Greek Gyro and Tzatziki Sauce

Gyros are by far one of my favorite dishes. This recipe will make about 8 gyros depending on how much meat you like in yours.

Gyro Meat

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • 1lb Ground Lamb
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2t Oregano
  • 2t Salt
  • 1t Black Pepper
  • 1t Marjoram
  • 2T Dried Mint

Meat Preparation Directions:

Combine all ingredients but meat in a food processor and blend till very fine.
The next day, bake at 350F for 60 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing thin.Mix everything together very well in a mixing bowl. Compress into a tight loaf and refrigerate overnight.

The meat is now ready and can be stored for later use in the freezer as needed.

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 8oz yogurt
  • 1 Large Cucumber
  • 1/2t Black Pepper
  • 1t salt
  • 1t sugar
  • 2T dill
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Sauce Preparation:

This prep method is very unusual the first step is to take all of the water out of the cucumber. First slice the cucumber into quarters down the long way and take out the seeds. Chop and place in a food processor along with the salt. Blend lightly. Take out the cucumber mash and place it on 4-5 Paper towels to let the moisture soak in. After the first set of paper towels are saturated, flip the cucumbers onto a second set of paper towels and allow moisture to soak in. Repeat this process until the paper towels do not saturate completely.

Combine all ingredients and mix completely. Place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours for sauce to re-thicken.

Final Prep and Serving

Ingredients

  • Pitas
  • Tzatziki Sauce
  • Gyro Meat
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce

Directions:

place 4-5 pieces of sliced gyro meat on a skillet and allow to brown lightly on both sides. Fill a pita with the meat and slices of the tomato, lettuce and cucumber as desired. Cover with a scoop of Tzatziki Sauce and enjoy!

The Challenge!

I have made this reciepe a number of times and have always had the problem of a oil bubble forming in the center of the meat. This doesn’t affect the flavor as it comes out as soon as the meat is sliced. However, it does make the meat slices a little less “perfect” looking than I would like. I have considered a draining tube in the center of the loaf to prevent this issue but I would be interested to hear if anyone has a solution for this or has even run into a similar issue.

Spinach & Mushroom Salad

This very simple salad has always been quite a hit. The ingredients for the salad portion could easily be modified but the dressing is what makes this dish truly special.

Salad

  • Baby Spinach
  • Sliced White Mushrooms
  • Chopped Bacon
  • Hard Boiled Eggs

Dressing

  • 2/3 Cups Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
  • 2 T Grated Onion
  • 2 t Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 t Salt
  • Pepper to taste

Directions

  • Cook the Bacon and chop or slice into small pieces then set aside and allow to cool.
  • Combine all ingredients for the dressing and allow to sit in a closed container.
  • Just before serving, combine all ingredients for salad and toss with the dressing.

ENJOY!

Another great contribution on behalf of Martha Best. Thanks Mom!

Beer Cheese Soup

Beer Cheese soup was something my wife and I discovered during a visit to Wisconsin one summer. We loved it so much that I deconstructed the recipe and added my own little tweaks. The result is a wonderfully rich and hearty soup that is great on a cold winter’s day. Feel free to add your own tweaks as this is by no means perfected yet. In fact every time I make it i do something a little different.

Prep Time: 3 hours (most of which is creating the broth)
Servings: 8-10 adults

Ingredients

  • 1 Ham Bone (optional but produces the best results, If no ham bone, add 2 cans of chicken broth and butter to your shopping list.)
  • 2 Cups Chopped Ham
  • 2 bottles of dark beer (Ale or Lager is your choice. Go with something you like but no light beers!)
  • 4-5 Celery Stalks
  • 2-3 Carrots
  • 4 Large Potatos
  • 2lb Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • Spices: pepper, paprika, garlic salt

Directions

  1. Chop celery, carrots and onion into small cubes about 1/2 inch. Put ham bone, celery, carrots, and onion in a large 5 qt pan and add just enough water to cover ingredients. (If you do not have a ham bone, you can substitute a half a stick of butter and 2 cans of chicken broth. add enough water to make the pan about half full)
  2. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 2 hours.
  3. After the broth has been made. Peal and chop potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and add them to the pot. Remove or add enough water to where the potatoes are just covered by liquid.
  4. Bring back to a boil until potatoes are soft and cooked.
  5. Remove from heat and partially mash the potatoes. I find an immersion blender does this task perfectly but a hand masher can also be used effectively.
  6. Add beer, ham and cheese and stir till melted and well mixed.
  7. Add spices to achieve desired flavor (about a tablespoon of paprika, a table spoon of pepper and a teaspoon of garlic is how I like it.)
  8. Bring soup back to a low simmer then turn off heat and serve with a hearty bread for dipping.

Apple Stuffed Porkloin Roast

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 cups thick-cut white bread cubes, crusts removed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed
  • 1 (3 pound) pork loin roast, butterflied

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apples and sage. Saute until softened. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the bread, egg, butter and salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth gradually until everything is moistened. Let the stuffing mixture cool completely before putting it in the pork loin. Spoon the stuffing down the pork, horizontally, in a line. Roll the pork over the stuffing, jelly roll style, ending with the seam down and fat side up. Lightly score the fat, in a diamond pattern, with a sharp knife. Tightly tie the pork roast up with butcher’s twine, season it with more salt and pepper, and transfer to a roasting pan. Roast the pork in a preheated oven for about 90 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish with apples and fresh herbs