Cinco de Mayo Taco Tuesday

Neither my husband nor I are of Mexican heritage, and we have never really celebrated Cinco de Mayo. But when Cinco de Mayo lands on Taco Tuesday, I took it as a sign to celebrate.

I usually make my own taco seasoning since many store bought ones contain whey, so I didn’t pick any up at the store. Mistake. Turns out, I was fresh out of chili powder and had to raid my neighbor’s pantry to find some. Luckily, she had a big container, so Cinco de Mayo Taco Tuesday was saved!

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Dedairyfied “cream sauce” 

I have been craving pasta with a thick cream sauce, loaded with cheese. My poor tummy, however, has, quite determinedly, said no every time the thought of eating it has crossed my mind. I really hate it when my tummy and my brain disagree!

So today, I decided to try to dedairyfy a cream sauce to make both my tummy and my brain happy. And, I’m glad to inform you all that I succeeded.

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Döner Kebap

Ever since leaving Germany for the States I’ve been craving the typical German street fare of Döner Kebaps. And ever since moving from Norway I’ve been craving the typical Norwegian street fare of kebabs. The two countries’ versions are quite different from one another, but they are, at least, more similar than the British version. 

Norwegian version

Cubes of marinated meat (possibly beef) is precooked and tossed in a hot pan to crispen up the edges. It’s served inside a pita bread with cabbage, corn, onions, and a mayonnaise, kefir, and ketchup based sauce with the optional spicy sauce. 

German version

Huge spears of meat (venison, lamb, or a combination of the two, and some places you might find chicken) are cooked rotisserie style, and the cooked edges are shaved off as tiny pieces. The pita breads they’re served in are usually freshly baked. The meat is served with cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and a yogurt based sauce, as well as optional spicy sauce and a big slice of feta cheese. 

British version

It has been a LOT of years (I think about 1996) since I had one in England, so please excuse me if I remember correctly (and please comment with your corrections), but the meat and veggies are served on top of a pita bread (instead of inside), and the meat is LONG slices of thinly cut lamb, so you have to fold the pita in half in order to eat it. 

I used my regular fail proof pita recipe and scoured the internet and Pinterest in search of a good recipe for Döner Kebaps and the Norwegian style. 

Here’s what I came up with, which is a bit of a combination between the two styles and based on, perhaps, five different online recipes. 

Ingredients for pitas (makes 6-10, depending on the size of each)

1 1/4 C warm water

1 tbsp dry yeast

1/4 tsp salt

3-3 1/2 C flour

Method for pitas

Sprinkle the yeast over the water; let sit five minutes. Add salt and flour and knead eight minutes. Make 6-10 balls (depending on desired size) and flatten with a rolling pin. Let rest, covered, 30-40 minutes. Make sure you sprinkle flour under the dough to ensure it won’t stick. Preheat a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven at 425 degrees F. Using a spatula, flip each pita over onto the hot stone. Try not to handle the dough much or it might not puff. Bake 10-15 minutes until puffed and slightly golden. Cool on rack. 

Ingredients for meat

1 pork loin or desired type of meat, partially frozen

1 tsp garam masala 

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp oregano

Method for meat

Slice the partially frozen meat as thinly as possible. Mix marinade ingredients, then toss in the meat. Marinade at least 1 hour. Place meat in SINGLE layer on a rack over a baking sheet with edges to catch drippings. Place under broiler. Broil 3 minutes, flip the meat, then broil 3 more minutes or until the meat is crispy at the edges. 

Ingredients for dedairyfied Norwegian style sauce

1/2 C mayonnaise

Almond milk

Ketchup

2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Method for dedairyfied Norwegian style sauce

Whisk mayo with almond milk until it’s on the funny side. Add ketchup until the sauce is pink. Add parsley and garlic powder. 

Ingredients for German style sauce (with dairy)

1/2 C Greek yogurt 

1 tsp oregano

1/4 C olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice 

Salt and pepper to taste

Method for German style sauce

Whisk all ingredients together. 

  
Serve the meat in a pita bread with lettuce or cabbage, cucumber, tomato, and corn (if desired). Spread sauce over the filling. 

Enjoy!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Based on the recommendation by Yotam Ottolenghi in his book “Plenty More” I bought a pomelo.The pomelo is like a grapefruit on steroids, an exaggerated version with seriously thick pith under the skin and very chewy membrane best cut out.

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Lemony Hollandaise Sauce

Today was a sad day: we picked the very last Meyer lemon off our tree in the front yard. I had a hard time deciding on a suitable and honorable way to celebrate this last lemon: should I make lemon bars, lemonade, or use it in a fruity tropical drink?

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