Three years ago, around this time, I was touring Italy and Greece with some really wonderful friends. Ah, I love saying that, it makes me sound like some spoiled rich girl
Obligatory show-off photo
when in reality most of my travel time was spent eating Nutella sandwiches, drinking 3 euro bottles of wine and sleeping in hostels.
So many things stick with me from that trip. Landscapes that I sometimes still can’t believe I actually experienced. I’ll think of scaling cliffs in Mykonos and get chills. Priceless, precious memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And then of course, there’s the food.
Since visiting Athens and Mykonos I have become obsessed with Greek food, particularly lamb kebabs which were also a big meal in England. They are the ultimate form of perfection. I can’t even do them justice with words.
Since I am unfortunately not Greek, I don’t have the secrets of Greek cuisine. But Alex and I have put our heads to the cutting board and created an Americanized version of the lamb kebab that is really simple and really delicious, especially in the summer. Opa!
Lamb Kebab with Tzatziki and Grilled Potato Wedges
Ingredients (feeds three-four)
1 tub (16 oz) plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 large cucumber
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons Cavender’s All-Purpose Greek seasoning
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2- 2 lbs ground lamb
1 large egg
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Cavender’s Greek seasoning
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons diced white onion
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
Large pinch of dried rosemary, chopped fine
3 large baking potatoes
Olive oil, for grilling
Lettuce, tomato, white onion, cucumber for garnishing
1. Strain the liquid out of your Greek yogurt for about two hours. Now fancy Food Network stars will tell you to do this by purchasing $4 worth of cheese cloth for a two hour little blip on your radar. If you’re cheap like me, you’ll realize this is a crazy thing to do and refuse to do so. So do what I do. Take three paper towels, lightly dampen them, and rubber band them around the top of a bowl. Then use that to strain your yogurt. Use what you got, and feel like you’re in a Bounty commercial in the process. You can also use a very fine mesh strainer.
2. When all the liquid is out of the yogurt, it will almost appear crumbly, more like Play Dough than yogurt. While you wait, take your cucumber, remove the skin, dice it and then run it into a pulp through a food processor. The cucumber is extremely watery, which is okay. That’s why you’ve strained your yogurt!
3. In a large bowl, combine your yogurt, cucumber, hot sauce, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning. Stir and season to taste. Cover it and let sit for about a half hour, or however long it takes to make the remainder of the meal.
1. While the yogurt strains, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heavily salt the water, then add your potatoes whole with the skins on and par-boil for about 15-20 minutes.
2. Allow the potatoes to cool, then cut then into 1/10 wedges, or as big as the typical steak fry. Drizzle them with olive oil.
3. Grill wedges until crispy on the outside, then place in a warming oven and season with salt, pepper and malt vinegar if desired.
1. In a large bowl combine the lamb, egg, panko bread crumbs, garlic, onion and spices. Shape the mixture into a shape about the size of a sausage link and slide the kebabs onto metal skewers. You should get about 9 kebabs from 2 pounds of meat.
2. Drizzle kebabs lightly with olive oil, then grill for about ten minutes on each side or until the lamb is cooked through. Serve with tzatziki, potato wedges, pita bread and toppings and enjoy!
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