As you all know by now we NEVER let anything go to waste in our house, but we also don’t like having the same thing over and over again. Remember the smoked lamb we did on the grill? Well, I was craving a shawarma so I decided to use the leftover lamb to create this dish which we LOVE when we were in Paris. Shawarma is the Middle Eastern equivalent of a Greek Gyro. You could use this spice rub on chicken or beef also. I also made some homemade pita bread to go along with it. You can certainly buy store bought, but it’s so easy to make, fresh and delicious, it’s really worth the extra time to make it yourself. We thought it was a huge success!! Use whatever veggies you like for your filling. We used sliced red onion, diced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and sliced green cabbage along with some tahini yogurt sauce (recipe below) for our lamb shawarma. It was filling, fresh and so yummy!! You could grill your veggies too! What a great summer sandwich!! Enjoy!!
Shawarma spice ingredients
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)
1 lb. thinly sliced lamb
Combine all spices together. Lightly oil the sliced lamb and sprinkle the spices over liberally. Let sit to marinate for 1 hour or more. Grill (or bake) the lamb on medium high heat until desired doneness. Set aside covered until ready to make your shawarma.
I found a great recipe for this Pita Bread on Half Baked Harvest website. I had never made this before and it was super simple.
1 cup hot water, but not boiling
2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Mix the water and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer (a large bowl will also work if you do not have a mixer), and let sit for about five minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour (saving the last half cup for kneading), salt, and olive oil. If using a stand mixer attach the dough and need the dough on medium speed for 8 minutes, adding more flour until you have a smooth dough. If using your hands sprinkle a little of the extra flour onto your clean work surface and turn out the dough. Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface, but try to be sparing. It’s better to use too little flour than too much. If you get tired, stop and let the dough rest for a few minutes before finishing kneading.
Clean the bowl you used to mix the dough and run it with a little olive oil. Set the dough in the bowl and turn it until it’s coated with oil. Cover with a clean dishcloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it’s doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
At this point, you can refrigerate the pita dough until it is needed. You can also bake one or two pitas at a time, saving the rest of the dough in the fridge. The dough will keep refrigerated for about a week.
Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and gently flatten each piece into a thick disk. Using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the pieces into a circle 8-9 inches wide and about a quarter inch thick. Lift and turn the dough frequently as you roll to make sure the dough isn’t sticking to your counter. Sprinkle with a little extra flour if it starting to stick. If the dough starts to spring back, set it aside to rest for a few minutes, then continue rolling. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. (Once you get the hang of it you can be cooking one pita while rolling the next one out.)
Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (you want a hot pan). Drizzle a little oil in the pan and wipe off the excess.Lay a rolled-out pita on the skillet and bake for 30 seconds, until you see bubbles starting to form.
Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Flip again and cook another 1-2 minutes to toast the other side.
The pita should start to puff up during this time; if it doesn’t or if only small pockets form, try pressing the surface of the pita gently with a clean towel.
Keep cooked pitas covered with a clean dishtowel while cooking any remaining pitas.
These are best eaten fresh, but will keep in a ziplock bag for a few days or in the freezer.
Tahini Yogurt Sauce
Greek Yogurt, Plain, 1/2 cup
Tahini, 2 tbsp
Lemon juice, 1 tsp
Salt, 1/4 tsp
Garlic, 1 clove minced
2 tsp. freshly chopped mint
Combine all ingedients in a food processor until well combined. I prefer more tahini, so I added more than the recipe calls for. Make it to satisfy your own tastes.
Now you can create your own shawarma with protein or only veggies.
Have a great weekend!!
Beijos e Tchau!