Jamie Oliver goes Greek.

Did I ever mention how much I love Jamie Oliver? Oh wait, yes I did (I professed my love for his tray-baked meringue recipe here). Well, I’m going to have to say it again. I love him. I love his Food Revolution and his avant-garde style of cooking. I love the way he pronounces the ‘t’ in fillet. Most of all, I love his new show on the Cooking Channel and how it seamlessly mingles travel with back-to-basics recipes.

So it should come as no surprise that I promptly set my DVR to record the entire series of Jamie’s Food Escapes. It is officially my Sunday morning guilty pleasure (even though it actually airs on Wednesday nights, but that night is reserved for Modern Family). Morning coffee, fluffy scrambled eggs and Jamie’s two shows (Jamie At Home is luckily back on the Cooking Channel too), with some delicious dinner inspiration sprinkled on top. That’s what weekends are all about.

This dish is from the episode where Jamie ventures to Greece. You’ll have to forgive the lack of measurements. But that’s the beauty of these recipes. There are no rules. Just a combination of ingredients as a guide to help you create a dish that suits your individual tastes. It’s what I like to call a non-recipe. That’s what Jamie Oliver does best. He throws a dish together while sitting on a boat with a cutting board on his lap. He made this Greek dish on a terrace, and cooked it over an ancient grill with the Acropolis beaming in the background. The preparations are simple, but the resulting flavors are both clean and complex while honoring their ingredients. It’s also the best tzatziki I’ve ever made. How can you not love this guy?

Jamie’s Greek Souvlaki
Adapted from jamieoliver.com (Note: I realized after writing this post that the full recipe is available online, so if you prefer exact measurements, just click on the link. But feel free to wing it too!)

For the skewers:
1 pork tenderloin, cut into cubes (or you could use chicken or lamb)
2 cloves garlic, grated
Dried mint
Dried oregano
Juice of half a lemon
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions: Place cubed pork in a large bowl and sprinkle with grated garlic, spices, lemon, oil, salt and pepper. Stir to coat (just go all in with your hands to get the full Jamie Oliver effect). Ideally this should marinade for 30 mins or 3-6 hours, but it tastes delicious cooked right away too. Place cubes on skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water first to prevent burning). Grill until cooked through, turning to cook evenly on all sides.

For the roasted peppers:
1 red bell pepper
1 poblano pepper (or you can mix and match and improvise with any other chilies you choose)
Dried mint (Jamie used fresh mint and fennel fronds, finely chopped)
Drizzle of red wine vinegar
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt

Directions: Place whole peppers on the grill and roast until skin is blackened on all sides. This can also be done by placing the peppers directly over the flames on a gas burner, although it may be messier. (Or you could try using the broiler too). Once skin is blackened, place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Set them aside to steam. Once cool enough to handle, carefully peel off the layer of blackened skin and discard. Use your fingers to tear the peppers into strips, remove the seeds and place in a serving bowl. Season with salt. Add mint and drizzle with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings.

For the tzatziki:
1 cucumber, grated
Plain Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, grated
Dried mint
Dried oregano
Red wine vinegar
Salt

Directions: In a large bowl, grate the cucumber (no need to peel it). Season with salt. Pick up the grated cucumber with your hands and squeeze out the excess water. Place the drained cucumber in a serving bowl and add an equal amount of yogurt. Stir in grated garlic, mint, oregano, and red wine vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

To serve: Place grilled pork on a pita or flatbread (or in our case, some whole wheat naan – why not?). Top with roasted peppers and tzatziki. Ooh and ahh at how delicious it is once the flavors marry and a drizzle of tzatziki drips down your fingers.

One more quick thing.

If you want to learn more or sign the petition for Jamie’s Food Revolution, click here. It only takes a few minutes to sign, and it can make a huge difference in improving the quality of the food in our school system (a key way to help tackle childhood obesity). Over 630,000 people have already signed it!

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