieces of plastic wrap that are at least 18 inches long. Roll the mixture in the plastic wrap tightly, making sure to remove any air pockets. Once the meat is completely rolled in the wrap, twist the ends of the plastic wrap until the surface of the wrap is tight. Store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, to allow the mixture to firm up.

Preheat the grill to high.

Place the meat onto the rotisserie skewer. Place a double-thick piece of aluminum foil folded into a tray directly under the meat to catch any drippings. Cook on high for 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium and continue to cook for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees F. Turn off the heat and allow to continue to spin for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees. Slice and serve on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, chopped onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Tzatziki Sauce:
16 ounces plain yogurt

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped

Pinch kosher salt

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Pita Bread
I got the recipe from Flatbreads and Flavors and made a few changes to it.

2 tsp dry yeast
2 1/2 Cups lukewarm water
5 to 6 Cups whole wheat flour
1 tbl salt
1 tbl olive oil

In a large bread bowl sprinkle yeast over the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in 3 cups flour, a cup at a time, and then stir 100 times (I used the KitchenAid and had to add a bit of water so that it all worked itself into a ball. Add a little water at a time until dough forms into a ball.) Let this sponge rest for at least 10 minutes or as long as 2 hours.

Sprinkle salt over the sponge and stir in the olive oil. Mix well. Add more flour, a cup at a time until the dough is stiff. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Rinse out the bowl, dry and lightly oil. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until at least doubled in size, approx 1 1/2 hrs. The dough can be made ahead to this point and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with baking sheet on bottom rack of your oven.
Place 2 breads, or more if your oven is large enough on baking sheets, and bake for 2 to 3 minuts, or until each bread has gone into a full "balloon".

1 comment :