Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gyro Homemade - Video

I'm talking about the best GYROS (pronounced Y-E-R-O-S) YOU HAVE EVER HAD!
I've made Gyro flavored meats for as long as I remember. 
I have made burgers, meatballs, and skewered them as well.   
But, I say but, I've been looking for a true "Greek Gyro" recipes for quite a while now.  So that being said, IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when my very, very good friend over at Birgit's Daily Bytes posted this amazing recipe!

Homemade Gyros, Restaurant Style

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I quickly went over and just about drooled at reading first the ingredients, and then the "EASE" of this recipe!!  I knew, just knew I had to make it... and sure enough, IT'S A WINNER! *ding, ding, ding* 

I will share with you my photos, I followed the recipe exactly and it came out PERFECT!
Next time, and TRUST ME, there will be a next time!!  I will add 1/2lb of ground pork to the mixture...  tis all, OTHERWISE THE TASTE IS PERFECT!

I made 3 Gyros as a taste test tonight for my mom, stepdad and bro.  All 3 gave the sandwiches a total 5 stars and couldn't believe how totally perfect the texture and flavor was!  My stepdad asked me... did you add ground pork.. I hung my head and said "no"... He said no worries, do it next time, because this is amazing! That means THE WORLD TO ME, because he was a culinary chef at one of the colleges in Athen's!  

I used Birgit's 'high tech method', meaning I used my kitchen aid and just let that love of mine do all the work!
Here we go:

Tzatziki Sauce:

16 Oz container Greek yogurt (plain)
1 medium cucumber
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp mint or dill (I prefer mint)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Peel and remove seeds from the cucumber.  You can grate the cucumber by hand or use a mini food processor/silver bullet (much easier).  Strain in a fine sieve and using the back of a spoon, press as much liquid as you can out.  Set aside to continue straining.

In a small bowl, add the remaining of your ingredients except the yogurt.  Pressing as much liquid as you can from the cucumber, add to the ingredients in the bowl, stir.  Add your yogurt and mix well.  Adjust for seasonings.  Cover and place in refrigerator till ready to use.

1lb ground lamb
1lb ground beef
1/2lb ground pork *optional*
1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I used plain)
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


Place everything in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Start it off slowly, mix the ingredients together for about 1 minute.  After that, turn it up as high as it will go without your meat flying out.  Birgit says to let it go for 3-5 minutes or until your meat looks emulsified and even.  I always go the full 5 minutes.

See, how this looks for lack of a better word!  The beef and lamb are so tenderized they have become "one"!  PERFECT!!
We then bake in a preheated 350F oven for 45-55 minutes.

I molded it into this long log and placed it on a nonstick baking sheet.
 You should smell my house right now!  I don't know about you, but as for me; when I smell "lamb roasting", I LITERALLY get SHIVERS of DELIGHT down my spine!  

See how much this recipe makes?  You can have AMAZING SANDWICHES all week I say!  Just keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge!
When you're ready to use, just brown them gently for a second or so, and you're ready to go!

Toast your pita bread in a frying pan using NOTHING but heat.  Flip over after about 30 seconds or so...
Lay your toasted pita on a piece of aluminum foil (this is just for dramatic effect, trust me, it looks so darn pretty, plus it helps to roll the stuffed pita)
Add your tzatziki sauce, sprinkle liberally with feta cheese.
Add your veggies of choice (I added chopped green onion, chopped cucumber and various lettuce leaves), then add the now gently browned meat on top.  Can you totally see HOW PERFECT THIS MEAT IS?  I'm beyond impressed, I'm downright in amazement!  My family thinks I ROCK!  I keep telling my mom and stepdad this recipe is "Birgit's recipe", they just smile; ignore what I just said and call me a genius... <Sigh>

Who needs to go out?  The best!!!

Add about 1 tsp or so more of tzatziki sauce, and then finally, add chopped fresh tomatoes...

Not showing; homemade curly fries and of course GREEK SALAD!!  


Dishin with Didi

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ancho Chili Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders - Vlog

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These Ancho bacon wrapped chicken tenders are the most easiest of dinners.  Seriously, amazingly so!

Not only are they easy, they are budget and family friendly, SCORE!
*insert ringing bells* "We have a winner"!!

Ancho Chili, how I love thee...

Yes my friends we do!  It starts off with boneless skinless chicken breasts.  We cut the chicken breasts in half vertically and then make each half into 2 or 3 strips, depending on the size.  How easy and economical is that?  

But wait, it get's better!! Then we marinate them in the most delectable Ancho chili/tomato paste.  I know!  Then to top it all off, we wrap them in bacon... well because we can an all!  Here is step by step instructions on the blog.

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What we end up with is the most succulent Ancho chili flavored chicken tender, all wrapped inside a crispy bacon strip!  Trust me, your family will love you.  Your guests will love you... heck, I love you already!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 18-20 chicken tenders

Ancho Chili/Tomato Paste:
2 large dried Ancho Chili's (seeds & stems removed)
1/4 c dried sun-dried tomato halves
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water

Additional Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lb bacon cut in half
Gallon size storage bag

-Rehydrate the chili's and the tomatoes by placing them in a small saucepan with 1-1/2 cups water.  Let them come to a full boil for 1-2 minutes, turn off heat, cover and seep for 1 hour.

