Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pseudo Greek Food- Gyro Burgers

I went to Greece in 1974 with my sister and my mother, and fell in love with the food. We especially liked the street food- gyros and souvlakia bought along with a Greek lemon flavored soft drink in the agora. When we got back to the US, we found it difficult to get the ingredients to make them at home.

Now, more that 30 years later, feta cheese and pita bread is available in most grocery stores, and Greek salads are on just about every menu.

This burger doesn't have the same tight, small-grained texture of the classic gyro but the flavor is delicious. To approximate that texture, I will sometimes put the meat in the food processor to mix the ingredients. You could also put the meat through a meat grinder again. You can stuff it in a pita, or eat on a bun as shown here.

They are Chuck's Gyro Burgers because my husband, Chuck is particular about how his burger patties are made, so he always does them.

Chuck's Gyro Burger

1 pound bround beef
pound ground lamb
4 oz feta cheese crumbles
2-3 green onions or scallions, chopped small
1-4 garlic cloves, chopped fine (we like a lot of garlic)
1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano.

Mix the ingredients very well, and form into 6 to 8 burgers. Grill and serve with slices of onion, tomato and lettuce if desired. We put mayonaise on these, but if I were putting the patty in a pita, I would dress it with tzitziki sauce.

Tzitziki sauce

1/2 c plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 c cucumber, peeled and chopped fine
lemon juice or vinegar
pinch of salt

Mix together. Spoon over burger.

(By the way, gyro is pronounced Yee row except for here in Central PA, where they are called jEYE rows, like in gyroscope!)

Here's a picture of me, probably on the Acropolis, in March, 1974. Since I don't remember taking any long skirts with me, I am a little scared about those pants! But it was a different time, different fashions....

FYI, buildings on the Acropolis are being threatened by acid rain. The picture below is one of my favorite buildings, the Porch of the Maidens on the Erectheum. According to this article, the caryatids have been replaced by replicas.

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