After months of tropical storms and hurricanes, it’s finally safe to bring out the grill again. Perfect timing with the long Veterans Day weekend and recent cool weather.
This time we’re inspired to make souvlaki. The original recipe was for gyros and called for a whole loaf baked in the oven, then shaved into slices and fried. Anxious to use the grill, we opted for individual kebabs instead.
A mix of ground beef and ground lamb, diced onion, minced garlic, rosemary and marjoram, molded onto wooden skewers.
Brushed with olive oil, then charred on the grill
Wrapped in a soft grilled pita with tangy tzatziki, smoky baba ganoush, spicy harissa, crunchy cucumbers and an herb salad. Dinner in the driveway never tasted so good!
Beef & Lamb Souvlaki
While the list looks long, many ingredients are used multiple times. Assembly is minimal and the results are well worth the effort. Easy to eat at any outdoor event.
Mix ingredients and set aside to chill in fridge for 30 min to 1hr.
Remove skewers from water and dry. Mold mixture onto skewers. Watch the ratio of meat to skewers so it stays on the sticks. Place back in fridge to set.
When ready to cook, brush with olive oil and grill until browned and slightly charred
Seed and shred cucumber. Sprinkle lightly with salt to draw out moisture. Drain and squeeze remaining moisture using cheesecloth. Set aside.
Mix all ingredients together. Season to taste with additional garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in fridge to chill.
Position a rack at the top of the oven. Preheat to medium or high broil.
Slice eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Place in colander for 10 min. until some moisture is removed. Place slices on sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in oven for 5-10 min turning once and until golden and soft. Remove from oven. Wrap in foil and set aside for 5 min.
Once cooled, remove skin from eggplant and place in food processor with remaining ingredients. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with additional lemon, olive oil, garlic and salt.
Chop parsley and mint. Dice cucumber and onion. Mince garlic. Mix together and season with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Harissa is a Middle Eastern chili paste seasoned with garlic, coriander, and caraway. Even if you don't like spicy, it's a key component that really makes the dish come together. We purchased a tube from the Greek wine and grocery in Kahala (next to Olive Tree Cafe). To save on time you can pick up some good pita here as well.
If you have trouble finding ground lamb, Kokua Market on King St. usually sells some in their freezer.
Traditionally tzatziki uses Greek yogurt only. However it's a special type you can't find in the store, so I use sour cream to help thicken the sauce.
All of these recipes derive a lot of its flavor from olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Measurements are estimates only. Please adjust to your taste as needed.