An easy marinade with classic Greek flavors of fruity olive oil, lemon and oregano give a tangy, fresh and distinctly Greek taste to grilled pork skewers.
Today’s post is sponsored by Universal Pictures and the release of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 coming to theaters on March 25, 2016.
“Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.”
Just like every other female, that quote hooked me and still makes me laugh every time. And appreciate it’s truth. OPA!
Since it’s release 14 years ago (what? how did that happen??) quotes like that one made me love the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The overbearing parents, the constantly intervening family and the shy duck who becomes the beautiful swan and gets the guy…Swoon. This is the modern day fairy tale.
And finally. Finally. FINALLY! My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is being released in theaters on March 25.
So when I was asked to create a Greek family recipe to celebrate the release of the sequel, FINALLY!, it was easy to say yes. I pulled out one of my favorite recipes that somehow hasn’t yet been showcased here on the bloggity blog: My marinated Pork Souvlaki with Tangy Lemon Rice. It’s totally movie star worthy.
When Smudge saw that I had pulled out our DVD of the original film, she literally screamed with delight. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding! I LOVE this movie. Are we going to watch it again?”
See, this movie is one we watch over and over when we head to the mountains for weekend stays at our friend’s cabin. They have an embarrassing number of DVDs to watch as we snuggle under blankets. But what is it that we watch over and over? Yep, you guessed it. My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
I’ve always known it was a popular movie, but I had NO IDEA My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the highest-grossing romantic comedy of ALL TIME. Of all time! That’s some serious OPA!
The latest release has all of the original cast members returning (with star and Academy Award® nominee Nia Vardolos again writing the screenplay) to sling their Greek wisdom and zingers on anyone and everyone in their line of fire. Coming from the total opposite type of family, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens this time around.
We’ll be making a family night of seeing it in the theater with a box of salty popcorn, and yes, we do ask for extra butter. Doesn’t everyone?
But first, family dinner, and my pork souvlaki.
About the Recipe
This recipe is so simple for family weeknight meals, but is a goodie to have ready to go for weekend grilling, too. It makes the perfect dinner for guests because there’s no last minute fuss besides tossing the skewers on the grill and giving the rice a stir and fluff.
I used pork tenderloin for this recipe. Trim all of the extra fat from the pork and then simply cut it into chunks the size you’d like for your skewers.
Speaking of skewers, you can use either wooden skewers or metal skewers like these. If you choose to use wooden skewers, soak the skewers for about 20 minutes before threading the meat on them so they don’t burn when grilled.
A Merry Marinade
Marinades require three things: Acid, oil and flavorings. For this marinate the acid comes in the form of the juice of meyer lemon. The oil is fruity olive oil and oregano and garlic round out our flavorings with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I marinate the pork in a gallon freezer bag with the lemon/olive oil/oregano blend at least overnight, and sometimes for 2-3 days as long as the pork is fresh before I marinate it. Pork has a shelf life of 2-3 days and marinating doesn’t extend it’s expiration date so keep that in mind. Although, I have found the longer I can marinate it, the better it tastes in my opinion. But don’t chance anything if you’re unsure.
Never marinade in a metal container. The metal can react with the acid so always use glass or take the easy route and use the freezer bag method. And ALWAYS marinate in the refrigerator.
I thread my meat on pretty tight together so it forms more of a meaty brick. I’ve found this method keeps the pork juicy. A sprinkle of parsley pretties them up and yes, I’ll add a squeeze more lemon, too.
Recipe Ideas to Serve With Your Pork Souvlaki
These souvlaki skewers and rice are certainly filling enough, but sometimes you just need a drink, salad and that extra somethin’ somethin’ to complete the meal.
- Drink: Lemon Water with Fresh Mint
- Salad: Greek Salad with Avocado
- Dessert: Baklava Cookie Bars
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Pork Souvlaki With Lemon Rice
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin
- 3 meyer lemons or 4 regular lemons
- ½ cup fruity olive oil
- 6 large cloves of garlic , minced
- 3 tablespoons oregano
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt , divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley , minced
- Trim the fat from the pork tenderloin and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in a gallon plastic freezer bag.
