Saturday, March 30, 2013

Beef Gyros, Homemade Pita Bread, with Tzatziki

 Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, what are those?

Pita! Pita! Pita!

I made Pita Bread! It was so easy. Why did I wait so long to try to make Pita!?

I just did not understand how it could work, but it did! And it's so much better than the store bought kind!
Ick! Horribly disappointing!

You just make the dough... I put these ingredients in my bread machine
 and used the "dough setting"...

When the "dough cycle" is complete, divide the dough into 8 portions and let it rest under a towel for at least 20 minutes...

Then just roll it thin with a rolling pin like this...

Then slap it on to a smoking hot pizza stone (in a 500 degrees Fahrenheit oven)...

And in about 3 minutes, it looks like this...

Pretty awesome, right?

Here's another great looking pita making tutorial... good if you don't have a bread machine.  I read that if you don't have a pizza stone, you can turn a cookie sheet over, preheat it in the oven, and bake your pita bread on the up-side down cookie sheet.

So now that we have pita, what shall we have with the pita???

Why, gyros of course!

Here's a great recipe I tried recently for gyro meat.  I quadrupled the recipe
 (used a total of 2 pounds of ground beef... I was wanting lots of leftovers).  I love this recipe!

I found the recipe on a blog called Big Red Kitchen:
Gyro Meat
  • 1/2 pound ground beef, 85% lean
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl mix all ingredients very well. The key to getting this meat dense is to knead it extensively. It should look pasty when you are done with it.
  3. Form meat into a 3x5 inch patty.
  4. Place in baking dish and bake for 27 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven, allowing to cool a few minutes and slice thinly.
  6. Serve in a gyro sandwich or salad.

While the gyro beef is baking, you can slice up some tomato and onion...

And whip up some garlicky cucumber yogurt sauce (recipe below)... I tripled the recipe.

Now, the big delimma is chosing whether you should make a pita pocket by tearing the pita in half...

Or make a pita "taco"...

But no matter what, this is a tasty treat!  A bit of work... but well worth the effort.

Tzatziki (Yogurt Cucumber Sauce):

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cucumber (see notes below) *
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped (I used one medium sized clove of garlic)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (more if desired for a thinner sauce)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the sauce while the kabobs are baking.Combine yogurt, cucumber (*), garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined. Season with extra salt and pepper as desired. Sauce should be the consistency of thick cream.

(*) Cucumbers are full of liquid! To keep the sauce thick, a little extra work is required. Peel 1/2 of a cucumber. Cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Coarsely grate the cucumber with a cheese grater. Place the grated cucumber in a clean kitchen towel or several layers of paper towel. Lift the edges of the towel and squeeze the cucumber in the towel to wring out extra moisture.


Coloradomom said...

Looks amazing!!!! On my way over for lunch!

Kim said...

How fun would that be! Yes, I'll cook for you.