March 12, 2011

New recipe: Spicy Rice and Beans

Filed under: food,what's new — Nick @ 11:30 pm
Rice with black beans and corn

I added a new recipe to my recipes section: Spicy rice with black beans and corn. This recipe came from an attempt to make a vegetarian dish out of whatever ingredients I had around the kitchen. Eventually I settled on this combination.

Orthodox Christians and others often abstain from animal products during the season of Lent, so this seemed like a good time to post this. In fact, I made it for dinner this evening (with some asparagus on the side).

May 13, 2010

Easter dinner 2010

Filed under: food — Nick @ 12:11 am

I realize this post is over a month late, but I finally downloaded the pictures off the digital camera (the card reader I usually use doesn’t seem to be working and I had to find a different way). Anyway, back in April I made my usual too-much-food Paschal dinner. Since it was just us this year, we were eating leftovers for awhile (we did freeze some).

We started with an appetizer plate to keep us fed while I finished cooking dinner. I put together a plate with some red-dyed boiled eggs (a traditional Greek Easter item), prosciutto, salami, provolone, and few other cheeses: Bulgarian feta, Brie (a favorite of one of my daughter’s), and some kashkaval (a yellow sheep’s milk cheese). A couple of different kinds of olives (Kalamata and feta-stuffed Haldiki) rounded out the plate. I actually made too many eggs this year. I made an extra dozen because I meant to take some to church to pass out, but forgot to bring them.

Easter dinner: lamb with orzo, pastitsio, and other food

Easter dinner. Clockwise from top: carrots and onions (cooked with the lamb), stewed green beans, pastitsio, lamb gravy, lamb, spanakopita, roasted potatoes. Orzo is in the middle.

I spent about two days making dinner. I made the pastitisio and dyed the eggs the day before. I started cooking the rest of the dinner on Sunday (getting up a little late because our Paschal Church service is around midnight): roast leg of lamb with orzo, spanakopita, roasted potatoes, and stewed green beans. Afterward, I realized I forgot to make a salad, but hey, I guess I didn’t want to overdo it.

I “cheated” a little bit on the spanakopita. I used crumbled domestic cow’s milk feta, but I did save the imported sheep’s milk feta for the appetizer. However, I do like to use good phyllo dough, which makes it so much easier. I buy phyllo from Khoury’s Mediterranean Island in Broad Ripple in Indianapolis. I don’t where they get it from, but it seems that it is never frozen, and every sheet is perfect—not sticky, not crumbly, and not torn. If you like to cook with phyllo, I recommend finding a good source, because ordinary frozen grocery-store phyllo can be a pain to use.

We had enough leftovers to give away some to the neighbors later. We also froze some of the pastitsio and spanakopita for later (they freeze ok, but the spanakopita gets a little soggy), but it did take about a week to finish off the lamb and other food we did not freeze.

February 1, 2010

New Recipes

Filed under: food,what's new — Nick @ 12:40 pm

I added three more recipes to my recipes page: baked macaroni and cheese, spinach soufflé, and an easy fudge recipe.

My kids seem pretty fond of the boxed macaroni and cheese dinners, so I thought I would try some “real” mac and cheese on them. I made Alton Brown’s macaroni and cheese a couple of times. I thought it was pretty good, but the kids were rather nonplussed; they still like the boxed mix better. After some experimentation, I was able to simplify the recipe and change some of the proportions to come up with something that was still home-made but had greater kid appeal.

As for the soufflé: I am fond of spinach, and had been looking for a soufflé recipe that was not too difficult but still tasty. I tried this “easy spinach soufflé” but it wasn’t what I was looking for. It tasted fine, but it was basically just a block of spinach glued together by a little milk, eggs, and cheese. If I want to eat plain spinach, I would just steam it and add a little lemon and olive oil. So played around with it, mostly by increasing the amount of ingredients that make it seem like a soufflé. I also substituted green onion for the garlic, because I thought that goes better with spinach (even thought I am quite fond of garlic).

The fudge recipe is the one my wife likes to use at holidays these days. It’s much easier than some traditional ones, but still seems to taste like fudge. This one is not original with us, but is taken straight from a recipe pamphlet by Eagle Brand® (so of course it must use a canned milk product).

October 12, 2009

New Page – Tzatziki recipe

Filed under: food,what's new — Tags: — Nick @ 10:29 pm

My sister sent me a recipe for the Greek dipping sauce tzatziki, which I added to my recipes page. The recipe calls for Greek yogurt, which is thicker than the kind one would normally see in a typical grocery store. I happened to find some in Kroger the other day, which reminded me that I need to bug my sister for the recipe.

Yesterday I decided to grill a marinated boneless leg of lamb I bought on sale awhile ago and was sitting in my freezer. I basically prepared it as I do on my roast lamb recipe and let it marinade for a few hours in the refrigerator. I fired up the Weber grill and banked the coals to cook the lamb on high indirect heat. Afterward I sliced it up and served it with pita bread accompanied by the aforementioned tzatziki sauce and some onions and tomatoes.

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