Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's All Greek to Me

Good afternoon my fellow bloggers! I suppose you are wondering what the title of this post is playing at, right? Well, if you guessed Greek food, you would be a winner. I'm not saying you would win a prize or anything, but a great Greek recipe would substitute, maybe? I am enchanted with Greek food and their culture. The Grecians are so spirited and care free. I mean, they must be. They live surrounded by water on 3 of their 4 borders. They are golden and beautiful.
When they speak, they have an elegance to their words, regardless of how foreign the words are to us. Anyway, we are going to dip our toes into the world of gyros and tzatziki. Tzatziki is a Greek meze, or appetizer generally used for gyros or souvlaki. Let's get cooking!

Chicken Gyros with Cucumber Salsa and Tzatziki

You will need:

    • 2 kirby cucumbers, divided
    • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (3/4 pounds)
    • teaspoon fresh lemon juice, divided
    • 5 garlic cloves, minced, divided
    • pint grape tomatoes, quartered
    • small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • feta (optional, to taste)
    • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/4 cup chopped mint
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • teaspoon oregano
    • teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
    • 1 (12 ounce) package naan bread (four 8-inch pieces)
    • pocketless pita bread round
    • 1/2 roast chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded (about 2 1/4 cups)
    • 1/2 head iceburg lettuce, thinly sliced
    NOTE: All items can be found at your local market or specialty store

                                  1. Preheat your oven
                                  2. Peel and grate 1 cucumber, then squeeze it to remove excess water. Stir in yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, one third of garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to make your tzatziki.
                                  3. Cut remaining cucumber into 1/4-inch pieces and stir together with tomatoes, feta (if using), onion, parsley, mint, remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to make salsa.
                                  4. Gently simmer the oil, oregano, rosemary, remaining garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small saucepan, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant but not browned, so about 1 to 2 minutes. Toss chicken with 3 tablespoons garlic oil and brush one side of bread with remainder.
                                  5. Heat bread, oiled side up, in a cookie sheet, covered with foil, 3 to 4 inches from broiler 3 minutes. Uncover and broil, rotating bread for even coloring, until golden in spots, about 2 minutes.
                                  6. Spread some of tzatziki on warm bread and top with chicken and some of lettuce and salsa. Serve remaining lettuce, salsa, and tzatziki on the side.
                                  NOTE: Tzaziki can be made one day ahead and chilled if you prefer.

                                  Pictured above: making of the tzaziki

                                  Well, finishing off that meal made me super hungry so I'm going to dart out of here and make some fyros for myself! Enjoy your tzaziki and Αντίο! (That's bye in Greek)