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Lamb and Halloumi Burger Wraps

Lamb and Halloumi Burger Wraps

Lamb and Halloumi Burgers

 

7 oz. halloumi cheese

16 oz. ground lamb

4 T. mint chopped

salt

pepper

2 cups red cabbage chopped

Boston lettuce 4 large leaves

2 T. olive oil

1 T. apple cider vinegar

4 tsp mayonnaise

 

Grate half of the halloumi cheese, saving the other half for later. In a large bowl add the grated halloumi, ground lamb, mint, salt, and pepper to taste. Combine the mixture well with your hands and form into 4 burger patties. Pre-heat a large skillet pan on a stove set to medium-high, then add in the burgers. Turn the patties occasionally and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Meanwhile, prepare the red cabbage slaw by thinly slicing the red cabbage. Place the cabbage in a bowl then coat well with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Slice up the remaining halloumi cheese. Once the burgers have cooked through, add the slices of cheese into the skillet. Turn frequently until the cheese browns on both sides. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Assemble your burgers with a lettuce leaf, burger, red cabbage, halloumi slice and mayonnaise.

Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

These Greek cigar-shaped meatballs are known as soutzoukakia smyrneika. The spicing reflects the dish’s origins in Smyrna, a former Greek settlement and now the Turkish city of Izmir. Soutzoukakia often are made with beef or a combination of beef and pork, but we preferred the subtle sweetness and tender texture of all-pork meatballs. An instant thermometer is the best way to check for doneness; alternatively, cut open a meatball—if done, the center should no longer be pink. Soutzoukakia often is served with tiganites patates (potatoes fried in olive oil), but roasted potatoes, crusty bread or a rice or orzo pilaf also are delicious accompaniments.

 

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

1 large egg

1 pound ground pork

2 tsp. ground cumin

3 medium garlic cloves, 2 finely grated, 1 thinly sliced

¾ tsp. red pepper flakes, divided

2 T. finely chopped fresh oregano, divided

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

128-ounce can crushed tomatoes

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. honey

 

In a medium bowl, combine the panko, egg and ½ cup water, then mix until homogeneous. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the panko to hydrate. Add the pork, cumin, the grated garlic, ½ tsp. pepper flakes, 1 T. oregano, 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. black pepper, then mix well. Divide into 12 portions (each about a scant ¼ cup), then shape each into a 2½-inch-long cigar shape. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 2 T. of oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook without disturbing until browned on the bottoms, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the meatballs and cook until browned on the second sides, another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, transfer the meatballs to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside. Return the skillet to medium-high and add the sliced garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and starting to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining ¼ tsp. pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, cinnamon, honey, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper, then bring to a simmer. Place the meatballs in the pan and return to a simmer. Cover and simmer, undisturbed, until the centers of the meatballs reach 160°F, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the meatballs and sauce to a serving dish. Drizzle with additional oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1 T. oregano.

ρεβύθια (Revithia, Greek Chickpea Stew)

ρεβύθια (Revithia, Greek Chickpea Stew)

ρεβύθια (Revithia, Greek Chickpea Stew)

 

Traditionally this is a Greek Sunday soup. It’s made in an earthenware pot whose lid is sealed with dough and placed on the dying embers of Saturday night’s fire. It sits and cooks in the low heat overnight and is ready to serve after church the next morning. That’s the dream version! Today’s version is made on the stovetop and it’s much less rustic this way.

500 gram dried chickpeas

water (as needed)

1 large onion (peeled and chopped)

1 C. extra-virgin olive oil

2 clove garlic (peeled and minced)

2 tsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

3 T. chopped fresh oregano leaves

1 bay leaf

lemon wedges (for serving)

 

Place the chickpeas in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover them by about an inch. Allow them to soak overnight.  When ready to cook drain and rinse the chickpeas then place them in a soup pot that has a lid. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and olive oil followed by enough fresh water to cover by about 2 inches. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat then lower the heat to very low. It should not bubble aggressively. The heat is correct when tiny, gentle bubbles appear. Use a simmer plate if you have one. Cover the pot and cook the mixture for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Once the chickpeas are cooked and very soft remove the lid and taste for seasoning. Adjust as needed and cook the stew uncovered for about one more hour. It should thicken somewhat and get a silky looking broth, but the beans should stay intact. Use your judgment as to when it looks done. Cooking times for dried beans can vary greatly. Serve warm with lemon wedges on the side.

Braised chicken with lemon, oregano & olives

Braised chicken with lemon, oregano & olives

Braised chicken with lemon, oregano & olives

600g boneless chicken thighs, skin on

1 lemon

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. butter, cold

1 cup chicken stock (check gluten-free if required)

1 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 tsp. fresh oregano leaves, plus extra to serve

1/2 tsp. chopped thyme leaves

1/2 cup of your favorite black olives

1/2 T. honey

1 tsp. sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Boiled rice or soft polenta, to serve (use rice for gluten-free)

 

Cut the chicken thigh pieces in half. Cut about a quarter off one end of the lemon then slice very finely, stopping about a quarter from the other end. Discard the two end pieces and remove any pips. Heat oil and half the butter in a shallow pan over high heat. Brown chicken on both sides in batches, remove from pan. Drain half the oil from pan and discard. Add the stock and lemon slices to the pan and bring to a simmer, then return chicken to pan. Cover and simmer very gently for about 12 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked. Add parsley, oregano, thyme and olives to pan. Increase heat, remove chicken and lemon, and simmer sauce until reduced by half. Add remaining butter to sauce, remove from heat, and quickly start whisking. The sauce will change color and thicken slightly. Stir in the honey, salt and pepper then return chicken and lemon to pan. Simmer for 1 minute. To serve: Check seasoning, garnish with oregano leaves and serve with rice or polenta.

