Karen Vivers, originally from Scotland, has lived here in Amsterdam for more than 12 years, and has set up the Cooking Coach to help inspire people to get back into the kitchen.
The basis of the cooking lessons are easy, tasty, healthy recipes. Each course starts with a free introduction session, to make sure that you only cook what you like to eat.
As well as cooking lessons, Karen offers Culinary Tours in Amsterdam, is a passionate Food Blogger and works freelance as a Culinary Consultant.
Greek Kebabs with Tzatzki
Summer is here! Time to get the barbeque out! Although, just in case, I have written this kebab recipe so that it is suitable to be prepared indoors – you never know!
Greek food is often overlooked, but there are some real gems, great fresh herb combinations and lots of versatile uses for lamb and veggies. I’ve chosen a couple of classics for you to try.
Ingredients for 4 portions
For the Kebabs
250gr beef mince
250gr lamb mince
1 x large red onion, peeled and grated
2 x tsp dried oregano
Handful of flat parsley leaves chopped finely
1 x tsp salt
About a tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan to fry off the kebabs.
8 x Arabic flat bread (or pita breads)
8 x medium tomatoes, each chopped into 3 thick slices.
1 large red onion chopped into thin rings
Handful of flat parsley leaves chopped roughly
1 x lemon, quartered
Tzatziki (see separate recipe)
Baking parchment to hold the kebabs whilst you eat!
- Mix the kebab ingredients together in a bowl – best with your hands.
- Roll the mix into 8 x rough sausage shapes, flatten them a little (just makes it easier to cook evenly) and place them in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This just helps them stay together when cooking.
- Heat the oil in your pan. Note this method is for indoor cooking, you can of course wrap the meat around metal skewers for the barbeque or for a grill pan. I have just simplified it a little.
- Place the kebabs and the tomatoes in your pan to cook. You may need to do this in a couple of batches depending on the size of your pan. The kebabs and the tomatoes will probably take about 4 minutes each side.
- Spread out your pita on a plate on top of an oblong of baking parchment that is about half the diameter of your bread (or enough to wrap around and make it easier to eat)
- Once cooked, place a kebab in the middle of your bread, and one of the cooked tomatoes (3 slices), sprinkle over parsley and red onion, and about 2 x tbsp of tzatziki.
- Fold up the bottom end of the bread, and then the sides, wrap the baking parchment around and serve with a piece of lemon to squeeze over should you wish.
- If you use pita breads, you can slice them open and fill with the kebabs and dressings.
- This is delicious, but a little messy to eat, you may want to have plenty of napkins to hand!
- As I mentioned, this recipe is designed to cook indoors in a pan but is really great on the barbeque.
- Try serving with some rice or couscous instead of bread.
For the Tzatziki
2 x large cloves of garlic, crushed
Large handful of mint leaves, chopped
Salt to taste
1 x tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 x small Turkish cucumbers sliced very thinly (or ¾ of a medium, normal cucumber)
250gr Greek Yogurt, with the liquid strained off.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix through.
- Leave for about 20 minutes before serving, just gives time for the flavours to mix, mingle and marinade the cucumber.
- You can also use plain natural yogurt, but it may become a little bit watery.
- Try with low fat Greek Yogurt.
- Try swapping the mint for dill.
- This is a simplified version of tzatziki. The more traditional way involves removing the seeds and the skin of the cucumber, then grating the flesh, allowing it to drain in a sieve or you can put it in a clean tea-towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.
- For a dip, use half yogurt and half crème fraiche – serve with lots of pitta bread to dip.
This is a great accompaniment to kebabs or barbecued meats – great with lamb!