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You Fried What !?!

Would guess like most folks that live here in Texas, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the fires. And, while the fires in our general area have been nothing to compare to the catastrophic fires in the Bastrop area – any fire or fire threat is to be taken seriously.

The air has been filled with smoke from fires around the Crockett area (about 30+ miles away) and just the other day David and I could see a huge billowing smoke cloud in the distance – from our front porch. Thankfully it was gone in about 2 hours so I can only think that it was put out in short order. I’m really glad now for all the efforts we’ve made during this hot, dry summer to keep a green belt around the house. In fact, I’m sure we’ll continue to water until we get some sort of significant rain . . . hopefully in the not too distant future.

Potato Skins

Every now and then I get a wild idea to try something – either just to see what would happen or maybe see what something tastes like. Had this happen the other day when I was peeling potatoes for lunch. Looked at that large pile of potato peelings and thought, ‘ what a waste!’. Got to wondering what they would taste like if they were fried. Now I know you’ve all heard me say David will eat anything fried – so thought I put this to the test and since I love to experiment – it was the perfect match.

Took my potato peels, cut them into lengths about 3 inches long, dried them with a paper towel so they wouldn’t spatter too much, and fried them up in hot oil. Took them about 3 minutes to cook and they came out with lightly browned edges and while they weren’t crunchy like a potato chip or a traditional French fry – they were actually good. Have a nice texture and the skin gives then a somewhat nutty flavor – especially sprinkled with a little salt.

We had that first batch served along with hot dogs and David being the creative eater that he is – ended up dipping his fried potato skins into some of the leftover chili. That was good too. Bet they would be good served with just about any type of dipping sauce. Anyway – make a long story short – we no longer throw out the potato peels, but fry them up. In fact, they’ve become one of our new favorite side dishes. Like today when I served up a batch of them with another one of our favorites – a Gyros sandwich.


We used to enjoy eating Gyros sandwiches in Houston but around here they are no where to be found. If you’re not familiar with Gyros it’s a Greek/Lebanese style meat loaf that is typically served with pita bread, tzatziki sauce and tomatoes. (Tzatziki sauce consists of yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, pepper and sometimes lemon juice and parsley.)

So that we could enjoy Gyros here – I was able to find a good recipe for the spices on the Internet so I could make my own. It isn’t exactly the same (flavor or texture) – but we enjoy it and I can make a large pan of the meat, cut it into serving sizes and freeze it for future enjoyment.

While the traditional Gyros is made with ground lamb and beef – I also find it hard to get ground lamb so we end up using only beef. Served on flat bread – same one I use for the pizzas – with either yogurt (if you like it) or some buttermilk ranch dressing, tomatoes and onions – it makes a different kind of sandwich.   Hey Jerry – remember all that bread I bought last trip to Austin – we enjoyed some of it today with our sandwiches.

If you think you might like to try making your own Gyros, this is the recipe I use, and while I only use beef, I would have had at least 25% of the mixture ground lamb if I could find it just to give a little more traditional flavor.


  • 1/2 medium sized onion cut into chunks
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (I didn’t have cumin , so left it out – we still enjoyed  it)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  • Process onion in a chopper until finely chopped; squeeze out liquid.
  • Place onions in mixing bowl along with meat
  • Season with remaining seasonings and mix well
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to blend
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  • Place the meat in a food processor and pulse for about a minute or until the mixture feels tacky
  • Pack the meat into a lightly greased loaf pan (leave no air pockets)

I’m giving you the rest of the recipe that calls for using a towel in a roasting pan, but I just baked my Gyros covered with foil and it came out fine. I then followed the same last two steps below to finish off the gyros.

Rest of Directions:

  • Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel
  • Place the load pan on the towel and add enough boiling water to reach half way up the loaf pan.
  • Carefully place  in oven
  • Bake until the meat has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F; typically 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Pour off any excess fat and allow to cool before slicing or freezing

Helpful Hint:  When packing the meat into the loaf pan, keep your hands wet – this will keep the meat from sticking to your fingers.

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