What’s for Dinner, & What’s a D…

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Quick Arayas

As I was sitting drinking my morning Italian blend with half & half, my husband was chatting on the phone with a friend. When he finally finished his call, I looked over and asked: “honey, what do you want to do for dinner?” But before he could answer,  his mother called. Since I was sitting right next to him I overheard him say, “Sorry I didn’t answer your call earlier but I was talking to my friend who found out the girl he’s been dating is a dominatrix.”

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I looked over and his face was bright pink and he was saying “Umm Ummm it’s ah…” At that point, I was busting out laughing and couldn’t help myself! I whispered, “Are you trying to explain to your mother what a dominatrix is?” Unable to control myself anymore I blurt out “THINK BALL GAGS!”Now my husband started laughing and said: “She knows what a ball gag is!” 

…Back to what’s for dinner… I peeked in my fridge and it was pretty empty. In the freezer, I had some ground chicken and ground lamb. I had a bunch of cilantro and plenty of garlic so I decided to make my version of Arayas, which are lamb and spice stuffed toasted pitas cut in little pizza sliced wedges. They are delicious! I typically don’t like a lot of lamb flavor so I usually mix it about half with ground chicken or turkey. I hate to be fussy with my cooking so I put in ingredients that I just know will be good. If you have ever seen Rachel Ray cook, she’s not fussy either. She measures in “palm fulls.” Perfect, I can relate to that! Usually, it all works out! 

Here’s my easy Araya’s recipe.

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Arayas – Hollie-Style

Crispy pita bread filled with spicey lamby goodness!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 432kcal
Author: ebookfoodie

Ingredients

For the Lamb Filling

  • 1/2 lb Ground lamb
  • 1/2 lb Ground Chicken or Turkey (If you really love lamb, just use all lamb and no poultry!)
  • 1/2 lb Onion finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Sumac
  • 2 tbsp Zatar
  • 1/4 ts Cayenne pepper none, more or less depending on what you like!
  • 1/2 ts Salt
  • 1/4 ts Pepper
  • 1/2 ts Cumin
  • 1/2 ts Oregano
  • 1/4 ts Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Chopped cilantro leaves and the non-woody stems are ok

To Prepare the Arayas

  • 4 Medium pita bread loaves
  • 2 TB Olive oil

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients for filling until mixed well. It should not be too wet. If it seems wet, add 1/4 cup of panko or regular bread crumbs to the mixture.
  • Take a paring knife and slice the pita open at one end and continue around until you have separated the top from the bottom. Set the tops of the four pitas aside.
  • Brust the tops and bottoms of pita with olive oil, and brush the insides with any remaining olive oil.
  • Divide the meat filling into four equal parts and spread on the bottom of each pita.
  • Place the pita tops on and press gently from the center to seal in the meat, and pushing the filling so that it’s even from edge to edge.
  • You can cut them in quarter wedges now, or wait until they are cooked to cut them.
  • Bake on high until crispy on top, about 6-7 minutes. Flip and bake another 5-7 minutes or until it’s crispy and the meat is cooked through

Notes

If you are using thawed ground meat and it looks wet, place it in a colander for a few minutes to drain.
These are great dipped in hummus, tzatziki, or baba ganoush! If you really think about it, these are like ultra skinny, spicey lamb burgers! Sumac has a lemony taste and I like to add to that flavor by squeezing fresh lemon over the top when serving.
If weather permits, just place the pitas directly onto the grill and grill over indirect heat, or on the top rack until crispy and cooked through about ten-fifteen minutes. Keep an eye on it so the bread doesn’t burn.
Let me know if you try these or if you have any suggestions for me to try next!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Pita | Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 724mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4.1% | Vitamin C: 6.9% | Calcium: 11.1% | Iron: 26.9%
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