Friday, May 17, 2013

Greek Style Gyros Sliders

Gyros with tzatziki sauce to go
I have to admit that I became a big fan of the Greek-style Gyros way back in the 60's. The problem is that not many fast food restaurants sell them where I live. One day while watching Alton Brown (I'm a big fan) on his Food Network show "Good Eats" making gyros on the barbecue rotisserie, I tried to make them on the grill but my cheap rotisserie couldn't support the weight of the meat and my first attempt at making gyros was a disaster. I called my daughter to help me perfect this recipe.  
Gyros slider ingredients
A couple of years later, when going through my slider phase, I bought a slider press and decided to try my hand at Gyros sliders. I knew that they wouldn't be the same texture as the meat from a vertical spit, but it was the taste that I was after. The recipe went through some changes to get to the end result. Dried spices verses fresh is always a challenge for me. 
Dried spices, fresh minced garlic, fresh chopped onions
On my first attempt I forgot that I had the slider press and made them into round, 2-1/4 ounce slider portions. I decided that I would serve two sliders per person.
2-1/4 ounce portions
Placing them on a grill or griddle is up to you. I think the griddle is a better choice to duplicate the crusty exterior of a true gyro. 
You're going to use some of the grease
To assemble mu gyros sliders I decided on finding mini pita bread rounds, which my wife found at Trader Joe's. I decided that heating the pita bread rounds in some of the gyros meat grease would replicate the way they make a fast food gyros.   
Pita bread rounds
For the toppings I decided to stick with the traditional tzatziki sauce, thin sliced onions and tomatoes. 
2        lbs.             Lamb, ground
1        med.           Onion, finely grated
1        tsp.             Garlic powder
1        tsp.             Marjoram, fresh
1        tsp.             Rosemary, dried
2        tsp.             Kosher salt
1/2     tsp.             Black pepper, fresh ground
as needed   Tzatziki sauce

Note: you can use the dried marjoram and rosemary if you prefer but let it sit mixed in with the meat for one hour before grilling. 

Test your seasonings
Always test your meat mixture for the proper taste. This is where you make your final seasoning adjustments. Fry one slider and adjust to your own taste.  
For the cooks. Last chance to adjust seasonings

In a large mixing bowl break up the ground lamb. Using a grater, grate the onion very fine. Drain the onions into a fine strainer, pressing out the excess liquid. Add the garlic powder and onion to the ground lamb. Add the marjoram, rosemary, salt and pepper. Using your hand mix the ingredients together until well blended. 
Ready to make gyros sliders

Using a small scoop, measure your meat into 2-1/4 ounce portions and form into a ball. You should get about 16 portions. Form the portions into slider size patties. If you have a slider press this is much easier. 
My slider press

Sliders ready for the griddle
If not just make round ones and fry on the griddle. As you fry them, press down with a spatula to get more meat in contact with the griddle. Some of the grease will be needed to heat up your pita rounds. You can also use slider buns.
To check out Alton Brown's recipe for gyros or Tzatziki sauce go to

© TMelle 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I know that when I grew up the times were much more laid back. My mother didn't have a regular job because she was a housewife raising five children. I believe that most women during that time period didn't mind not having an outside job and probably preferred it.
Breakfast in bed. She's worth it!
If mom had a job title it would have been one as a "majordomo" a.k.a. master of the house. She held that position from 8 am until 6 pm when my father came home. She had a household budget and had to stick to it. Most of the time we were angelic little children and not much trouble. What she did best was cook honest home cooked meals.
It's the little things she'll remember
Every year on Mother's Day we would make mom breakfast. Breakfast in bed if we didn't make too much noise. If we woke her up early we served her in the kitchen. Most of us were adept at making breakfast so it really wasn't a big deal. Mom appreciated the fact that we made breakfast for her. I think. More often than not breakfast consisted of omelets, scrambled eggs, or eggs-in-the nest, bacon, or sausage, orange juice and coffee. 
Cut grapefruit half into segments
For gifts of appreciation, it was a Mother's Day card, a flower, or flowers, and in the early years a bottle of cheap ($1.00 a pint) lavender toilet water. 
Add pat's of butter. Hey it's once a year!
Anybody can make a reservation. Eating out on any holiday is great, if you don't mind long lines, unruly children, crowded and noisy restaurants. Let's not forget the possibility of questionable food quality.
Sprinkle top with brown sugar and place into the broiler
If your egg making skills aren't up to Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise, why not consider a Continental breakfast. In a hotel a Continental breakfast buffet usually consists of an assortment of hot and cold dry cereals, sweet rolls, croissants, jams and jellies, assorted juices, milk, cream, coffee and tea. You might even have scrambled eggs and toast, or pancakes.
Out of broiler with maraschino cherry garnish
My mother introduced me to broiled grapefruit halves one year. Broiled grapefruit takes the fruit offering's of a Continental breakfast to a new level.
or a Blackberry, if you prefer
2 whole Grapefruit (pink, ruby red, or plain)
4 teaspoons Brown sugar
teaspoon Cinnamon (divided)
teaspoons Butter (cut into 4 pieces) optional
4 whole Maraschino cherries* (drained)
*You may use any fruit to cover the center of the grapefruit.
With your ovens broiler pan on the center position, turn on the broiler. Cut each grapefruits in half. Using a small serrated knife, cut the individual sections so that they can be removed easily with a spoon. Place each grapefruit half into an oven proof deep ramekin.
Once you have sectioned the halves, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the cut tops of each grapefruit half. Place a small pat of butter in the center of each grapefruit half. Place the ramekins in the broiler, leaving the door open enough so that you can watch the grapefruit so that the tops don’t burn. Broil for until the butter is melted and sugar is starting to  brown and caramelize.
Lobster Benedict
Remove the ramekins from the broiler and place a drained Maraschino cherry or other fruit in the center of each grapefruit half. 
It's the thought that counts

© TMelle 2013