Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vaguely Gyros

Dinner tonight (straight from the meal plan, ta-daa) was a little slower to prep than the 30 minute section I pulled it from -- more like 45 minutes. But that was because I had to defrost the meat, giggle at a hilarious little 9-month-old, and prep everything myself because my favorite dinner partner was still attempting some napping with the napless wonder. David's favorite meat is lamb -- turkey gets second place -- but most lamb dishes I know are either time consuming (stewed lamb shanks in the crockpot) or a little risky. Lamb is so fatty and bony, I never know how much real meat I will have at the end of the cooking process. But these are almost always a success because although ground lamb is fatty, you are at least guaranteed some meat in the end.

Kaylea's Gyros

- 2 lb ground lamb
- something acidic but tasty
- 2 onions
- 1 or 2 bell peppers
- various middle eastern seasonings
- hummus
- tomatoes
- goat cheese
- pita

Cook the lamb in a frying pan (you won't need any oil) until it is almost brown all the way through, leaving the meat in bite-sized chunks rather than breaking it up into tiny bits. Drain well. Add something acidic but tasty. Vinegar, greek salad dressing, some sort of alcohol, whatever. This last time around I had red pepper vinagrette on hand, that worked great. I'm not a food scientist, but I've found that adding acids like this will cut down on some of the woolly/gamey flavor of the lamb. Cook until thoroughly brown, draining again if it needs it.

Meanwhile, dice up your onions and peppers and cook them in a bit of olive oil, but not too much. You want just a little bit of browning to creep into the vegetables. Once the onions are quite soft but not translucent, add some diced tomatoes and turn down to simmer.

Meanwhile, the pita bread should be in your toaster oven getting a little bit warm and soft. Don't let it dry out, or you'll have pita chips instead of pita bread.

Add your spices. I put urban accents ras el casablanca blend into the meat and sumac from penzey's into the veggies. Cumin, coriander, oregano, that kind of stuff would do just as well.

Arrange your other toppings. Hummus, goat cheese, lettuce, plain (greek-style or plain flavor, not vanilla flavor) yogurt if you have it. Everyone makes up their own pita, taco-bar style. I like to smear my bread with hummus or cheese before adding toppings, to help it all stick together. Mmm.

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