Went back to my roots today (a quarter of my roots) and made a Greek feast with the help of my friend and super chef Jordan. Mediterranean food is one of my favorite cuisines and I was really in the mood for something fresh and flavorful. Honestly, I was really in the mood for tzatziki. I have grown up having my grandmother’s tzatziki sauce on everything, specifically meats and vegetables. For those of you that are unfamiliar with tzatziki, it is a Greek sauce or dip that is Greek yogurt and cucumber based. My grandmother always added a little bit of dill to her’s but if you don’t have the dill, don’t worry. One of the most important things to remember when making the sauce is that the cucumber shavings must be drained before adding them to the Greek yogurt. After I grate the cucumber I transfer the shavings onto a paper town and squeeze out the liquid before putting it with the Greek yogurt. This makes the dip much more thick and creamy.
Souvlaki can really be any meat but my friend and I decided to treat ourselves and we bought lamb. You can use chicken, steak, or bison, but if you want the real Greek experience, go for the lamb It’s a little more expensive, but totally worth it. We prepared the lamb on a stove instead of on a grill or spit (we’re not in Greece). With a little bit of olive oil and onions, we browned the lamb and stuffed the meat into pita pockets with tomatoes and topped it off with tzatziki.
Super chef Jordan made an appetizer for us while I started the tzatziki. He sliced heirloom tomatoes and drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top. I have never thought of doing this before but it really is the easiest appetizer to make.
- 2 lbs. of ground lamb
- Olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 cup of baby heirloom tomatoes
- 4 pita pockets
In a medium frying pan, heat up olive oil with chopped garlic and onion. Once the onion is translucent, add the ground lamb and cook meat until browned. Feel free to season your lamb however you like.
Once the lamb is browned and cooked thoroughly, carefully transfer to a paper towel to drain the fat and extra juices.
Fill the pita pockets with grilled onion, chopped up baby heirloom tomatoes, and the lamb. Top off with tzatziki (recipe below).
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 16 oz. container of 0% nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic
- Lemon juice
- Dill (optional)
On a paper towel, peel and grate the cucumber. Drain the water from the cucumber by squeezing the paper towel over the sink. *This is SUPER important to make good tzatziki. Draining the water is essential for the sauce not to be watery*
In a medium bowl, add the entire container of yogurt, shaved cucumber and chopped garlic. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. If you have dill on hand, add that in as well, but that is completely optional. Just makes it more authentic
Dollop the tzatziki into the pita pockets and maybe even a little extra on the side