Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Anna N

Souvlaki and Tzadziki

Recommended Posts

For the tzatziki, I grated about half of one of those big no-seed english cucumbers (with the peel, most of it didn't go through the grater anyway), sprinkled it with salt and let sit in a colander for about a half hour. 1 clove of garlic, crushed to a paste with some salt, 7 oz container of greek yogurt (very thick and rich), a handful of fresh parsley leaves (chiffonade), juice of one small lemon, 1 Tbs olive oil. Squeezed out all the water I could from the grated cuke (then squeezed some more wrapped in a paper towel). All mixed up, very good.

For the souvlaki, I soaked about 1 tsp dried oregano and 1 tsp zatar (dried herb mix given to us by a local greek restaurant) with a bit of water to rehydrate for about 1/2 hour. Then added the juice of 1 lemon and a good splash of olive oil. I marinaded pork chops in this for about an hour. Then they were grilled on high heat for about 10 minutes. Allowed to rest/cool, then I pulled the meat from the bones (dogs got most of the gristle/fat) to make it easier to eat at the park. I find cooking the pork on the bone and in larger pieces makes for much moister meat, especially when I poured the juices that had accumulated on the plate into the container with the pulled souvlaki.

Time to leave for the park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thought you guys might want to see our picnic spread for tonight, inspired by this thread:

...

Jason, Rachel

Looks fabulous and I bet it tastes the same. Thanks for sharing the photos and the method.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recipes for the above pictured items have been added to RecipeGullet. Just search by my name or look for Middle Eastern food.

Oh heck, here's the links:

http://recipes.egullet.com/recipes/r1100.html

eggplant tomato salad

http://recipes.egullet.com/recipes/r1101.html

grilled corn salad

http://recipes.egullet.com/recipes/r1102.html

tzadziki

http://recipes.egullet.com/recipes/r1103.html

souvlaki

http://recipes.egullet.com/recipes/r1104.html

babaganouj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rachel:

I have ONE POUND of Zhataar at home that I purchased at the local Lebanese grocer. Way too much for me to use in this lifetime, but they didn't have any smaller bags! I had thought of putting a bit into the tzatziki, so perhaps I'll do that to the leftovers when I get back.

Your tzatziki looks yummy too! As does the rest of the picnic.

Got any other ideas to use it up? Need some? :biggrin:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make a lot of souvlaki and use more than I did? :laugh: Give away baggies of it at the next DDC event as door prizes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yougurt question?? do you folks use a particular type? i just buy dannon. a friend only uses buffalo and another uses some organic mid eastern brand i can't remember the name of

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yougurt question?? do you folks use a particular type? i just buy dannon. a friend only uses buffalo and another uses some organic mid eastern brand i can't remember the name of

Now, I generally make my own yogourt but in a pinch I use "Astro" brand Balkan-style. Not sure of its availability in the US.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are recipes for souvlaki (basically, bread wrapped Greek shish kebab), tzatziki, gyro, doner kebab, and shwarma in Clifford A. Wright's "A Mediterranean Feast."

Labny (also transliterated lubna, llubny, labneh, and lunbany) is not a cheese, it is strained yogurt and the word comes from the Arabic word for milk in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine, laban.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yougurt question??  do you folks use a particular type?  i just buy dannon.  a friend only uses buffalo and another uses some organic mid eastern brand i can't remember the name of

Now, I generally make my own yogourt but in a pinch I use "Astro" brand Balkan-style. Not sure of its availability in the US.

i dont know anyone that makes their own. is it difficult? can you tell me how

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fabulous pics Jason and Rachael!! I am drooling here.

One of my missions in life has been finding the perfect seasoned Gyro (pronounced yee-ro) meat to make at home. If you have ever had one well made your search never ends. It's very difficult here in SW Florida to find a decent one. I found a recipe on the web and played with it this weekend. It was as good if not better than some of the best greek joints I have tried. The difference between this and Greek gyros is the absence of lamb.. It's excellent!!! Next time I will lamb also. Bought lean ground sirloin and put it in the food processor. You want it really ground, almost mushy. Used 3.5 lbs of beef and upped the other ingredients accordingly. Serve i

Donar meat.

