Dinner time: It’s all Greek to me

Unlike me, someone who plans dinner at breakfast time, Mr. T doesn’t fixate on meals. He doesn’t read food blogs. He doesn’t obsess over recipes. I’m fairly sure he doesn’t even have a list of “last meal” foods like someone I know.

So when I asked him what he had a hankering for the other day, I was shocked when he actually gave an answer.

“Greek food,” he said.

And by “Greek food,” he didn’t mean just any run of the mill hummus and pita. He meant in the style of the Kabob House, a local Sacramento favorite of ours.

Luckily, I stumbled upon this recipe for chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce from Comfy Cuisine. I’m pleased to say I made a decent approximation of Eli’s Kabob House fare although my store bought hummus paled in comparison to his heavenly garlicky dip. From beginning to end, the meal didn’t take long to put together and, being grilled, didn’t heat up the house.

NSFD Ranking: * (I know, something actually healthy)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Inactive time: 25 minutes (or more, if you want to marinate overnight)
Cooking time: 15 minutes

I marinated peppers and onions separately in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt
and pepper.

Chicken Souvlaki 
– 1-2 pounds chicken, cut into 1-inch chunks (I used chicken breasts but would’ve preferred boneless thighs)
– 2 lemons (one juiced for the marinade, one cut in half for grilling)
– 4 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– Salt and pepper

1. Combine all ingredients (saving one lemon for grilling)
2. Marinate for at least 20 minutes
3. Add chicken chunks to skewers (I use metal. If using bamboo, soak them thoroughly so they don’t burn)
4. Grill over medium heat for 15 minutes or so. Squeeze the remaining lemon over the chicken during cooking. (Patti at Comfy Cuisine recommended putting the lemon on the grill to soften it up. If you do so, be smarter than me and don’t pick the lemon up with your bare hand. Ahem.)

A salad with cucumber, tomato, olives and feta would
pair nicely, too.

Tzatziki Sauce
– 2 cups plain yogurt (I used Safeway’s low-fat organic)
– 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
– Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put the yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth, a coffee filter or paper towel, and set over a bowl. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or so. (The excess liquid will drain out and the yogurt will be thicker with a more dip-like consistency similar to sour cream.)
2. In a small bowl, combine the cucumber with a bit of salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
3. Squeeze the remaining liquid out of the grated cucumber, and combine with the drained yogurt, garlic, dill and salt and pepper. (Next time, I’ll make this earlier in the day so the flavors have more time to combine.)

Serve with warm pita and/or rice.


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