Pork Souvlaki Shish Kebabs with Spanakopita Mandu

You will probably soon find out my favorite country to cook from is Greece.  From the Gyros I had with french fries in the in Athens, to the tatziki sauce I make and love so much, I just love the Mediterranean flavor profiles.  Well this recipe is a little different than other things I have cooked before, but I still thew in it’s own uniqueness.  I love chicken souvlaki.  However, last week, I was actually getting a bit tired of chicken, and I wanted to do something with ground pork.  I have made sausage before, and seen on cooking shows where cooks basically put a large meatball on a stick, grill it and call it a shish kebab.  So sure, why not?  Because pork is high in weight watchers point (well higher than my usual chicken), I did have to portion out my sizes a bit.  I could have made two large skewers, or four small ones, and I was not sure how much we would eat, so I went with small ones.  Each serving was about 125 grams of pork  before it was cooked.

First I mixed a tablespoon of oregano, 2 tablespoons of garlic, all the pork, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, black pepper, and the pork in my food processor. I should have used 1-2 teaspoons of dried mint as well, however, I could not find it in my cupboard. I was using my one bowl for something else and didn’t feel like washing it.  

Next I made four large meatballs out the mixture, and threw pre soaked bamboo skewers into them.

I threw them on the grill pan over a medium flame, and got started on my filling for my side dish.  This was also last weeks “Koreany” for my challage to incorporate more Korean food into my diet.   I was inspired by the idea of a wanton, but in Korea, a wanton is called mondu.  So, my side dish was Spanakopta Mandu.  I took a cup of fresh ricotta cheese into my food processor, with about a cup of fresh raw spinach and maybe two cloves of garlic.  I think I added a bit of salt also.

Next, I worked on wanton wrappers.  I would have bought these at the store, however for the life of me I could not find them.  So I followed the recipe on eatingcleanmag.com for some whole wheat wanton wrappers.

I mixed the ingredients by hand, and rolled them out using my pasta roller.  In hindsite, they were still thicker than they should have been, so I should have rolled them out a little more with a rolling pin.

Next I rolled them into large squares, maybe about 3×3 using the width of my pasta sheet as a measurement.  After I had squares, I put about a tablespoon of filling into the middle and then folded it over, gluing the edges shut with water.

I poked a few small holes in the top with a tooth pick, so steam could release and they didn’t explode all of the toppings out while baking.  I baked them for about ten minutes on 175 degrees C (350 degrees F) until they looked like this:

They turned out rather golden and delicious.  They were a little dry however, and needed a sauce.

So I grabbed some garlic poweder, dill and plane yogurt to make a quick tatziki inspired sauce, even though there were no cucumbers in it.  Both the meat and the mandu needed it, and it was the perfect complement.

Lastly I made a quick cucumber tomato salad.  I sliced up some cucumbers on the mandolin  and chopped some grape tomatoes in half.  I sprinkled the top with a few small cubes of feta cheese, and dusted with salt.  It was the perfect salty touch to finish off the meal.

This meal was not light on points, unfortunately   What you see on the plate was 29 points.  A lot of this is because of the pork  and the cubed marinated feta however.  I could have cut off at least six points had I used chicken breast instead, and even more if I could get low or no fat feta, and crumbled it to sprinkle, that was not marinated.  So if you really want this meal in the condition it is in, you have to commit to it, and be careful eating the rest of the day if you are on weight watchers.

Wanton Recipe:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 small egg (or 1/2 large egg)
  • Dash sea salt
  • 2 tbsp water, more as needed
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1 cup fresh spinach

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place flour in a medium mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, salt and water; stir into flour, adding more water as needed to form a stiff dough. Knead for 1 minute, roll out onto a lightly floured surface until very thin and cut into 3 1/2-inch squares.
  2. Mix filling in a food processor and fill each square with about a tablespoon in the center of each square.  Glue the edges shut with a little water all the way around, and poke 2-3 holes in the top with a toothpick to vent.
  3. Bake on 175 C for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Pork Shish Kabab:

500 grams of ground pork

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon garlic

Mix them together and divide into four equal parts.  Make elongated meatballs maybe 3 inches long, and put a soaked bamboo skewer most of the way through.  Cook on all four sides using a grill or a grill pan

 

 

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