Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fun With Greek Food

I don't know about you, but I like trying different kinds of food. From the Brazilian steakhouses to sushi bars to Ethiopian eateries, I relish an opportunity to try something different. My husband, on the other hand, can be a bit more picky. For our anniversary one year, I managed to convince him to take me to this cute little Greek restaurant in one of the Atlanta suburbs. The food was so awesome that I had a hard time choosing which recipes to share with you, but here are the appetizer and dessert!

One thing I will say about these recipes is that they take a long time to cook. However, when you taste them, you'll see that they are worth the wait!


White rice, 1 cup uncooked

Ground beef, 5 ounces cooked

Grape leaves, 16 ounces (about 1/3 of a jar), drained and rinsed

Potato, 1/3, sliced into rounds

Parsley, ¼ tsp, minced

Allspice, 1/8 tsp, ground

Black pepper, 1/8 tsp, ground

Vegetable Oil, 2 tsp

Tomato sauce, 1/3 cup canned

Water, 2/3 cup, or as needed

Curry powder, 1/8 tsp (optional)

Take a large pot and cover the bottom with oil. Slice the potatoes and use to cover the bottom of the pan.

Mix the uncooked rice, ground beef, pepper, allspice, parsley and curry powder in a medium bowl until blended. Now, take a cutting board and lay the grape leaves out flat. You are going to place about a tablespoon of the beef/rice mixture into the center of each leaf and loosely wrap it, first from the sides and then from the bottom. Place seam-side down on top of the potatoes. The dolmas should never touch the bottom of the pot.

Now, pour your water and tomato sauce over the dolmas. They should be covered by at least one inch; if you need to adjust the amount of water, that's fine. Bring to a boil and let them simmer covered for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the liquid is soaked up and the rice is tender. Serves 4 to 6.


Mixed nuts, 1 pound chopped

Phyllo dough, 1 16-ounce package (I've seen it in the refrigerated/frozen section of the store)

Cinnamon, 1 tsp ground

Butter, 1 cup melted

White sugar, 1 cup

Honey, ½ cup

Water, 1 cup

Lemon zest, 1 tsp grated

Vanilla extract, 1 tsp

Preheat oven to 350. Loosely mix the cinnamon and nuts. Unroll the phyllo dough and cut a whole stack in half so it fits the dish. To keep the dough from drying out while you build the baklava, cover it with a damp cloth.

Rub butter over a 9”x13” baking dish and put two phyllo sheets in the bottom. Brush with butter and sprinkle with about 2-3 tbsp of the nut mixture. This is the first layer. Repeat until you've used everything, ending with about 6 phyllo sheets. Cut layers into four long rows and slice diagonally across it nine times. This will make 36 diamond-shaped pieces.

Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. While everything is baking, mix the water and sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the vanilla, honey and lemon zest. Now, reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. When the baklava is finished baking, spoon this mixture over it, let cool and serve. It should be golden and crisp when finished.

Hopefully you will have as much fun making these recipes as I had eating them! Enjoy!

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