Greek Chicken Souvlaki with Yogurt Honey Mustard Sauce

Greek Chicken Souvlaki with Yogurt Honey Mustard Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

When I was working, we frequently ordered lunch from a wonderful nearby deli that made the best chicken souvlaki. Whenever I went out for Greek cuisine, it was their souvlaki & tzatziki sauce I used as a comparison. This recipe is delicious, easy to make & definitely worth including in your dinner rotations. Enjoy! 😋 😋

Ingredients

  • 2  chicken breasts
  • 200 g brine
  • 1/2 English cucumber, diced
  • lettuce chopped
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced & carmelized
  • grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • Kalamata olives, sliced
  • Feta cheese, small block (crumble into large pieces)
  • 6 Greek Pita Breads (click on the link for delicious homemade recipe)

Ingredients For the Chicken Brine:

  • 550 ml water
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 35 g course salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic with skin on, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon peppercorns

Ingredients For the Yogurt Honey Mustard Sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons Greek yogurt, full fat
  • 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon juice of 1 lime

Directions

For the Chicken Brine:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Add all the ingredients for the brine in a medium saucepan. Stir & bring to a boil. Remove from heat once it comes to a full boil and set aside for 1 hour.
  3. Strain into a bowl once completely cooled. Discard all but the liquid.
  4. Chop the chicken into small bite-size pieces and add to the brine. Soak for 30 minutes but no more than 1 hour.

Cooking the chicken on skewers:

  1. Remove chicken pieces from the brine and drain well.  Dry off completely with paper towels. All the moisture needs to be drained.
  2. Thread the chicken onto wooden skewers that have been soaked in water. Add a drizzle of  EVOO onto a very hot griddle, place skewers of chicken onto hot griddle and brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Once browned place the griddle with the chicken skewers directly onto the center rack in the oven for 5 minutes. (Make sure your griddle is oven-proof, if not place on tin foil)
  4. At the same time, place the prepared Greek Pita Bread on the bottom rack after drizzling the pita bread lightly with EVOO. Season with salt & pepper. Bake 5 minutes.

Yogurt Honey Mustard Sauce:

  1. While the pita bread & chicken are warming, combine all the ingredients for the yogurt honey mustard sauce in a small bowl.

Serve:

On a large serving platter, place the warmed pita bread and serve the chicken souvlaki with chopped tomatoes, caramelized onions, lettuce, feta, kalamata olives, and the yogurt honey mustard sauce. You can also try it with tzatziki sauce in place of yogurt honey mustard or combine both together.

Notes: Homemade Authentic Greek Pita Bread is by far the best tasting you can have and it’s so easy to make yourself…really! Give it a try.

Recipes adapted from Akis Petretzikis.

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Delicious Homemade Chicken Gyros & Tzatziki Sauce

Delicious Homemade Chicken Gyros

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

This gyro recipe is the best homemade gyro recipe we’ve ever tried. The yogurt marinade creates the most tender & flavorful chicken with a wonderful blend of warm Mediterranean spices. Gyros (pronounced euros) are a Greek dish typically made with chicken, pork or lamb and served on warm Greek pita bread as a sandwich with tzatziki sauce. I didn’t start cooking these until 5:30 pm so I had to tell my husband Gary to have some patience! We ate around 7:45 pm and he said they were worth the wait! 😋

Ingredients

For the Chicken & Gyro Fixings

  • 1.5 lb chicken tenders
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • Tzatziki sauce (see below)
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small red onion
  • Feta cheese, small block (crumble into large pieces)
  • 6 Greek Pita Breads (click on the link for delicious homemade recipe)

For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Cabot Greek whole milk yogurt but reduced-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt will work too)
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Pinch of black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, grated & liquid squeezed out
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 large clove garlic, finely grated
  • 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 bunch dill finely chopped (optional)

Directions

For the Chicken Marinade:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Mix well.
  2. Add the chicken tenders and coat well.
  3. Cover & refrigerate at least 1 hour.

