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TSATSIKI (Greek Yogurt Dip)

From Rita:

This delicious Greek dip is wonderfully flavored and has multiple uses.  Serve with red, yellow or orange pepper strips, sliced cucumbers, carrot, celery sticks, and grape tomatoes to create a veggie platter with the dip as its centerpiece.  It is also great with slices of toasted French baguette, toasted pita pockets or as a veggie sandwich topping.  Greeks will eat it with most anything including roasted or grilled chicken, lamb, and pork. 

It is usually the topping for the famous Greek sandwiches called yiros.  It is not uncommon to see Greeks munching away on a yiro while strolling down the streets of their beautiful country.  In the US, these sandwiches are referrred to as Giros.  In Greece, they are known as YIROS.  Once you have a giro, you’ll NEVER  forget the experience.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cucumber cleaned, seeded and grated.  It must be squeezed really dry to remove all the liquid.  This can only be done well be using many paper towels.  I used English Cucumber as they are almost seed free and speeds up the process.
  • 1 quart  plain Greek yogurt ( I use fat free)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 level tablespoon dried oregano ( rubbed together in the palms of your hands to allow the flavor to explode).  Remember dried herbs are exactly that DRIED LEAVES.  Fresh chopped mint is an option here as well.
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl except the salt.  Mix well and add the salt slowly and begin tasting.  It does not need much so be careful not to overdo.  Remember once salt is in the recipe-  there is no taking it out.

 

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Vegetarian Moussaka

From Krisann:

This moussaka is a meatless version of the classic Greek dish.  The bulgar is a nice subsitiute for the ground meat.  This is a new recipe for me, but I have to say that I really do love it.  I like to double the recipe so that I can enjoy it as a leftover (It acutally tastes better the longer the flavors mesh together).  I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as I did.  Let me know what you think.  Stay tuned for the classic version.

Ingredients:

  • 3 peeled eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 TBLS extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, Minced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked bulgar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 TBLS butter
  • 2 TBLS all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk (I used skim)
  • 2 TBLS finely grated fresh Romano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat broiler to high.

Brush eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon oil.  Place half of eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 5 inches from heat for 5 minutes on each side or until browned.  Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant.  Set eggplent aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add chopped onion to pan; saute 8 minutes.  Add garlic; saute 1 minute.  Add bulgar; cook 3 minutes or until bulgar is lightly toasted, stirring frequently.  Add ground allspice, cinnamon , and cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in vegatable broth, oregano, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium -low, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.  Stir in cheese and salt.  Remove fro heat, and cook slightly.  Add egg, stirring well with a whisk.

Preheat oven to 350.

Arrange half of eggplant in an 11 x 7 inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Spread the bulgar mixture evenly over eggplant; arrange remaining eggplant over bulgar mixture.  Top with milk mixture.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, and remove from oven.  Increase oven temperature to 475.  Return dish to oven for 4 minutes or until the top is browned.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 4 servings.  (Note I doulbled the recipe)

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.

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