Paidaka (Grilled Lamb Cutlets)

Paidaka (Grilled Lamb Cutlets)

2 ¼ lb. Lamb Cutlets, untrimmed
1/4 C. Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Lemons
1 tsp. dried Oregano
1 Garlic clove, crushed
Salt and Pepper
Alatopiperigano for serving (salt, pepper, oregano mix)
Lemon Wedges, for serving

Rinse cutlets and place in a dish. In a small bowl mix the oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon 4 tsp. over the cutlets, massage into meat, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for an hour. Preheat grill to hot. Grill 4 inches from coal until deep brown and crusty looking here and there on both sides, but not dried out, basting often with remaining marinade. Remove to a platter, scatter with alatopiperigano and serve with lemon wedges. For a greek meal, the table should include tzatziki, fava, greek salad, grilled bread, and some spicy feta (tirokaferi).

Kourabiedes (κουραμπιές) (Greek Celebration Cookies)

Kourabiedes (κουραμπιές) (Greek Celebration Cookies)

1 1/3 C. sifted plain/all-purpose flour
2/3 C. almond flour/almond meal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. butter
1/3 C. icing confectioners’ sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. brandy
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. finely chopped blanched almonds
1/2 C. icing/confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Sift flour and almond meal with baking powder and set aside. Cream butter and gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolk, brandy and vanilla. Beat again until very light and stir in finely chopped almonds. Blend in flour mixture, mix to form a soft, smooth dough. Chill 60 minutes or until it can be handled easily. Preheat oven to 325f/170c. Shape level Tablespoonfuls of dough into crescent-shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until light…do not brown. Cool on rack and dust very generously with confectioners’ sugar. Ensure you dust the whole cookie not just the top. Notes: Don’t skimp on the icing sugar that you dust these little beauties with – the final dusting is equally as important an ingredient as any.

Greek Pastitsio

Greek Pastitsio

8 ounces dried elbow or other small tube noodle
8 ounces ground lamb or lean ground beef
1 14 -ounce jar spaghetti sauce with onion and garlic
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 cup milk
1 1.8-ounce envelope white sauce mix
2 slightly beaten eggs
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (1 ounce)
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup grated kasseri cheese or provolone cheese (1 ounce)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Set aside. In large skillet, cook ground meat until brown. Drain off fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce, cinnamon and fennel seed; set aside. In medium saucepan, slowly stir milk into white sauce mix. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Gradually stir half of the white sauce into eggs; return all of the mixture to saucepan. Stir in feta cheese and nutmeg. To assemble, layer half of the cooked pasta in a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Spread meat mixture over pasta; top with remaining pasta. Evenly spread white sauce mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with kasseri cheese. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 35 minutes or until set. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings. To make Pastitsio ahead, assemble the casserole as directed (do not bake). Cover with freezer wrap, label, and freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, unwrap baking dish; discard freezer wrap. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until mixture is heated through.

Greek Honey and Cheese Pie (Melopita)

Greek Honey and Cheese Pie (Melopita)

4melopita 1/2 T. sugar, divided into 3 1/2 and 1 T.
2 extra large eggs
2 T. flour
4 1/2 T. honey, preferably wild flower
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. brandy
18 oz soft mizithra cheese or ricotta
1 tsp. cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 350-deg F. Butter a 10 inch ceramic pie dish or tart pan. Beat 3 1/2 T. sugar and eggs in a large bowl until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in flour. Add honey and beat until well combined. Add lemon juice and brandy and mix to combine. Add cheese to bowl and beat until mixture has blended, about 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake until golden and just firm in the middle, 30 minutes. Sprinkle warm cake with extra 1 T. sugar and cinnamon.

Veal Lemonato

Veal Lemonato

thumb_6002 large onions, sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 pounds boneless veal round or shank, in a tied rolled roast
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock or water, or more as needed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound medium potatoes, quartered
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

In a heavy non-stick pan—one that holds the meat snugly—sauté the onions in most of the olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the veal and brown on all sides. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, then add the stock or water, sugar, lemon juice, and garlic. Simmer for 45 minutes, turning the meat and adding more stock or water if needed. The sauce should cover the meat by two-thirds. While the veal is simmering, heat the remaining small amount of oil in a heavy skillet and fry the potatoes until they are golden brown. Don’t worry about cooking them through—they will finish cooking with the veal. Remove the meat from the pan and carefully slice it. Return the meat slices to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and continue simmering for another 40 minutes, adding a little stock or water if needed. Add the potatoes to the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the veal is very tender and potatoes are soft. Serve hot.

Sautéed Feta w/ Piquant Relishes

Sautéed Feta w/ Piquant Relishes

2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) Athenos Feta Cheese
All-purpose flour
Olive oil
1 lemon, optional

Cut the feta into either slices or triangles that are ~1/2″ thick (cut into thirds, so that you have 3 “slabs”, then cut each of those down the center diagonally to get 6 triangles or in half lengthwise to get 6 slices). Pour some flour onto a plate. Dredge each piece of feta in flour, shaking to remove excess and set aside for a moment. Place a large cast-iron (or nonstick) skillet over medium-high heat. Pour on a thin layer of olive oil, and once it is screaming hot, add a few feta pieces to the pan (being careful not to overcrowd) and brown for ~1 minute per side. If using, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the slices once they are browned and transfer to a serving plate. Spoon a bit of each of the sauces over the cheese to serve.

