Friday, February 24, 2012

Greek Chicken Gyro Spanikopita Eggroll....Thingies

I loooooove me some Greek food.  It all started in college when I lived near a little joint called Dave's Taverna and we'd go there after frat parties with our inappropriate clothing and ravenous appetites (did you know that Milwaukee's Best Light, otherwise known as "Beast Light" increases your appetite tenfold?  True story).  They have a mean gyro and chicken souvlaki.  One day I ate there 3 separate times (lunch, dinner, and a late-night bad decision, naturally).

I still love Greek food, even now that I am grown up and way too mature to EVER chow down late at night after some good, wholesome fun.  Um, right.

ANYWAY, my city has an annual Greek festival and I'm pretty sure its like the most popular event in the history of Richmond, VA.  Literally thousands of people descend upon the tiny parking lot of the Greek church in my neighborhood and stand there in the sweltering heat, chugging cheap Greek wine and waiting 2 hours for their turn at the buffet.  Its actually quite curious because the Greek Festival, when you really think about it, isn't really all that fun.  First, it always seems to fall on the hottest weekend in the history of summer in Virginia.  Not like, "oh its kind of toasty out there, maybe I should wear a sundress".  Its hot like, "my entire face is going to melt off and coagulate on the ground in front of me".  Also, while the food is quite tasty, the wine is not.  Have you ever had a $7 bottle of Greek wine (no doubt marked up to $7 from the $1.50 it cost to buy from the distributor)?  If not, I don't recommend it.  Plus, they usually run out of the white variety (the less offensive one) early, because who wants to drink red wine in 110 degree heat?  Sometimes its so crowded you can't move and there is nowhere to sit and you have to try to eat your gyro with one hand while you hold your bottle of white to your forehead with the other.  And the funny thing is, I'm pretty sure a lot of Richmonders agree with me about the Greek Festival's shortcomings.  But the REALLY funny thing is, it will never stop any of us from going.  I look forward to it all year, and get super excited for Greek Festival night.  I'll see you all there, and I'll ignore your back sweat and the fact that your makeup has melted onto your shirt.

Because the Greek Festival isn't for another few months, I had to satisfy my craving in a homemade kind of way.  I don't even know what made me think to take all of my favorite Greek ingredients and roll them into eggroll wrappers, but I'm glad I did.  These were delicious, and dipping them into homemade tzatziki was the icing on the cake (or, the sauce on the eggroll, if you will).  I served these with Greek salad and some white beans.  Delish!

Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
Source: Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

2 cups Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 2%)
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 1/2 cups diced seedless cucumber (it must be seedless)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, sour cream, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, red wine vinegar, and dill. Stir until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Chill at least an hour before serving.

Greek Chicken Eggrolls
Source: My own, inspired by Chili's Southwestern eggrolls

8 eggroll wrappers
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup tzatziki sauce (recipe above)
1/4 cup chopped pepperocini peppers
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup seedless cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 - 3/4 cup feta, crumbled (works best if you buy a block and crumble it yourself)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine the chicken, tzatziki, pepperocinis, onion, cucumber, feta, oregano, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Stir to mix until tzatziki is evenly distributed.

Next, lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface so that one of the corners is pointing toward you and spoon about 1/4 cup (or a little more) of the filling in the center. Fold the tip closest to you up over the filling, and then roll it a little bit.  Next, fold the outer points into the center and then keep rolling until it forms an eggroll shape.  Make sure to leave a small triangle at the top in order to make the seal.  Dip a finger in water and lightly brush on the edges of the free corner. Fold the loose end over and press to seal the eggroll closed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the eggrolls on the baking sheet seam side down.  Brush the tops of the eggrolls with olive oil. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until lightly brown, turning 2-3 times during the baking process. Serve with tzatziki.

Chopped Greek Salad with Vinaigrette
Source: Adapted from Midwest Home Magazine

1 romaine heart, chopped finely
1/2 red onion, sliced
4 roma tomatoes, insides removed and chopped
1/2 seedless cucumber, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup pepperocini peppers, chopped
1/3 cup feta, crumbled
Greek dressing to taste (recipe follows)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss to combine, and dress with Greek dressing.

Greek Vinaigrette
Source: Adapted from Midwest Home Magazine

1 clove garlic, minced
dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon crumbled dried Greek oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
¹⁄³ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients through the salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Mix to combine.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil until incorporated.  Serve over salad.


  1. I have to say, Greek food aren't my favorite! But i had tzatziki sauce before. It was wonderful. I had it with some pastry at that time.

  2. I love Greek salad, it may be one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing this recipe! :D