Wednesday, March 28, 2012


When I lived and went to school in Chapel Hill, I would study at Bean Traders all morning, head over to Baba Ghannoush for a gyro at lunch, and then return to BT for more afternoon studying. Needless to say, I am so thankful to be done with law school! It was mostly terrible to sit by the window on a beautiful day, unable to enjoy those sunny skies of spring for fear that the guilt of leaving my books would consume me. What's amazing, though, is that sometimes I actually miss sitting in a coffee shop, listening to my music, sipping on my chai latte, and working on an outline. Well, let's not go too crazy -- there isn't a bone in my body that misses outlining. More reasonably, I also miss those gyros. There is something about hot lamb with tangy tzatziki that hits the spot every time. I've tried to replicate how they serve their gyros, adding diced green pepper, which the Hero House does here in Winston.

Kelley Gondring

Serves 4

Tzatziki Sauce
In a medium bowl, combine:
3/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup grated cucumber*
1 1/2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

*It will take about 3/4 of a cucumber to yield 1/4 cup of grated cucumber once all is said and done. Peel and deseed the cucumber. It is easiest to cut it in half lengthwise and then into quarters lengthwise, making it easier to remove the seeded middle. Finely grate the cucumber and place it in a fine sieve over a small bowl. Allow the cucumber to sit for 15-30 minutes so that much of the water drains. Add the grated cucumber to the yoghurt mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine:
1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
4-5 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon salt

Use your hands to mix the onion, garlic, and spices into the lamb. Use your hands to shape eight equally sized thin patties.

Heat skillet on medium. There is enough fat in lamb that it is unnecessary to add oil to the skillet. Once hot, add the patties, browning on each side until no pink remains in the lamb.

While the meat is cooking, place on a cookie sheet:
4 pita pockets
Drizzle with olive oil. Place in a warm oven for 3-4 minutes.

Dice and place in small bowl:
1/2 cup red onion
1/2 cup green pepper
1/2 cup cucumber

1. Line plate with one sheet of aluminum foil.
2. Place one pita bread on each plate.
3. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of tzatziki sauce over the middle third of the pita bread.
4. Place a handful of lettuce (iceberg works best, though I used baby greens) on top of tzatziki sauce.
5. 2 pieces of the lamb on top of the lettuce.
6. Sprinkle diced cucumber, red onion, and green pepper over meat (and even though I personally find them icky, lots of people enjoy diced ripe tomatoes on their gyro).
7. Top with a dollop of tzatziki.
8. Pull up the sides of the aluminum foil and fold together on the back half of the sandwich.
9. Eat up!

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