Pork is the traditional meat used to make souvlaki, that you find in Greece.
Personally, I prefer lamb but this is just as good.
It's all good!
Back in January, when I received my "goodie bag" from Australian Pork I quickly put it to use by pan frying one of the pork loins and serving it with stuffed peppers. With the other pork loin I made souvlaki and served it up with a minted yoghurt, an onion and parsley salad and a "pita" or flatbread made with chickpeas.
I really want to focus on the chickpea flatbread. The idea for this came from an old Jamie Oliver cooking show I was watching on t.v. one afternoon. The "trick"-if you want to call it that-was placing half a can of chickpeas into the flour mixture along with a number of spices. The chickpeas were literally squished into the dough as he was kneading it! It looked like a lot of fun and the carb addict in me became very curious. I had to try this! The result was incredible! I'm telling you, souvlaki "pites" will never be the same again. The only thing I did different was to cook my flatbreads in a hot pan as opposed to cooking them in a hot oven. These provided some "Middle Eastern" inspiration, so the rest of the meal followed that path.
The souvlaki were made using a pork tenderloin which was quite a lean cut. I knew this could easily become "cardboard", so I cut the pork into small, even pieces and made sure they were cooked quickly in a hot "chargrill" pan. The meat was marinated for 2 hours in a combination of chopped flat leaf parsley, a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. I kept it simple because I knew there were going to be a lot of flavours competing here. The minted yoghurt was just that. Greek yoghurt with chopped mint and a good squeeze of lemon juice and a little salt. I also added a small salad of sliced red onions with parsley. Overall, this combination was to die for and one I plan on experimenting with again.
RECIPE FOR CHICKPEA FLATBREADS
Yields about 6-8 flatbreads
(N.B. These are all approximates. Feel free to adjust the flour until you achieve an elastic dough. Also, feel free to add any spice of your choice)
- 1 cup of plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 cup of plain wholemeal flour
- ½ a can of chickpeas (garbanzos) along with some of the liquid from the can
- ½ - ¾ a cup of lukewarm water
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- ½ a teaspoon of salt
- Combine the 2 flours, the spices and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the chickpeas and some of their juice from the can, the olive oil along with some of the luke warm water.
- Proceed to mix everything together until a dough begins to form. Make sure you incorporate the chickpeas well into the dough.
- *If you find you need to add more water or flour do so until you achieve a smooth pliable dough-knead for approximately 5 mins*
- Place the dough in bowl, cover and let it rest for half an hour
- When you are ready to make the flatbreads, take pieces of the dough and form into balls (a little bigger than the size of a golfball)
- Roll out the balls into a circular shape, making them about ½" thick
- Cook the on a hot flat grill or pan for about 10 seconds. Once you see the flatbreads begin to puff up turn them over and cook the other side for the same time.
- Place them in a kitchen towel lined basket as you cook them to keep them warm