Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Pork Souvlaki With Tzatziki Sauce

2019-06-09 09.04.58

2019-06-09 08.57.57

The word Souvlaki simply means, “meat on skewers”. Greeks also use it to describe an actual meal, loaded with perfectly grilled meat, and topped with Tzatziki sauce. Souvlaki is street-food and is super delicious. Usually made with chicken, today I’m doing it using pork, pork tenderloin to be specific. This is my Pork Souvlaki With Tzatziki Sauce.

I’m starting with the Tzatziki sauce. The most important trick to making Tzatziki Sauce is to thoroughly drain the grated cucumber before mixing it into the yogurt.

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mint

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Hot House Cucumber

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E.V.O.O.

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Marinating the pork for Souvlaki.

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Olive Oil

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2019-06-09 09.04.58

Tzatziki Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: overnight (8 to 12 hours)
Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, 1 medium-size glass container bowl with a tight-fitting lid, box grater, vegetable peeler, mesh sieve, cheesecloth, chef’s knife, hand-held juicer, Microplane

Pork Souvlaki
Prep Time: 30 minutes (time includes skewering the pork)
Inactive Prep Time: overnight (8 to 12 hours)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 40 minutes
Yields: 10 to 12 skewers
Equipment: indoor grill pan, 1 large glass container with a tight-fitting lid, whisk, wooden skewers, metal tongs, chef’s knife, hand-held juicer, 2 sheets of cheesecloth

Tip: Drain the yogurt the night before.

Ingredients For Tzatziki Sauce: 
1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt, full-fat
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 large (10-ounce) hothouse (English cucumber) peeled, grated using large holes on a box grater, and drained
2 tablespoons of *e.v.o.o.
2 tablespoons of fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, freshly grated
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 sprig of fresh mint for garnish
1 sprig of fresh dill for garnish

Directions For the Tzatziki Sauce:
Start by lining a mesh sieve with cheesecloth. Make sure the cheesecloth is large enough to cover the yogurt completely. Place over a large mixing bowl. Cover the yogurt completely with the cheesecloth. Place a heavy bowl on top to help the yogurt to drain. The next day unwrap the yogurt and transfer it to a medium-size mixing bowl with a tight-fitting lid and place back into the refrigerator.

Wash and dry the bowl and mesh sieve.

Using the same mesh sieve, lined with another piece of cheesecloth add the grated cucumber and 1/2 teaspoon of  Kosher salt. Tightly twist up in the cheesecloth and squeeze gently with your hands removing as much of the excess moisture as possible. Untwist the cheesecloth, set it carefully back into the mesh sieve. Place the mesh sieve over a bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes to continue draining.

Remove the yogurt from the refrigerator. Remove the lid. To the yogurt add ground cumin, olive oil, herbs, lemon juice, grated garlic, Kosher salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. At this point taste for seasoning if needed. Place the lid on, transfer back to the refrigerator to chill.  Spoon the Tzatziki into a serving nice serving bowl. Garnish with fresh dill and mint right before serving.

Tip: Soak skewers for 1 hour before using.

Ingredients For Pork Souvlaki:
1 (2-pound) pork tenderloin, silver skin removed, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt, full-fat
1 1/2 tablespoons of ground cumin
8 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, juiced
2 fresh bay leaves (substitute dried)

Garnishes: 
3 lemons, halved and grilled
8 sprigs of fresh oregano
mixed organic greens (as a bed for the platter)
sweet and tangy pepper drops, optional

Side Options: Links for recipes are below.
Greek Village Salad with Grilled Ciabatta or grilled pita bread
Roasted Greek Potatoes
Blackberry Cornbread Cake

Directions For Pork Souvlaki:
Prepare the marinade. In a large mixing bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, grated garlic, Greek yogurt, ground cumin, dried oregano, dried rosemary,  sweet paprika, bay leaves, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine.

Add the pork to the marinade. Toss to combine making sure all the pork is well-coated with the marinade. Cover with lid (or tightly using plastic wrap) and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours and/or overnight.

When ready, thread marinated pork pieces through the prepared skewers.

Preheat the grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the flesh side of each lemon with a little oil. Place the lemon halves onto the grill. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes or until you get nice charred grill marks. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.

Once again, prepare the indoor grill pan. Brush with a little oil and heat over medium-high heat. Place pork skewers on the grill pan (in batches). Grill until well browned and internal temperature reads 150-degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer. Be sure to turn skewers evenly to cook on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Adjust the temperature of the grill pan if necessary.  Repeat this process for the second batch. Allow the pork skewers to rest for 5 minutes. Discard any leftover marinade.

