Friday, May 27, 2011

My Big Fat Greek Gyro

One of my favorite countries to visit is Greece.  My husband and I have traveled all over the Peloponnese, the Cyclades Islands and Crete.  But I still remember that it was in Athens, at a street corner stand, where I had my first authentic gyro.  I remember that we had just walked about six miles, it was hot, we were exhausted and we sat under a shady tree in a city park devouring our gyros.  And when we returned from vacation, we would crave Greek food and attend just about every Greek Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Our favorites were the San Jose festival held the first weekend of June, and the Belmont festival held over Labor Day weekend.  San Jose has the best Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and Belmont has the best Loukamades (warm donuts in a honey-cinnamon syrup).  Both of which I will be making and sharing my recipes in upcoming posts.

Just because we're both vegan now, doesn't mean that we still can't have a gyro.  And I could sell this gyro at any Greek festival and no one would have any idea that it didn't contain meat and dairy.  My husband couldn't believe how authentic the flavor and textures were and said that he could eat this every weekend.  I made my own Greek-Gyro flavored seitan from scratch, but you can purchase whatever brand of seitan you like.  I also made my own Tzatziki made with vegan sour cream, dill, mint, garlic, diced cucumber, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  For the bread, I went to a Middle Eastern market and purchased authentic pita, toasted it slightly and brushed it with olive oil before piling on all the ingredients.       

Most gyros in Greece are topped with Lemon-Oregano fries (Patates Lemonates).  I decided to serve my fries along side the pita which made it a little easier to eat. 

Baked Lemon-Oregano Fries:

1 1/2-2 pounds medium sized Yukon gold or white potatoes, peeled and sliced into wedges.  Make sure that you use boiling or waxy potatoes--not russets.
1 tbsp Greek dried oregano
Juice of two-three lemons
Greek extra virgin olive oil or another quality olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss potatoes in olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and salt and pepper and spread out evenly on a sheet pan with edges or a large casserole dish.
  • Add enough filtered water to just cover the potatoes.
  • Bake in the oven until all the liquid is evaporated.
  • Drizzle with additional olive oil and bake until golden brown.
  • Just before serving, squeeze with additional lemon juice and kosher salt if needed.

1 comment:

  1. Stumbled upon your blog while looking for a greek flavoured seitan recipe - wow, do those potatoes look good! Thank you for the recipe; I will be trying them tonight with dinner :)