Food From Home

Cooking at home for fun, health and frugality!

Chicken Planks & Greek Cabbage Salad

Tonight we had battered chicken planks and a Greek cabbage salad.

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The chicken is a copycat Long John Silvers chicken plank recipe. I think it tastes pretty close to the restaurant version. I didn’t alter the recipe at all.  http://www.passionforsavings.com/copycat-long-john-silvers-chicken-planks-recipe/#_a5y_p=2483145

The Greek cabbage salad is based on one from Kalyn’s Kitchen. There are lots of great recipes on that blog. It is focused on tasty low carb recipes so if you follow a lower carb way of eating it is a great recipe resource.

http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2009/09/recipe-for-greek-cabbage-salad-with.html

I had cabbage to use up as well as part of a red onion and some feta cheese . The original recipe did not have onion. I used dried herbs because that is what I had. I made it a few hours in advance.

Greek Cabbage Salad

1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded

1/2 large red onion, sliced thin

4 T olive oil

3 T red wine vinegar

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp dry marjoram

1/2 tsp dry thyme

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/8 tsp black pepper or to taste

1/8 tsp lemon pepper seasoning or to taste

Mix oil and vinegar together and pour over cabbage and onion. Toss all ingredients together. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Makes about 4 servings

Verdict: Everyone likes the chicken. Hagbard put his chicken and cabbage salad together in pita bread and thought they made a tasty sandwich. Amethesto didn’t eat the salad. I thought the salad was tasty and super easy to make. I think it would be better with some grilled chicken rather than battered chicken.

 

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Fassolatha- Greek Bean Soup

Everyone in my house really likes Fassolatha. It is one of the soups we have in regular rotation. Since it uses dry beans, simple ingredients and no meat it is very economical and accessible to make. I have also seen it spelled fasolatha or fasolada.

I first made this soup after a death in the family 9 years ago when we had a lot of sudden house guests to feed and some were vegetarian. This soup was great for a large group and was warm and comforting. It reheats and freezes well.

Fassolatha

1/2 lb dry white beans- Great Northern, cannellini or Navy

8 c water

2 bay leaves

2- 3 oz carrots, sliced or chopped

1 large onion, chopped

5 stalks of celery, chopped (about 2 c)

1 can diced tomato

3 T – 1/2 c olive oil- to taste)

1 1/2 tsp salt- or to taste

1 tsp ground black pepper- or to taste

parsley, chopped

3 T lemon juice- optional

Rinse and soak dry beans at least 8 hours in a large pot of cold water. Drain.

Add 8 c of water to pot along with bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer  1 hour. Remove bay leaves.

Add chopped carrots, onions, celery and simmer 1 hour longer. Add tomato, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. I use about 3 T olive oil.

Serve warm with feta cheese, olives and crusty bread.  Makes about 10 servings

I have made this soup in the slow cooker. I just dumped everything in at the beginning after soaking and draining the beans and cooked it on low 8 hours.

 

 

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Batsaria- If You Like Spanakopita Try This

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A few months ago, I really was craving spanakopita. Our local store did not have phyllo dough week after week. I was getting kind of grumpy about it. I found a recipe for something that didn’t need phyllo dough. It has a pancake-like batter instead- using ingredients I already have on hand all the time. I was pretty excited to give this a try. http://food52.com/recipes/25622-batsaria-phyllo-less-spanakopita
It was delicious and very easy to put together. If you have trouble finding phyllo dough or don’t like working with it give this a try!

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From my home to yours,
Lounmoun

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Greek Potatoes and Salad

Tonight’s dinner was lemony-garlic roasted potatoes accompanied by a Greek inspired salad. My recipe developed from several sources over time.
We have had these potatoes alone, with chicken, hummus and pita chips, baked feta cheese or eggs. They take just a few minutes to prep for the oven and are very filling.

Greek Potatoes
2-3 white potatoes- cubed or cut in wedges
1 onion- diced or sliced
1/4 c olive oil
2 cloves garlic- minced
1/3 c water
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Put onion and potato in an 8″x8″ baking dish. Mix together the remaining ingredients, pour over potatoes and stir.
Put in 425°F oven. Bake 20 minutes, stir and return to oven for 20 more minutes or until potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is gone.

Our salad tonight was baby spinach with black olives, tomato, feta cheese, hard boiled egg, red pepper flakes and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Some time ago a read a tip on the internet that if you chew gum while chopping onions your eyes won’t water. I happened to be chewing mint gum tonight and my eyes did not tear up at all. So this tip is worth a try I guess.

Happy Friday!

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It’s Gyro-riffic!

homemade gyro

Yesterday was Hagbard’s 30th birthday and he had requested gyros for dinner. I made homemade Tzatziki sauce, gyro meat and pita bread. I pretty much spent all day in the kitchen yesterday so today is leftovers or pbj!

I made the Tzatziki on Saturday night.

Tzatziki

1 T salt for salting cucumbers

3 c Greek yogurt (or strained plain yogurt)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 large cucumber

1T olive oil

1T fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill

salt and pepper to taste

Peel cucumber. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Cube the cucumber and place in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle cucumbers with salt and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Drain water and pat cucumber dry.

In a food processor combine the remaining ingredients and process until well-blended. Refrigerate.

Make at least 2 hours ahead so flavors blend.

Sunday morning I made the gyro meat. In the past we’ve bought frozen gyro kits at the grocery store and gyro meat over the internet. These were somewhat expensive options. We wouldn’t like the sauce or pita bread in the kit so it was pretty wasteful. After trial and error over the years I’ve arrived at a recipe for “gyro loaf” which pleases my family. I’ve found using fattier ground beef is important and using the food processor gives it the texture my family likes. I often freeze half of the loaf after cooking it  and that works well.

Gyro Meat

1 lb ground lamb

1 lb ground beef

1 c onion, finely chopped or shredded

1 T minced garlic

3/4 tsp salt

1T dried marjoram

1T dried rosemary, ground

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 325F. Mix everything in a food processor for 1 minute. Shape mixture into  a loaf- about 5 1/2 ” x 11″ and 1 ” tall.

Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool several hours or overnight before slicing. Warm slices briefly  in a skillet or microwave before serving.

I had decided to make pita bread instead of buying it this time.  I found a new recipe for Arabian Pita Bread on Food.com that looked simple and had good reviews. The recipe calls for 1T dried nonfat milk powder. I rarely use powdered milk but had some in the cabinet so I pulled it out. My box apparently expired in December last year so I decided not to use it. Maybe it would’ve been okay but maybe not. I thought I’d just use some regular milk but totally forgot to add it. I used honey instead of sugar. Other than that I followed the recipe.  I mistakenly stacked some rolled out dough between pieces of waxed paper. They stuck fast. None of my pita bread really formed a pocket but that wasn’t important to me since we put everything on top and fold it to eat. It seemed that the ones that were a bit thicker worked a bit better since the thinner ones got crispier and stiffer. I think if I did it over I’d make the dough balls bigger and not roll them as thin- and not stack anything! In the end I got some bread and it worked for our gyros.

I thought we had olives to add to our gyros but none could be found. I also totally forgot to make french fries until we were putting food on our plates so we just had gyros last night. Oops. Everyone enjoyed the gyros though. Little Lulu had meat and feta cheese on her pita bread. Hagbard and I had meat, tzatziki, onion, feta cheese and tomato on our bread.

Later in the evening we had an ice cream cake Hagbard had picked up from Dairy Queen. I love making and decorating cakes but it is his tradition to have an ice cream cake on his birthday so he usually just buys one.

Happy Birthday Hagbard!

The History of Gyros

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