Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Pork Souvlaki With Tzatziki Sauce

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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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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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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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Stuffed Grape Leaves With Egg-Lemon Sauce

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After visiting the International Food Club, here in Orlando, I came away with a jar grape leaves. I knew right then that I’d be making the traditional Stuffed Grape Leaves With Egg-Lemon Sauce.

Before making this dish, I did speak to a few people of Greek descent what they used in their filling. I wanted to know how much their recipes varied when it came to this recipe. I found out they were all pretty much the same.

Next, I did a little research, I wanted it to be as authentic as possible. What I found was, there was one difference from those I spoke to and the online recipes which called for adding some type of nuts to the filling. I decided to make this recipe as authentic as possible giving the option of adding chopped pine nuts or walnuts. That being said, this dish is definitely a labor of love. 😊

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Fresh Mint Leaves

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Ground Sirloin (2)

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White Wine And Unsalted Chicken Broth

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White Wine And Unsalted Chicken Broth

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Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven pot with a tight-fitting lid, medium-size mixing bowl, large mixing bowl, 12-inch sauté pan

Ingredients:
1/3 cup of olive oil
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (1 tablespoon for sautéeing the onions)
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup of green onions, chopped fine
1 pound of lean ground sirloin, 90% lean (substitute ground lamb)
1/2 cup long-grain rice, (Jasmine) uncooked
3 cups chicken broth, unsalted (plus 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can, low sodium for EggLemon Sauce)
1/2 cup dry white wine (Chardonnay)
2 tablespoons of pine nuts (optional)
2 tablespoons of fresh dill (1/2 the amount if dried)
2 tablespoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (1/2 the amount if dried)
1 tablespoon of fresh mint (1/2 the amount if dried))
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper
1 (16-ounce) jar of grape leaves, drained and rinsed
7 whole lemons (for both the grape leaves, egg-lemon sauce, plus 1 to 2 lemons for garnish)

Ingredients For The Liquids: 
3 cups chicken broth, unsalted
1/2 cup dry white wine (Chardonnay)
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon of olive oil

Ingredients: Egg-Lemon Sauce (Avgolemono Sauce)
4 egg yolks (substitute “Egg Beaters”)
1-10 3/4-ounce can chicken broth, low sodium
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 lemons, juiced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions: Grape Leaves:
The very first step is to rinse the long grain rice of any excess starch. Place 1 cup of Jasmine rice into a large bowl and cover with water, 3 cups. Let the rice sit until the water turns cloudy. Drain the water and repeat this process four times until the water remains clear. Drain the rice into a large bowl, set aside

Line a large plate with a paper towel. Remove the grape leaves from the jar, separating them carefully, removing the hard stem from each leaf. Rinse each one at a time really well to remove any and all brine.

Let the excess water drain onto the paper towel, patting dry the top of each one of the leaves before transferring them to a large bowl. The imperfect and/or smaller leaves, I used to line the bottom of the pot. This will stop the grape leaves from having direct contact with the bottom of the pot and ensure they will not burn.

Note: The imperfect and/or smaller leaves, use to line the bottom of the greased pot. This will stop the grape leaves from having direct contact with the bottom of the pot and ensure they won’t burn.

In the Dutch oven, on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Add diced onions and sliced green onions sauté until just until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.

Next, add the ground sirloin to the pot. Using the back of a wooden spoon, break up the meat. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Continue cooking until the meat is brown and cooked through, 10 minutes. Add the uncooked rice and combine. Transfer to the bowl holding the uncooked rice.

Next, for the pine nuts (optional) and herbs. Add chopped mint, dill, and flat-leaf Italian parsley to the meat and rice mixture, stir to combine. Allow the filling to cool before stuffing the grape leaves.

Tip: One important thing to remember is, you want to stuff the leaves fairly tight but not too tight. The rice is still going to cook in the next step, that said, the rice may expand a bit more and you don’t want the grape leaves to break or to come apart while cooking.

Lay a plastic baggie down on a cutting board. Place a leaf, shiny side down. Add a heaping teaspoon of filling to the bottom portion of each leaf. Next, bring the bottom of the leaf up over the filling then folded in each side and continued to roll the rest of the leaf. Similar to if you were rolling up a mini burrito.

Grease the bottom of the Dutch oven with the remaining grapeseed oil. Line the bottom of the pot with the smaller-imperfect grape leaves. Place the stuffed grape leaves in a circular pattern into the pot. There will be two layers of stuffed grape leaves when finished.

In a measuring cup, add fresh lemon juice, olive oil, dry white wine, unsalted chicken broth, and mix. Pour this liquid over the grape leaves.

Before placing the lid onto the pot, place a heavy plate, upside down on top of the stuffed grape leaves to prevent the leaves from unrolling. On medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the covered pot from the heat and set aside. Star the Egg-Lemon sauce.

Directions For Egg-Lemon Sauce, Avgolemono Sauce:
In a medium-size bowl lightly beat 4 egg yolks with 1/2 the can of unsalted chicken broth. In another bowl add the juice of 4 lemons with the remaining chicken broth and Kosher salt, stir.

On medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small saucepan. Add the 2 heaping tablespoons of all-purpose flour whisking to form a *roux and light blond in color. Slowly add the lemon juice/chicken brother mixture, continuously whisking until thick and smooth.

Remove from heat for, around 2 minutes, or until mixture has cooled down enough to add the egg yolk mixture. You DO NOT want the eggs to scramble. You want a smooth creamy sauce.

Gradually add the beaten egg yolk mixture continuously whisking until smooth.

Arrange the Stuffed Grape Leaves on a large serving platter along with the Egg-Lemon Sauce. Garnish with lemon slices.

*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.

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Whole Grain Mustard Oven Roasted Potatoes

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This has to be my favorite side dish. My Whole Grain Mustard Oven Roasted Potatoes is a great side dish and pairs really well with chicken or pork. I wanted to post this recipe in the vegetarian and gluten-free categories because I believe those that live a “meat-free” or “gluten-free” lifestyle will enjoy these potatoes as much as I do. This dish is delicious and simple to make.

Onions

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 to 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
2 pounds of small Yukon gold and red potatoes, halved
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard
1 large yellow onion, sliced into half-moons
2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh dill, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Wash, dry, and cut the potatoes in half.  In a large mixing bowl add the halved potatoes sliced onions, olive oil, whole grain mustard, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Toss really well with your hands until all the potatoes and onions are coated. Pour the potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet pan.

Roast for 50 to 60 minutes. Halfway through roasting, flip all the onions and potatoes over to brown on all sides. Return to the oven to finish roasting. Transfer to a serving bowl, while still hot, sprinkle with chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley and dill. That’s all there is to making my Whole Grain Mustard Oven Roasted Potatoes.

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