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Dinner in Minutes: Easy gyros with tzatziki

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Here are the ingredients you'll need for tonight's dinner:

To buy: 1/2 pound skirt steak, 1 bottle red wine, 1 lemon, 1 bottle dried oregano, 1 bottle dried dill, 1 package whole-wheat pita breads, 1 tomato, 1 cucumber, 1 package shredded lettuce and 1 carton plain nonfat yogurt

Staples: Olive oil, minced garlic, salt and black peppercorns

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Linda Gassenheimer
Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Gyros are pita bread sandwiches filled with meat, lettuce, tomatoes and the yogurt sauce tzatziki. They were traditionally made with compressed meat: ground beef or lamb mixed with spices and packed onto a spit that rotates in front of a fire until the meat is cooked. Today, many gyros are made with strips of marinated beef.

Wine columnist Fred Tasker's wine suggestion: The gyro is made of red meat and red wine, so a nice soft red like malbec would go well with it.

Linda Gassenheimer is a food writer for the Miami Herald.

Gyro Sandwich

For the sandwich:

12 pound skirt steak

12 cup red wine

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For tzatziki sauce:

12 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber

12 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 teaspoon minced garlic

12 teaspoon dried dill

12 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For serving:

4 whole-wheat pita breads

12 cup diced tomatoes

1 cup shredded lettuce

To prepare the sandwich: Remove the visible fat from the meat and cut it into strips about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Mix the red wine, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, garlic and oregano in a bowl or zipper-seal plastic bag. Add the meat, and let it marinate for 10 minutes while preparing the other ingredients. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and saute it for 1 minute for rare and 3 minutes for medium. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a plate.

To prepare the tzatziki sauce: Mix the cucumber, yogurt, garlic, dill and 12 teaspoon lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Warm the pita breads in an oven or toaster oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Cut them in half and open the pockets and place them on a serving plate. Place the meat, tomatoes, lettuce and sauce in separate bowls or on a serving plate so people can help themselves.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 597 calories, 16 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 73 milligrams cholesterol, 40 grams protein, 80 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams dietary fiber, 688 milligrams sodium

Hints

• To save preparation time, use fresh diced tomatoes found in the produce section of the market.

• Lemon juice is used in the marinade and tzatziki sauce. Squeeze at one time and divide accordingly.

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