Sunday, May 27, 2007

Greek - May 2007

Diva: Sara

Drinks: Mariah

Ouzo Shots have a fantastic licorice taste to them and when added to Bubbly Water with a few frozen Raspberries it could be a hit, but was not with our group. We stuck to the Bubbly Water and Raspberries, some enjoyed Red Wine!

Appetizer: Michelle

Ring Bread

2 c milk
2 T sugar
2 T olive oil
1 T yeast
¼ c luke warm water
2 tsp salt
5 c all-purpose flour
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 T sesame seeds

Turn milk, sugar and 1 T oil into large bowl; cool to lukewarm.
Stir yeast mixture and salt in milk until well-blended. Gradually beat into flour.
Turn onto a very lightly floured board, kneed until smooth and elastic.
Form into ball; return to bowl.
Cover dough with remaining 1 T olive oil: turn dough once to cover lightly with oil.
Cover bowl and set in warm place to rise (approx 1 hr)
Punch dough down, kneed until very smooth.
Roll into rope about 20 inches long. Turn into a circle, connecting the ends.
Place on cookie sheet.
Brush egg white over top, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Cover and let rise to double (about 30 mins).
Bake until top is deep golden for 60-70 minutes.
Cool on wire rack

Salad: none

Soup: Erin

Fassolatha In Greek: φασολάδα (pronounced fah-so-LAH-thah)

According to food historians, fassolatha has been around since ancient Greek times. It is the national dish of Greece, representing the best of the Greek way of cooking: legumes, vegetables, herbs, and olive oil. Whether you make it with tomato or lemon, culinary tradition dictates that fassolatha be served with crusty bread, feta cheese (except during Lent and periods of fasting), and black olives.

1 ½ c of white beans (Great Northern or cannellini) rinsed, soaked 24 hours and drained
2 bay leaves
2 carrots, sliced or cut in chunks
1 large mild onion, grated
4-8 stems of wild celery or cutting celery (or 5-6 stalks of celery), leaves and stalks, chopped
1 14.5 oz. can seeded, peeled, chopped plum tomatoes (or 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste)
2/3 c of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of salt (or to taste)
1 tsp of pepper (or to taste)
flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
8-10 c of water (I used veggie broth and water)

Place drained beans and bay leaves in a large soup pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

Add carrots, onion, celery, and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Add tomatoes or tomato paste, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and cook for 30 minutes. The beans should be soft and creamy, but not to the point of disintegrating.

Remove from heat, season to taste, and serve in bowls, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Fassolatha bean soup is served warm or at room temperature.

Yield: Serves 4-6

Alternate Preparation:

To make "white" fassolada (without tomatoes), leave out the tomatoes, cook as above, and just before serving, stir in the juice of 1 lemon. (I love tomatoes, so didn’t make the “white.”)

Preparation tip:

During the simmering time, you may need to add more water. Make sure to add boiling water, and not more than a half of a cup at a time. Fassolatha is not a puree type of thick soup, but should not be watery.

Serving suggestions:

Serve fassolatha with a side of feta cheese sprinkled with pepper and oregano and doused in olive oil, crusty bread, black olives, and salty dishes like anchovies, smoked herring, or others of your choice.

Side Dish: Tamara
Greek Roasted Potatoes
Serves/Makes: 6

6 medium Potatoes, cubed
½ c Fresh lemon juice
1/3 c Vegetable oil
1 T Olive oil
2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1 ½ tsp Dried oregano
2 each Garlic cloves, pressed
3 c hot water
Chopped fresh parsley

Toss potatoes with lemon juice, oils, spices & garlic in a deep flat pan.
Add water. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours at 475 F. Stir every 20 minutes.
Add more water if necessary. Allow the potatoes to evaporate the water during the last 20 minutes till only the oil is left. Garnish with parsley & serve.

Entree: Ashley
Grilled Lamb

¾ c olive oil
12 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
2 T chopped fresh thyme
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 5- to 5 ½-pound leg of lamb, boned, butterflied, trimmed

1 c fresh lemon juice
5 shallots, minced
¾ c olive oil
¾ c chopped fresh parsley
½ c chopped fresh mint

Mix first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Place lamb in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour marinade over. Turn lamb, spreading marinade to coat evenly on all sides. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day, turning lamb occasionally.

Place butterflied lamb on grill rack with some rosemary and thyme marinade still clinging to lamb. Grill until meat thermometer inserted into center registers 130°F for medium-rare, turning occasionally; about 35 minutes. Transfer lamb to work surface; let rest 15 minutes.
Starting at 1 corner and positioning knife at slight angle, slice lamb thinly across grain. Arrange lamb slices on large platter.

Dessert: Lovina
Ouzo-scented Almond, Yogurt and Olive Oil Cake

2 cups whole almonds, divided
3/4 cup ouzo (unsweetened anise liqueur) or Pernod

3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 whole star anise,* finely ground in spice mill or in mortar with pestle (about 1 3/4 teaspoons ground)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup extra-light olive oil or 1/2 cup regular olive oil mixed with 1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt

*Available in the spice section of some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Asian markets.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Brush two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pans with olive oil. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; brush parchment with olive oil. Spread 1 1/2 cups almonds on rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven 10 minutes. Cool. Transfer to processor and coarsely grind (some small almond pieces should remain); set aside. Finely chop 1/2 cup untoasted almonds in processor. Boil ouzo in small saucepan until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes. Cool.

WildCard: Stacey (absent)

Lottery: Nicole

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