Sautéed Feta Cheese
Parsley, Raisin, Caper, and Pine Nut Relish

2 T. golden raisins, coarsely chopped
1 T. capers, drained and coarsely chopped
1½ anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 T. pine nuts, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine everything, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sundried Tomato, Walnut, Olive, and Oregano Relish

~8 sundried tomatoes, dry pack, coarsely chopped
2 T. kalamata olives
1 T. purple raisins, coarsely chopped
1½ anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 T. walnuts, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Combine everything, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spanakopita (Spinach Pies)

Spanakopita (Spinach Pies)

picKVzuRM5 tablespoons olive oil
1½ cups chopped green onions with some green
1 pound 9 ounces spinach leaves [about 2 bunches], washed, drained and shredded
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill (include some stalks)
salt
7 ounces feta, coarsely shredded
2 eggs, lightly beaten
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper

27 sheets of phyllo pastry* final dimensions 9×10 inches
olive oil, for brushing

To make the filling, choose a nonstick pot that is large enough to take all the spinach. Add the oil and put over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened. Add the spinach and a little salt, and cook, covered, until the spinach wilts, turning it through a couple of times. Flick in a little water if necessary, but there should be enough coming from the spinach. Now uncover and simmer until the spinach softens and most of the water has evaporated. Remove to a bowl to cool. Add the dill, feta, eggs, nutmeg and a few grinds of pepper. Mix thoroughly and taste a little for salt.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 12¾ x 8-inch baking dish. Cut your phyllo sheets and keep them covered with a dish cloth to prevent them from drying out. Now you will have to work quickly so that the pastry doesn’t dry and crack, keeping the phyllo you are not working with covered with a dish cloth. Lay 1 phyllo sheet flat on a work surface and brush it well with olive oil. Lay another sheet neatly on top, brush it with oil and repeat once more, so that you have 3 layers. Now dollop 2 heaped tablespoons of filling along one short end, leaving a border of about an inch. Drag the filling into an even line, then roll up the pastry fairly tightly into a cigar shape starting from the spinach end, making one full turn, then turn and tuck the sides over and continue rolling. Brush the surface with oil. Make 8 more rolls in this way and as they are finished, arrange them in the dish side by side so they all fit touching in a row running from one short side to the opposite side, like soldiers all lined up. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. Cool a dash before serving, as these are best eaten warm.

*The dimensions of commercial phyllo vary from brand to brand, so you will need to work out the number of phyllo sheets you require in the beginning, according to the makers dimensions.

Koulouri (Sesame Bread Rings)

Koulouri (Sesame Bread Rings)

069a8216f75f1af16b94dcb4e972b0f71 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
6 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ Cup olive oil

Flour paste

3 teaspoons bread flour
3 tablespoons water
1 cup sesame seeds

Crumble the fresh yeast or sprinkle the dried into a bowl. Add the sugar, 10½ ounces lukewarm water and a handful of flour. Whisk to smooth any lumps. Leave until it starts to activate and bubble, about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the flour, the salt and oil and mix with a wooden spoon until a loose dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 7 to 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and spongy. Wipe out the bowl with an oiled paper towel and put the dough in. Cover with plastic wrap, then a dish cloth, and leave in a warm spot for about 2 hours, until puffed and doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 400° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. For the flour paste, mix the flour and water in a bowl until smooth. Knead the dough briefly, then divide it into equal parts. Roll, stretch and coax each piece into a thin rope about 16 inches long (Make the first 6 and while baking, prepare the next batch). Brush each rope lightly with the paste, and sprinkle sesame seeds all over, then roll through the seeds that have dropped on your work surface so that they’re covered all over. Turn each rope on itself, forming a ring, pressing the ends together to seal. Place on the baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Sesame seeds that have fallen onto the trays can be used elsewhere.

Peppers Stuffed with Feta (Piperies Yemistes me Feta)

Peppers Stuffed with Feta (Piperies Yemistes me Feta)

cq5dam_web_266_2004 small red and green sweet peppers, about 1 1/2 ounces each and 4 inches long
7 ounces feta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, optional

Cut the tops off the peppers and carefully remove the seeds, keeping the peppers whole. Crumble the feta and stuff tightly into the peppers, then replace the tops. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the peppers over high heat (propping the peppers up against the sides of the skillet so the filling doesn’t ooze out), gently turning them over, until they are lightly browned on the outside, and the feta is melted a bit but not running out (the hats may fall off, but replace when serving). Serve whole or cut into thick slices, with the oregano crumbled over the top, if desired.

Tomatokeftedes

Tomatokeftedes

DSC_00532 punnets small tomatoes (approximately 400 grams)
½ cup red onions, finely chopped (or spring onions)
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped fresh continental parsley
1 tsp oregano (you can also use fresh thyme instead)
Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste
100g plain flour
Extra virgin olive oil, for frying

Rinse the tomatoes well and dry them. Place them in a large bowl and pinch them so that the pulp comes out and you are left with a smooth pulp. Add the onions, mint, basil, parsley, oregano, sea salt, and cracked pepper and mix well. Add the flour gradually until you reach a thick but moist sticky paste. Do not make the paste dry. Pour some olive oil in a large frying pan or wok to a depth of 3cm. When the oil is hot but not smoking, carefully drop in tablespoons of the mixture, and fry, turning once, so that both sides become a light golden colour. These are best served immediately with Greek yoghurt.

