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Full disclosure: I am not Greek, nor do I have any Greek in my heritage.
So, why I feel qualified to bring you a “Greek” dish, is beyond me. And to be honest, when I first decided to try this recipe, I had no idea if it would even work. Or if Mountain Man would eat it. Don’t get me wrong, he likes Greek food. He LOVES Feta.
But some of the spices and ingredients found in most Greek dishes (namely kalamata olives and cukes), he’s not so much a fan of.
Me? I’m of the opinion of the more olives, the better.
But Mountain Man? He loathes them.
So I decided to make this dish as “deconstructed Greek Gyros” – or nachos, if you prefer. That way he can pick and choose which ingredients he wants to include, and leave out the *gasp* olives. (insert eye roll) j/k, j/k…I love him, I just like to give him a hard time.
First thing’s first. You need to make sure you have all your bases covered for this meal. And to start, you’ll need some pita chips. You can go about procuring these in a variety of ways. None of which is wrong. But since I like to make things from scratch, you know I made my own. If you decide to make your own, simply make some delicious 100% Whole Wheat Pitas, then once they’ve cooled, slice them into 8 pieces with a pizza cutter. Toss in a little olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 9-12 minutes, until they start to brown a little on the tops. Pita chips – check!
Next, you’ll need your Tzatziki sauce. Mmmm…tzatziki.
It’s ok. You can dream about it for a minute before getting started.
I found the recipe over at Gimme Some Oven. I really liked it, but it ended up being a little too garlicky for my taste, so I’ll definitely hold back on that a little the next go round. Mountain Man didn’t complain (and it had CUCUMBERS in it…yay!).
The thing I love about this recipe, is how forgiving it is. You can substitute the ground lamb for ground beef, or chicken, or take out the meat completely for a vegetarian friendly dish! You can subtract any ingredients that don’t suit your fancy, or add in any that I didn’t think of. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Now, are you ready to get crackin’, and impress your hubby / wife / neighbors / person you randomly invite off the streets, inside to eat because it’s THAT good…?
- 1 lb. ground lamb or beef
- 2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 red onion – diced
- 1 clove garlic – minced or microplaned
- 1 Tbls ground cumin
- 2 cups plain full-fat Greek Yogurt
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced or on a microplane
- 1 cucumber grated or finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 Tbls chopped fresh dill (not dried dill)
- 2 Tbls fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
- 1 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Cucumbers – chopped
- Feta – crumbled
- Kalamata olives – sliced
- Grape tomatoes – quartered
- Pita Chips
- Any other toppings you desire!
- Prepare your Tzatziki Sauce by combining all ingredients in a bowl and stirring until well combined. Serve right away or store in fridge for up to 2 days.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat – add onions and cook until soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add in ground meat, garlic, cumin, and cook until meat is cooked through and browned. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Put it all together: Arrange however you like, but I started with a few spoonfuls of the meat/onion mixture in the center of my bowl. Then I arranged the pita chips around the edge. Add a few dollops of tzatziki, then your toppings. Done!