Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer = no cooking

It's official.....summer's humid days, thunderstorms and short nights have struck. What does this mean for me? I am losing my once insatiable desire to cook everyday. Why, you ask? Well, for a few reasons. 1. I, unfortunately, am apparently the last person on earth without central air, and these window units are no match for a hot oven and/or stove. 2. I, unfortunately, am the last person on earth who doesn't have a dishwasher, therefore creating a masterpiece of a meal loses it's luster when it is immediately followed by A LOT of time spent cleaning up the mess made when making aforementioned masterpiece. So today I present to you, the cheesesteak pita. It's quick, tasty, faintly culinary in nature and requires limited use of appliances (score!). It's available at many Greek-inspired restuarants and pizza joints, and this is my take on making it at home. It's full of tasty summer veggies, and relatively low in calories so it's pretty much a win-win around the Hasan house. It also has healthy Greek yogurt in it, which is becoming widely available due its increasing popularity. Try it out, and if you're not a fan of the Greek tzatzki sauce, just try it anyway. For me? Please? I swear you'll love it! Although I LOATHE yogurt, I LOVE this sauce.

Tzatzki Sauce
1 container (individual serving size) Greek style yogurt
1/2 of one large cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 clove minced garlic
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
squeeze of fresh lemon juice

For the Pitas:
1/2 pound shaved, lean beef or Steak-Umms
sliced cheese (the amount is up to you, but watch those calories!)
1 package whole wheat pitas
veggies to taste, see below

Add the cucumber and yogurt to a small bowl, add a squirt of lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for about thirty minutes before use. If you don't have fresh garlic (which you should) substitute a pinch or garlic powder. If you don't have a fresh lemon, use another citrus or just skip it.

Wrap a stack of whole wheat pitas in foil and put them in the oven on low (250 degrees) to warn while you get started. Then prepare your veggies for the pita. Chop lettuce, red onion, chopped cucumber, tomatoes and black olives then set them aside.To make the pitas, season your steak with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add to a hot pan and saute. Strain the meat and add it back to the pan. Allow the meat to crust in the pan, and add sliced cheese ( I prefer white American for this ) while everything is still hot. Stack the meat with the veggies and add the sauce, and voila!, you are in for something good (and fast too!)

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