Let me just preface this by saying that I don't consider myself the greatest cook. I'm not even one for great experimentation in the kitchen, but I do like to try new recipes every now and then and I'm ALWAYS on the hunt for that "signature" dish that my family will love. You know the kind...the one I will be asked to make again and again (and again). Well, I think I've finally found that signature dish.
I can always count on my blogging pal, Judy, from NoFearEntertaining. I love her site because I am always able to find a yummy, fun recipe to try. She has *never* steered me wrong when it comes to cooking up something tasty.
My latest experiment was no different.
So what was this grand meal I made? I made Souvlaki -for the first time- using THIS amazing recipe courtesy of Judy's friend, Peter. Now, I've never been much of a pork fan, but the taste of this is beyond belief. I found some pork strips (labeled "Pork Shoulder" from Costco) and went from there.
The only changes I made to the recipe noted below is that I used "Mediterranean" oregano instead of "Greek" oregano:
and I marinaded the meat for two days (accidentally):
Jim grilled the skewers on the barbecue and, as you can see, they turned out fantastic:
As chance would have it, Judy had just posted another recipe that I wanted to try, too, and it complemented my main dish perfectly: Tomato,onion and cucumber salad. What made me smile extra big was that all the main ingredients came fresh from my garden!
The dressing is so simple, uses very few ingredients - and I got to use that cool Mediterranean oregano again!:
I added yellow pear tomatoes to this, some lemon cucumber as well as green cucumber, and used green onions instead of red. The result was a very colorful salad:
My mom joined us for this meal and she's been begging me for these recipes ever since, so....here you go, Mom!:
1 boneless pork butt (shoulder)
1 medium onion, grated
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 heaping tsp. salt
1 heaping tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 heaping tsp. dried Greek oregano
wooden skewers (soaked overnight)
1) Trim excess fat from your pork shoulder and cut into uniform pieces.
2) In a large bowl, add your marinade ingredients along with the pork pieces and toss to mix and coat all the meat. Place in the fridge for at least 5 hours and for best results, overnight.
3) Place your wooden skewers in a shallow baking dish that's filled with water. Allow the wooden skewers to soak overnight (so they don't disintegrate when grilling).
4) The next day, a couple of hours before you are going to grill your souvlaki, allow the pork to come to room temperature and then start skewering your meat (it's easier when your meat is at room temperature).
5) Pre-heat your gas grill (or prepare your charcoal grill) and when you have a medium-high heat, grill your souvlakia for 3-4 minutes a side and then keep warm until all the souvlaki are cooked.
6) Squeeze fresh lemon juice on your souvlakia with a sprinkle of fine sea salt and dried Greek oregano.
7) Serve with some crusty bread and Tzatziki.
Judy's Tomato, onion and cucumber salad:
It is such a simple recipe:
You need tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. Slice and place in a large flat container. A glass 8X8 cake pan works great.
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup white vinegar
5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the sliced of tomato, onion and cucumber. Place in fridge for an hour or so before serving. Stirring frequently to make sure the flavors are well blended.
In addition to the Souvlaki and tomato salad, we had some roasted red-pepper hummous, tzatziki made by my mom (yum), and some middle eastern flat bread.
My mouth is watering just from writing to you about this meal. It was that good.