Lamb Kofta Gyros
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Credit: Andrea Slonecker
Chef & Child Ingredient of the Month, May 2015
1 small red onion
2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ seedless cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped into triangles
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup loosely packed mint leaves
12 ounces ground American lamb
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or other mild chile powder
8 wood skewers, soaked at least 30 minutes in water
Finely grate half the red onion, and drain off the excess liquid in a strainer. Thinly slice the other half and soak it in ice-cold water for 10 to 20 minutes, then drain well.
In a large bowl, combine the sliced onions, tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, vinegar, olive oil, and ½ teaspooon salt. Stir in the mint leaves just before serving.
In another bowl, combine the grated onion, lamb, parsley, breadcrumbs, garlic, Aleppo pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Divide the meat into 8 portions and form each portion into an oval meatball around the top third of a wood skewer.
Prepare a hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill, or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil the grill grates and arrange the skewers over the hottest parts. Grill until nicely charred on all sides, turning occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes total.
Spread 2 tablespoons of the labneh in the center of each pita and top with 2 of the kofta (skewers removed) and a big spoonful of salad. Fold the pita around the fillings and serve, with the remaining salad passed at the table.
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