My local Kroger store surprised me with lamb patties but I dithered about using them until tonight when I threw this dinner together. The yogurt came from one of those little cups – plain Greek yogurt with dried dill weed added and a little garlic. I’ve been collecting olives, the plate tonight has three kinds: Baby kalamatas, country style cracked green olives, and stuffed manzanillas. The garden is still producing tomatoes but the nights have been cooler so they will be coming to an end. Love them with feta and kosher salt.
Mrs J suggested this dish. I had mentioned shrimp fried rice and this was her counter – sounded good to me! I browned 1 cup of long grain rice in olive oil and butter along with a couple cups of chopped Anaheim peppers, half a yellow onion, and a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Keep stirring it all as the rice turns color, then add a can of tomato bits with green chilies and 2 cups of chicken stock with a tablespoon of tomato paste stirred in. I added a sprinkle each of ground cumin and a Madras curry powder I had on hand. Cover over low heat and stir occasionally until the rice absorbs the liquids.It’ll take 20 minutes or so for the rice to cook. Add more stock if needed. I thawed some precooked shrimp for this one and added them after the rice was ready and mixed them in to warm with the hot rice mixture. I think I would cook raw shrimp in oil with garlic and remove them to another dish, using the same pan for the veggies and rice.
We found some ground lamb the other day in the huge market in the neighboring town. We get over there once a week but don’t stop in for the groceries too often. When we do stop in, I try to make a quick survey of the goodies they stock. Usually a better selection of cheeses there, and I’ve grown fond of their antipasto bar.
I usually go with Alton Brown’s recipe for the gyro meat but looked for something different this time, not that this recipe is all that much a a change. It worked well. I didn’t use any ground beef with the lamb for mine, and added some ground coriander as per a suggestion in the comments to the recipe. The tzatziki sauce was the usual, cucumbers, garlic,yogurt, chopped fresh mint, a splash of red wine vinegar, a bit of olive oil, salt, and the juice of half a lemon. Be sure to drain the yogurt, and squeeze the water from the cukes. Greek yogurt is better than regular but it still has plenty of extra water. The tzatziki wants a little time to come together but you can eat it freshly made without a significant taste penalty
I’ll probably take fire for calling this chili-mac because it doesn’t use elbows. The chili topping was very easy, a can of pinto beans and a can of tomato bits with green chilies. I added a fair amount of a general purpose chili powder and then just simmered it in a sauce pan for a little while. The cheese sauce is heaviest on Monterey jack but I used up the last of a Parmesan-Romano mix that I have been using on pizzas. I needed the shaker top jar to put my red pepper flakes into and it has nice big holes in the lid. There is a sprinkle of paprika on the pasta to ease the color transition form the cheese sauce to the chili.
I’m tempted to pass this off as a chicken gyro, not otherwise knowing just what to call it. There is probably a well known name for these in some part of the world but I am drawing a blank. It was quickly thrown together for a lunch before I went out to start the weekly lawn mowing. Taking a break from that chore to stretch my legs. I always make way more tzatziki than the two of us can easily eat but it works on plenty of things other than the traditional gyros that introduced me to it. It’s quite good on fresh tomatoes – we have a lot of those this year, unlike last year when the drought and 110 degree days just ruined the crop.