Pita, souvlaki, tzatziki: in other words, a classic Greek yummy!
Jun 8, 2015
Imagine this. You are in Greece; it’s Saturday night and some buddies are gathered in the living room to watch the football game. There is tension in the air, but they love what they watch. In front of them on a coffee table are cold beers and pizza - just delivered!
But… if you see only pizza, then what you imagine is not taking place in Greece!
On a Greek coffee table there would be souvlakia (plural of souvlaki) and pites (plural of pita) and, of course, beers; beers are always there. We do love pizza, but we love souvlaki more.
During these years of crisis, souvlaki places have opened one after the other. People who are thinking to start a food business, more often than not think about a ‘’souvlatzídiko’’ (souvlaki place). With just 2-2.5 euros you can buy a pita stuffed with souvlaki, tomato wedges, onion, fried potatoes and tzatziki, a tasty full meal that is cheap and a real life saver especially for people who like their veggies served with meat. . Not every business succeeds but the logic is sound. We Greeks love souvlatzidika. As a kid I would prefer souvlakia over legumes any day.
The truth is that almost no one makes the pita bread at home, preferring to buy a store bought frozen pack. I believe that happens because they just haven’t experienced the taste of fresh, soft, homemade pita bread. You can make them at home and freeze them for several months. Try them, I swear they are great.
Pita bread with souvlaki, tsatziki and veggies.
Pita bread (makes about 8, 14cm round pitas, or 18-20 6cm ones)
150gr lukewarm milk
70gr lukewarm water
2tsp granulated sugar
2tsps dried yeast (5gr)
300gr all purpose flour
In a bowl (or a mixer bowl) put milk, water, sugar, yeast and three tablespoons of the flour. Mix to incorporate and create a starter dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside to rise, about 10min.
Add the rest of the flour and salt, to the starter dough and mix-knead to form an elastic, sticky dough. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover again and set aside for 30min or until risen.
Place the risen dough on a floured working surface and either cut it in 8 equal pieces, rolling out each piece into a 4mm thick disc; or roll out all the dough and cut out round shaped pites of the preferred size.
Place a non stick frying pan on medium heat, and when hot enough, without greasing the pan place one or more pites (depending on the size of the pan) and bake for 2-3min on each side, turning them when they lightly puff. Pita has to stay white with just a few lightly golden spots on each side (see photo). You can warm up a pita again by toasting it on the grill just before serving.
For each skewer you prepare, you need 120gr of boneless pork belly cut in 1,5cm cubes
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt to taste
Lemon for serving
In a bowl mix the pork cubes with 1tsp of olive oil for each skewer and let stand for a couple of hours or covered overnight in the fridge.
Thread the meat cubes onto metal or bamboo skewers, brush with olive oil, season with salt and bake on preheated char-grill pan or barbecue, turning on all sides until cooked to your taste. Transfer to a plate drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm.
60gr grated cucumber
120gr Greek yogurt
1Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove crushed
Salt to taste
In a bowl place the grated cucumber with its juices and the rest of the ingredients. Mix until incorporated. Done! Keep refrigerated.
Take a 20x10 piece of grease proof paper. Place a pita bread on the paper and a souvlaki skewer on top of the pita. Press the pita around the souvlaki firmly and at the same time pull the bamboo skewer in order to remove it from the meat. Place on the top and the sides of the meat 3 tomato wedges, onion slices, tsatziki, mustard if you prefer ( I do!!) and wrap the pita in the grease proof paper leaving the upper part exposed. Repeat with the rest of the pites. Fried potatoes are often used in pita but that is not necessary. If you skip them, you have a healthy, full meal.