Revithokeftedes

Revithokeftedes

th-syntagi-revithokeftedes-kw1/2 kilo chickpeas, preferably without skin
1 big onion or 4 – 5 spring onions, finely cut
1 cup of parsley, finely cut
2 spoonfuls of dried mint or fresh
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
Salt
Pepper
2 eggs (optional)
2 tablespoonful of flour
Extra flour for dredging
Olive oil for frying

Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Drain, add fresh water and bring to a boil. Skim all the foam that forms with a slotted spoon and then drain. Put them in the pot again and add water and remove any chickpeas skins which will float on the surface. Put them back on the heat and when they boil add salt and simmer until they become soft. This may take 1 – 2 hours depending on the quality of the chickpeas. Drain and mash with a fork. I do not mash them in a food processor as we want some small bits of chickpeas in the patties. Grate the onion or finely cut the spring onions and the parsley, add all the remaining ingredients except the flour for dredging and mix well. Shape them into round patties, dredge them in flour and fry in hot olive oil. Remove on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil and serve as a side dish.

Saganaki with Honey & Sesame

Saganaki with Honey & Sesame

2 T. Honey
4 ½ oz. ¾” thick Kasseri Cheese
1 Egg, lightly Beaten
Flour, for coating
Olive Oil, for frying
1 tsp. black sesame Seeds

Heat honey gently in small saucepot. Keep warm over low heat. Pour oil into a small nonstick skillet to a depth of ½ inch. Put egg in one flat bowl and flour in another. Heat oil over medium high heat until a bread cube dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds. Dip cheese into the egg, then pat it in flour to coat well. Add to oil and fry until golden on both sides. Spoon / splash oil onto the sides to make sure they are fried golden too. When crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, remove to paper towel to drain. Serve hot, cut up into squares, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Galaktoboureko

Galaktoboureko

Galaktoboureko-Greek-Custard-Pie-with-Syrup16 cups milk
1 cup fine semolina
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Lemon rind from 1 lemon, finely grated
1 package phyllo (about 10-14 sheets)
2 sticks (1 cup) + 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Citrus Syrup:
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Lemon juice from ½ a lemon, about ¼ cup

Put milk, ½ cup sugar, vanilla, semolina and 1 Tablespoon butter in a sauce pan on medium heat. When it starts heating, keep stirring until it becomes thick like pudding. Take it off the fire and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Beat eggs with the rest (1/4 cup) of the sugar and stir it in to milk mixture. Stir the lemon peel in. To make the pie, the phyllo should be room temperature or slightly cooler. Open the package right before using it so the sheets do not get too dry. Melt two sticks of butter and start by brushing the butter on the bottom of your pan. In Greece, they use a large round pan about 16 inches in diameter. I used a lasagna dish, which works well (about 10 x 13 x 2). If you only have a traditional 9 x 13, you may not fit all the custard in the dish. Lay down about 5-6 sheets phyllo or half of your package. Lightly press the sheets into the sides and corner and let the edges overlap on top. You will fold them over later. Do not skimp on the butter! You should use half on the bottom layers and half on the top. Pour the slightly cooled custard on the bottom sheets and spread to the sides. Then layer another sheet on top. Continue brushing butter between layers until you have used all the phyllo, approximately 6 sheets on bottom and 6 on top. Then, brush butter on the overlapping sides and roll the edges down creating a “rim” around the edge of the pan. Liberally brush the top and the edge with the rest of your butter. Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees or until the top is light brown all over. While the pie is baking make the syrup by boiling the sugar, water and juice together for about 5 minutes. When you remove the pie from the oven, let it cool for about 15 minutes. Then, pour the syrup over the entire pie. Over time, it will seep in to the pie. Wait at least an hour before serving. Store the pie in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and continue to enjoy!

Reithada (Baked Chickpeas)

Reithada (Baked Chickpeas)

cookbookreviewGreekKitchenschickpeas11 pound 2 ounces dried chickpeas
1 T. all-purpose flour
2 onions, well chopped
2 bay leaves
6 T. olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
best quality olive oil for serving
lemon quarters for serving, optional

Put the chickpeas and flour in a bowl, cover with plenty of water and soak overnight. Preheat oven to 400 F. Drain the chickpeas, rinse and put into a large round ceramic pot with a good fitting lid. (I used my Dutch oven.) Cover with 4 cups of water (I used 5 1/2 cups) and add the onions, bay leaves and olive oil. Stir a few times to distribute the onion, and then put the lid on. Bake in the oven for 2 hours. Lower the temperature to 350 F and remove the pot from the oven. The contents should be nice and bubbly. Season well with salt and pepper and mix. Return the pot, still covered, to the oven for a further 2 hours, when the chickpeas will be lovely and soft with a little of the thick liquid left. Turn off the oven and leave the covered pot inside to cool for about 1 hour. Taste for salt and pepper, then serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, if you like.

Greek Spinach Balls with Minted Dill Yogurt Sauce

Greek Spinach Balls with Minted Dill Yogurt Sauce

img_202832 pounds fresh spinach
1 cup chopped scallions
2 tsp. olive oil
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 T. chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice (or juice of one large lemon should do it)
1 cup bread crumbs (you can make your own if needed)
Salt and pepper to taste
sesame seeds to coat, about one cup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, steam the spinach a few minutes until just wilted (only a few minutes). Drain and roughly chop the spinach. In a small saucepan, add the oil and sauté the scallions for about 5 minutes, until just starting to brown. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except sesame seeds. Use spray oil and coat a large baking sheet. But the sesame seeds in a bowl. Use your hands to make small snowball-sized balls with the mixture, then roll the spinach balls in the sesame seeds to coat. Arrange on the baking sheet without touching. This will make approx. 10 spinach balls. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Minted Dill Yogurt Dressing

1 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp. minced scallions (or red onion)
1 T. minced fresh dill
1 tsp. minced fresh mint (or 1 T. dried mint)
1 minced garlic clove
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

Mix everything.

