Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Late Night with Pita

Know what I love? Trains. Trains relieve you of the stress of driving. Trains rarely get stuck in traffic. On a train, you can eat, drink, take a nap. Try that next time you're behind the wheel of an automobile.
Trains go into Manhattan every day. Manhattan has food. Ergo, trains = food.
Say hello to my little friendThis little fellow has a food cart outside the 42nd Street entrance to Grand Central Terminal. He sells me an Italian sausage pita or a lamb gyro almost every time I enter the place. He and I are very old acquaintances. Not to be outdone, I thought I'd try my hand at his lamb gyro. Here's what I've come up with so far...
GCT Food Cart Lamb Gyro
8oz lamb tenderloin
4 loaves pita bread
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 medium tomato
1 small white onion
4Tbs olive oil
Hot sauce
Yogurt sauce:
½ cup yogurt
1 small cucumber
2Tbs fresh lemon juice
½tsp white pepper
¼tsp celery salt
¼tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Prep workIt's best to start with your sauce. If you can make it a day ahead of time, even better. Peel and vertically halve a small cucumber. With a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds, and then finely mince. Mix the cucumber and all the other sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Lamb on the grillRub lamb tenderloins with 2Tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set on hot grill, cooking 10-12 minutes on both sides. I like meat medium-rare, so adjust your cooking time. While lamb is grilling, sauté the sliced onion in 2Tbs of olive oil over medium high heat until the onions start to brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Shred lettuce and give the tomato a rough chop.
Food Cart lamb gyroOnce lamb is cooked, remove from grill, cover lightly with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice thinly after it has rested.Toast pita loaves on still-hot grill just until heated through. Pile lamb slices in the middle of pita, top with yogurt sauce, add lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and your favorite hot sauce. Fold ends of pita bread over the filling, and enjoy. After testing my version, I've decided to add a dry rub of ground fennel and tarragon seeds, paprika and sweet curry powder before grilling. You'll be the first to know how that turns out. I'll still be frequenting my guy's cart in Manhattan, but now know I can whip these babies up at home. You can too!
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food


BigAssBelle said...

yum. looks . . . oh shoot. i was going to say delicious but i just can't get behind eating the small woolly baa-baaaas. once-in-a-lifetime was enough for me.

now if they shave it off of some mysterious thing or it comes baked in some kind of pot with other mystery items, i'll probably choke it down. but i just can't eat the cute things.

congrats on your bloggity blog :-)

Blog O. Food said...

What makes a good gyro?


Can't stomach cute, little woolly critters? Try a feathered friend instead! I've heard it said that grilled tofu makes a passable gyro, but you'd never know by me.