Last Monday we had guests for dinner. Once a month we get together with several other couples from our church that are about our age and whose children have now left home (i.e. empty nesters).
One of the practices our church encourages is a weekly family home evening. When our children were growing up, every Monday night was set aside and reserved for our family. We spent the evening together. Family Home Evening usually consisted of a short lesson (scriptural based, a game, song, prayer and a treat.) I will admit that some years this was easier than others, especially as the kids got older, but it was always a priority for us and we did our best to make it happen. Now that the children are all gone we still have family home evening. It is much more fun to have it with friends than just the two of us so we look forward to our monthly get together with other couples. We take turns hosting. The host always prepares the main dish and the rest is potluck.
This month we were the hosts. I decided to experiment on our guests with our main dish and make something new. I do that a lot. If you come to dinner at our house you will probably get something I’ve never cooked before. It works out most of the time. This time it worked out and today’s recipe was a big hit.
In fact it was so good I even had it again the next night for dinner and I typically don’t like leftovers!
I’ve been having fun experimenting with a few more ethnic flavors in my cooking lately and today’s recipe has a middle eastern flavor thanks to pumpkin pie spice. It smelled yummy as it cooked too!
Disclaimer: This recipe is in no way authentic – it is a mismash of ethnic flavors and foods. It is not Greek, it is not Indian, but it is GOOD!
I used flank steak for my meat and mixed it up with some pumpkin pie spice, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and fresh parsley as well as some salt and pepper. While that was sitting for a few minutes I made the Tazazki Sauce which is a combination of cucumber, tomato, lemon juice and some greek yogurt. It is so yummy and tastes amazing on top of the meat.
Gyro meat is traditionally cooked on a spit but since I don’t have one of those I cooked it in my cast iron pan! I piled the meat and the tzaziki sauce on top of a piece of naan bread. I am mixing cultures (Naan is traditionally Indian) here but it is what I had. Traditionally a gyro is served on pita bread but I really like the thickness of the naan bread. I bought it frozen at Trader Joes but you could also make your own using this recipe. It’s easy to do.
You just wrap it all up in the bread and go for it! So yummy!!
For other fun ethnic dishes try these:
Middle Eastern Beef Gyro with Tzaziki Sauce
- 1 1/4 lb. flank steak thinly sliced against the grain
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 C plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 English cucumber peeled and seeded
- 2 to matoes chopped
- 2 cloves garlic pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Mix together the sliced steak, onion , pumpkin pie spice, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, parsley, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl.
- Set aside and prepare Tzaziki Sauce
- Mix together yogurt, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice.
- Mix in tomatoes and cucumbers
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a cast iron pan to medium heat.
- Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan and then add meat and onion mixture in a single layer.
- Cook until meat is browned and cooked through. Repeat with remaining meat.
- Warm bread and serve meat and tzaziki sauce on top
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