Archive for the Greek Category

Spanakopita (Spinach & Feta Pie)

Posted in Appetizers, Greek with tags , , , on November 7, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

This dish has two of my favorite ingredients: spinach and feta!  I can never get enough. Super easy to make, just make sure you fully thaw the phyllo sheets (for about 2 hours!). I was not patient enough, coincidentally, many of my phyllo sheets tore. But no big deal, I used the leftover torn sheets to make yummy baklava!

Spanakopita Ingredients: (Bake at 350 for 30 minutes)

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 packages frozen spinach, thawed and moisture free
  • 1/2 package cream cheese
  • 1 4 oz package feta cheese
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 8 Phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
  • Olive oil (to brush on pastry sheets)

Directions:

  1. Saute onion in pan. Add garlic and spinach (without the excess water). Place in bowl and add cream cheese and feta. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  2. In a greased pie pan, place 1 sheet of oiled phyllo dough. Over lap with 3 more oiled sheets for a total of 4. Place spinach filling inside and top with 4 more oiled phyllo sheets. Tuck the edges in and cut into desired servings. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Potato Dumpling Indian Masala + Greek Salad

Posted in Greek, Indian with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Mark and I LOVE indian food.  More specifically, we love the “chicken tikka masala” and always order it at indian restaurants.  This dish is definitively a comfort food, especially for us, I think. It reminds me of traveling abroad, tired from the journey, thirsty from the heat, and hungry from the not so good food. Whenever we were lucky enough to find an indian restaurant we screamed with joy, because we knew no matter what, the chikken masala would always be good. And we were right–it never disappoints.

Earlier this week I tried making a tofu masala, and although it was good, it just wasn’t great. I can always tell if Mark doesn’t like something because his plate won’t return completely cleaned off. Plus, I know when something isn’t as great as it should be. So Mark, you should just tell the truth, m’kay?? Anyways, I don’t like not succeeding at something, so I had to try again. After brainstorming a bit, I came up with a recipe I am happy to document so I can make again, and again…and I think it even rivals the chicken tikka for sure. This meal is super easy, and should take you about 30 minutes. The key ingredient here is the spice, and you can either use garam masala or madras curry. I used madras since I could not find the garam. If you don’t have either, you could try making it with regular curry. The rest of the ingredients you probably have on hand. If not, they are cheap to get.

Masala Sauce Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp Olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • salt + pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tb garam masala spice or madras curry powder
  • 2-3 small cans of tomato sauce + 2 tbsp tomato paste + 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2- 1 c. heavy cream
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Garnish: sour cream, cilantro, and sprinkle of garam masala or curry

Dumpling Ingredients


  • 1 pg round wanton wrappers
  • 2 med/small potatoes
  • 2 1/2  tbs cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • salt + pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala or madras curry

Masala Sauce Instructions:

  1. Saute olive oil (or buter) with onions, then add garlic, salt, pepper, ginger, cumin, and garam masala. Cook for a few minutes, then add tomato sauce, paste and water. Let cook for another few minutes. At the end, add the cream and the lime juice.  Carefully add the dumplings. Let heat through and turn off. To garnish, add a spoonful of sour cream, sprinkle with a bit of curry, and add chopped cilantro.

Dumpling Instructions

  1. Place potatoes in cold water and begin to boil until done. In separate bowl, smash potatoes and add the rest of ingredients.
  2. Place about 1-2 tsp of filling in the middle of a wanton wrapper. With fingers or pastry brush, wet the wanton wrapper slightly with water around the edges. Fold the wrapper in half and press to seal. Tuck in the corners.
  3. Boil water in a pot or skillet. Place 3-5 dumplings at a time in boiling water and boil for about 2 minutes. Transfer to Masala sauce.
  4. Serve with flat bread and Greek salad

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Chicken Alternative

For those of you who are in love with the Indian classic, Chicken Tikka Masala, you should give the dumplings a try, because they truly are amazing. If that doesn’t satisfy your chicken craving, then you have my permission to make the original. You can either just grill chicken and place in the sauce, or you can marinade the chicken in yogurt and spices, and then broil in your oven (this is what makes it “tikka”).

Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1 tb. garam masala spice (found in asian market)
  • 2 tsp cumin + 2 tsp black pepper + 3 tps salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced + minced ginger

Instructions: Combine ingredients and marinade for at least 1 hour. Either grill chicken or boil in oven.

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GREEK SALAD


Greek Salad Ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onions
  • Kalamata olives
  • Feta cheese
  • Dressing: olive oil, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper.

Directions:

  1. Slice, chop and assemble.
  2. Dressing: squeeze 1/2 lime juice. Add 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 clove grated garlic, salt + pepper to taste. Then add 3 tbsp olive oil.


12 Minute Flat Bread Greek Pizza

Posted in Greek, Italian with tags , , on July 9, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Short on time? Don’t know what to make? How about a 12 minute pizza! It will take you 2 minutes to assemble, and 10 minutes to bake. If you choose to make your own flat bread, it will take you a bit longer but you will save about 3 bucks.

My favorite ingredients of all time are in this pizza: spinach, kalmata olives, and feta. As such, this is my favorite type of pizza, without a doubt.  Although I think it is the absolute best, I know some people who prefer a plain pepperoni pizza. If that is you, what are you thinking? Ok, i’m not here to judge, you can make your pizza as you like. If you want to try my version, here is what you will need:

Ingredients:

  • Homemade or store-bought flat breads
  • Homemade or store-bought pesto (optional)
  • Artichokes
  • Spinach
  • Kalmata olives
  • Red onion
  • Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Feta Cheese

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 Degrees. Layer ingredients on flat bread. Bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with tzatziki sauce.