I can be your GYRO baby.

My personality is a bad combination of an always prepared, clutter-hater. When Blake and I cook, I always want just the right amount of food. I don’t like a lot of tupperwares in my fridge with small portions of sauces or toppings that will sit there until the night before trash day when I chuck it into the trash can in my over-purging. This over-purging leads to another grocery trip to “stock up” so we always have what we need. Then, the fridge gets too full again, and the purging starts back over. See the cycle? It never ends, it’s wasteful, and it makes Blake crazy.

Blake had the idea to make Gyros and Greek salads the other night. Instantly, I pictured too many pepperoncinis, extra pita breads, a one third used red onion, extra green pepper slices and a head of partially shredded lettuce sitting in my fridge for three days before being thrown away on trash night, but I REALLY wanted the Gyro and Greek salad.

Then it hit me….Subway- home of the most delicious and soft flat breads and all of the necessary ingredients for the Greek salad offered as free toppings. I walked into the Subway where I was going to have the most practical sandwich ever created before my eyes, while saving a lot of money and a lot of wasted left over ingredients.

“May I please have a foot long veggie patty sub on flat bread?” (Side note- veggie patties from Subway are the very best I have ever had)

“Toasted?”
“No thank you.”
“Cheese?”
“No thank you.”
“Just tomatoes, cucumbers, pepperoncini, green peppers, olives and red onion. No mayo or mustard, no oil and vinegar.”
“Easiest sandwich I have ever made, ma’am. That will be $5.13. Have a nice day!”
“You too! Thanks.

Problem was totally solved. We spent less than half of what we would have spent on all of the components, and had just the right amount of toppings for our Gyros and our salad. I also had two veggie patties for lunch in the following days.  Well played Foster, well played.

We used Alton Brown’s Gyro meat recipe. It was not simple, but it was definitely doable for a beginner cook. You just need the time and a food processor. This was an awesome learning experience for me. To be honest, I never knew exactly what gyro meat was. I actually just thought it was a cut from a lamb, not an actual loaf of sorts.
       
We also grilled our Romaine lettuce for our salad. I am in love with the unique taste and texture of a grilled Romaine heart. Haven’t tried it? Do it tonight!

The Meat by Alton Brown

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped or shredded
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried ground rosemary
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Tzatziki Sauce, recipe follows

Directions

  1.  Process the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds and turn out into the center of a tea or paper  towel.     
  2.  Gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze until almost all of the juice is removed.        
  3.  Discard juice.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  4.  Return the onion to the food processor and add the lamb, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, salt, and pepper and process until it is a fine paste. one minute.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  5. Stop the processor as needed to scrape down sides of bowl.                                                                                                                                                                        
  6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  7. Place the mixture into a loaf pan, making sure to press into the sides of the pan.                                                                                                                                 
  8. Place the loaf pan into a water bath (we just put water in a casserole pan and then put the baking pan in that water) and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the mixture reaches 165 to 170 degrees F.                                                                                                                                               
  9. Remove from the oven and drain off any fat.                                                                                                                                                                                       
  10. Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack and place a brick wrapped in aluminum foil (we just used unused cans of chicken stock in a loaf pan) directly on the surface of the meat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees.                                                     
  11. Slice and serve on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, chopped onion, lettuce, cucumbers tomatoes and feta cheese.

Tkatziki Sauce by Alton Brown

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces plain yogurt
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 mint leaves, finely minced 

Directions

  1. Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint.

Grilled Romaine Salad

Ingredients

  • Romaine Hearts cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and peper to taste
  • desired toppings

Directions

  1. Brush lettuce with olive oil
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3. Grill on medium high until slightly charred.
  4. Quick tip: if you like crunchy and charred, freeze lettuce for 20 minutes before grilling.
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