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Beef pockets have spicy Middle Eastern flavor

| Sunday, July 21, 2002

Spiced beef pockets, with sliced meat stuffed into pocket bread and served with broiled tomatoes and a yogurt sauce, make a quick, easy and nutritious main dish.

The recipe for this savory low-fat sandwich is a version of a common Middle Eastern favorite, devised by Hilda and Ray Marangosian of San Mateo, Calif., and featured in the April issue of Sunset magazine.


Spiced Beef Pockets

  • 2 pounds boned beef sirloin steak, fat trimmed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 Roma tomatoes (2 pounds total)
  • 6 pocket breads (6 to 7 inches wide), cut in half crosswise
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup thinly slivered red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup diced dill pickles or cucumber
  • 1 cup Sesame Yogurt Sauce (recipe follows)

Rinse beef and pat dry; slice crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick strips 2.5 inches long. In a bowl, mix beef, lemon juice, allspice and .25 teaspoon pepper; let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse and core tomatoes; cut each in half lengthwise. Set halves, skin up, in a 10- by 15-inch baking pan. Broil about 4 inches from heat until richly browned, 6 to 9 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200 F. Stack pocket breads and wrap in foil. Warm in oven with tomatoes until ready to serve, 5 to 10 minutes.

Set a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat. When hot, add beef mixture; stir until meat is no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a wide bowl or platter. Boil juices until reduced to .25 cup, 2 to 4 minutes; pour over meat. Stir in salt to taste.

Arrange tomatoes beside beef. Sprinkle onions and parsley over meat. Serve pocket breads, pickles and Sesame Yogurt Sauce alongside. To eat, spoon beef mixture, tomatoes, onion and pickles into pocket bread halves. Add yogurt sauce to taste.

Makes 6 servings.


Sesame Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • Salt and pepper

In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over medium heat, stir sesame seeds until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix yogurt, garlic and toasted sesame seeds. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 1 cup.

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