Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pork Souvlaki with Tzatziki, Greek Salad and Hummus

We love Greek food. We used to get it all the time from a little place in Hillcrest, but now that we are out in the suburbs, there are no quality Greek places around (save for Daphnie's, which I never really liked that much). 

It's been too long since we've had a full-on Greek plate. Salad, hummus, tzatziki, the works. It's one of my favorite meals, so I went ahead and made my own.

This is, yet again, a kind of long recipe, but yet again, isn't at all difficult to make. Making one component at a time throughout the day makes any dinner easier.

The "souvlaki" in this is just shish-kebabs (minus the veggies), as you can hopefully see from the picture.


==

Pork Souvlaki with Tzatziki, Greek Salad and Hummus

2 lbs pork tenderloin, cubed

Marinade: (loosely from here)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine 
1 Tbs vinegar
1 Tbs oregano 
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper 

Hummus: (from here)
1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
A few shakes of hot sauce (optional, but delicious)

Greek Salad:
Romaine lettuce salad mix
1/2 a red onion
1/2 a cucumber
Cherry tomatoes
Kalamata olives

Feta cheese

Greek Dressing: (from here)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Tzatziki: (from Alton Brown's Gyros, here)
6 ounces plain yogurt
1/3 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
small pinch of fresh dill, minced


Box of Rice Pilaf

==

Pork I

Begin by marinating the pork loin. 

I actually did this the day before because I was making a bunch of other stuff and just decided to do it. I think ultimately, it was a good idea, but try to do at least 8 hours.





Slice the pork into pretty large slices. We're going to be skewering these, so we don't want them too small.


Continue to dice the pork and add to a bag.


Add your spices and liquids.


Shake vigorously to mix everything together.

Squeeze the majority of the air out and store in the fridge for (hopefully) 8 hours.


==

Hummus

The hummus is really easy. 

Just combine everything in a food processor and spin for 30 seconds to a minute. 

Don't over think it.


Store in the fridge and eat whenever. it's a great night time snack too.


==

Salad

I added everything together in a bowl and tossed to combine. 

I wouldn't dress the salad until service. It'll get too soggy.


To make the dressing, just combine everything together.

Oil and spices

with vinegar
 Whisk to combine.

Store this in the fridge too. Put it in a small tupperware container and you can just shake it before you serve the salad.


==

Tzatziki

The tzatziki also comes together really easily too.

Get your cucumber peeled.


Cut it in half and seed it with a teaspoon.


Mince it well and toss into a bowl. You could also grate the cucumber if you feel like it.


Add the yogurt, garlic and liquids. 


I'm not a huge fan of mint in tzatziki. I think it ends up giving a weird taste in the back of my mouth. I prefer dill, but not a lot. A little goes a long way in this sauce. Adjust to your taste, of course, but this is how much dill I used:


Add it to the mix.


Stir to combine. 

Guess what? Store it in the fridge until dinner.


==

Pork II

Ok, let's cook the pork!

You'll notice that the acid in the marinade has actually "cooked" the outside of the pork. Pretty cool.


Soak some bamboo skewers in water to avoid burning.

Cameo from my daughter
 Get the pork out of the marinade and toss the excess.


Thread the meat on the skewers as evenly as you can and get on a pan for broiling.

You can grill these too, but I tend to broil during the week.


Cook on the the highest rack at the highest broiler setting.


I cooked in 5 minutes increments for a total of 20 minutes.


Done!
Let the pork rest a bit before serving. Check temps if you are unsure of doneness.

 ==

I also made a box of rice pilaf from "Near East".  It was really good and easy to make. I figured it would have taken too long to make the rice pilaf myself. Sorry.


==

To serve, just make a plate with everything!

Overall, this was a great meal. 

Everything worked well with each other. Lemon was a dominate theme but was complimented well by the robustness of the pork, the salad and hummus. I'm glad I used pork as I think chicken would have been overpowered in this application. The tzatziki was a surprise standout and was fantastic with the pork.

It felt great eating a plate of Greek food again, and I'm sure I'll be disappointed when I go to a restaurant again because this was so good.


Enjoy!

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