-When chili's and tomatoes have been re-hydrated, drain them and place both of them in a mini food processor (I used my silver bullet).

-Add the remaining ingredients except the bacon, and pulse/whizz till the ingredients are emulsified.

-Pour the paste into a gallon size storage bag.

-Trim all fat from your chicken breasts and cut in half vertically.

-Cut each breast half into two or three strips or tenderloins.

-Place all tenderloins/strips in the storage bag with the Ancho/Tomato chili paste.  

-Ensure the chicken tenders are fully covered with paste by tossing and turning them.  Place in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

-Remove from refrigerator.  Wrap half of a bacon strip around each tender.  

-Lay bacon wrapped tenders seam side down on pre-sprayed aluminum lined baking sheet.

-Preheat oven to 375F.

-Bake for 25-28 minutes till thoroughly cooked and bacon is crispy. DO NOT OVERBAKE.

-Take out of the oven and place on pretty platter.  Serve with your dressing or sour cream!  I adore blue cheese dressing, hubby prefers ranch...
We will forgive him, this time!! 

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, February 18, 2013

Deli Roast Beef & Cheddar Quesadillas

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I had a very busy day, I mean seriously busy day.
I was all over the place.  I had an amazing amount of homework to finish, an essay due, I completed 3 loads of laundry, vacuumed and swept and mopped.  The finale was 4 shirts for my husband that still needed to be ironed!  Can you say "Calgon take me away"!!
My children had other thoughts though.  "Mom, what's for dinner"?  The nerve!  I'm like "What? Dinner?  Seriously right now"?  "You couldn't make yourself a sandwich", I'm muttering under my breath as I head into the kitchen. 

I look in the kitchen freezer (not where I keep my meat and veggies), and there is ice cream, but of course, always a good dinner substitute in my book.  Should I reach for the bowls I'm thinking... What?  Oh come-on, don't tell me no-one but me has done this... *sigh*
I look further in the freezer.  I push aside; breakfast sausage, bacon, juices, whipped topping, fries, tater tots, hash browns, sweet potato fries, onion & pepper mix, 2 pies, wonton wrappers, pastry dough, phyllo dough, and then, tortillas!
"Aha"!  We have dinner! *insert ding*

I pulled the tortillas out and lay them flat on the island.  I then started on the Chipotle sour cream. This was going to be the star of this very easy dinner.  The rest as you say, "is history"...

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 5 Quesidalles

Chipotle Sour Cream recipe can be found HERE.

10 flour tortillas 
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 slices (1/2 lb) deli roast beef
5 tbsp Chipotle Sour Cream
3 tbsp butter (divided 1.5tsp per quesadilla)
*optional* sliced brined jalapenos

-We start by making the Chipotle Sour Cream.  So very, very easy and absolutely delicious.

-The tortillas do not take very long to defrost, so they should be defrosted by now.

-Place two tortillas side by side.  Take 2 tbsp Chipotle sour cream/divide and spread between the two tortillas.

-In a large pre-heated skillet add your 1.5 tsp of butter, let it melt.  Lay the one tortilla with the sour cream facing up onto the skillet.

-Sprinkle 2 tbsp of shredded cheese over the sour cream.
Place 2-3 slices of deli sliced roast beef over the cheese.

-If using, now add the jalapenos right over the roast beef.  The children do not like them in there, however hubby and I adore them.

-Place your other tortilla with sour cream facing down over the cheese and roast beef.

-Cook for about 2 minutes till the tortilla has become nice and golden.  Press down just a little, and then flip over.  A very easy way to do this is by placing two fingers on the middle section of the tortilla while inserting the spatula under it.  Flip, and voila, I am so proud of you!!

-Cook for another couple of minutes on the opposite side till it has nicely browned.  Remove and place on platter and keep warm.  Continue with the rest of the quesadillas.

-Serve with Chipotle sour cream, dip or spread.  Or do as I do, bathe in it.  

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Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day & Giveaway Winner

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you have a glorious chocolate filled day!  I mean chocolate, do I need to go further?

On to the giveaway winner.

Congratulations to Cynthia Johnston Martinez

Rafflecopter picked you as the winner.  Please contact me with your mailing information.  You have 24 hours to do so.  Another winner will be chosen if the first winner fails to respond.

I want to thank each and everyone for entering my giveaway.  I can't begin to express how much your readership, encouragement and support has meant to me.  Not to mention your humor, love your sense of humor and I ask for your comments to keep on coming...
Nothing makes a blogger happier than to realize that "someone" is actually reading them!!  We won't know that until you comment!

That being said, I will be hosting another giveaway soon.  So be on the lookout!

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vegetarian Mini Poppers - First Vlog

Hello, how is everyone?  If you live in the Northeast I hope you fared well in that storm we had over the weekend.  We received over a foot and a half of snow, ugh!

