Greek Night

I have made Greek inspired food a lot, but usually in the grilled chicken and hummus variety. I wanted to make something that had the flavors of gyro, but something everyone would like. Meatballs being the crowd favorite in the house, it seemed like the easiest choice. This is such a yummy dinner and all the components can be combined however each person would like to eat them. Perfect for company or the many different palettes in your house.             


Gyro Meatballs with Greek Salad, Tzatiki, Hummus, and Pita
Imperfect Polish 2016
serves 6

Store Bought: Pita (get the good, fluffy ones), hummus (or make your own if you have a few minutes), olives from the olive bar (I like the herby, spicy, marinated ones, but get what you like)

For the Meatballs: 
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder (you 
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt & pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I like panko, but use what you want)
2 lbs ground lamb (sub beef, chicken, or turkey too)

For the Tzatiki: 
2 cups Greek Yogurt (I like full fat for this, but you do you)
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 a cucumber, seeds scooped out, grated (use a box grater)
salt and pepper

For the Salad: 
2 hearts of romaine, chopped (about 8 cups)
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, diced 
1/2 of a cucumber, diced
handful of peppercinis, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

1. Prepare the meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place foil on two sheet pans and spray with cooking spray. Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs, except the meat in a large bowl. Stir and combine well, then add the meat. Using a fork, lightly combine until mixture is well distributed. Using a measuring spoon (I like 1/2 tablespoon for small ones, tablespoon for larger ones), scoop out the mixture and roll into balls. Place on the baking sheet, repeat with rest of mixture. (Note: This takes some time and can be done in advance, just refrigerate and bake off later.) Bake for 20 minutes. 

2. Make the Tzatiki: While the meatballs cook, combine all ingredients for tzatiki in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning of salt and pepper. Refrigerate. 

3. Make the Salad: While the meatballs cook, place the romaine, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and peppercinis in a large salad bowl. In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, combine the vinegar, mustard, garlic, and oregano. Whisk together and seasons with some salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly stream in the oil. Start with 1/4 cup and taste. If too strong, add more oil to taste. Refrigerate both bowls. 

4. To Serve: Toss the salad with enough dressing to taste. Then place all the components in the middle of the table and let everyone make their own plates. The more casual and rustic the better. 


PS: I also made saganaki. Flaming cheese. If you have been to a Greek restaurant and heard someone yell Opa! and flames were around them. That was it. So delicious, and easy to make at home. Skip the brandy or ouzo part and just do lemon juice, much less dangerous. ha


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