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.”Jump to Recipe
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.
Arayas – Hollie-Style
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
- 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