Spanakorizo “a la Minute”

Spanakorizo “a la Minute”

e7882c4d3c31873839524d9734766cfd1 cup of long grain rice, rinsed in cold water
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 scallions, chopped
2 1/2 cups of hot vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 cups of baby spinach (rinsed)
2 heaping T. of chopped fresh dill
1 T. chopped fresh mint
Salt to taste
Pre-heated 400F oven
Wedges of lemon, optional

Rinse your rice in cold water and place in your baking vessel and reserve. In a small skillet, add a glug of olive oil and gently sauté your chopped scallions until soft and translucent. Add your sautéed scallions to the rice, along with the 1/4 cup olive oil, stock and black pepper. Stir to incorporate. Place in your pre-heated oven (uncovered) and bake for approx. 30-40 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the rice from the oven and add the baby spinach, chopped dill and mint and toss until the spinach has wilted and the herbs are entirely incorporated. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and keep warm. Serve as a side with chicken, seafood or lamb. Offer your guests some lemon if they would like to squeeze a bit on their rice.

Tahinosoupa (Tahini Soup)

Tahinosoupa (Tahini Soup)

000TahiniSoup12 tsp. sesame seeds 1/2 tsp. paprika Sprinkling of ground chile, optional 1 tsp. grated lemon zest About 5 1/2 oz. fresh egg-free noodles (hilopites) or 2 3/4 oz. dried 1/2 cup tahini Juice of 1 1/2 lemons Olive oil for serving Freshly ground black pepper Toast the sesame seeds lightly in a small dry skillet. Add the paprika and the chile, if using, and cook briefly, taking care not to burn it. Stir in the lemon zest and transfer to a small bowl. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot with some salt. Add the hilopites (noodles) and boil until just tender, about 2 minutes, or according to the package instructions if dried. Meanwhile, put the tahini and lemon juice into a bowl, add a ladleful of the boiling hilopites water and whisk until smooth. When the hilopites are ready, pour the tahini mixture in (and the chickpeas) and stir gently over the heat for a couple of minutes. Taste for salt. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, a scattering of the sesame-paprika mixture and a grind of pepper.

Beef with Hilopites

Beef with Hilopites

2404033781_ec95990ba01 T. olive oil
1 lb. beef, cut into 1″ pieces
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried or about 3 T. fresh parsley
3 T. tomato paste
3 cups water
1/4 heaping tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 lb. hilopites
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a deep saute pan. Season the beef with salt and pepper and then add to the oil to brown, in batches if necessary. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic and parsley (if you are using dried) and saute an additional minute before adding the tomato paste. Cook off the tomato paste for about 30 seconds, and then add the water. Be sure to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then add the beef back in. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour or really as long as you’d like (the longer you simmer, the more tender the beef gets). Add the hilopites and simmer, uncovered, until done, stirring occasionally. If you are using fresh parsley add it around the same time as you add the hilopites.

Feta Cheese in Phyllo With Mastiha, Sesame, Thyme & Honey

Feta Cheese in Phyllo With Mastiha, Sesame, Thyme & Honey

680a217029bdc4c6ae98cb54739072f81 slab of Epiros Feta cheese
2 T. of butter, melted
a sprinkle of ground mastiha
1 sheet of phyllo pastry
1 tsp. of olive oil
black and white sesame seeds
drizzle of Attiki honey
fresh thyme leaves

Take your slab of Feta cheese out of the container and pat dry (or slice evenly to about 1/2 inch thick) and set aside. Now place sheet of phyllo on your work surface and brush the entire surface with melted butter then fold over and brush the top layer again. Place the slab of Feta at one end of the phyllo (about two inches in from the edge) and sprinkle the ground mastiha over the cheese. Now fold the short end of phyllo over the cheese followed by folding the two sides in towards the cheese. Now roll-up the phyllo until it has been completed wrapped to form a phyllo packet. Brush the seam where the end of the phyllo sheet ends and brush the remaining butter over the rest of the phyllo packet. Place heavy skillet or cast iron pan on your stovetop over medium heat and add tsp. of olive oil. Once hot, gently place your phyllo packet in the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes a side or until just golden. Use spatula to carefully flip and fry the other side until just golden. You may serve “saganaki” style in the pan or transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with sesame seeds and fresh thyme leaves. Serve as a meze with an Ouzo (or tsipouro) on ice and a squeeze of lemon juice (optional).

Fava (Puréed Yellow Split Peas)

Fava (Puréed Yellow Split Peas)

fava_170w_170hFava is an easy dish to make and its bright yellow color is a pretty addition to any table. It can be served as an appetizer, meze, or a side dish. Fava goes particularly well with dark leafy greens, salty dishes, and fish. Look for the peas at a Greek grocer, or try an Indian market and look for yellow daal (moong).

 

1 lb 2 oz yellow split peas

1 small red onion, peeled

2 garlic cloves, peeled

About 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

olive oil for serving

1 large red onion, sliced, for serving

handful of capers with leaves for serving

 

Rinse the fava, then put into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Drain and give the fava a shower in a colander. Rinse out the pot, put the fava back in and add four cups of hot water. Bring to a boil, add the whole onion and garlic and simmer, partly covered, for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer over low heat, stirring from time to time, for about 30 minutes more or until all the water has been absorbed and it starts glooping on the surface. Stir in the salt to taste. Discard the onion and garlic cloves, and pulse the fava, with a hand-held blender if you have one, or in a food processor until smooth like soft mashed potato–much will have collapsed on its own and it may not even be necessary to purée. Leave it to sit for a bit, then spoon into a serving dish. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the top. Serve warm with the onion slices, capers, and a grinding of pepper. Note: If you have made it beforehand, you will need to add some water and beat it to thin out again to a soft creamy mash, as it will have set in a clump.

