Greek Food Made Simple

Greek Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrettegl0606_potatoes1_lg

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds large russet potatoes, cleaned, each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, oregano, and parsley in a medium bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper.

Toss potatoes with 1/2 cup vinaigrette on a heavy, large, rimmed baking sheet. Reserve the remaining vinaigrette. Pour chicken stock around potatoes and season potatoes with salt and pepper. Roast potatoes until tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and more chopped parsley.

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)spanakopitagreekspinachpie

Ingredients:

2 pounds spinach (steamed, squeezed, drained and chopped)
1 cup feta (crumbled)
1/4 cup dill (chopped)
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
1 bunch green onions (sliced)
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
phyllo dough

Directions:

1. Mix the spinach, feta, dill, parsley, green onions, eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
2. Brush the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking pan with olive oil.
3. Brush the top of a sheet of phyllo dough with olive oil and place it in the pan. (You may have to cut the phyllo dough to fit the pan.) Repeat until you have 6 layers.
4. Place the spinach mixture on top of the phyllo dough.
5. Brush the top of a sheet of phyllo dough with olive oil and place it on the spinach. Repeat until you have 6 layers.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top, about 30-50 minutes.

Greek Tomato Tartpizza_300

Ingredients

  • pastry for a 1-crust pie
  • 6 plum tomatoes, each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup oil-cured olives, pitted
  • 6 ounces Feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Fit the pastry in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the bottom with the tines of a fork. Bake just until the crust begins to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Remove the crust from the oven and fill with the tomato wedges. Scatter the olives and cheese on top. Drizzle the olive oil over the tart and sprinkle with the thyme and pepper.
  3. Bake 25 minutes or until the crust is golden and the tomatoes are soft. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Courtesy of:

Food Network

Closet Cooking

Real Simple

Eggcellent Food!

Eggs aren’t just for breakfast!  Try one of these unique recipes below and have some eggs for brinner (breakfast for dinner).

Italian Eggs over Spinach and Polentaitalian-eggs-ck-1011330-l

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1  (16-ounce) tube of polenta, cut into 12 slices
  • Cooking spray
  • 2  cups  fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 1  (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 4  large eggs
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese

Preparation:

Preheat broiler.

Arrange polenta slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat tops of polenta with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

While polenta heats, bring sauce to a simmer in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in spinach; cover and cook for 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Stir to combine. Make 4 indentations in top of spinach mixture using the back of a wooden spoon. Break 1 egg into each indentation. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until eggs are desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle with cheese. Place 3 polenta slices on each of 4 plates; top each serving with one-fourth of spinach mixture and 1 egg.

Tomatoes and Feta Baked Eggstomatoandfetabakedeggswithcrustybread500

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 medium tomatoes (diced)
1/4 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful fresh herbs (chopped, I used dill and parsley)
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)
2 eggs

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and mix in the fresh herbs and feta.
6. Divide between two individually sized baking dishes, indent the centers with a spoon and crack the eggs into the indentations.
7. Bake in a preheated 425F oven until the sauce is bubbly and the egg whites have just set, about 8-14 minutes.

Asparagus and Soft Eggs on Toasteggs-asparagus-toast_300

Serves 4 Hands-On Time: 20m Total Time: 20m

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices rustic country bread
  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 large eggs*
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan (1 ounce)
  • *Because the eggs in this recipe are not fully cooked, there is a risk of food-borne illness.

Directions:

  1. Heat broiler. Place the bread and asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  2. Broil until the bread is toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side; transfer the bread to plates. Continue broiling the asparagus, tossing once, until tender, 4 to 8 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Carefully lower the eggs into the water. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 6 minutes. Cool under running water and peel.
  4. Divide the asparagus among the toast, sprinkle on the Parmesan, and top with the eggs.

Courtesy of:

My Recipes

Closet Cooking

Real Simple

Special Ingredient: Strawberries! Tonight, Every Course is Filled with the Sweet Fruit!

Spring Strawberry Spinach Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch spinach, rinsed
  • 10 large strawberries, sliced
  • Spring Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the spinach and strawberries.
  2. In a blender, place the sugar, salt, vinegar, and oil, and blend until smooth. Stir in the poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spring-Strawberry-Spinach-Salad/Detail.aspx

