Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pork Souvlaki with Creamy Tzatziki & Greek Salad





From grilled fish and dolmades to skordalia and spanakopita, Greek cuisine is a divine marriage of bold flavours, simple ingredients and time-honoured traditions. Many dishes can be traced back to ancient Greece and Byzantium, whereas others were influenced by Ottoman cuisine with names that reveal their Arabic, Persian or Turkish roots: moussaka, tzatziki, yuvarlakia, keftethes and boureki. However, among the icons of modern Greek food culture, one of the most popular must be souvlaki. Infused with the intoxicating scents of oregano, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil, these Pork Kebabs owe their tenderness to a tangy marinade that helps break down even the toughest cuts of meat. Traditionally served wrapped in pita bread and topped with a variety of condiments such as lettuce, tomato, onion, and tzatziki, Souvlaki are also quite delicious all on their own with a great dollop of tzatziki and a lovely fresh Greek Salad.




Cool creamy Tzatziki

Greek Salad

Pork Souvlaki



Pork Souvlaki
Serves 4

1 1/2 lb pork shoulder or loin, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp dried Greek oregano
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


In large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the pork and toss to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes. Evenly thread the marinated pork onto 4 skewers and grill on a preheated barbecue, turning halfway through, until just a hint of pink remains inside, about 8 minutes per side. Garnish with sliced lemon and fresh oregano, and bowl of tzatziki.




Tzatziki

Makes 2 1/2 cups

2 cups Greek or Balkan yogurt

1 English cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh dill
Pinch freshly ground black pepper


Box grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Place it in a sieve and set it over a bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt and cucumber can drain. Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can serve it immediately, but letting the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours allows for the flavours to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.



Greek Salad
Serves 4

Dressing:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of your chef's knife
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper

Salad:
1 iceberg lettuce
1 English cucumber, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6 vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and quartered
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled


To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a resealable container and shake vigorously. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and then bring to room temperature, before tossing the salad. To assemble the salad, tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and place in a bowl that is large enough to hold all the salad ingredients comfortably. Scatter the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, olives, and feta over the top. Toss with dressing just before serving.