Griddled Haloumi with Caramelized Fennel, Shallots and Parsley

Griddled Haloumi with Caramelized Fennel, Shallots and Parsley

halloumi16oz. halloumi cheese

2 large bulbs of fennel

5 shallots

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

a bunch of flat-leaf parsley

Slice the shallots and the fennel bulb fairly thinly. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and sauté over medium heat. A little bit of browning is fine, but don’t let them burn. Once all the liquid is absorbed, add a splash of white wine to the pan and continue to cook over medium heat until they are soft and pliable. Allow to cool. Wash and roughly chop the parsley, then toss together with the vegetables in a mixture of about 3/4 olive oil and 1/4 lemon juice. Divide between 6 serving plates. Slice the cheese into fairly thick slices so that there are at least 12 slices. Heat an oiled griddle pan (or indoor grill) until very hot, then fry/grill the halloumi slices. Lift carefully with a spatula and be warned that they may stick! Turn when you have good grill marks on the bottom and repeat the process with the other side of each slice.   Top each serving of caramelized vegetables with 2 halloumi slices, garnish with more flat-leaf parsley and serve.

Greek Chicken Thighs

Greek Chicken Thighs

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2 tsp. olive oil, divided

1-2 shallots, sliced into thin rings

1 clove of garlic, minced

6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of any fat

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Garlic powder, to taste (not pictured)

Dried oregano, to taste

Handful of grape tomatoes

Small handful of kalamata olives, sliced in half

1/2-1 lemon juiced

Zest of one lemon

2 T. fresh parsley, chopped (divided)

2 T. low fat feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat 1/2 tsp. of olive oil in an OVEN SAFE skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently until soft and tender (about 2 minutes), add garlic and cook for an additional 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining olive oil to the same skillet and turn the heat up to medium high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano to taste on each side. Once the pan is very hot, add the seasoned chicken breast to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown on one side, flip the chicken and add the grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, shallot and garlic mixture, lemon zest, lemon juice and half the parsley then season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Place in the oven and roast for 9-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and the feta cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Melopita

Melopita

melopitaFor the Filling:

1 lb. soft Myzithra or Ricotta cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
zest of one lemon, grated
3 T. flour
1/4 cup sugar
Ground cinnamon and more honey for serving

For the crust: (You can also substitute a prepared pie shell)

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 T. brandy or cognac
2 T. ice water
8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in to 1/4 inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make crust in Food Processor: Add flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Pulse a few times to mix. Add chilled butter pieces and process until crumbly, like wet sand. Add egg yolk, vanilla, brandy, and 1 T. ice water. Process until dough pulls together and forms a ball away from the sides. Add an additional T. of water if it seems too dry. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and flatten dough in to a round disk. Chill dough while you prepare the filling.

To make the crust by hand: In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine. Add the butter pieces and using two forks or a pastry blender, cut the butter in to the flour. (You can also use your hands for this.) The mixture should resemble coarse sand when the butter is incorporated fully. Add egg yolk, vanilla, brandy, and water and mix to incorporate, kneading dough into a smooth ball. Flatten in to a round disk and chill while mixing the filling.

Make the Filling: To a medium sized bowl add Myzithra or Ricotta cheese, eggs, honey, lemon zest, flour, and sugar. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

Using a rolling pin, roll out your dough to the approximate size of your baking pan. I use a 10-inch tart circle with a removable bottom. You can substitute a spring form pan, a round cake pan, or even a pie dish. Lightly grease the pan’s bottom and sides. Your dough should be large enough to push up the sides of your pan. The easiest way to transfer the dough from the counter to the pan is to roll it back on to your rolling pin and then unroll it over the pan.
Press the dough in to the sides and bottom of the pan. Add filling and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the filling sets (it won’t jiggle in the center) and it begins to turn a golden brown color. Baking times will vary according to the size you choose to make. For a 10-inch tart, it should take around 40 minutes. A deeper, 9-inch pie plate could take up to 50 minutes. Be sure to monitor your pie after 35 minutes of baking time. Serve on a plate drizzled with honey and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Melopita Honey Cake

Melopita Honey Cake

2 eggs
3 ½ T. Sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ½ T. Honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brandy
1 lb. 2 oz. soft mizithra or ricotta cheese (try half ricotta and ½ mascarpone)
1 tablespoon sugar, extra
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C, gas 4). Butter and flour a 10 inch ovenproof round ceramic dish. Put the eggs and sugar into a bowl and beat using electric beaters until voluminous, creamy and thick. Beat in the flour. Add the honey, lemon juice and brandy, and tip in the mizithra. Whisk well until its thick, creamy and ribbony. Scrape into the baking dish and rock it to distribute evenly. Bake until a bit golden, about 30 minutes. Scatter the extra sugar and sieve the cinnamon over. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate as it is also good cold.

Kokkinisto (Reddened)

Kokkinisto (Reddened)

ALL PICS AND REDDENED 14496 tablespoons olive oil
6 (9-ounce) slices beef for stewing (I used a 4lb. chuck roast)
Salt
1 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I used about 1/4 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
3 thyme sprigs

Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven and fry the beef until deep golden on both sides. Salt each side as it’s done. Remove the beef and set aside. Add the rest of the olive oil (3 tablespoons) and saute the onion until softened. Add the wine and cook until it has almost evaporated. Add the crushed tomatoes and the paste, the cinnamon and parsley, and season with a little salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes, smoothing out any big bits of tomato with a wooden spoon. Scrape over the beef. Fill the tomato can with water and add this to the pot. Add the thyme, cover with the lid and bake for about 2 hours, turning the meat a couple of times. Add an extra 1/2 cup of water, then bake for 30 minutes more. At the end of this time, the beef should be very tender and the sauce thick and jammy but abundant. If necessary, add a little hot water toward the end. Remove from the oven and serve. Note: I cooked my roast for 2 hours covered and realized that the sauce wasn’t getting as jammy as I’d like it to. I removed the lid and cooked it for at least another hour and the sauce did achieve a jam-like consistency. Next time I might cook the roast uncovered for the entire time and see what happens.