Strawberry Balsamic Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 (8 ounce) containers strawberry yogurt
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Recipe1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 large strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, sugar, pepper, cinnamon and salt. Place chicken breast halves in a shallow baking dish, and pour the sauce over them. Refrigerate for 1 hour, turning chicken over half way through.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape the marinade off of the chicken breasts, and place them into the hot oil. Quickly brown the chicken on both sides, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let rest for 3 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, transfer the marinade to a saucepan. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Remove stems from strawberries, and slice thinly so they will fan nicely. Set aside.
  4. Slice chicken breasts on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place on serving plates, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the marinade over each chicken breast, and fan one sliced strawberry over the top. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh mint and parsley. If you really love balsamic vinegar, finish the dish off with an artful drizzle.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Strawberry-Balsamic-Chicken/Detail.aspx

Strawberry Torte

Ingredients

  • 11 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • Strawberry Torte Recipe2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions

  1. Strain strawberries and set aside, reserving juices. In a saucepan bring cornstarch and strawberry juice to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Whip cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together.
  3. In a separate bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.
  4. Arrange ladyfingers around sides and bottom of the 8 or 9 inch springform pan, standing ladyfingers lengthwise around sides of pan. Pour 1/2 of the filling into the pan, then place a layer of ladyfingers on top of filling. Pour remaining filling over ladyfingers.
  5. Spread strawberry sauce over top of cake and place the whole strawberries on top. Refrigerate and remove from pan once thoroughly chilled.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Strawberry-Torte/Detail.aspx

Family Friendly Valentine’s Day Dinner

Can’t find a sitter for the kids this Valentine’s Day?  This dinner is sure to please both the kids and your significant other.

Spinach Salad with Cranberries & Pine Nuts

Ingredientsspinachsalad

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 ounce package Baby Spinach Leaves, rinsed
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Preparation

Make the dressing ingredients by whisking together in a small bowl the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Put baby spinach in a large bowl.  Wait until the last minute to pour dressing over, tossing lightly before serving.  Sprinkle with dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts….   absolutely delicious!

Grilled Raspberry Chicken

Ingredients sh0713_chicken_med

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, thawed (recommended: Dole)
  • 1 cup raspberry vinaigrette (recommended: Annie’s)
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vodka, optional
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
  • Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Directions

Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts with paper towels. Place in large zip-top bag. Add raspberries, vinaigrette, vodka, if using, and chopped mint. Squeeze air out and seal bag. Gently massage the bag to mash raspberries. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours.

Preheat grill to medium-high and oil the grates.

Place the chicken breasts on the grill and cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from grill and place on serving platter. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and fresh raspberries.

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients107437_116

  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
  • Garnish: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Preparation

Heat 3/4 cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160°F on thermometer. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a glass bowl in a microwave at 50 percent power 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool.

Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly.

Spoon mousse into 8 (6-ounce) stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, at least 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.

Courtesy of:

Fine Dinings

Food Network

Epicurious

Casserole: Spinach & Tomato Medley

One of my favorite meals is Spinach and Tomato Medley. It’s effortless and healthy. This is so easy, that even your kids can make it on their own, because the brown rice has already been cooked. All you’re doing is combining ingredients and heating. Even picky eaters who don’t like spinach, love this recipe. When you mix spinach with the other ingredients, the taste of spinach dissolves into the other flavors!

You’ll want to be sure that you have already cooked brown rice in your refrigerator, before you make this recipe.

2 cloves minced garlic

8-10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach (if you use fresh spinach, saute spinach until wilted)

28-ounce can of tomatoes

2 cup already-cooked brown rice

½ cup raisins

grated mozzarella cheese

1) Sauté 2 cloves of minced garlic in olive oil.

2) Squeeze out the water from of defrosted frozen spinach, add along with one 28-ounce can of tomatoes, ½ cup raisins for a little sweetness, and 2 cups already cooked brown rice.

3) Stir and heat everything for just a few minutes.

4) Serve topped with grated mozzarella cheese.

For dessert..

Chocolate Pudding Pies

These quick-and-easy chocolate pudding pies make great desserts or snacks. Instead of using sprinkles for garnish, you can top the pies with diced fresh fruit, such as strawberries or raspberries.

Ingredients

    1 package (3 ounces) instant chocolate pudding
    2 cups fat-free milk
    6 graham cracker crusts, individual sizes
    6 tablespoons whipped topping
    Sprinkles, for garnish

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl, add the pudding and milk. Whisk until evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate until the pudding thickens, about 5 minutes.

Spoon 1/3 cup prepared pudding into each graham cracker crust. Top each with 1 tablespoon whipped topping and garnish with sprinkles. Serve immediately.

(Recipe courtesy of www.babybites.info and MayoClinic.com)

Coupons available for this meal:

$1.00 off 2 items Uncle Ben’s Rice products

$.50 off Village Harvest rice product

$.50 off RedGold tomato products

$1.00 off Filippo Berio & DeLallo Olive Oil

$.55 off Treasure Cave cheese