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Posts Tagged ‘Super Bowl’

gyro meatloaf

Whether from a vendor on the streets of New York City or from a takeout counter in Monastiraki Square in Athens, Greece, my family loves to eat gyros. Delicious memories of warm circles of pita bread wrapped around flavorful slices of meat, tomatoes, onions and french fries, drizzled with a wonderfully refreshing Tzatziki sauce, prompted me to search for a homemade version. Normally gyro meat is slow-roasted on a vertical spit, but this recipe simplifies that by baking the meat in a loaf pan. Then, after some time in the refrigerator, the meat is thinly sliced and pan fried or grilled to give it a crispy texture – as if it’d been on a rotisserie for hours. A platter of gyro fixings would make for a fun family dinner or make great Super Bowl party fare.

Favorite Meat Loaf Gyros
Recipe from Taste of Home

Ingredients:
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground beef

TZATZIKI SAUCE:
1 cup (8 ounces) plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

GYROS:
8 whole pita breads
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
16 slices tomato
8 slices sweet onion, halved

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the egg, garlic, oregano, kosher salt and pepper. Crumble lamb and beef over mixture; mix well.

2. Pat into an ungreased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160°.

4. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

5. For sauce, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

6. Brush pita breads with 1 tablespoon oil; heat on a lightly greased griddle for 1 minute on each side. Keep warm.

7. Cut meat loaf into very thin slices. In a large skillet, fry meat loaf in remaining oil in batches until crisp.

8. On each pita bread, layer the tomato, onion and meat loaf slices; top with some Tzatziki sauce. Carefully fold pitas in half. Serve with remaining sauce.

Yield: 8 servings.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. This was an easy recipe, but it does require some planning ahead. The meat loaf needs to be refrigerated for a couple of hours to allow it to be firm enough to slice into thin slices.

2. Although the meat was flavorful, it seemed a tad dry to me. The next time I try this recipe, I will chop my own beef and lamb, so that the mixture is more coarse – resulting in better flavor and texture. I’d also like to try making other meat versions of gyros. Here are links to other versions to try:

Pork Gyros
Chicken Gyros

3. The next time I’ll also experiment by adding chopped onions, ground rosemary, and ground thyme to the meat mixture.

4. I fried the meat slices in a nonstick frying pan, so no additional oil was needed.

5. I doubled the recipe and gave some to my son and daughter-in-law, so they’d have one less dinner to cook during the week!

ENJOY!

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Ernest Hemingway allegedly wrote a compelling work of fiction using only six words. A seemingly tragic story, complete with a beginning, middle and end, unfolds with these simple words: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Following Hemingway’s format, I’ve come up with my own semi-tragic six-word story: Party planned, game lost, theme changed. Not really being an ardent football fan, I surprised myself with thoughts of hosting a Super Bowl party if the San Francisco 49ers beat the New York Giants. After Sunday’s overtime loss, I was in no mood for a party. But since, in my head, a menu had already taken shape, it seemed a shame not to put part of it to good use. Here’s a recipe for pulled pork sandwiches that’s easy, doesn’t smack too much of mustard or vinegar, and can be made in a slow cooker ahead of time! Australian Open party, anyone?

Easy Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Adapted from a recipe found on allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1 Boston Pork Butt Roast
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Enough root beer to cover roast (not diet version)
About 3 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 dozen onion rolls, sliced in half and lightly toasted
1 large can of French’s French Fried Onions, optional

Directions:
1. Rinse roast under cold running water and pat dry.
2. Rub salt and freshly ground pepper over roast.
3. Place pork in slow cooker and pour root beer over the meat until it is covered.
4. Cover with lid and cook on low until meat is well-cooked. Meat should fall off the bone and should be easy to shred. Length of cooking time will depend on the size of the pork butt roast and the type of heating element in your slow cooker. Plan on at least 8 to 10 hours for this portion of the cooking.
5. After meat is cooked, shred it and discard any fatty pieces.
6. Pour out the cooking liquid in the slow cooker (skim the fat off first, so that it does not go down the sink drain) and put the shredded meat back into the cooker. Stir in the barbecue sauce and gently mix until evenly distributed. Cook on low for one more hour, being careful that the sauce and meat does not burn.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8. To serve: Let guests mound the pulled pork onto toasted rolls. Sprinkle french fried onions on top of meat, if desired. Put tops of rolls on sandwiches and make sure to provide plenty of napkins!

Serves about 12.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. The last time I made this I did not have root beer on hand, so I used some ginger beer that my brother-in-law kindly brought back from Australia for my hubby. I poured ginger ale soda in to cover the rest of the pork roast.
2. I used a 40 ounce bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Award Winning Barbecue Sauce, because I had it on hand. Obviously, the tastier the barbecue sauce, the tastier the pulled pork.
3. The pork can be cooked, shredded, cooled and refrigerated ahead of time. On game day, put the meat back in the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce and cook on low for about one hour.
4. The topping of french fried onions gives the sandwiches a nice salty crunch!
5. Serve with some coleslaw and you are all set to go!

Enjoy!

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