For me, birthdays are not all that fun....I fall into a weird kind of BLAH mood (usually in the evening) and I have NO IDEA WHY!! Tom hates it (so do I) and next year he is threatening not to come home on my birthday....oops! Sorry dude.....
Anyway, as you can imagine, I have some left-over lamb. But let's face it...who is interested in reheated slices of lamb just sitting on a plate? BORING and definitely NOT appealing.
So what to do with it?
Then it hit me...LAMB Pita's!!! But there was a problem. I didn't have any Tzatziki Sauce. It was too late to make my own and didn't want to go to the store. But in order to have authentic Pita's there MUST be a yogurt sauce. I'm sure you agree with me. It would not be the same without it.
So I set out to make a yogurt sauce that was flavorful and Middle Eastern tasting. I started with the ONLY kind of plain yogurt I eat, which is Greek Yogurt. Now...there are many different kinds of plain yogurt...but NONE are as thick and creamy as Greek yogurt. When cooking with it...either, Indian, Middle Eastern, or Greek and the like, it must be Rich and Creamy, WITHOUT THE FAT. Buy fat free. You will never think "uggg....this is NON FAT".
I use FAGE brand (pronouned FAY-EH), but this time I got some Brown Cow Brand - YUMMM better than FAGE!!
For this recipe you will need:
Yogurt sauce (see below)
Cooked lamb OR chicken (or any meat you want)
Sliced Persian cucumbers
To make the sauce you have to go by taste. I really didn't measure:
About a cup of yogurt (this makes a lot of sauce so if making for 2, try only 1/2 cup)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Sesame seeds (optional)
Salt and pepper
Fresh lemon juice and zest
I added the garlic to the yogurt, then added as much zaatar seasoning as I liked (estimate about 1-2 tablespoons), extra sesame seeds (zaatar has some), salt and pepper (not too much) - TASTE. Then Zest some lemon peel (just a bit) and squeeze fresh juice, to taste and adjust seasonings if necessary and set aside.
As you know, I had Lamb already cooked from Easter. But IF I didnt have any pre-cooked lamb, I would have sauteed up some ground lamb. If you don't like Lamb try ground or cooked chicken - this would be fantastic too! I diced the lamb very small, as you can see:
Isn't that a SEXY KNIFE in that photo??? I LOVE MY KNIVES!! OK. I'm over it.
I used my left over gravy from the roast I made...but all you have to use is packaged brown gravy (and yes, use brown gravy even if you are making the pita with Chicken). In a small sauce pan, make up the gravy and remove it to a bowl or gravy boat. Don't bother cleaning your pot...add meat. Pour in enough gravy to make the meat yummy, moist and rich - heat until just hot and set aside.
We have talked about Pita's before. If you missed the homemade Pita chip post.....go into the archives and check it out. But to reiterate, go to Valley Produce Market (if you are near to one) to buy your pitas...they are better and WAY cheaper than the normal market - plus its an absolutely fantastic store.
I just sliced off the tops...about a third down and carefully opened it up to form the pocket. Set aside.
Now for the cucumber, otherwise known as cukes. I LOVE CUKES. I grow them, eat them as snacks, pickle them, and serve them as a side dish. No ceviche, salad, or pita sandwich is complete without them. But the "regular" ones are just OK and problematic... The skin has to come off and they have so many seeds...then you have to seed them...blah, blah, blah.....and after all that, they may be bitter and not even taste good. Who the heck wants that??? But now there are so many choices! Buy the varieties called Baby, Persian, English, Snackers or Hot House. These varieties are almost seedless and burpless (yes, thats an official cucumber term) and the skin is the best part - dont take the skin off! I have never grown or bought a bitter tasting Persian cuke....NEVER. SOOO...where do you buy these gorgeous little bites of summer? They should be in every market. The least expensive place is Sprouts, Valley Product Market, Trader Joe's. or Walmart Superstore.
I used two of these little guys and slice them up (1 for each sandwich):
Now it's time to assemble:
Smear the yogurt sauce into the pita (I used about a 1/4 cup), layer in the cukes, add Feta cheese (as much or as little as you want) now it's time for the meat add about 4-5 ounces of meat with Gravy and VOILA! you have a fantastic little sandwich!!
For WW peeps...I figured the Pita, yogurt sauce, 5 oz of meat with gravy, 1 oz of feta, and cukes was around 12 points. Not the lightest sandwich in the world, but it could be worse! I keep lots of points for dinner so it was OK for me.
This was filling, delicious and really authentic tasting.
From my home to yours, ENJOY!!