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

  1. Using a cheese grater on the large blade side, grate the cucumber.  Put in a bowl and add a pinch of kosher salt and 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar. Toss together and set aside to release the liquid.
  2. In the meantime, combine the yogurt, 1/3 of garlic clove (grated), 2 Tablespoons of remaining white wine vinegar and 2 Tablespoons of EVOO. Mix until creamy and well combined.
  3. Place the shredded cucumber into a clean dish towel and squeeze with your hands to release all the liquid through the towel. Add the strained cumbers to yogurt and discard the liquid.
  4. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Mix in the optional chopped fresh dill. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Chicken Tenders:

  1. In a non-stick large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon EVOO until hot but not smoking. Shake off excess marinade and place into skillet with tongs.
  2. Cook on medium for 5 minutes without touching or moving them. Using tongs, turn chicken over and cook another 5 minutes. When done you may leave the chicken tenders whole or cut into small cubes if you prefer. Place in a bowl for serving with the other gyro fixings.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF. While the chicken tenders are cooking, warm up the pita bread by placing them on a large cookie sheet (ok if they overlap a little) then lightly drizzle with EVOO. Heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Spread 1 or 2 Tablespoons of Tzatziki sauce on the pita bread, add 1 or 2 chicken tenders or cut up chicken, sliced bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, and feta cheese.
  5. Wrap stuffed pita in a little foil to keep the juices from falling out and enjoy!

Notes: Homemade Authentic Greek Pita Bread is by far the best tasting you can have and it’s so easy to make yourself…really! Give it a try.

Gyro recipe adapted from Suzy Karadsheh. Tzatziki Sauce recipe adapted from Akis Petretzikis.

 

 

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Authentic Greek Pita Bread

Authentic Greek Pita Bread

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

Have you ever noticed the big difference between Greek Pita Bread from your grocery store and the ones served in a Greek restaurant? Whenever we eat gyros or souvlaki at a Greek restaurant we always remark how good the pita bread is. Store-bought brands just don't cut it! We decided to try making our own when we came across what looked like an easy recipe. As it turned out the recipe was very easy and after making them we were hooked! No more store-bought for us. This recipe makes fluffier, more tender & much more flavorful pita bread and you'll never want to go back to store-bought again! There are so many uses for pita bread. Whether to scoop up an appetizer dip like hummus, tzatziki or eggplant spread or to be used in place of sandwich bread for gyros or souvlaki, they will definitely stand out and delight! 😋

Ingredients

  • 160 ml whole milk, room temperature
  • 80 ml water, room temperature
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 320 g bread flour (aka Hard flour due to the higher protein content)
  • 1 tsp fleur de sel
  • 1½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO, for frying
  • salt & Pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, water & milk. Set aside until the mixture starts to froth, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine the flour, salt, and chopped fresh thyme leaves. Stir well.
  3. Add the EVOO to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture a little at a time. Make sure each batch added is well incorporated before adding more.
  5. Transfer mixture to a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 4-5 minutes until the dough becomes smooth.
  6. Brush a large bowl with a little EVOO then add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest 40 minutes until it doubles in size.
  7. Place a flat non-stick griddle pan over medium heat. Let the pan get hot.
  8. Lightly oil your work surface then press on the dough to remove the air and cut it into 6 equal size pieces (or as close to equal as you can).
  9. Using a rolling pin,  roll out a ball of dough to a circle about 7-8 inches in diameter. (Mine came out a little rectangular so I went with it!)
  10. The griddle or pan will be hot enough now. Place the first pita bread directly on the hot griddle and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Once they start to puff up, use tongs to flip over and cook 1-2 minutes. You will have nicely browned or charred bubbles. Remove from heat and place on a serving dish. Continue cooking the remaining dough balls, 1 pita bread at a time until finished.
  11. Sprinkle with chopped thyme before serving.
  12. Serve warm with chicken gyros, souvlaki, hummus, or tzatziki sauce.

Notes: While the first pita bread is cooking, roll out the next one so it’s ready to go in the hot pan as soon as you remove the cooked one.

Recipe adapted from Akis Petretzikis.

