I wish I could somehow post the smell of this marinated beef. I need to dab my chin just thinking about it. Of course, I’ve always had a thing for the smell of wine-soaked cuisine…though I’m more of a beer drinker than a wine-bibber. Go figure.
So anyway, on to the recipe! I wanted to do something particularly delicious for Valentine’s Day, so I thought I’d whip up something a la Grecque for dinner. The menu? Beef gyros with tzatziki dressing. Homemade hummus. Marinated goat cheese. Tapas. Everything turned out just loverly and I hope next time you’ve got the craving for a little Mediterranean cuisine, you’ll give these a try. The great thing with a dinner like this is that it can be as easy or fussy as you want it to be. Most grocery stores now offer all sorts of ready-to-eat tapas, from marinated cheeses to a variety of olives and preserved veggies. Personally, I almost always have a huge jar of marinated artichoke hearts in the fridge for just such an occasion (though if I’m honest, I have them for an afternoon snack on an almost daily basis). For this particular dinner, I happened to make the hummus, tzatziki, and marinated goat cheese, but you could put together a lovely meal with store-bought items and significantly less work. Do what makes you happy and keeps the peace in your house, I say.
Allow me a small reminiscence here.
I very clearly remember the first time I had goat cheese. I had just started working at the Pasta & Co. on Queen Anne and a co-worker offered me a bite of something on a cracker. I’d describe the taste like a slap in the face, except I don’t think I’d enjoy being slapped in the face. It was all at once tangy, pungent, savory, salty…purely delicious. What my co-worker had given me was a bite of our house-marinated Chevre. You’ll understand when I say I immediately purchased several slices of the stuff to take home after my shift. The marinade was really an amazing thing–extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Though the ingredients were simple, the flavors together somehow seemed greater than its parts. Since I had some fresh goat cheese just waiting patiently in the fridge, I decided I would try to duplicate my experience from memory. While I’m sure it wasn’t exact, the results were delicious just the same. I will share that one with you in a separate post. But for now, bring on the beef!