I would like to present you with my first "Vlog".  Let me preface this and tell you a little about my tech capabilities.  I have none.  No, I'm serious.  My daughter helped me film it and she uploaded it for me to show me how to edit because in a few months, she will away at college.
So, me being "me".  Took it upon myself to edit the video.  Yes, yes I did!!
What I did my friends is I deleted what I wanted in, and then I left in what I wanted out.  I have no idea how I mixed up the "in and out" of the software, but alas I did.  Panicked now, I calmed myself down till my daughter got home.  The moment she walked in I pounced on her (asked nicely) if she can help me fix what I just ruined.  I waited very patiently (not) while she grabbed a snack, checked FB and heaven forbid get herself something to drink...
Finally she sat in front of the laptop and I explained to her what happened.  She's said; "Oh, ok mom, I see what you did, you saved your changes so they're permanent, just give me your memory card and I will delete this and re-upload".  I looked at her with my "deer in headlight look".  To which she said; "Mom no, stop, you deleted the memory card didn't you?  How many times do I have to tell you not to delete until you are sure you will no longer need it"!  She sighed, I stifled a guttural groan!  So my friends, the 2nd part of the video is where she has transitioned it nicely...
The first part?  Well cutting myself in mid-speech, does that count?
Be kind my friends!!

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Now for the recipe.  It's absolutely delicious!  The poppers are low fat, low carb and literally lip smacking good.  You can taste the slight char of the peppers, the awesome mushrooms and then add the cheese... heaven!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 16 mini poppers

1 package (10 Oz) mushrooms any kind
1 lb sweet mini peppers
1 medium onion diced
3/4 cup Asiago cheese - shredded
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

-In a large skillet add your olive oil and when hot add your onions.  Saute till translucent, a few minutes.

-Dice your mushrooms and place in pan with mushrooms, saute till they have reduced and become nicely brown.

-Add your peppers and salt, saute for a couple more minutes.  Turn off heat and place in medium size bowl, set aside.

-Shred and add your Asiago cheese into the bowl with the mushroom mixture, stir to incorporate and set aside.

-Wash and dry your peppers.  Make a slit right down the center of the peppers. 

Using the back of a teaspoon, insert to the top where the seeds are and using a scraping motion, scrape the seeds out of the pepper.  Repeat till all seeds have been removed.

-Insert plate of peppers in microwave and microwave for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.  Depending on your microwave you might just need 2 minutes. 

-Preheat oven to 375F.

-Peppers should be nice and pliable which will guarantee even thorough cooking.

-Stuff peppers with mushroom mixture.  

-Place on an aluminum lined pre-sprayed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes till nicely browned and the peppers have opened up slightly... and the aroma is just killing you and you want to reach in and grab one, and burn  your tongue, but you won't care because you just love mushrooms. *Didi looking around the room*

*clearing throat* Ummmm that would be me!

Don't forget to color coordinate your peppers my friends!

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, February 11, 2013

Coconut cookies - 3 ingredients (gluten free)

I know...

Don't these look awesome?  They are so easy to make, I kid  you not.  I mean 3 ingredients, literally!  They don't have flour, score!  So they are gluten free.  Just grab a medium bowl, forget the mixer.

My friend Katerina from Culinary Flavors made these a few weeks ago and posted about them.  Well, I have to tell you, I made them the day her post came out.  No I'm not joking.  They are so moist and just amazingly delectable.  Katerina's recipe and post can be found here:  Culinary Flavors

Katerina's cookies look much different than mine you will notice.  That is because she lives in the country of Greece and unbeknownst to either of us, the coconut is varied.  Who knew?  I mean the last time I was in Greece, I was just eating and stuff, you know...
This is what Katerina's cookies look like.

Notice the difference in texture?  We actually laughed when we noticed the difference in coconut.  Next time I make them, and trust me, there will be a next time, I will simply whiz the coconut into a finer texture in the food processor.

The entire recipe and step by step can be found on Katerina's blog, however, for simplicity sake I will reinstate the ingredients here as well. 

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 18-20 minutes
Yield: 12 medium cookies

2 large egg whites
7 tbsp confectioner's sugar
12 tbsp coconut (well heaped) *might need an additional tbsp*

-Preheat oven to 325F.

-In a medium bowl add your egg whites.

-Add half of your sugar and 4 tbsp of coconut and mix.

-Add the other half of your sugar and 4 more tbsp of coconut and mix again.

-Add the remaining coconut.  

-Touch mixture, is it sticky?  Can you work with and shape it into small size balls, about the size of an apricot?  If the mixture is too sticky and you cannot work with it, add the reserved tbsp. 

-Using a parchment lined cookie sheet, place your coconut cookies.

-Bake for 18-20 minutes till nice golden.

-You can add a smidgen jams/chocolates etc., in the middle if you like.  Just poke a small hole in the center and fill with jam, chocolate chips, or do as I did... use both!

The cookies at the back have blackberry jam as centers.  The ones in the middle are plain, and the ones right up front have mini chocolate chips in the center.
I know!!

Thank you so much Katerina for an amazingly easy but absolutely delicious recipe!! ♥

Till next time!
Dishin with Didi

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