Can someone explain to me how “Taco Tuesday” became a thing? Yes, folks, this is as serious as it gets for a Monday.
I love tacos, but husband really loves them. It’s pretty much his answer to everything. What should I make this weekend, babe? Tacos. What kind of dessert should we serve when my parents come over? Tacos. It’s tacos all the time for my hubby. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Needless to say we happily eat them on any night of the week, not just on Tuesdays. For those of you who elitists and only eat tacos on Tuesdays, you can save this recipe for tomorrow. 😉
Knowing that my husband is a die hard taco fan, I try to think of different ways to serve them up. I can go one of two ways. I can serve a meal that has the traditional Mexican taco flavors but does not look like a taco, like a Healthy Taco Bowl or a Vegetarian Taco Salad, or I can serve something that resembles a taco but has no Mexican flair whatsoever. Today, I went with the later option.
Will this taco satisfy a Taco Bell craving? Probably not. It’s not trying to be that kind of taco because Mexican flavors don’t really mesh well with Greek flavors. However, you might be able to trick yourself into thinking that you are in fact eating a taco because these really do sort of look and feel like tacos. Picture the meat mixture from a Greek lasagna (pastitsio) meets a gyro in the form of a taco.
If you’ve never had a Greek lasagna (pastitsio)… gah, you must venture to the nearest Greek fest, Greek diner, Greek friend who is willing to make it for you, or your own kitchen with my recipe and try it. I make a bangin’ one. It’s a bit labor intensive so I don’t make it often. One of these days I seriously need to blog about it because it’s a family favorite. Maybe sooner than later now that I’ve mentioned my recipe like three times in one paragraph. The meat mixture in this taco resembles the meat that you’d find in a pastitsio. It’s coated with a tomato based sauce and seasoned with cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. I could eat this stuff straight from the pot. Oh wait, I have, and my husband did.
Just like a standard issue taco, I’ve topped the meat mixture with some veggies, cheese, and sauce. Instead of using cheddar cheese I used feta cheese. Feta is absolutely the way to go when it comes to Greek food. We have to top this off with a sauce so I added some cucumber yogurt sauce (tzatziki sauce). This stuff is some of the best stuff on Earth and I could eat it with almost anything. The tang from the yogurt and the garlic from the sauce is an awesome compliment to the flavors in the meat mixture. After all that, the veggies are pretty much the same. Lettuce, tomato and onions do a great job.
This all comes neatly packaged in a slice of pita bread, just like any other taco. Although it doesn’t really stay neat. In fact, it’s a bit messy once you’ve taken your first bite. Oh well, that’s all a part of the taco eating experience, right?
Greek Tacos Recipe
(Abut 4 servings)
Ingredients for Meat Mixture:
- 1 and 1/4 pounds ground beef (I used 80% lean/20% fat)
- 1/4 cup (equivalent to 3 ounces) tomato paste
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Ingredients for Cucumber Yogurt Sauce (Tzatziki Sauce):
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces of Greek yogurt (fat free, 1% or 2%)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- pinch black pepper
- pinch salt
Ingredients for Tacos:
- Pita bread
- Meat Mixture
- shredded lettuce
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped red onions
- crumbled feta cheese
- Cucumber Yogurt Dip (Tzatziki Sauce)
Directions for Meat Mixture:
- In a medium skillet, over Medium heat, brown the beef. Break it up into crumbles while it’s cooking.
- Add the tomato paste, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and mix well.
Directions for Cucumber Yogurt Sauce (Tzatziki Sauce):
- Peel the cucumber. Then cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
- Grate the seeded cucumber pieces, using a fine grater.
- Lay the grated cucumber pieces in between paper towels and gently press down to remove as much water as possible.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the prepared cucumber pieces, minced garlic, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, dried dill, pepper, and salt.
Directions for Tacos:
- Cut a piece of pita bread in half and open up the pocket.
- Add in the meat mixture.
- Top it with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced red onions, feta cheese and cucumber yogurt dip (tzatziki sauce). Of course feel free to leave off a topping that you don’t like or add extra toppings that you do.
Source: Tina’s Chic Corner
Interested in other Mexican or Greek food? You choose.