 

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Barbara’s Berry Cream Pie🥈

Barbara's Berry Cream Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

If you ever paid a visit to Briermere Farms in Riverhead, Long Island then you know about their delicious pies. My favorite is their boysenberry! The tartness of the berries blending with the fluffy sweet cream filling is the perfect combination. Not being a pie maker I never heard of National Pie Day, which is celebrated every January 23rd. So, when the director of our Fitness Center sent a community-wide announcement about a pie contest to celebrate the event, I was intrigued. I decided to give it a try and make that boysenberry cream pie. I couldn't get fresh boysenberries here in NC so I decided to use fresh raspberries, blackberries, and canned boysenberries calling it Berry Cream Pie! I was thrilled with how it turned out. My husband Gary loves it and I'm happy to say my pie took 2nd Place 🥈 (Teresa's pie took 1st place🥇)

Ingredients

  1. 1 Sour Cream blind-baked pie crust
  2. 9-inch Pyrex pie dish

Berry Topping:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 can boysenberries, reserve 3 Tablespoons of juice then drain well
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Filling:

  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 (8 ounces) package full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Stir in the fruit, reserved boysenberry juice, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, pour heavy cream into the bowl. Beat on medium until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl.
  4. Replace the whisk attachment with a paddle attachment on the stand mixer. Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla into the stand mixer bowl and beat until well combined, approximately 2 minutes.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream and sour cream until evenly incorporated.
  6. Spread cream filling into your blind-baked, cooled pie crust. Top with the cooled berry topping and place some fresh berries on top. Refrigerate pie at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Notes: You could also add strawberries & blueberries or whatever berries you love.

 

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Teresa’s Banana Cream Bourbon-Caramel Pie 🥇

Teresa's Banana Cream Bourbon-Caramel Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Moderate

I always loved to bake & as a young bride baked many pies, cakes & desserts. I always chose the more difficult recipes as I loved the challenge. Since I hadn't made any pies for many years I almost backed out of our first community pie contest that Barbara so graciously entered us in. Let's just say I owed her, but that's a story for another time! My inspiration for this pie comes from a dessert our Dad used to make on some weekends while we were growing up. It was a delicious banana pudding & wafer dessert that he or Mom probably saw on the box of wafers or Jello pudding box. Wherever it came from we loved it. I'm excited to say my Banana Cream Bourbon Caramel pie took 1st place. {Barbara was sorry she talked me out of backing out because her berry cream pie took 2nd place!} 🤣🤣

Ingredients

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 Whipped Cream Garnish:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Bourbon Caramel Sauce :

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp corn syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  1.  In a medium saucepan bring milk and cream to a simmer.
  2.  In a large bowl whisk sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt.
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time; whisk until smooth (mixture will be very thick).
  4. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk mixture to the yolk mixture.
  5. Return to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until thick, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a blender and add butter and vanilla. Purée until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
  7. Transfer puréed mixture to a medium bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the vanilla cream pastry mixture. This will prevent a film from forming.
  8. Chill at least 2 hours or until set. This mixture can be made 1 or 2 days ahead and kept in the refrigerator until assembling the pie.
  9. Toast a handful of chopped walnuts in a small skillet until the aroma is released. Then add a tablespoon + of the caramel sauce and toss. Remove from heat and set aside to use as garnish.

Whipped Cream Topping:

  1. With an electric mixture, beat 1/2 cup cream and powdered sugar together until medium-stiff peaks form. Cover and chill.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepan stir sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, and 1 Tablespoon of water over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Increase heat and bring to a boil without stirring, cook, occasionally swirling saucepot until sugar is a deep amber color, 6-8 minutes. (you can use a wet pastry brush to push down the sides).
  3. Remove the caramel from the heat and whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of cream, butter, and salt. Let cool for about 5-6 minutes then whisk in vanilla. Let cool and set aside until ready to drizzle over pie at room temperature.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup vanilla pastry cream evenly over the bottom of the pastry crust.
  5. Slice bananas into 1/4 inch rounds and layer over the pastry cream. Top with 1½ cups vanilla pastry cream.  Arrange the remaining banana slices over the top. Top the bananas with the remaining pastry cream.  Garnish with whipped cream and caramelized walnuts. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve.

 

 

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