Lamb Souvlaki with Tzatziki
- 2 pounds lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch strips
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup grated onion
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
- Pita bread rounds
- Tzatziki, recipe follows
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, sliced in half and seeded, and finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill or oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
- Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Place the meat in a non-reactive bowl. Mix together the lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon oregano, garlic, and grated onion, and pour over the meat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Thread the meat onto metal or bamboo skewers.
Heat the oil on a griddle or in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onions, remaining teaspoon oregano and Essence to the griddle and cook light brown, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan.
Preheat a grill. Grill the skewers, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides. Remove from the grill. Quickly heat the pita bread on the grill until just warmed through and pliant. Holding a pita in the left hand, and the skewer in the right hand, pull the contents from the skewer into the pita bread. Repeat with the remaining skewers. Divide the cooked onions among the pita, and top with Tzatziki (cucumber sauce). Serve immediately.Tzatziki:
Put the cucumber in a strainer set over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and drain for 1 hour. Put the yogurt in another strainer set over a bowl and drain for 1 hour. Combine the cucumber and yogurt in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Yield: 1 1/2 cupsEssence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.