Souvlaki Gyros

Chicken gyros have long been one of my favorite meals to make at home – not to mention one of my most popular posts here on the site. Last summer, at a friend’s cookout, our good friend Pete (who happens to be Greek) make some delicious soulvaki kabobs to throw on the grill and share with everyone. I was completely blown away with the flavor, and couldn’t wait to try them out for myself in place of the chicken in my gyro recipe.

I used a boneless pork butt that I trimmed and cut down into bite-sized pieces, but a tenderloin would be fine as well – if you wanted a little less prep work. It’s a very basic marinade of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, plenty of garlic and oregano, and olive oil. It requires a longer soak time than the chicken, but the tenderness of the meat and flavor you get in the end product are well worth it in the long run!

It’s skewered then thrown on the grill. Once the meat was cooked we piled it into warm homemade pita bread, topped with a cool and creamy tzatziki sauce, and topped with lots of fresh veggies. We all agreed that we liked it as much, if not more, than the chicken version. It’s something fun and different for cookouts this summer, and one that I know we’ll be making again and again. Opa!

Chipotle Honey Lime Pork Tenderloin

There are so many things to love about pork tenderloins – they’re relatively lean and healthy, the cook quickly, and they really absorb whatever flavors you decide to throw at them. I’ve made quite a few versions in the past, but I think this one is definitely in the running as my new favorite!

I’m a huge fan of anything chipotle-flavored anyways, but I’d never think to add honey to the mix. Plus with the addition of tart lime juice and zest and fresh cilantro it really made for a combination that was out of this world. You make a large batch of the marinade, then reserve half to drizzle over the tenderloins right before serving. I also think it would be a fabulous salad dressing!

I went ahead and doubled the marinade recipe  as I was using two pork tenderloins. The leftovers were great on Cuban sandwiches and quesadillas – so I’m glad that I went ahead and cooked two. This is one we’ll be coming back to again and again in our home, as everyone really enjoyed it!

Source: slightly adapted from Alton Brown

Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Pasta Bake

It’s tough to beat a good cheesy pasta bake. One night I was really feeling macaroni and cheese, but wasn’t feeling much else than that. I knew I needed to give my guys some protein and veggies though, so I assessed what I had in the refrigerator – a ham steak and a couple of heads of broccoli, threw them into the mix, and came up with this.

I tweaked my original baked macaroni & cheese recipe by adding two different kinds of cheese. My standard classic cheddar, but also a rich and creamy Gruyere to really bump up the wow factor. Plus, it was kind of a fun twist on ham & cheese!

Ham steaks are great to have around. I love to dice them up and put them in pasta sauce, or on pizza, or even just warmed up in a skillet and served on a biscuit for an easy breakfast. I also topped it with garlic breadcrumbs, which isn’t something I usually go for on my macaroni and cheese – but the savory crunch with a hint of garlic was a nice contrast to the creamy tender pasta.

A great one pan meal that was easy to throw together and bake, and that everyone enjoyed. Love those kinds of dinners!

Red Beans & Rice (Slow Cooker)

I’m convinced that I was Cajun in a previous life. Maybe it’s just something about the land and the lifestyle that reminds me so much of my life here on the Eastern Shore – but I definitely feel a connection to those bayous in Louisiana. Even though I’ve never stepped foot in one…

I was shocked when I realized I’d never made red beans and rice. Sausage isn’t my favorite thing on the planet, but after feeding my three guys – who love it – for a couple of years, I’ve started to come around. The flavor that it gives to whatever it is you’re cooking it with can’t be attained by any other means, and it holds up well to cooking in a slow cooker. Yesterday I had a really busy day running errands and spent most of the afternoon in the dentist chair, so I threw this together in the morning before I left to head out the door. By 4:30 PM when I was finally heading home I was so thankful to know that dinner was ready and waiting for me when I returned.

I used andouille and kielbasa, for a double wallop of smokey porky flavor. Combined with tender and creamy red beans, onions, bell peppers, garlic, and a thick tomato sauce – it was the perfect meal at the end of a long day. I served it over rice to soak up all of those delicious juices, but served it with a salad and homemade cornbread for good measure. The boys both wanted seconds, and I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest for lunch this week. With Mardi Gras coming up next Tuesday, it would be a perfect meal to put together in the Crockpot while you’re at work.

Giving you more time to pour yourself a Hurricane, and laissez-les bon temps rouler when you get home! This one is definitely a keeper in my book, I hope you guys enjoy it too.

Source: adapted from My Biscuits are Burning