February 28, 2011

Skyline Chili

This recipe was my Aunt Amy's and is always a favorite at our family get-togethers at the beach. I hope you enjoy it as much as the Souleret clan does!

Stir all of these in a large pot and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • 2 lbs. hamburger, cooked and fat poured out
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-15oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder... I prefer fresh garlic!)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili powder
  • 1½ tsp. Allspice
  • ½ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
USES:
  1. Sauce over spaghetti (as pictured)
  2. Can add beans (chili, kidney...) to the sauce
  3. Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese and onions
  4. Add more water and serve as a chili
This meal is whatever you want it to be! Let me know how you decide to prepare it.

February 18, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday 2011 (February 6)




Not knowing I was going to have company over for Super Bowl XLV (45) until 5 hours before kickoff, I threw together an appetizer style presentation. Here is what I came up with:
  1. Meatballs (for the sauce, I mixed chili sauce and grape jelly)
  2. Homemade Guacamole with Organic Blue Corn Chips
  3. Tyson Anytizer Wings (Hot and Boneless Honey BBQ) with ranch and celery
  4. Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos
  5. Peanuts
  6. Papa John's Hawaiian Pizzas (thanks to our family friends!)
  7. Drinks- Beer, Wine, Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, Water
It turned out to be one of the easiest get-togethers I've planned!

February 5, 2011

Baklava



Serves 18

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
  • 1 pound chopped nuts (I used pistachios. You can also use walnuts or almonds or combine all three.)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup honey
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13" inch pan.
  2. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
  3. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
  4. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers.
*Leave uncovered as it gets soggy if it is covered.
**Recipe from All Recipes

Moussaka

Moussaka was our favorite dish in Greece. I thought I didn't like eggplant until I tried this authentic dish!

*This recipe makes 2 casseroles*

INGREDIENTS:
Eggplant:
  • 3 peeled eggplants, cut into ½-inch-thick slices (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Meat mixture:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1¼ cups minced onion (about 1 large)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup uncooked bulgur
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) feta cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • Desired amount of Parmesan to sprinkle on top
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. To prepare eggplant, place eggplant on several layers of paper towels; sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with additional paper towels and let stand 10 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Lightly coat each slice with cooking spray; sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon pepper. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 425°F for 8 minutes. Turn eggplant slices over. Rotate baking sheets; bake an additional 8 minutes.
  3. To prepare meat mixture, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, 4 garlic cloves, and beef. Sauté for 6 minutes or until beef is done. Stir in bulgur, ¼ teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, allspice, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  4. To prepare topping, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add 2 garlic cloves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Pour milk mixture into a food processor; add feta and nutmeg. Process until smooth; stir in yogurt.
  5. Coat 2 (8-inch) square baking dishes with cooking spray. Divide half of eggplant slices between each dish; top each with 1 cup meat mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant and the remaining 2 cups meat mixture. Pour 1¼ cups topping mixture over each. Top with Parmesan. Bake at 425°F for 35 minutes or until top is bubbling.
**Doctored from Cooking Light**


One of our Moussaka and Stuffed Tomato dishes from Mykonos

Greek Stuffed Peppers



I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's site and made a few adjustments to suit the taste buds for 18 people. Overall, the recipe turned out great but I would recommend using a sweeter bell pepper, such as red or orange. The green seemed a little too bitter.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 large bell peppers
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained [we left this ingredient out]
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta
  • ½ cup whole grain couscous (*Can sub quinoa to make a GF option)
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Slice a very thin layer from the base of each bell pepper so they sit flat. Slice off tops just below stem. Discard stems. Chop tops, and place in a medium bowl. Remove ribs and seeds from peppers.
  2. Add beans, feta, couscous, scallion whites, garlic, and oregano to bowl with pepper tops. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine; Stuff peppers with bean mixture.
  3. If using a slow cooker, place stuffed peppers upright in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. If using an oven, preheat to 350°F. Place peppers upright in a 5-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Add 1 cup water, cover, and bake until peppers are tender, about 1 hour. (Adding the water is important so the peppers don't dry out in the oven)
  4. Sprinkle peppers with scallion greens; serve with lemon wedges.

Traditional Greek Salad





As seen in my "Missing Greece" blog, a traditional Greek salad is very fresh, roughly chopped and bursting with color. Not to mention the lack of lettuce! To make, it is really simple and you can add or omit any ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Red Onion
  • Bell Peppers
  • Olives (Black or Green)
  • Banana Peppers
  • Feta, of course!
Add desired amount of sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and oregano.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
(I've also mixed the EVOO with red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar-- though not using both vinegars at the same time... I'm sure that could be worth trying.)

Simple, healthy, refreshing!

Missing Greece

As a graduation present to myself, I went to Greece with my cousin, Emily in June 2010. During our two weeks there, we visited Athens, Mykonos (our absolute favorite!) and Santorini. The landscape was breathtaking and the food was the best food I have ever tasted. When Emily and I returned home, we made a Greek inspired meal (with Michelle's help!) for our 18 relatives during our beach vacation at Emerald Isle, NC in August. Here are a few photos from our trip: