December 19, 2006

Proof That I’m Eating More Than Just Sugar

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The first recipe I tested for Cooks Illustrated was a Crumb Cake. It was good but I wasn’t overly impressed. I thought it was plain, and I don’t like plain. The second recipe I was asked to test was for bbq brisket, and seeing as though I don’t live in the southern USA and it was in the negative digits outside when I got the recipe I didn’t feel like it was something I really wanted to delve into. Then along came a third recipe to test: Gyros. Well sign me up! In the recipe it said to use store bought pitas since they were aiming to make this a meal that could be accomplished in less than an hour. I chose to kill two birds with one stone and make my own pita. This wasn’t entirely by choice. Quite some time ago, a friend had requested I make homemade pitas. He wasn’t even going to be the recipient of the pitas. He just wanted me to make them, (I presume) so that he could live vicariously through me. He claims to cook, but I don’t believe it. In any case, off I went, in search of a pita recipe. I looked at two possibilities; one looked fairly authentic and the other looked easy. I went with the easy one. Give me a break, I’ve been fighting with gingerbread all day long, (more on that in a post coming soon, in the meantime, I continue to curse gingerbread). And so, with my easy pita recipe in one hand and the gyro recipe in the other, I set to work.

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The gyros called for ground lamb. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen ground lamb at the grocery store. There’s typically legs of lamb, but rarely ground. Friends of ours raise sheep, (they have a wool company) so I used to get lamb from them all the time. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten any lamb from them in a while, I should look into that one. Anyways, not to worry, I bought a lamb flank and ground it myself. I’m resourceful like that. Other than that there were no major problems, I made a couple changes to the CI recipe, but for the most part kept it the same and thoroughly enjoyed it. I even made some extra lamb patties to put in the freezer for a quick lunch someday. As for my easy pita, it was ok, but it didn’t puff. I guess I’ve failed the pita request and will have to try again with the better recipe. They weren’t bad by any means, and served as a nice base for my rather deconstructed gyros, but they could have been better.


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I’m aware that the last picture has nothing to do with food, but watch me tie this whole thing together: Remember how I said I had friends who raise sheep? And how I said they raise sheep because they have a wool company? Well, the wool that was used to make this sweater is from those friends. And although the sweater is not edible like most pics you see on my blog, I made it, which is like most things. It's the Baby Genius' Christmas present, he'll grow into it. See how I’ve wrapped this all up and tied it with a neat little bow? I’m now sitting here smiling quite smugly.


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20 comments:

WhItE_PoPlAr said...

Beautiful lamb pita. I want some of this...!

The sweater looks so cute, too! i love looking at baby clothing and dream of the past... hehehe

FreyaE said...

These look delicious. I was surprised when I visited America (Wisconsin) that there was hardly any lamb on the shelves. Plenty of beef but no lamb. Is this the case throughout the country I wonder? People in the UK love lamb, especially lamb kebabs...
Freya

Tjaart said...

this looks and sounds delicious - i would just like to comment that gyros in Greece is not made with lamb mince but multilayered thin slices of lamb and lamb fat roasted on a vertical rotisserie, sliced in slivers from the outside of the large cylinder of layered meat - i am not sure if this description is completely clear?!
In any event, the texture of the meat filling in the pita is that of a meltingly tender "chiffonade" of lamb.
And about dried vs fresh origanum - most origanum used in Greece is gathered wild and dried, rather than fresh.

K & S said...

Lovely pita/gyro. And a beautiful wool sweater too!

Tanna said...

Awesome sweater.
Lamb is fairly common in the grocery stores here in springtime and less so at others.
I really would like to try this recipe.

Asha said...

Very nice change from cooies,desserts to Gyros!Look delicious.
A real lamb wool Cardigan?! How lucky are you?! Enjoy.

Happy Holidays.

Ellie said...

Oh man, that looks totally delish! I'm not sure what a gyros is, but judging by the ingredients and photo I'm guessing it's just another name for a souvlaki? Whatever it's called, I think one of those leftover patties in your freezer has got my name written on it ;)

joyce said...

The pita looks delicious. I made pita bread once and the recipe stressed using flour with a lot of gluten. THey turned out great. THe next time they didn't puff up and I'm not sure what I did differently. I love the sweater. Real wool- how opulent!

wheresmymind said...

'shrooms on a gyro??? whaa?

David Stefanini said...

First, every time I visit this site I get hungry afterwards... onto Burger King it is.

Also, I was wondering if you would link my blog to yours and in return I would do the same for your blog. If you want to, my site name is American Legends and the URL is:

www.americanlegends.blogspot.com

If you want to do this just go to my blog and in one of the comments just write your blog name and the URL and I will add it to my site.

Thanks,
David

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Hi Brilynn, Yum! I love gyros, haven't had any in a long time. This looks great :). I make a pita that works out pretty well for me and have it posted on my blog in the felafel post (it is also catagorized under "beautiful breads) it has not let me down yet, makes 6 to 8 pitas, and while every single one doesn't always poof, for the most part they do. I think they are fickle that way :). Now I'm going to have to go and make some with some hummus. Thanks :D

Kristen said...

The gyro looks really good, but the sweater is so impressive! That is beautiful! I'm very impressed.

Sara said...

Looks delicious. You could always tell your friend that the pitas are flatbread! Gorgeous sweater - you have many talents.

Lis said...

Looks yummy - although I don't think I am a lamb person - could you sub pork maybe? Or beef? What about Ostrich?

Lurve the sweater - now that is quite gorgeous! Did you make it while you were waiting for your pitas to rise? That would be impressive.

Oh.. and:
Bianco e Nero Cupcake-o

Purple Monkey Dishwasher

HAHAHAHAHAA!! I'm still larfing!
xoxo

gattina said...

Sooooo cute that little sweater! I even can't knit a simple scarf...
I don't eat meat often, but the sauce's recipe looks fantastic!

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Anything Greek works for me. I've been eating too much sweet stuff lately, too - must be the season.

Jerry said...

Thanks for fulfilling my request (yeah, next time I guess I need to request that you cook something for me! hmm... time to be more selfish!!)..And next time, drive to Oakville and I will prove that I can cook! I am more one for innovative meals vs. following recipes though....

cookingchat said...

sounds tasty. They have a nice variety of ground meats at our local Whole Foods; I get their ground pork a fair amount, they have lamb too.

artizen flair said...

As delightful as your main looks, im MORE intrigued by the gorgeous gift you hand made for your darling nephew, baby genius! I LOVE IT! and only wish I had family that had handiwork finesse; able to adorn my daughter in such wonderous gifts! (jealous) Super thoughtful and adorable, as usual from you. Merry Chrissie Bri! <3 Lotsa Love xoxox

Maria said...

Great blog! I just made pitas and had a puff problem, I did my research and the less you roll out or stretch the dough, the better! Your pitas will puff up nicely!! I hope this helps you!