(adapted from Derek's Place)

3 pounds lean hamburger (triple ground*)

3/4 cup bread crumbs

2 tsp pepper

1-2 tsp cayenne red pepper (depending on your taste)

1 1/2 tsp oregano

3 tsp paprika

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

*Try to get your butcher to run the meat through the grinder a few times. A food processor will do the trick also.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead for 20 minutes. (I used my Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook) Shape into two tightly formed loaves. You want the meat very compact. Bake on broiler pan for 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice thinly and serve in Pita with Onions, Tomatoes, and Taztziki.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're using pork leg for souvlaki and it's coming up dry, you're cooking it too long, IMHO. But if you switch to loin, you'd really want to brine it first, for several hours if already cut into chunks.

Souvlaki, souvlaki ... next week my church is going to make about 2,800 pounds of it for our annual fundraiser. Chicken outsells beef 3-1. We don't do pork, although Greeks I work with assure me it's the classic, and their home souvlaki is pork.

The marinade we use is designed for ease of mass production, but it's hugely popular. It's mainly ground white pepper, granulated garlic, dried oregano, salt, onion powder and vegetable oil. The meat gets skewered and soaks for up to three days before grilling and sale. We use a lemon viniagrette as sauce, because tzatziki doesn't hold up well in an outdoor festival setting.

By the way: There's a lovely homemade yogurt recipe in the Lebanese eGullet cooking school thread. Definitely drain it before you make your tzatziki, and squeeze all the moisture you can out of the cucumber.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i dont know anyone that makes their own.  is it difficult?  can you tell me how

sabg:

Here's a whole thread devoted to making yogurt at home:

Making yogurt @ home


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally do a mediterranean Lamb that I server with Tzatziki sauce.

1 Boneless Leg of Lamb. Cut out the silver skin and tendons. Bag the trimmings for Lamb based Demi.

1/4 cup of Limoncello

7 cloves of Garlic

1/2 cup Olive Oil

2 T mint

1 T oregano

salt to taste

fresh ground pepper

3 T Brown Mustard

use a food processor mix everything

coat the lamb

marinate overnight

grill the lamb

makes great sandwiches served with tzatziki on the side


Edited by irodguy (log)

Never trust a skinny chef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My SIL asked me to make some souvlaki and tzadziki for an outdoor gathering. I said, "No problem." I was SO confident I could just delve into the eGullet recipe archive and come up with a killer recipe. But no. :sad: "Greek" doesn't even show up as an option among the various cuisines!

Yes, I suppose I could just google it but I want the BEST and that means eGullet. :biggrin:

I believe lamb is traditional but it isn't about to happen as

a) it's too expensive and

b) I am only the one who likes lamb in the whole darn family.

Pork seems the best alternative.

Anyone?

I live adjacent to what is probably the greatest concentration of souvlaki joints in the world, outside of possibly Athens.

Lamb souvlaki is actually rare here, perhaps because of the cost. The most common offerings are pork and chicken.


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son-in-law's party that prodded me to initiate this thread went off as planned on Saturday. Thanks to all the help and advice here the souvlaki and tzadziki won rave reviews. From other threads I made the yogourt and the pita bread. His guests suggested that I start a catering business! But thanks to advice given in various catering threads - I AM NOT INCLINED TO ABSORB THAT MUCH SELF-PUNISHMENT :shock:

Seriously, it was great to be able to help out with his party food. This time I used pork loin and the meat was moist and tender.

An aside - I've never been a fan of pita bread - just couldn't see why one would want to sandwich perfectly good food between two rounds of cardboard. But freshly made pita is another matter altogether. It is so easy to make and I froze mine as soon as they cooled. They were re-heated from frozen on the outdoor grill and suffered no ill effects from the freezing.

Once again, grateful thanks to all.

Edited for typos


Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of my missions in life has been finding the perfect seasoned Gyro (pronounced yee-ro)

I just came back from vacation in Greece. I tried to order yee-ro, but they insisted on calling it gee-ro (g as in good). It's also spelled with the gamma. I'd like to know why it's called yee-ro in the US.


The difference between theory and practice is much smaller in theory than it is in practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Greece, the souvlaki looks like it has been first skewered, and then cut into cubes. Think of making a layer of flat cuts of meet, driving the skewers all the way across, and then cutting into individual sticks. There's certain uniformity to each piece of meat on the skewer. This would help keeping the meet from drying out, too.


