Easter on the Grill, Part Deux

Gyro Style Kafta Kabobs | Digital Dads

Last year the folks at Sam’s Club challenged me to design an Easter dinner menu entirely on the grill with ingredients I could purchase from Sam’s. With the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having this year, I decided to keep Easter dinner on the grill and the heat out of my kitchen. For the menu I kept with the same general theme and have devised a similar Greek and Mediterranean inspired meal for my family.

While we are really enjoyed the spiced lamb sliders I made last year, I wanted to go in a different direction and searched for an authentic gyro seasoning recipe. After whipping up a big batch of the seasoning mix I added it to a lamb and pork mixture I ground myself from a leg of lamb and some pork shoulder. I covered the seasoned meat with lemon slices and let it get happy in the refrigerator for a few hours before fashioning them like kafta kabobs and skewering them to make it easier to grill.

A kafta kabob, a Lebanese dish traditionally made with beef, is essentially a meatball on a stick. I made these for my son’s first birthday party, which itself was a heavily Mediterranean inspired event, and they were a huge hit. I felt that the shape would be reminiscent of the layers of gyro meat you might normally find nestled into a lightly grilled pita.  To serve I stuck with the standard fare – some chopped grape tomatoes, pickled red onions, crumbled feta cheese and a cooling tzatziki sauce.

To round out the meal I’m sticking with simple grilled asparagus, but instead of potatoes I’m going to be serving up an orzo pasta salad with a pea shoot and pistachio pesto. I love making pestos because they are a simple and versatile way to add a lot of flavor to a dish without a lot of work. I generally avoid basil pestos because they can be quite overwhelming, which is why I prefer to go with other greens like arugula, parsley, cilantro, or something more unique like pea shoots. Pasta salads like this can be tossed together quickly for any occasion and the flavors can be adjusted to best suit your protein.

My test run went well the other night and I’m very excited for Easter dinner this year. If you haven’t already nailed down your Easter dinner plans, or if Greek and Mediterranean cuisine appeals to you, I hope that my menu has provided some inspiration.

Gyro Style Kafta Kabobs

Software

  • 3# leg of lamb, diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 2# pork shoulder, diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup canola or other neutral oil
  • 1/3 cup gyro seasoning mix
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Assemblage

  1. Grind the meat using a fine plate, then toss with the oil and seasoning
  2. Layer the lemon slices over the seasoned ground meat, then refrigerate for 30 minutes to several hours
  3. Soak wooded skewers in water for at least thirty minutes
  4. Form the meat into five to six inch rolls around the soaked skewers and toss on a hot grill
  5. Serve on grill warmed pita bread with chopped grape tomatoes, pickled red onions, crumbled feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce

Pea Shoot & Pistachio Pesto

Software

  • 1 package pea shoots
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Assemblage

  1. Add all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine
  2. Slowly drizzle in oil olive while food processor is running until desired consistency is reached

Orzo Pasta Salad

Software

  • 1 cup orzo prepared to directions
  • 3/4 cup pea shoot and pistachio pesto
  • 1 cup diced grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Assemblage

  1. Add orzo pasta and pesto to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine until the pasta is well coated. Use a little more, if necessary or desired
  2. Toss in the grape tomatoes, almonds, and feta, then refrigerate until ready to serve

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PJ Mullen is a stay at home dad, husband, amateur chef, craft beer enthusiast, prolific air drummer and the Stig in a minivan. Currently in between blogs, PJ has been littering the Internet with his drivel since 2006 when he started a wordpress.com account and blogged about a home renovation project. That proved to be a gateway drug to self-hosting where he went on to blog about football, his life as a stay at home dad and his culinary adventures. While he chooses a new domain to sully, he can be found here at Digital Dads writing about food and craft beer. He was a member of the Bumble Bee Foods "Bee Squad" from 2011 to 2012, contributed to Man of the House, was a member of the Shared Tastes Panel at Ready Set Eat, has worked with several brands including Sony, RedEnvelope, Conair, Lands End and Baby Brezza, and won the 2010 Perdue Verifiably Good Video Contest.

One Response to “Easter on the Grill, Part Deux”

  1. Gyro Style Kafta Kabobs | PJ Mullen Says:

    [...] I devised a Greek and Mediterranean inspired meal for my family by making Gyro Style Kafta Kabobs. Easter on the grill, part deux, my latest at Digital Dads. var addedComment = function(response) { [...]

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