These delicious tacos are a Greek version of Mexican tacos. Ground lamb replaces ground beef, a cucumber yogurt sauce cools, avocado is mashed with feta, and fresh mint sprigs are the garnish.
First, let us discuss the tortilla. The Margarita’s Tortilla Factory brand was introduced to me by a chef I used to work with. It is fresh uncooked organic tortilla dough, so it’s like you spent hours mixing, kneading, rolling, and pressing tortillas, except for all you actually did was put the right package in your basket.
You’ll cook them up fresh at home, less than 1 minute over medium heat, until they bubble, brown, and warm, becoming slightly chewy in the center and crisp on the exterior. Masterpiece tortillas. See how the ends are bubbled up?
My acupuncturist, who is also a licensed MD, says that lamb is the easiest digestible form of red meat, so on the rare occasion that I eat red meat it is usually lamb.
I purchased some ground lamb from a local ranch at the Farmer’s Market this weekend. Lamb is fatty and rich, with an assertive flavor that either curls your toes or turns your stomach. If it performs the latter, substitute another ground meat (or soy product).
Avocado mashed with feta cheese is awesome. Feta is salty and dry, avocado are creamy and neutral, pairing well with many flavors. Make sure your avocado is ripe, even a little overripe is okay. If you are wanting to update guacamole, try mixing feta, 1 chopped tomato, 1 clove of garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice into smashed avocado. People love it.
Yogurt sauce is simple to make. I like bulgarian yogurt because it is filled with healthy probiotics and its naturally sour flavor will stand up to the richness of the lamb. Be sure to squeeze all the liquid from the grated cucumber so your sauce isn’t too runny. The sauce is best after it chills in the fridge so make this up to a day in advance if you have the time.
Set up an assembly line station for guests, friends, and family to make their own tacos. This is sloppy, fun, comfort food so don’t make it for a first date. Make it for people who love you anyway.
Greek Lamb Tacos with Feta Guacamole and Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
1 lb ground lamb
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped small
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Serve cooked lamb inside warm flour or corn tortillas, top with chilled cucumber yogurt sauce, diced ripe tomatoes, fresh mint leaves, and guacamole, and additional crumbled feta.
Place large saute pan over medium heat. Add ground lamb, breaking it up into bite size pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until the lamb is brown and most of the fat is rendered. Drain the meat in a colander and set aside. Add a teaspoon or two of oil to the same skillet. Add the red onion and green pepper, and cook until beginning to soften and brown. Add the lamb, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper and cook for a few more minutes to blend flavors. Remove from heat and cover until you’re ready to serve.
Cucumber Mint Yogurt Sauce
1 cup plain yogurt (whole, low-fat, or non-fat)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded then grated. Squeeze the grated cucumber between your hands over a sink to remove as much water as possible.
Stir together all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.
1 large avocado
1/4 cup crumbled feta
Mash avocado until it is almost smooth. Add feta and gently fold to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Press plastic wrap into the top of the guacamole (to help keep air out) and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.