By Request

By Betty Shimabukuro

Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church
You can load up on gyros at the Greek Festival, but the
rest of the year, you'll have to make your own. Shape
seasoned ground meat into patties and broil. Thinly
slice the cooked meat and pile it onto warm pita bread
with tomatoes, onions and tsatziki sauce. Roll it
all up and chow down.

Satisfy that
yearning for gyros

B. Lum wants to make gyros, and he doesn't care if it's complicated, "as long as I don't have to clean up."

Not sure who does clean up at his house, but anyway, doing gyros at home turns out not to be that ambitious a project -- sort of like making meatloaf.

Now to make things really simple, just head to the Greek Festival this weekend at Ala Moana Park.

The annual celebration of song, dance and cuisine de Greek will feature the sale of gyros, as well as souvlaki, moussaka and pastitsio. There will be an array of pastries, topped by, of course, baklava.

Boutari red and white wine, Athenian beer and ouzo are being shipped in to round out the celebration.

Grecian jewelry, handmade clothing and novelty items, CDs and tapes, icons and other religious items will also be for sale.

The festival benefits Saints Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church, which offered up some of the recipes below.

To make the festival gyros, the church purchases ready-mixed meat, a mixture of lamb and beef, from a wholesaler.

For you own gyros, Try this home recipe, which calls for ground lamb only, but as an alternative to the recipe's generic sauce, try the church's Tsatziki Sauce, with its more layered combination of flavors.

Also included is a festival recipe for Stuffed Grape Leaves. You start with a jar of vine leaves, available at gourmet sections of most supermarkets -- or hit the Greek Festival, where there will be a deli selling just this sort of Mediterranean staple. A lemon and herb seasoned rice mixture is rolled up in the leaves, which are then braised.


Gyros with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Meat Board Test Kitchens

1 pound lean ground lamb
2 cloves garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large tomato, cut in half and then into slices
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 whole pita pocket breads, cut in half, warmed
Bullet Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
8-ounce carton plain low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup seeded, chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar

To make yogurt sauce, combine all ingredients; mix well and refrigerate.

To make gyros: In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb, garlic, dried oregano leaves, onion powder, salt and pepper; mix together lightly but thoroughly. Shape into two oval 1/2-inch thick patties. Place patties on rack in broiler pan so surface of meat is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once.

Carve each patty into thin slices. Place equal amounts of lamb, tomato and onion in each pita half; serve with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (2 filled pita halves and 1/4 cup sauce): 472 calories, 19 g fat, 86 mg cholesterol, 970 mg sodium.*


Tsatziki Sauce

Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church

1 pint sour cream
1 pint yogurt (drained)
3-4 ounces lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1 large cucumber, peeled and shredded
1 tablespoon salt
6 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon dried dill, or fresh dill to taste

Mix thoroughly until smooth. Refrigerate at least two hours. Serve with gyros.

Nutritional information unavailable.


(Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church

8-ounce jar vine leaves
2 cups raw rice
1-1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups water
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 bunch green onions, chopped fine
2 tablespoons dried dill
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Juice of 4 lemons
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Place vine leaves in boiling water 3 minutes; drain and rinse.

In a saucepan, combine remaining ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup lemon juice to use later. Cover and cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed (rice will be only partially cooked). Place 1 teaspoon of the mixture on a leaf with the vein up, stem toward you and begin to roll. Halfway up, fold in sides; continue to roll.

Arrange in layers in pan. Add reserved oil and lemon juice, and water to cover. Place a heavy dish on top of rolls to keep them in place. Cover the pot and simmer 45 minutes. Makes 40-50 rolls.

Approximate nutritional information, per roll: 100 calories, 7 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 150 mg sodium.*

Greek Festival

Bullet When: Noon-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Bullet Place: McCoy Pavilion, Ala Moana Park
Bullet Admission: $3 at gate
Bullet Call: 521-7220

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
By Request, Honolulu Star-Bulletin Food Section,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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