Filed under: Grilling
Spring is far and away my favorite season. When the weather is good, there is no end to the work to be done outside – a good thing in my book. I spend too much of my life behind a computer and I am kind of a wuss about the cold, so as soon as the weather starts to turn, I head outside. This year I have a new garden space (in addition to the raised beds I’ve had for a few years) and it will keep me busy – although the soil is good, a lot of rocks washed down when the creek flooded a few years ago. I could probably spend all day every day picking rocks and still find more.
When we’re outside all day, dinner ends up being a quicker affair. If it can be cooked over the fire and eaten outside, even better. With a little prep in the morning (when it’s still a little too cold for me to happily venture out), we can have a really good dinner shortly after we quit working. Lamb gyros are a perfect example – the toppings can be chopped up in advance, the dressing is even better made ahead of time, and the meat needs some time with the herbs and garlic. Once the fire dies down a little (the perfect amount of time for a cocktail – or a glass of rose, in this case), the meat is grilled over the coals, the naan get a quick toasting as well, and before long we’re eating.
For the Gyros
1/2 lb of ground lamb (I’ve started grinding my own – any suggestions on an easier way to clean the KitchenAid grinding attachment??), mixed with a generous handful of chopped mint, parsley, and cilantro, and a couple of minced garlic cloves
Chopped kalmata olives, roasted red peppers, cucumber, sun dried tomatoes, or other toppings to taste
Naan (I like the Tandoori Garlic kind from Trader Joe’s)
For the dressing (adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Ranch Dressing for a smaller batch as it doesn’t keep more than a day or two – even at this quantity, you’ll have leftovers, so plan for a salad for dinner the next day)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/8 cup mayo (I use Best Foods/Hellmann’s, though after reading this, I’m seriously reconsidering buying mayo)
1/8 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1/2 small cucumber, minced
1/2 bunch each minced parsley, cilantro, and mint
1 garlic clove, minced
lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together. Best if made a few hours in advance.
Riley agrees: this dinner was delicious.
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