Transfer and arrange the pork skewers to a large serving platter lined with organic mixed greens. Garnish with fresh sprigs of oregano, grilled lemons, and sweet and tangy pepper drops.

Serve Pork Souvlakia with aside of chilled Tzatziki Sauce.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

Blackberry Cornbread Cake With Maple Whipped Cream

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes (Lemoni Patatas)

Greek Village Salad

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Slow-Cooked Southern-Style Green Beans

2015-06-11 09.57.02

French-style green beans, better known as Haricots Verts, are a very thin variety and the perfect choice for my Slow-Cooked Southern-Style Green Beans. I’ve made green beans with tomatoes many times and over the years, adding this and leaving out that, but now I’ve tweaked this recipe and it’s perfect. I think it’s my choice of spices and aromatics that puts a unique twist on these Slow Cooked Southern Style Green Beans and gives it complexity and depth of flavor.

I love cumin because of its grassy and earthy flavor so I decided to add this spice to my recipe. It made a HUGE difference!

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Paprika

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 2 large mixing bowls, spider

Ingredients:
2 pounds of French-style green beans (*Haricots Verts)
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (substitute any neutral oil)
1 sweet onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes and their juice
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
Start by going through the beans and cutting off the root ends. In a pot of boiling salted water *blanch the beans for 1 to 2 minutes, then immediately transfer to an ice bath. This sets the beautiful green color. Transfer the green beans to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain any excess water. Pat dry with a kitchen towel and place into a large bowl.

In a saucepot over medium heat add grapeseed oil. To that, add ground cumin allowing the spice to melt into the oil. This will give the cumin a chance to *bloom. Once you can smell the aroma from the cumin add the diced onions and sweet paprika. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes until onions have softened and become translucent.

Next, add the diced green bell pepper, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Sitrring ocassionally, cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Next, into the pot, the dried oregano. Rub the oregano through your fingers to release its flavor as you drop it into the pot. Finally, add the minced garlic, stir to combine.

Add the *blanched green beans, can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes along with the juice, and water. Stir all the ingredients together while bringing the green beans up to a boil. Turn down to a simmer cooking uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover until ready to serve. Enjoy my Slow-Cooked Southern-Style Green Beans with your next meal. Serve hot.

*Blanch: Blanching is a cooking process wherein a food, usually fruit or vegetable, is scalded in boiling water. Removed after a brief, timed interval and finally plunged into iced water (shocking or refreshing) to halt the cooking process.

*Bloom: The process of gently frying spices in oil. It’s a quick way to deepen their flavor. Cook just until the spices smell nice and toasty; any longer and you risk burning them.

*Haricots Verts: Usually known as French beans are a thinner and shorter variety.

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Chicken Milanese

 

2014-07-01 17.14.06

My Chicken Milanese recipe is so easy and versatile you can make it using pork or turkey as well. You want to ask your butcher to slice the meat, “scaloppine-style”, which is a very thinly sliced cutlet.

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Oregano

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thyme (1)

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eggs

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Brown rice with fresh herbs

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 53 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 12-inch sauté pan

Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced scaloppini-style (yields 10 thin cutlets)
1/4 cup of grapeseed oil (substitute a neutral oil, ex. Canola oil)
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
5 cups of store-bought Italian-style breadcrumbs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped

Tip: If you going to use dried herbs use half the amount of fresh.

Directions:
To start you want to marinate the chicken. In a large bowl, add eggs, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried rosemary, and freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley. Whisk to combine.

Add the chicken cutlets into the bowl with the marinade, toss making sure all the cutlets are well coated. Cover with plastic wrap, transfer to the frig for a minimum of 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the breading for the chicken. In another large bowl add the store-bought Italian style bread crumbs, freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, fresh oregano, and fresh thyme leaves. Mix to combine.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the grapeseed oil. Allow a few minutes for the oil to come up to temperature. It’s important to shallow fry the chicken in batches, (maybe 3 cutlets at a time) do not overcrowd the pan.

Preheat oven to 250-degrees F.
This process goes really quickly, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken fillets.  hat I like to do is, as they come out of the pan, place them on a rimmed baking sheet pan fitted with a wire rack and keep them warm in the oven while the remaining batches of chicken finish cooking. That’s all there is to it.

I serve my Chicken Milanese with a simple herbed brown rice and Sauteéd Haricots Verts With Toasted Almonds.

Sautéed Haricots Verts With Toasted Almonds

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