The difference between theory and practice is much smaller in theory than it is in practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The picnic spread at Chez Perlow inspired me to make souvlaki and tzadziki. I used to waiter at a greek restaurant and I found myself waxing nostalgic for relative cuisine.

I've never heard of Zataar so before I tried to cobble together a no doubt crappy replica, I decided to scour the international section of our local Hannaford market. To my glee and surprise, there was a pound of it in a celo bag by ZIYAD in Illinois for $3.99!

it wasn't very fragrant, so it was probably old, but after a half a lemon, some chopped greek oregano from the garden and a healthy amount of EVOO, it turned into something magical. I couldn't stop dipping my fingers into it.

There was no ASTOR greek yogurt so I decided on a goat milk yogurt from Redwood Hill farm in CA. I salted my eurocuke for an hour and squoze out all the moisture, added mint and parsley from the garden, mixed 'em all up and set aside to chill.

After marinating the bone-in chops for an hour (my wife and I engaged in an intense cribbage match while we waited) I put 'em on med-high heat until bubbly, reduced to med-low covered for a total of 15 min, removed and let sit for 10min.

I fried up a little eggplant and heated some conventional pita. Served with a plate of greek olives and dates for desert, we had a fabulous dinner thanks to this thread. :biggrin: The only thing missing was Retsina... next time... tomorrow?!!


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the real secret to souvlakia is to marinate the already cubed meat in tons of dark red wine along with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and onions for at least 12 hours. then when it's time to skewer them, you thread like this: meat, two squares of onion, meat, two squares of onion (not thick squares, but thin). and use pork. while the skewers are grilling, have a bowl with a mixture of olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and oregano, and use a brush to get it on the meat.

the onion and wine are key. try not to use a cut of pork that is really lean and white, because they will be too dry. If you use a mix that's usually the best actually.

this is the way my family and all other greeks i'ver ever met do it.

i wish i had seen this thread from before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a tiny note to this old thread, assuming souvlaki and tsatziki have not become passe:

Here in Greece where I've lived for over 20 years, tsatziki isn't made with lemon juice, it's made with vinegar. May not make much difference and you may have learned to prefer it with lemon juice, but if authenticity's important, use vinegar.

Otherwise I agree with a variety of previous posters. Well-strained (overnight in cheesecloth suspended over a bowl) yogurt, preferably full-fat (10%); grated cucumber VERY well squeezed, with skin or not; fresh dill if you like; crushed garlic; olive oil, vinegar, salt. Takes amounts of both olive oil and vinegar which might surprise you (meaning quite a bit) -- taste as you go.

Pepper's not usually involved to the best of my knowledge.

What else? Can take a very large proportion of the well-squeezed cucumber. Also, wouldn't suggest you automatically store the tzatziki overnight before serving -- I prefer it quite freshly made, i.e. within an hour or two from serving. The garlic can become quite aggressive after storing.


Edited by Annoula (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for bumping this up Annoula, and welcome to the forums!

I've always wondered about the proper yogurt:grated cucumber ratio. I prefer it with lots of cucumber so that it's thick enough to serve on crackers or bread. During the summer, one of my favorite meals is a bowl of tsatziki alongside sliced, perfectly ripe garden tomatoes with some good bread.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only use vinegar. I don't even like it if it is made with lemon.

and I agree that too much garlic or one that has sat for a long time is way to strong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thought regarding the actual souvlaki: we don't happen to marinate much although I'm sure that would be lovely. But what does make a difference in how tender the meat is, of course, is the cut. Have you tried it with neck chops ("laimou" in Greek)? They produce almost buttery-tender souvlaki which is a real delight to eat.

(Although nothing in my world beats neck chops pan braised in fresh lemon juice and peppercorns. The resulting sauce is to die for!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The local Greek festival in Wilmington is finishing up today - the Italian festival starts tomorrow, incidentally, at the same church where Beau Biden's funeral service took place today. But anyway, the Greek festival has inspired my diet for the past two weeks; first, with lots of Greek salad in the days leading up to it, then keftedes, spanakopita and souvlaki consumed at the festival. Now I have plans to make dinner for friends next week and have a boneless lamb shank to use up and I'm thinking Souvlaki would be just the thing. How long should I marinate it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...