Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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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 gated 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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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, medium-size 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, large bowl 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 to 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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Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach

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This recipe is elegant and yet so easy to pull together for entertaining. The above pictures are ones I took the very first time I made my Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach and boy it was delicious. I thought I’d test the recipe out on a few friends and get their opinion. It was definitely a winning dish. I did, however, make one change and that was to use the pan drippings to make this wonderful sauce to drizzle over the top.

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Sautéed Spinach With Garlic

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: minimum of 2 hours
Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 4- quart Dutch oven, 1 gallon-size zip-lock baggie, 12-inch sauté pan, chef’s knife

Ingredients For Marinade:
2 pork tenderloins
1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, small dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Ingredients For Cannellini Beans:
3 15.5-ounce cans of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced into half-moons
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted chicken broth

Ingredients For Gravy.
1 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth, plus 2 tablespoons
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

Ingredients And Directions For Sautéed Spinach With Garlic:
Refer to the link below, doubling the recipe for this dish.

Directions:
Place the 2 pork tenderloins along with minced garlic and chopped ginger into the zip-lock bag. In a medium-size bowl add apricot jam, low sodium soy sauce, olive oil, and crushed red pepper flakes, whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the baggie. Let as much of the air out of the bag as possible, then zip it closed. Massage the marinade all over the pork. Place the pork into the frig for a minimum of 2 hours, longer is even better.

Now to get started on the Cannellini beans. I love to use Cannellini beans for this dish because they have a really creamy feel to them and they absorb flavors really well.

When you’re dealing with leeks you just want to use the white and light green parts of the leek. Cut the top (the dark green leaves) and bottom (the root), like you see in the top pictures. Leeks have so many layers to them, you want to rinse them really good and get any sand or dirt that may be trapped between the layers. Once that’s done, cut them in half lengthwise and slice into thin half-moons.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat add  1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, the sliced leeks, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Sauté the leeks for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Next, add the minced garlic, stir through, cooking for 1 minute more. Add unsalted chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low then add in the Cannellini beans. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, place the lid on to keep warm.

At this point, you’d want to start the spinach for this dish. For my recipe, Sautéed Spinach With Garlic, click the link at the bottom of this post.

Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Using a pair of tongs remove the marinated pork tenderloins from the baggie, (be sure to scrape off any ginger or garlic stuck on the pork, allowing as much of the excess marinade drip back into the baggie) placing them into the hot pan. Sear the pork for 3 minutes on each side. Place the pan into the oven and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Next, transfer the pork tenderloins to a large plate and cover tightly with foil. Place the pan over medium-high heat and add unsalted chicken broth. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let bubble for 1 to 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, add 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of unsalted chicken broth, whisk together until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and continue whisking until the sauce comes back up to a bubble and begins to thicken, around 2 minutes. Turn the heat off, the sauce is done.

To plate this dish, I lay out all those delicious Cannellini beans on the bottom of a large serving platter. Then around one side, I spoon on the Sautéed Spinach With Garlic. I carve the pork into 1 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange them on top of the beans. Finally, I drizzle that amazing sauce all over the top.

There you have it, my Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin Over A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach.

Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

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Roasted Pesto Pork Sandwiches With Rosemary And Garlic Potato Wedges

Pesto Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Rosemary Garlic Potato Wedges

When I thought about what would make the ultimate sandwich, I knew sliced Roasted Pesto Pork Sandwiches would be perfect. To have alongside the sandwiches, my Rosemary And Garlic Potato Wedges.

I’m a huge fan of fresh basil pesto, and now available in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. The name of the brand is called Buitoni Pesto. Now, I love to make my own pesto, when I have time, but for a weeknight meal, this store-bought fresh pesto works in a pinch and it’s really delicious.

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Rosemary

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Olive Oil

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Arugula

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 12-inch sauté pan, 1 large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin, cut in half
4 strips of bacon, cooked, cut in half
4 tablespoons of store-bought fresh basil pesto, (sold in a 1 (7-ounce) container)
6 small red-skinned potatoes (substitute Red Bliss potatoes) skin on, cut into wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf of Cuban bread, buttered and toasted
1/4-pound of deli-sliced Fontina cheese sliced diagonally
2 large heirloom tomatoes, thick slices
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 cup of arugula, divided
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted and room temperature

Directions:
Start by cutting the tenderloin in half. Place the two halves onto a baking sheet. Spoon on 2 tablespoons of the pesto on each half. Massage the pesto all over the pork, transfer to the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Carefully place the 4 strips of bacon, that had been cut in half into the skillet. Cook for to 3 minutes on the first side then flip and brown the second side. The time may vary slightly depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Turn the heat off and transfer the bacon onto a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.

While that’s happening cut the potatoes into wedges, lay them out onto a baking sheet add a 1/4 cup of olive oil, freshly chopped rosemary leaves, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh black pepper. Using your hands toss the potatoes so everything is really well coated. Spread the potatoes into one even layer. Bake for 45 minutes. Halfway through, turn the potatoes to ensure they’ll be golden brown on both sides. Immediately sprinkle the hot potatoes wedges with Kosher salt to taste.

Three-quarters of the way through of potato wedges cooking, transfer the pork from the refrigerator to the counter and bring to room temperature.

Once the potatoes come out of the oven transfer the pork into the oven. The pork will take no longer than 11 minutes to cook. Look for an internal temperature of 145-degrees F. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Adjust the oven temperature to 350-degrees F.

Cut the Cuban bread in half and then again in half lengthwise. Slathered both sides with butter, place them onto a baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until a light golden brown. Once the bread comes out of the oven spread one side of each half with the remaining pesto. Next, add the arugula, the sliced pork, then the bacon, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, and finally the Fontina cheese. Place the top on and slice in half on the bias.

The ultimate Roasted Pesto Pork Sandwiches served with my Rosemary And Garlic Potato Wedges.

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