Fantasticalness Thursday (with gyros)

February 3, 2011 at 11:30 am

On Monday I mentioned that I spent most of the day in the kitchen doing fantastic things and that I would reveal those things on Thursday. So here it is…I made this:

Okay, that image is actually from the web, but I did make gyros! One of my blog crushes, Lorrie of Token Fat Girl, has been doing this cook-along series on her blog where she suggests a dish and readers make a version of it and then we all compare what we made. She throws in a twist, which in this case was that at least one component had to be made from scratch (the pita, the meat or the tzatziki sauce). I decided to throw caution to the wind and make all three from scratch. And of course I wanted to make a healthier version of the classic.

First, I made the pitas. I used the whole wheat pita recipe from my beloved King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking bible. Here’s the set-up:

Here is where I give you the recipe and Chad, who knows everything (especially about copyright), tells me that I am going to be sued. I’ll just give them to you tiny and you can click on them if you care. Maybe then I won’t be sued. And I highly recommend buying this book. King Arthur, please don’t sue me.

This dough was super easy and came together beautifully. However, I must admit that I would be terrified to make bread if I actually had to knead anything by hand and didn’t have my wonderful KitchenAid (best wedding gift ever).

After mixing up the bread, I let it rise for an hour and a half and went for my five mile run. Here’s what the bread looked like before it rose.

I forgot to take a picture of what it looked like doubled, but here it is after I divided it into eight dough balls:

Then it was lots of rolling, using the peel to put them on the stone two at a time, and repeating. I think I can fit four on there and next time I will do that and only have to bake them in two batches.

After about three minutes magic happens and they puff up.

They only bake for six minutes total. They really turned out perfect.

They deflate as they cool.

I couldn’t get over how perfectly they turned out.

I had to eat one right away while it was still warm, and besides it was lunch time and I had just run five miles. I was starving and the delicious aroma of baking bread was making my stomach scream. So I ate my usual lunch salad in the pita.

It was amazing. And Paula, I will definitely make some for you! I ate my pita standing up in the kitchen while I continued on the quest for gyros.

Next, I made the meat mixture because it had to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours for the flavors to marry. Here’s the recipe I used, and here’s mix:

I used lean ground beef and substituted pork for lamb as it is much leaner and lower in calories.

After you mix all that up and refridgerate it for a couple of hours you have to whiz it all up in a food processor to make it super mushy and homogenous. Our food processor is ancient but such a work-horse.

Then you pack it all densely into a loaf pan and bake in a water bath. This is exotic and exciting to me.

Again, I have to brag and say it turned out perfectly.

The tzatziki sauce was sort of a work in progress throughout all the other cooking. I used this recipe, with greek non-fat yogurt, and here is the mix:

I put the yogurt in a tea-towel to strain for a couple of hours, also while I was running and working on the pitas.

While the meat mixture was chilling I completed the tzatziki sauce.

I have to say it was alot of work in the kitchen but it was fun and I was very happy with the finished product.

The boys thought they were great.

Since I had eaten a pita with lunch I decided to have my “gyro” over greens. These are kohlrabi and daikon radish greens (thank you CSA).

The boys ate their gyros happily, but were not huge fans of the tzatziki sauce. More for me! I’ve been eating it for four days now. It’s great just on wheat thins. We basically had the same dinner for leftovers on Tuesday (minus the tzatziki for the boys). Then the boys had egg and cheese pita pockets for breakfast and PB&J pitas for lunch on Wednesday. And Chad ate his share of pitas too. Eight pitas went a long way since basically 1/2 a pita is a serving (100 calories, the same as two pieces of Nature’s Own whole wheat bread). I probably won’t ever make homemade gyros again, although we enjoyed them. But I will definitely be making more pitas. And possibly more tzatziki, just because it is yummy.

Thanks for the challenge Lorrie!