Kotopoulo Lemonato (Greek Chicken Adobo)

Kotopoulo Lemonato (Greek Chicken Adobo)

202551.1 kg whole chicken, cut into eight pieces
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
6 lemon, juice only
¼ c vinegar, white wine
Salt to taste
Black peppercorn, freshly ground to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
½ T.oregano leaves
½ kg potatoes, peeled and wedges
Feta cheese, diced

In a heavy bottom saucepan, arrange chicken halves in a single layer. Place potatoes in between chicken cuts. Fill pan with water until half of the chicken. Add garlic, lemon, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce to a simmer until liquid becomes half. Continue simmering covered until chicken is browned. Top with feta cheese.

Hortopita – Greek Greens Pie with Feta Cheese

Hortopita – Greek Greens Pie with Feta Cheese

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7 cups chopped fresh spinach
3 cups chopped chard
1 cup sliced leeks
¾ cup chopped spring onion
¼ cup myronia (wild chervil)
¼ cup kafkalithres (Mediterranean hartwort)
2-3 tablespoons dill
2-3 tablespoons mint
3-4 ounces crumbled feta
1 egg
salt/pepper
½ cup olive oil
6 sheets of phyllo dough
1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Wash and chop all the vegetables. Dry well. Heat a pot with 1-2 teaspoon olive oil on low to medium heat, add the greens and heat until spinach is wilted- about 3 minutes and liquids have evaporated. Place spinach in colander and let it drain and cool. Once cool, squeeze the liquids out with your hands, place in large bowl. In a small bow beat the egg and add crumbled feta and a bit of salt and pepper for taste, add to greens and mix well. Take a round 8-9 inch pan and brush with olive oil. Spread a phyllo sheet and cut in half. Place phyllo in pan scrunching it so it fits in the pan, this will make for thicker and crispier base. Brush with olive oil and continue until you have 6 layers (using 3 sheets cut in half). Empty the greens mixture in the pan, spreading evenly. Cover with 6 layers of phyllo using the same technique as before. After placing the last phyllo sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Score the top phyllo layers in 6-8 pieces, do not cut all the way through. Bake in the lower level of the oven for about 45 minutes. I usually place the pie all the way on the bottom directly on the oven for the last 10 minutes for a crunchy crust. Remove and let it cool. It can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.

Tiropita

Tiropita

1 lb. Feta cheese, coarsely shredded
7 oz. Ricotta
â…“ C. whole milk
27 sheets phyllo dough (~9″x10″)
Olive oil

IMG_3319

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Mix and mash feta, ricotta, and milk together in a small bowl. Lay phyllo dough out flat and keep loosely covered with a damp cloth or towel between uses. On a large cutting board (or similar work surface), lay one sheet of phyllo dough out horizontally. Brush with olive oil. Repeat with two more layers of phyllo and olive oil. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling along one short end, leaving about an inch border on each side. Spread filling in an even line. Roll it up fairly tightly, starting with a roll to cover filling, then folding in the inch overhang and continuing to roll. Brush the entire surface with more olive oil. Arrange in prepared pan (seam side up) and repeat with remaining phyllo to make 8 more rolls. Bake for ~30 minutes or until golden. Cool for just a bit until you’re able to handle. Enjoy warm.

Olive Bread (Eliopsomo)

Olive Bread (Eliopsomo)

olive-bread2 tsp. active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
5 1/2 oz. warm water
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. Olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1/2 cup drained pitted Kalamata olives, halved
1 tsp. dried oregano
small spring of dried oregano for the top

Scatter the yeast into a large bowl. Add the sugar and 5 1/2 oz warm water and leave to activate and bubble for about 10 minutes. Add the flour, salt, and olive oil and mix first with a wooden spoon, then your hands to get a soft dough. Knead for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and spongy. Wipe out the bowl with a paper towel and put the dough in. Make a cross on the dough by pressing with the edge of your hand (to bless the dough). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a dish cloth and put in a warm spot for a couple of hours to rise. Pat the olives dry. Put them in a bowl with the oregano and toss well. When the dough has risen and is double in size, knead it again, this time working in the olives and oregano until they are evenly distributed. You might need to use a little extra flour, as the olives will add some oil to the dough. Shape into an oval loaf, making sure a few olives are showing on the outside. Put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the bread with oil and if you have the sprig of oregano, press this onto the top. Cover with a dish cloth and leave in a warm spot for about 1 hour to rise again. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake the bread for 30 minutes, until it is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Piperies me Tyri: Spicy Stuffed Peppers with Feta

Piperies me Tyri: Spicy Stuffed Peppers with Feta

peppers_cheese_170wh18-20 bull’s horn, Anaheim, or Cubanelle peppers
1 1/3 pounds of feta cheese
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 heaping tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
2 small hot peppers (of your choice), finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Bread

Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C). Cut a cap off the tops of peppers, and scoop out seeds, taking care not to break or tear the pepper. In a bowl, mash the feta with a fork until soft. Add oil, parsley, hot peppers, salt, and pepper and mix until very well combined. Using a small spoon, stuff the cheese mixture into the peppers (pressing down with the handle of the spoon to completely fill) to 1/2 inch from the top. Press a small piece of bread into the pepper to keep the cheese filling from melting out during cooking. Place the caps back on each pepper. Lay the peppers in a lightly greased or nonstick baking pan and roast for 20 minutes or until they soften in a 390°F (200°C) preheated oven.

