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Rita’s Greek Meatloaf

From Rita:

I was invited to compete in a meatloaf contest at our yacht club.   Growing up in a Greek home with a YiaYia (aka: grandmother), as well as a mother who only cooked mostly Greek cuisine,  meatloaf was NEVER made.. really and truly NEVER! Not being sure about how to  make a meatloaf,  I decided to take the flavors that I loved best and create my own meatloaf recipe.  I must say it came out tasty and I actually placed in the top 3–  I was elated!  You can also use this same recipe to form patty’s to make Greek burgers.  Either way, you will WOW your friends with a flavor I can guarantee they will love.

  • 1 pound ground beef (85% variety)
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion finely minced
  • 15 pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped ( supermarket olive bar)
  • 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 2 level tablespoons dried oregano ( rub the dry leaves in the palms of your hands before dropping into the bowl to awaken the flavor)
  • 2 level tablespoons dried granulated garlic powder( not garlic salt)
  • 1 teaspoon salt ( do not overdo as the Feta will add salt to the meatloaf)
  • 1 tablespoon pepper ( freshly ground is best)
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2-3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1  15 oz. can unseasoned petite diced tomatoes, drained really well
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Do not mix it to death,  just enough to bring it all together evenly.
Lay a long piece of foil on a counter and rub olive oil on it.   Pour the mixture on the foil. (See below)  Here is where you will form the loaf.   It goes into the oven to cook through – about 50 minutes.  Remove.   Let meat rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Greek Lentil Salad

From Krisann:

This lentil salad is a staple in my refridgerator.  Sometimes, I have it with my meal in place of a starch.  Often times, I have it alone as lunch.  Either way, I think it is very yummy.  This can also be served with crostini or toasts as an appetizer.  One note, it does not look as pretty on the second day, but it tastes just as good.  If you are making this to bring to a party, don’t make it too much in advance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pkg Trader Joe Lentils (these are found in the refridgerator section.  You can also use can lentils, but I like these ones better)
  • Grape tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1/4 cup Scallions or red onion, chopped (red onions add nice color to this salad, but sometimes they are too strong, that is why I sometimes use scallions)
  • 1/2 English Seedless Cucumber (cut into small wedges)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Feta Cheese (I am very picky when it comes to feta cheese and will only use feta purchased from the greek international store in Brockton, MA called “Dondi” feta)
  • juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Greek Village Salad (HOREEYATIKO SALATA)


From Peaches:

I had this beautiful salad in Greece while climbing to the Acropolis in one of the many cafes on the  side of a  mountain.  The area is fondly known as the PLAKA, which means “fun” in Greek, and they are not kidding!  Many Greeks go there to celebrate special times or just for a bite.  I go where the Greeks go- as they know where the best foods are to be found.  Nobody is ever disappointed at a Greek cafe.  They compete with one another to MAKE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING!!

If you are making this at home, it is important to try to buy Imported Greek Feta as the cheese makes all the difference in the world.   I have brought this to many dinner parties and everyone has enjoyed it as much as I have.  I hope you do too.  KALI  ORAXI EVERYONE!!

Note:  The ingredients are simple but it is important to select the best veggies wherever you shop.  For instance not just any tomato will do.  Of course right out of your garden tomatoes are the best but we are not there yet. Vine ripe tomatoes work perfectly as do the long English seedless cucumbers.

Ingredients ( Serves 6):

  • 4-5 vine ripe tomatoes cut into chunks (nice ripe ones)
  •  1 English Cucumber, unpeeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers rinsed and drained well
  • about 24 pitted Kalamata olives left whole
  • 1/2 pound really good imported Feta sliced into 3 1/2 inch slabs

Layer all ingredients and top with slabs of Feta.  Dress the salad with a mixture of EXTRA virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Sprinkle lightly with oregano, salt and freshly ground pepper.


Easy Baked Lamb Shanks (ARNI STO FOURNO)

From Peach:

This dish is much easier to make than one might think.  Simple and delicious and does not need much attention once it is together in the oven.  It can be topped off with some crumbled feta when it is piping hot or not.  Growing up in a Greek home lamb was plentiful and made in many ways..this being my favorite.  Give it a try and I bet it will become your favorite too.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 lamb shanks trimmed of as much fat as possible.
  • 1 box white button mushrooms
  • 1/2 box orzo
  • 1  15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • beef broth
Place trimmed lamb shanks in a large roasting pan.  Combine tomato sauce and enough beef broth to fill pan 3/4 way up the sides. Seal tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 2 1/2 hour.  Do not disturb during this time.
Remove foil and add mushrooms and orzo and stir gently.  Put back in oven uncovered and cook stirring occasionally till orzo tender.  The lamb will brown beautifully during this part of the cooking process.  Total cooking time is about 3 hours. (This will ensure the lamb will be very tender).
KALI ORAXI EVERYONE.
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