Thursday, August 2, 2012
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Several years ago I was on the island of Paros, Greece and finally had the opportunity to put a name to one of my favorite salads! It is called Dakosalata and it is delicious! I had eaten it before, but I did not know what it was called. We had just left the beach and were looking for something healthy, yet satisfying and this salad met both our needs. Because we were both so hungry, we ordered two. The first in the classic tomato style and the second was topped with grilled diced zucchini. Both were great! I have provided the recipe for the basic tomato version since you can dress up this salad however you see fit. The only thing that might prove difficult is finding the barley rusk bread which forms the base of the salad. If you cannot find it, I would suggest using large rustic croutons or day old whole wheat bread (not the sliced sandwich style) cut up in large cubes. If you live close to a Greek market you shouldn't have a hard time finding the barley rusk. One market that definitely sells it is Titan Foods in Astoria, www.titanfood.com. They also will have all of the other ingredients, including reasonably priced extra virgin olive oil and excellent oregano. You can also always email me for sources and alternative ingredients!
To make this salad for two you will need,
-1 large piece of Dakos rusk bread (or two to three cups of croutons/bread)
-2 medium sized very ripe tomatoes, grated or finely chopped
-4 oz crumbled feta
-1/2 cup good quality Kalamata olives, you can also use pitted Kalamatas
-Tbs. capers (or more if you like them)
Extra virgin olive oil, and vinegar if you like it. We do!
I have seen some restaurants serve this salad on a bed of arugula which is also nice.
Assemble the bread in the bottom of a bowl and top with the remaining ingredients. Add the olive oil, vinegar and oregano. Salt if you like. The feta usually adds a decent amount of salt, but I always add more as I am a salt feign. Many recipes recommend wetting the bread before you assemble the salad, but I like it crunchy. If you prefer the bread a little soggy, assemble the salad 30 minutes before you want to eat it or wet the bread lightly before you add the other ingredients. As with many of my recipes, there is no exact way to make this salad, so experiment. I have even spread olive tapenade on the bread when I ran out of olives.
Hope you like it!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Keftedaki - Greek Herbed Meat Patties/Burgers/Meatballs
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground lamb (these proportions can be adjusted to your taste)
¾ cup grated (or super finely chopped) red onion (about one medium onion)
¾ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
¼ cup finely chopped mint (not spearmint!)
½ cup to1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs (just enough to absorb the excess moisture)
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. Greek or Mexican oregano
1 tsp lemon juice
2 beaten eggs
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Flour and vegetable oil if pan frying*
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix, making sure not to overwork the meat. For best results mix the day before (leaving the eggs and breadcrumbs out) and let rest 24 hours so the flavors can combine. When ready to cook add the eggs and breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly. Make little meat balls, patties or burgers. Grill or pan fry. Serve with tzatziki sauce.
I like salt so I put about 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, note that regular table salt is MUCH saltier so use half. After you combine everything make one small meatball and cook it before the rest to taste for seasoning. Adjust accordingly.
*Flour and vegetable oil only if you are going to make little round balls to pan fry. These are great if you are doing a dinner party. Roll the balls and coat them in flour, remove any excess before adding to the oil. Drain on paper towels and then serve them on a platter with the tzaziki sauce for dipping.
Although I like to mix the three meats, feel free to use only one kind if you do not eat pork or do not like the gaminess of lamb. I would, however, try it with the lamb at least once since it adds fabulous flavor. I imagine the recipe would also work with ground turkey or chicken even though I have never tried it.
Best Taziziki Sauce
1 17.6 ounce container of either 0%, 2% or full fat Total Greek strained yogurt. Of course full fat is best. (I highly recommend using this brand since it makes all the difference in the world. You can try other strained yogurts or make your own strained yogurt by using cheese cloth to strain regular yogurt.)
1 cup finely chopped peeled and seeded English cucumber (about a 2 to 1 ratio with yogurt.)
2-3 crushed garlic cloves (if I am not pressed for time I use a mortar and pestle and mash the garlic with a little salt. If I am busy, I use a garlic press)
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients and let sit in the refrigerator overnight or at least for a couple hours. As the tzaziki sits, the garlic will become more pronounced so if you want to add more garlic I would recommend doing it the next day. Some people prefer grating the cucumber and also adding dill. That is not how my family makes it, but either way is correct. I personally like the crunchiness of the cucumber when it is chopped versus grated.
To seed the cucumber cut it in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. If the cucumber is super watery you can remove excess water by placing the chopped cucumber on a paper towel in a colander and letting it sit for a few hours.
Feta Oregano French Fries
1/2 lb Good Greek or Bulgarian Feta
1 Tbs Greek or Mexican Oregano
salt and freshly ground back pepper
French Fries (follow the link below or use your own favorite recipe.) I like to fry my French fries in olive oil. It is expensive but it tastes so good and that's how we do it in Greece.
As any new mother knows, time is now super limited. In order to conserve energy I have posted a link to my friend Azmina’s recipe for French fries. Simply follow her directions and sprinkle with crumbled feta and oregano as pictured below.
It's good to be back!
Kat and Baby Christian