Mmm… Gyros

DSC_8100 (1600x1060)The mint is starting to come back.  I doubt we can eat enough gyros to eradicate it during the normal course.  It’s wildly invasive and this patch has been sprouting anew for years now after more than a few attempt to kill it off.  I suppose we can live with it.

The gyro meat and tzatziki sauce are both from Alton Brown’s recipe.  I sliced the loaf thin and broiled it a bit in the toaster oven this time, I usually brown it in a saute pan in a little olive oil.  The resulting brown crust adds to the flavor and is worth the extra time.

I see a lot of recipes for gyros that call for shredded lettuce and I’ve seen some served with French fries right in there but the first gyros I ever ate had only the meat, the sauce, and the tomatoes and onions rolled into a warm pita so that is how I do them.

Tidbits

DSC_7081 (1600x1060)Here’s some Irish stew for you.  Lamb braised in dark beer and beef broth with carrots and potatoes.  Awesome and simple if you have a few hours to spare, most of that is simmering the lamb.IMG_3060 (1600x1200)And a kitteh.  I don’t have any info on this one other than it can be your kitteh if you act fast.IMG_3045 (1600x1200)Same deal for these two.  Pretty sure the “kitler” marked fellow has been there for a while.  St Francis.DSC_7080 (1600x1060)Gyros are always fun.  I could eat tzatziki on saltines and count that a feast.  I made this batch with a honey flavored yogurt.  I did it before by accident and we liked it so well we did it on purpose this time.DSC_7084 (1600x1060)I made chorizo chili today because a cold front was supposed to drop the temps and chili just sounded good.  Mrs J mentioned that she saw some hot dogs in the freezer while prospecting the other day and chili dogs sounded better than plain chili.  Hard to argue with her logic.

Food Pr0n – Gyros and Tzatziki

DSC_6840 [1600x1060]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.DSC_6847 [1600x1060]

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

Greek Salad

DSC_6492 [1600x1200]We needed to finish out the ground lamb we had thawed so gyros were in order.  I looked for suggestions for a side and saw mentions of a Greek salad in several places.  A search for “Greek salad” turned up one from Rachael Ray.  It turned out rather well, I think.DSC_6496 [1600x1200]

Gyro Kebabs!

DSC_6270 [1600x1200]I cut some lamb for a stew from a leg joint a while back but didn’t use all the meat.  I ground up the leftover and froze it.  Today a search for ground lamb recipes brought me to this recipe.  I had everything and decided to give it a try.  The kebabs formed easily and stayed together much better than I anticipated.DSC_6268 [1600x1200]I laid them gently onto the hot grill, closed the lid for a few minutes, and turned them as needed with tongs.  For a change, I followed the kebab portion of the recipe to the letter.  The tzatziki sauce that Alton Brown makes is so good I went with his recipe.DSC_6271 [1600x1200]There wasn’t anything in the recipe about tomatoes or pitas but Mrs J determined that they were required.  Good call Mrs J!

Gyros

DSC_5772 [1600x1200]Still using Alton Brown’s recipes for these.  Mrs J has been on a mint eradication jihad in her front garden and has had some success, enough that I couldn’t find any to garnish the plate tonight. She also dug out an old gnarly rose bush that the mint was growing up through.  DSC_5769 [1600x1200]I did alter his method a bit, informed by my reading from the Serious Eats web site.  I kept the lamb cold for the processing, it was nearly so cold that the paste was stiff enough that my machine had all it wanted to spin.  I have no idea if the “leakage” of liquids from the loaf was affected for good or ill.  I cooked it in a 300 oven until the thermometer reached 165 which was higher than the second fellow recommended.  I did do the slicing and broiling trick to get a bit of crisp on the meat.DSC_5771 [1600x1200]And I did add some mayo to the tzatziki, again influenced a bit by the Serious Eats discussion, but it otherwise was Alton’s recipe.  I can’t say it helped any and I’ll leave it out of the next batch but YMMV, as the kids say these days.  I will note that his Food Lab blog is the place that taught me how to do French fries right.  Enjoy!DSC_5777 [1600x1200]

Tidbits

DSC_3335 [1600x1200]Katie is still with us, still unapproachable, still a hungry dog.  She is getting very picky in what she will eat though, we have spoiled her so.  She picks the cheese and meat nuggets out from among the regular dog kibbles and then leaves those in and about the bowl.  My boys happily clean up after her, they will lick her bowl clean.DSC_5052 [1600x1200]Gyros are a favorite around here.  I spotted a package of ground lamb at a store we don’t get to very often and it had been sitting in our freezer for a while.  I used Alton Brown’s recipe to good effect.  I found that sprig of mint growing out in the front garden, peeking out from between some stones.  We’ve sprayed that stuff with Roundup several times but it has proved difficult to eradicate.  We have managed to prevent it from taking over.  Oh well, a few sprigs as garnishes here and there are nice.DSC_3334 [1600x1200]Bitsy is a real explorer.  Here she is leaving the top shelf of a pantry space in the kitchen.  She managed this foray without knocking anything over but that hasn’t always been the case.  DSC_5067 [1600x1200]Finally tonight, here is one of my favorite soups.  Beef and barley with onions, or beef and onions with barley.  I suppose by volume it’s onions with beef and barley.  I spotted some cheese in the local deli that I hadn’t seen there before, horseradish cheddar.  It seemed the perfect thing to grate on top of garlic bread.  The combo toasted nicely and was most excellent with the soup.