Alatopiperigano

Alatopiperigano

A simple Greek seasoning, often used on potatoes.

4 tsp. Salt
8 tsp. dried Oregano
1 tsp. fresh cracked Pepper

Mix all together and keep in tight container.

Fried Tomato Fritters (Tomatokeftedes)

Fried Tomato Fritters (Tomatokeftedes)

tomato-fritters10½ ounces lovely ripe red tomatoes (about 3)
2½ ounces red onion, coarsely chopped (1 small)
3 heaping tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
olive oil. for frying

Cut the top hats off the unpeeled tomatoes and discard. Slice the tomatoes into 6 wedges, then chop each wedge into 4 or 5 pieces. Scrape off the board into a bowl but leave behind the excess juice. Add the onion, mint and half the flour to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and knead in well. Leave for 10 minutes or so to soften. Make a paste with the remaining flour, the baking powder and 1/3 cup of water. Add to the bowl and mix in well. Heat olive oil to a depth of about 5/8 inch in a large nonstick skillet until very hot. Scoop up a good tablespoon of the mixture and with another spoon, scrape this into the hot oil in lovely irregular fritters. Fry a few at a time, turning them over when golden to fry the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and serve on a clean plate.

Saganaki

Saganaki

Saganaki dishes take their name from the pan in which they are made. A sagani is a two-handled pan that is made in many different materials. In the market, look for a small paella pan, small cast iron skillet, or even an oval au gratin dish.

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1 pound (about 1/2 kg) of kefalotyri or kasseri cheese
1/2 cup of olive oil
2/3 cup of flour for dredging
2-3 lemons, quartered

Cut the cheese into slices or wedges that are 1/2 inch thick by 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. Moisten each slice with cold water and dredge in the flour. In a sagani (Greek pan used for this dish) or a small heavy-bottomed frying pan (cast-iron works best), heat the oil over medium-high heat, getting the oil very hot, not quite smoking, and sear each slice in 1 tablespoon of oil until golden-brown on both sides. Serve hot with a last-minute squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Arni Lemonato

Arni Lemonato

“This is sooooo lemony,” writes author Tessa Kiros. “It is also a dish that you can really leave in the oven and go out shopping for a while and hardly even think about the fact that you left something in the oven.” The trick, she writes, is to keep turning the lamb while it is marinating, spooning some of the marinade over it occasionally, perhaps every hour or so. Use a large round or rectangular roasting pan. You may need to ask your butcher to hack the leg in one place to make it fit in your pan.

11_news_mainframe_life_gourmet_buecher_kochen_international_griechenland_511/2 cups fresh lemon juice (6 to 7 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon dried oregano
11/2 cups water
3 pounds, 5 ounces leg of lamb, bone hacked in one place and hinged, so it fits in the dish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
23/4 pounds potatoes cut into big chunks

Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano with 11/2 cups of water in a large nonreactive baking dish. Rub the lamb well all over with salt and black pepper and put it in the marinade. Turn it over a couple of times to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning it frequently throughout your waking hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer lamb and marinade to a roasting pan and cover the lamb with a sheet of parchment paper, and then cover the pan tightly with 3 layers of aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the lamb over, cover again and reduce the heat to 300 degrees. Bake the lamb for an additional 2 hours. Now turn the lamb gently, as it will be very tender. Add the potatoes to the dish and sprinkle a little salt over them. Cover again and bake for 2 hours, turning the potatoes once during this time. Remove the foil, shuffle the potatoes and put back in the oven at 400 degrees. Roast until a little golden here and there, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the lamb rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Spanakorizo (Spinach Rice)

Spanakorizo (Spinach Rice)

spinachsrice2 1/4 pounds of spinach, rinsed and drained
4 Tablespoons olive oil
3.5 ounces green onions with some green, chopped
3 Tablespoons chopped dill
1 cup medium-grain rice
salt
juice of 1 small lemon
freshly ground black pepper
1 T. chopped mint

Coarsely chop the spinach leaves. Heat the olive oil in a very large pot and saute the onions until pale gold and softened. Add the dill and saute for 30 seconds or so, then stir in the rice. Now add the spinach. You might feel that it won’t all fit in the pot, but fit in as much as you can. Add 2 cups of hot water and press down and turn the spinach until it begins to wilt and it’s all in. Add a good amount of salt, turn the spinach over with a wooden spoon and put the lid on. Bring to a boil then turn through again. Lower the heat and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes. If there is still water in the bottom of the pot toward the end of this time, take the lid off and turn up the heat to let it evaporate. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle in the lemon juice and add a few grinds of pepper. Turn through gently and taste for salt. Add the mint. Cover with a clean dish cloth, put the lid back on and leave for 10 minutes to steam. Serve hot or even at room temperature.

Spinach and Lemon Orzo Pilaf

Spinach and Lemon Orzo Pilaf

m890006_spinach_and_lemon_orzo_pila1/2 large yellow onion, minced
4 scallions, minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 1 clove
2 cups dry orzo pasta
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 6-ounce bag fresh baby spinach, washed, dried and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill weed
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions, scallions and garlic. Add orzo and sauté, for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in chicken broth and lemon juice, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until pasta is almost done. Stir in spinach, a little at a time, adding more as the spinach wilts. Simmer for 5 minutes, until orzo is done. Stir in the dill and mint and sprinkle with the feta before serving.