- Zest the lemons and set the zest aside for the lemon rice. In a small bowl mix the olive oil with the juice of 2 of the meyer lemons or 3 of the regular lemons, reserving one lemon to juice for the lemon rice. Stir in the garlic, oregano, kosher salt and black pepper. Pour over the pork in the plastic bag, seal tightly removing as much air as possible and refrigerate for 2 hours but preferably overnight, up to as many days up to it's expiration date.
- When ready to cook, heat a grill to medium high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade and discard the marinade. Thread the meat on metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked for at least 20 minutes.
- While the grill is heating, add 2 cups of water to a saucepan with the rice, the lemon zest, the reserved lemon juice, butter and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring the rice to a boil over high heat then reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with more kosher salt and pepper to taste and stir in 1 tablespoon of minced parsley.
- While the rice is cooking, grill the pork until browned on all sides, turning every few minutes, and cooked to 160 degrees F, about 10-15 minutes depending on the heat of your grill. Transfer to a platter, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, another squeeze of lemon if you like and serve with the lemon rice.
Today’s post is sponsored by Universal Pictures. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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We have made this repeatedly since I discovered it on Pinterest. We LOVE this recipe so much and have made it with chicken breast as well as pork. It has become a staple in our house. Thank You!
Glad you enjoy it Anne!
Hello!! The other day I happened to stumble onto your blog & recipe for your Best Greek Chicken Marinade…..lucky me!!! As I write this, my chicken is marinating in the fridge. I cannot wait to cook and enjoy dinner tonight!! We LOVE greek food and I have made my own greek marinade but just had to try yours. Anyways I couldn’t resist peeking at this souvlaki recipe (which is on next week’s menu). The lemon rice looks easy but I do have a question. It may just be me but I didn’t see what time of rice you used. Minute rice? If so, do I add the lemon when I add the rice to the boiling water? I promise I’ve looked at this several times to make sure I didn’t miss it but I still can’t see anything other than rice. I apologize in advance if you have it listed and I missed it. Oh & one other question if I bake this pork souvlaki what temp & time would be best? Can’t wait to hear back from you. And I will let you know how the chicken turns out. Thanks so much!!
Jessica, the white rice listed in the ingredients would be plain, raw rice, either medium or long grain. If Minute Rice was indicated, it would be listed as “instant” or “quick-cooking”. Also, if you use your oven for this, I would think the broiler would be the best option, maybe 5 minutes on each side. At least, that’s what I would do.
Does anyone know how many calories in this dish? I’m super excited to try this recipe!
I am unable to locate the nutritional information on this recipe. How many calories does it have?
I am absolutely loving your gorgeous blog and the recipe as well. Thanks
I want to make this recipe, but don’t have a grill.
Would I be able to make it in the oven?
I’m thinking add a little dill to the rice and make some tzatziki for dipping. Will be making this soon. Thank you.
This would also be very good with couscous or noodles!
I totally agree Susan.
how many does this feed
FOURTEEN YEARS?! a) I feel old and b) We really have a lot to celebrate! Skewer me :)
Lisa @ Wine & Glue
I am SO EXCITED for the movie that just reading your post gives me the chills and makes me giddy! I watched the original about 80 gagillion times. And this recipe! It looks like such a perfect dinner!
Is this fresh oregano in this recipe?
Hi Mitzi, the oregano is dried. It’s more intense that way.
This has me getting excited for summer dishes!! The more grilling we can do the better.
You had me at pork. And souvlaki! And My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which I can’t wait to see!
LOVE that movie! It’s so funny!
Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet
Cheers to this amazing recipe and to a great new movie coming out! So excited about everything happening in this post!! :D
Liz @ The Lemon Bowl
I love everything about this post!! I can’t wait for the movie to come out and I am obsessed with this lemony souvlaki!
Laura (Tutti Dolci)
Souvlaki is the best and I love that side of lemon rice. This has to be dinner tonight!