I love gyros, which are basically the Greek version of the sandwich. Traditionally, the thinly sliced gyro meat is a mixture of lamb and spices, or if you want a lighter meat, chicken is also popular. For this gyros recipe, I decided to use alligator meat and it turned out great!
The yogurt and lemon marinade helped tenderize the alligator meat, and so did pounding the meat with a mallet before cooking. Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients. Most of it can be prepped ahead of time, and once the meat is cooked, it’s a cinch to put these gyros together.
Ideally, you want to grill the meat over a hot fire – pierce them onto skewers for easy turning. But it was snowing while I made this recipe, so I opted to pan sear the meat instead, which worked out just fine.
Prep time: 8 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 pound alligator meat, cut into large strips
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced tomato
- Sliced English/Persian cucumber
- Crumbled Feta cheese, optional
- 4 pita breads
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ⅔ cup of plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of half a lemon
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon of dried basil
- ¼ cup of finely chopped English/Persian cucumber
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 heaping teaspoon of minced dill
- 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of a quarter lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour into a zip-top bag. Add alligator meat, massage the bag and refrigerate for 8 hours/overnight.
- Combine all tzatziki sauce ingredients in a bowl, cover and keep cold until you’re ready to use it.
- Rinse off marinade on alligator meat and pat dry with paper towels. Place meat between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten with a mallet to tenderize.
- Season tenderized alligator meat with salt and pepper on both sides and brown in oil until golden, about 3-4 minutes each side.
- While the alligator cooks, heat the pita breads in the microwave with a damp paper towel on top for about 10-20 seconds until warmed and pliable.
- Assemble pita breads with shredded lettuce, browned alligator meat, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, Feta cheese and a dollop of tzatziki sauce on top. Fold the pita bread to make a taco-like shape and wrap with foil. Serve immediately. Restaurants often serve French fries on the side.