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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Confessions of a Gyromaniac

Let me preface this post by saying that I may or may not have wrapped up my Saturday night eating French fries off P's plate at 2am in a place called Sip & Bite. Listen, we'd thrown a 12 hr brunch and hit up the bars afterwards, so I think I deserve a little slack. 

Reflecting on my gastronomic indiscretions the next morning, despite my overwhelming remorse, I couldn't stop thinking about the most hallowed of late binge food, and a Sip & Bite staple, the Gyro. 

I don’t care how you say it, the layers of meat, glistening on a spit, then falling light as a feather into warm pita just oozing with tangy tzatziki, oh it's enough to drive me to savagery! I have to admit, I am a gyromaniac.

This succulent sandwich sustained me as a poor college student living abroad in Europe and has stayed with me ever since. P is by no means immune, and the Gyro continues to tempt us from Baltimore diner booths like some kind of salty, greasy forbidden fruit, the power of which only truly reveals itself after midnight. 

Maybe I was still reeling from Saturday night, or just extremely bored at work, but I decided today to try to turn this vice of ours into a virtue of sorts. I set my mind to turn the wanton harlot of the food world into a sophisticated lady, fit for dinner with a couple of discerning gays - Can you say thinly veiled Julia Roberts reference? Aren't you glad I didn't go the allegorical Nathaniel Hawthorn direction (yawn)?

As I am yet without an in-home spit, I settled with the idea of using the grill. Inspired by a recipe from Bon Appetit's Grilling Book I found online, I decided to use pork tenderloin as opposed to the more traditional lamb. I marinated the pork at lunch to coax as much flavor from the meat pre-grill and hit up Fleet Street Market (our local grocer) on the way home for the rest of the comestibles. 

The result?!?! 

Well, I doubt I'll ever really top the sinfully delicious Gyro found at Sip & Bite and the like, but as evidenced by the feverish pace with which we devoured our Pretty Woman version, I'll say we certainly had our Umami moment.
P&C Gyros
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  1 1-1 ½ lbs pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup reduced fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cucumber, finely chopped
Sandwich Fixins
  • 2 Medium tomatoes, large chunky pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pepperoncinos and some peppadews sliced thin (option, ours were leftover from a weekend party)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress (we LOVE the spicy bite of this green)
  • 4 6-in whole wheat pitas
For Pork
  • Combine first 7 ingredients in large plastic bag, add pork, and shake it up – put in fridge to marinate as long as possible (overnight if you can)
  • Grill on med-high heat, 10 mins per side, basting with marinade carefully as it may flare up. Let rest 5 mins before slicing thin.
For Sauce
  • Mix yogurt, chopped cucumber, and minced garlic in small bowl
Sandwich Prep

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