Growing up in Buffalo, NY, there were a lot of cool little Greek places in our neighborhood, and my go-to meal was usually chicken souvlaki. I loved picking up the chicken, tearing off a piece of pita, spooning on a little tzatziki, and going to town. There's just something fun about the process--it makes the resultant bite just that much more delicious. If Sisyphus got a bite of souvlaki every time he completed his Herculean task, he'd probably be way happier. (Because, you know, rolling a rock up and down a hill for eternity is definitely comparable to the hard work of assembling a good bite of souvlaki.)
So, every week I pick up a few cookbooks at the library. I'm not terribly picky about which books I take out, although I really do prefer cookbooks with lots of pictures, just because they're a lot more fun. A few weeks ago, I picked up Roadfood Sandwiches, by Roadfood.com founders Jane and Michael Stern, which is unfortunately devoid of pics, but a great cookbook nonetheless. I've since tried out a few of the recipes in the book, the first of which is for a delicious chicken souvlaki sandwich. Okay, let's check out this recipe.
First you'll need a head of garlic.
Well, maybe not a whole head. Let's start off with just a couple cloves.
Peel your cloves--
And mince them.
In a small bowl, combine with a couple tbsp EVOO.
And a few tsp oregano.
And..a tsp freshly ground black pepper.
Give that a good whisk.
Next, you'll need one whole RBP.
Slice that up.
With a small knife, give the slices a good ribbing. As in, remove their white ribs. I would never condone poking fun at your red bell pepper.
Chop those up.
You'll need two Romatoes.
Slice each of those up into four slices.
Chop those up, too.
You'll need five or so boneless, skinless chicken tenders.
The conclusion of the "Chop Those Up" trilogy. Nominated for a Golden Globe!
You'll need a baking pan, preferably 13'' x 9'', greased. Grease is good. (Er, sometimes! I'm really just referencing Wall Street.)
Arrange your chicken, pepper, and tomato on a skewer, and place in your baking pan. Should fit just right.
Repeat with the remaining chicken, pepper, and tomato--they should comprise three more skewers. See, now this looks just like the Greek flag! Pretty cool, right? No, I'm kidding. The Greek flag is blue and white.
Pour your marinade over your skewers. Marinate in the fridge for a couple hours, turning the skewers every so often so the marinade gets to visit all those exciting vacation locales in your baking pan. It's a little adventure for the marinade.
After two hours, remove your skew--oh, wait a minute. That's a cucumber, not a pan full of skewers. So, rewind fifteen minutes. After one hour and 45 minutes, take out a cucumber.
Slice it in half, lengthwise.
Use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds.
Live Free or Chop Those Up. (Or, Chop Those Up: Salvation. Take your pick.)
Remove to a small bowl.
Grab two more cloves of garlic. Peel and mince.
Add to your cukes.
Add a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Oh, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
Add one cup of plain yogurt, and mix it all up. Let it sit in the fridge while you cook the souvlaki.
Preheat the broiler, then pop in your skewers, cooking for 10 minutes or so or until done and nicely charred. Turn them every few minutes so they get cooked properly and that nice charred effect on all sides.
Any pita will work for this recipe. These are from Sprouts, 89 cents a pop. Pretty great deal. If you're really gung-ho about making everything yourself, you could make your own pita.
Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all tomorrow for another post. Have a great night, and stay cool!