Greek Night with My Favorite Food Network Stars

In the same weekend, Food Network aired two new shows: The Sandwich King and Pioneer Woman. I have been following both Jeff Mauro and Ree Drummond for a bit before their shows began on the FN.

Jeff Mauro was a contestant and winner on “The Next Food Network Star”. From the beginning, his vision was to do a show about sandwiches. He began calling himself “The Sandwich King”. His personality and humor is on point and his idea of “turning any sandwich into a meal and any meal into a sandwich” is fun. He’s had 4 episodes now and he has become so comfortable in front of the camera. This past week, I made Jeff’s Greek tacos, cucumber tomato relish, and feta tzatziki sauce. Jeff’s recipes are found here. I altered them just a tad. Here’s how I did mine.

Greek Tacos
Yields 3-4
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds ground lamb (found at most specialty meat or international food stores)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • Pita Bread (no pockets)
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat up olive oil and brown ground lamb.
  2. Season lamb with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown, 10 minutes
  3. Remove lamb with a slotted spoon, leaving juices in the pan.
  4. Lower heat to medium and add the red onions, saute for 5 minutes
  5. Add garlic and tomato paste. Stir occasionally until caramelizes.
  6. Add lamb back to pan and stir well
  7. Brush olive oil on pita bread and lightly griddle on each side
Cucumber Tomato Relish
Yields 2-4
  • 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 firm tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • Pepper
  1. Toss the olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion in a bowl.
  2. Season with pepper
  3. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour
Feta Tzatziki
Yields 2-3
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  1. Grate cucumber on the large hole side of a grater. Drain cucumber. **TIP: I placed the cucumber in 3 paper towels and squeezed the water out.
  2. Place cucumber in a bowl with salt. Repeat draining.
  3. Mix together feta, yogurt, and garlic in a bowl. Combine with drained cucumber
How to Prepare the Tacos:
  • After the pita has been lightly griddled on each side, spread the tzatziki spread over one side of the pita
  • Spoon on the cucumber tomato relish
  • Spoon on the lamb
  • Eat like a taco!
Ree Dummond and I have become BFFs. She may not know it yet! I discovered her using Pinterest. A lot of the preivous recipes I have made were from or inspired by Ree’s blog The Pioneer Woman Cooks. She’s an “accidental country girl”. I received her cookbook for my birthday this week and it’s funny to read how Ree was a New Yorker vegetarian. Now she is a wife to her “Marlboro Man” cowboy and they own a cattle ranch. She had to learn to cook eggs in a hole and chicken fried steak to win his approval.   This week I made her Greek salad to accompany the Greek tacos.
Greek Salad
Yields 3-4
  • 1 stalk romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 whole ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 whole cucumber, cut into fourths lengthwise and diced into large chunks
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 15 whole pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 3 ounces feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 Kalamata olives, chopped fine
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 whole lemon
  1. Add chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, and half of the feta in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, chopped olives, S&P, and lemon.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, add the other half of feta cheese, and toss.
** I was so busy with this meal, that I forgot to take pictures. I know, tragic! :(
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