When a theme gets stuck in my head, it gets stuck there for quite some time. Some of you may remember the chili phase of 2010. Some may also remember the casserole days, the burger days, and even more recently, the cupcake days.With our theme of "Green or Greece" for our last Traveling Pans meeting, I had a major taste for Greek food for days before and after. One of my go-to cooking blogs, Kalyn's Kitchen, fed this hunger (pun intended) by posting a recipe for Ground Beef Gyro Meatballs served in lettuce wraps.
I pinned the recipe and knew that I'd be making it soon, and when we got ground beef on killer sale not too long ago, it was on! There was one problem: Kalyn used a pre-made Spice House Greek seasoning mix to season her meat, and I didn't have that. Luckily I have a fairly good knowledge of spice combinations that are appropriate for various food cultures (would you want a post on that?), so I made up my own.
I can't believe I'd never used butter lettuce before. It's delicious and sturdy, and didn't fall apart under the weight of the fillings. I went back for seconds and pretty much made a meatball salad. The flavors were right on, and if I hadn't known better, I would've thought I was eating a traditional gyro.
Ground Beef Gyro Meatballs with Tzatziki
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: saute appetizer entree salad sauce ground beef Greek
Ingredients (30 meatballs)For the meatballs
- 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 14 ounces low fat Greek yogurt
- 1 large cucumber, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- salt to taste
- large lettuce leaves
- cherry or grape tomatoes
InstructionsFor the meatballs
In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients, making sure a cohesive mixture forms. Form into balls, about 2 Tablespoons a piece. Cook in a frying pan over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through.For the tzatziki
Grate the peeled cucumber into a fine mesh strainer. Use the back of a spoon or potato masher to remove as much liquid as possible. Place the grated cucumber in a bowl and mix with the yogurt, garlic, and salt. Allow to sit at least 20 minutes for the flavors to meld.To serve
Place lettuce leaves (I used butter lettuce) on a plate. Top with meatballs, tzatziki, and halved grape tomatoes.
Adam ate his meatballs in a whole wheat pita instead of on a lettuce wrap, and he agreed that the flavor was right on. I did leave out the onion from Kalyn's recipe, which I may put in next time. And there will be a next time! Perhaps a burger phase will begin again and I'll make gyro burgers…
For now though, we have about 15 meatballs left… I can't wait for leftovers!