Thursday, December 20, 2012

Quick Dinner! Pork Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce

This dish is super fast.  It needs to marinate for 20 minutes, but you can make the sauce in the meantime.  Serve it with a quick salad or some store bought tabbouleh and you're good to go!  I made the tabbouleh in this picture because I had the extra time. Here's the recipe I use. It took me about half an hour to make the souvlaki and tzatziki, including the marinating time.  In addition to being a quick dinner for a work night, this dish tastes great.  The lemon and oregano make the pork interesting and the simple grilled onions add some extra flavor.  As always, I served it with some extra lemon wedges.  Even though I halved the amount of pork because I'm cooking for two, I made the full amount of tzatziki because I wanted extra for my pita.

I used the very last of the oregano from my herb garden for this.  It's a time honored tradition in my house to begin neglecting the herb garden when autumn begins.  So by the time it's almost winter, it's covered with dead leaves from nearby trees and has grown quite unruly and probably gone to seed as well.  So, I got my clippers and dug through the leaves and dead parsley plant to get some oregano!  I guess I'll be buying it or using dried until next spring.  People sometimes say that mint is a weed and cannot be killed. Challenge accepted! Forget to water anything for long enough and not bring it inside when it's cold and it won't survive for very long. I bought some for the sauce.

Instead of cutting the onion into large wedges, I sliced it more thinly so that there weren't huge chunks of onion mixed in with the pork.

Pork Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce
Serves 2
From Food and Wine


3/4  pounds trimmed pork shoulder, cut into 3-by- 1/2-inch strips (I used boneless skinless pork chop because there was no shoulder available).
1/2 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/8 cup plus 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, and some lemon wedges for serving
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste (I used a garlic crusher).
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage 2%)
~ 1/4 seedless cucumber, finely diced (I scoop out the center to get rid of the area that would have had the seeds, it makes the sauce less watery).
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint


1) In a bowl, toss the pork and onion slices with the olive oil, lemon juice, chopped oregano and half of the garlic paste. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and let stand for 20 minutes.

2) While the pork is marinating, mix the yogurt, cucumber, mint and the remaining garlic paste together in a bowl. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

3) Heat a grill pan until very hot. Add the pork and onion wedges along with any marinade and cook over high heat, turning once or twice, until the pork and onion are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place the pork and onion to plates and serve with the tzatziki, lemon wedges, and pita. Add some store-bought tabbouleh for a quick vegetable side dish.  

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