Sunday, September 19, 2021

Getting into Greek!

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Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Greek food is commonly associated with a Mediterranean diet. Common foods found in Greek dishes include feta cheese, olive oil, black olives, and pita bread. My curiosity peaked when I started checking out various Greek recipes so I knew I had to share a few!

Greek Salad

greek1

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/greek-salad-recipe-1948517

Ingredients
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, large-diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, large-diced
  • 1-pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/2 pound feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
  2. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables.
  4. Add the feta and olives and toss lightly.
  5. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
  6. Serve at room temperature.

Greek lemon rice recipe

greek2

https://www.themediterraneandish.com/greek-lemon-rice-recipe/#tasty-recipes-21144

Ingredients
  • 2 cups long grain rice (uncooked)
  • Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (just over 1 cup chopped onions)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 lemons, juice of (PLUS zest of 1 lemon)
  • 2 cups low sodium broth (chicken or vegetable broth will work)
  • Pinch salt
  • Large handful chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dill weed (dry dill)
Instructions
  1. Wash rice well and then soak it for about 15 to 20 minutes in plenty of cold water (enough to cover the rice by 1 inch). You should be able to easily break a grain of rice by simply placing it between your thumb and index finger. Drain well.
  2. Heat about 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan with a lid (like this one) until oil is shimmering but not smoking.  Add onions and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and orzo pasta. Toss around for a bit until the orzo has gained some color then stir in the rice. Toss to coat.
  3. Now add lemon juice and broth. Bring liquid to a rolling boil (it should reduce a little), then turn heat to low. Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is done (liquid should be fully absorbed and rice should be tender but not sticky.)
  4. Remove rice from heat. For best results, leave it covered and do not disturb rice for about 10 minutes or so.
  5. Uncover and stir in parsley, dill weed and lemon zest. If you like, add a few slices of lemon on top for garnish. Enjoy!

Baklava

greek3

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-symon/baklava-recipe-1972768

Ingredients

For the Baklava:

  • 1 pound pistachios and/or walnuts, coarsely ground, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1 cup ground zwieback crackers or breadcrumbs
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 sheets phyllo dough (thawed, if frozen), cut in half

For the Syrup:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 6-to-8-ounce jar honey
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Combine the nuts, cinnamon and ground crackers in a bowl.
  2. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with some butter. Layer 10 pieces of phyllo in the dish, brushing each piece with butter before adding the next (keep the remaining dough covered with a damp towel). Sprinkle a quarter of the nut mixture over the dough. Layer 4 pieces of phyllo on top, brushing each with butter before adding the next; sprinkle with another quarter of the nut mixture. Add 4 more phyllo pieces on top, brushing each with butter, then add another quarter of the nut mixture, 4 more pieces of phyllo with butter, and the remaining nuts.
  3. Layer the remaining 10 pieces of phyllo on top of the nuts, brushing each with butter; brush the top piece with extra butter. Cut into the baklava to make strips, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Then make diagonal slices, about 1 1/2 inches apart, to create a diamond pattern. Bake until golden, about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, make the syrup: Bring the sugar, honey and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and boil 2 more minutes, then let cool slightly.
  5. Pour the syrup over the warm baklava; let soak, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Garnish with nuts.

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