Spring into Spring (please!!)

by Sava

Here in Southern California, we are trying to think “Spring” but it is still so cold that it feels more like Fall! Typically, as June approaches, thoughts turn to putting meat on the grill and eating lighter with more salads and grilled veggies. We have been thinking that way, but some of these cold evenings make us switch our thinking to soups and casseroles. I’m not giving up so easily, however. I’ve been proof reading our cookbook for the umpteenth time while my sister does the same back in Vermont. I just read over our recipe for souvlaki from our favorite taverna in Gythio called Sederis. It is where the locals go and once we ate there we decided to become some of the “locals” ourselves. We couldn’t get enough! Pork seems to be the most popular meat in Greece which surprised us cause we thought it would be lamb! However, both lamb and chicken can be used in this recipe. It has the best flavor when grilled over a charcoal fire and almost as good over a gas grill fire. We really loved the way they served it in a fairly unconventional way. They brought the big chunks of sizzling, juicy grilled meat on brown butcher paper with fresh slices of raw onion and thick slices of Greek bread toasted on the grill and drizzled with olive oil and oregano. The bread is a great vehicle for soaking up the juices. While you are grilling, you might as well throw some vegetables on there to have along with a fresh Greek salad. Yum!

So here is the recipe right out of our cookbook.

Pork Souvlaki (kebabs)

(Chicken, Lamb and maybe even tofu could work with this marinade)

3 lbs of boneless pork, cut into medium chunks

1/2 c lemon juice         1/2 c olive oil            1 T dried Greek oregano           2 t each salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a plastic zippered bag. Squeeze and turn the bag to coat the meat. Marinate for at least an hour, but longer is better. I have even done it the night before. You can use wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 5 minutes or, short on skewers,  just put the chunks of meat directly on the grill. You will have more turning to do this way but it still works. Cook for about 8 minutes, turning the meat to brown evenly. Check for doneness and serve immediately. Have extra lemon wedges ready. We Greeks LOVE our lemon!!! For me there is no such thing as too much lemon. But that’s just me…

How’s that for an easy recipe? Don’t forget to grill some veggies like asparagus and zucchini with the meat, add a salad and you are sooooo happy! And paper plates make an easy cleanup. Kali orexi! Enjoy!

See you next time.

By the way, check out the comments for another recipe my sister added from our cookbook!!! And don’t forget to leave a comment, too.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Trio May 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Every time I read a recipe from your book, I’m so hungry!!!

Sava May 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

That’s the hope!!! Try it when you get a chance. I promise you will love it! Yassou!

Georgia Cone May 22, 2011 at 8:50 am

A great side dish for spring meals is Greek tabouleh. Nutritious, easy and improves each day, if it lasts longer than one day!

1 c bulgur wheat,soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes
8 chopped scallions
1c chopped cherry tomatoes
3/4c chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 c chopped mint
1/2 c lemon juice
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 t each salt and pepper
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
1 c chopped cucumber
1/2 c chopped Kalamata olives
Drain the bulgur, squeeze dry with hands and place in a large bowl. Add the scallions, tomatoes, herbs, cucumber and gently toss. In a small bowl beat together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad. Sprinkle with feta and olives and toss gently. Set aside for about 30 minutes to meld flavors. Kali orexi! Enjoy!

Sava May 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I’m so glad you added this one for spring and summer! We love it!! Yassou, Yeoryia!

Mary May 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm

We use pork tenderloin and cut it into pieces and prepare it this way. Many of our guests tell me how they love our lamb souvlaki! I just respond with “ephxaristo”!

Sava May 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

That’s a perfect cut for this, so tender! But funny they think it is lamb!!!! Mary, I didn’t see your email earlier but now I know it is YOU!! Thanks for your comment. Yassou!

bob towery June 19, 2011 at 7:28 am

Sounds too good! And easy, you are right.

Sava July 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

Have you tried it yet, Bob? I see your food photos on Facebook, so I know you are and adventurous/great cook. Give this one a try. Marinate over night for the best flavor and don’t forget drizzling the thick slices of crusty bread with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano and put on the grill. Fabulous! Thanks for stopping by.
Yassou!!

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