Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Delicious Greek recipe resurfaces

hellenic trio: souvlaki, pita, tzatziki

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KIM Bobko wrote in last month, hoping for the recipe for the delicious pork souvlaki served at the Greek restaurant at the Unicity Mall in the 1980s. Luckily for us, Doris Ardita replied with the souvlaki recipe of her parents, Niki and Peter Takis, who ran that family restaurant for more than 20 years. In the spirit of great Greek food, I've added a tzatziki recipe to serve alongside.

Nettie Michaluk is wondering whether anyone has a recipe for icing "like Safeway's." According to Nettie, it's light, not too sweet, and starts with a flour and milk base. I also remember a "Like Jeanne's Icing" recipe that circulated in Winnipeg for many years. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

Pork souvlaki

1.8 kg (about 4 lbs) pork tenderloin or boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) squares

Dry rub:

5 ml (1 tsp) dried oregano

5 ml (1 tsp) black pepper

5 ml (1 tsp) garlic powder

5 ml (1 tsp) paprika

Marinade:

60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice

Lemon oil dressing:

60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice

1 ml (1/4 tsp) each of salt, black pepper and oregano

In a small bowl, mix dry rub spices together. Rub well into meat. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, and then thread meat onto skewers. In a small bowl or cup, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice for marinade. Place skewered meat in a non-reactive container (glass, plastic, ceramic or stainless steel) or in large freezer bags and pour marinade over. Refrigerate for at least 10 hours, turning occasionally to make sure all meat gets covered. Remove from fridge, discard marinade and cook meat skewers on a medium-high grill, about 5 minutes each side, or bake on a rack in a 205 C (400 F) oven, about 12-16 minutes, turning once halfway. Test for doneness. Pour some lemon oil dressing over cooked skewers and serve with bread. Makes about 10 skewers.

Tester's notes: Very good. The three levels of prep -- dry rub, marinade and dressing -- really deepen the flavours. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning. Cooking times can vary depending on the heat of the grill. The meat browns up quite quickly, but check for interior doneness. (Many cooks now prefer pork with a hint of pink at the centre.) Doris says you can serve the souvlaki with pita flat bread or plain old sub buns.

Tzatziki

1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated or finely chopped

175 ml (3/4 cup) plain Greek yogurt

15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh mint, chopped fine

salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, mint and salt and pepper. Cover and place in fridge for an hour or so to let flavours blend.

Tester's notes: An easy, versatile condiment that can be used as a dip or served alongside grilled meats or vegetables. Some tzatziki recipes recommend squeezing water out of the grated cukes using cheesecloth or a clean dish towel, or salting them and letting them drain a little. I didn't find that wateriness was a problem, especially with thick Greek yogurt, which delivers great taste and incredibly rich texture, even at 2 per cent butterfat. (And it's now easy to find in supermarkets.)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 18, 2012 C5

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