Lunchbreak: Pork Gyros

Midday News

Matt Moore

His new cookbook Serial Griller is a serious and delicious exploration of how grilling is done all around America.

http://www.MattRMoore.com

Recipes:

PORK GYROS

SERVES 6

Hands-On: 20 minutes | Total: 1 hour, 40 minutes, including 1 hour marinating

Most Americans think of beef or lamb when it comes to gyros, but an authentic Greek gyro is traditionally filled with pork. I ate my fill of these during my travels in Greece, usually holding one in my hand, tzatziki dripping down my arm, while navigating the local narrow streets on a motorcycle. To re-create the Greek classic, I like to use pork tenderloin to ensure the meat is super tender. You can also use this marinade for chicken, beef, or lamb, if that’s more your speed.

Pork

½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1½ tablespoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1½ pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1½½- inch cubes

Tzatziki

¾ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

¼ cup finely chopped seeded cucumber (from 1 small [7-ounce] cucumber)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

For Serving

6 (8-inch) pita rounds, halved crosswise

3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

2 cups chopped seeded tomato

Marinate the pork: Whisk together the yogurt, vinegar, oregano, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the pork and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the tzatziki: Stir together all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, or up to a few days.

Open the bottom vent of a charcoal grill com­pletely. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled with charcoal. When the coals are covered with gray ash, pour them onto the bottom grate of the grill. Adjust the vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 400° to 450°F. Coat the top grate with oil; place on the grill. (If using a gas grill, pre­heat to medium-high [400° to 450°F].)

Remove the pork from marinade; discard the marinade. Thread the pork evenly onto 12 (6-inch) skewers. Place the skewers on the oiled grates. Grill, covered and turning occasionally, until the pork is charred and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of the pork registers 145°F, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Wrap the pita halves in damp paper towels. Microwave on HIGH until softened, 30 to 45 sec­onds. Fill the pita halves evenly with the pork, lettuce, and tomatoes. Drizzle with the tzatziki.

GRILLED CORN WITH DILL BUTTAH AND FETA

SERVES 8

Hands-On: 30 minutes | Total: 30 minutes

Part of the fun of cooking this recipe is just saying buttah. It should roll off your tongue slowly, like a Deep South drawl, emulating the rich smoothness that melting butter adds to deliciously sweet and smoky corn. Gild the lily by finishing the ears with some salty, tangy feta.

½ Cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus ½ tablespoon fresh juice (from one lemon)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 ears fresh yellow corn, shucked

1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about ¼ cup)

Open the bottom vent of a charcoal grill com­pletely. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled with charcoal. When the coals are covered with gray ash, pour them onto the bottom grate of the grill. Adjust the vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 450° to 500°F. Coat the top grate with oil; place on the grill. (If using a gas grill, preheat to high [450° to 500°F].)

Stir together the butter, dill, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl until well combined. (If making ahead, store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days; let come to room temperature 5 wminutes before using.)

Place the corn on the oiled grates. Grill, uncovered and turning often, until charred on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Brush each corn ear with 1½ tablespoons of the dill butter and sprinkle with ½ tablespoon of the feta. Garnish with additional dill.

GRILLED POTATO SALAD

SERVES 6

Hands-On: 1 hour | Total: 1 hour, 30 minutes

This hefty salad is lightened a bit by cutting the mayonnaise with thick Greek-style yogurt. The salad shines as a tangy, rich, and satisfying side, especially when paired with a grilled pork tenderloin or juicy burgers.

10 large new potatoes (about 3½ pounds), unpeeled

8 tablespoons olive oil

1¼ teaspoons kosher salt

¼ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Open the bottom vent of a charcoal grill com­pletely. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled with charcoal. When the coals are covered with gray ash, pour them onto the bottom grate of the grill. Adjust the vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 350° to 400°F. (If using a gas grill, preheat to medium [350° to 400°F].)

Place the potatoes on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Rub with 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Wrap the foil securely around the potatoes. Place the potatoes, foil-seam-side up, on the unoiled grates. Grill, covered and turning occasionally, until the potatoes are firm-tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Unwrap and let cool 10 minutes. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Whisk together 5 tablespoons of the oil, the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt in a large bowl until smooth.

Place a large cast-iron skillet on the grates and heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet. Add half of the potato pieces and cook, uncovered, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring once halfway through cook time. Remove the pota­toes from the skillet. Wipe the skillet clean and repeat the process with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and potato pieces. Allow the potatoes to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Add the cooled potatoes and dill to the dressing in the bowl; toss to coat.

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