Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Greek Feast

Every time Zach and I cook, we try to cook something we've never attempted before. When we were planning this culinary adventure, Zach had just been to a Greek-Fest in St. Louis, which inspired him to suggest pork souvlaki, to which I added hummus, pita and a Greek-style squash (by no means traditional or authentic, but inspired by traditional Greek flavors).

First, the souvlaki. We used this recipe from Allrecipes.com:


1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces


In a large glass bowl, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce, oregano, and garlic; add pork, onions, and green peppers, and stir to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Thread pork, peppers, and onions onto skewers.

Lightly oil grate. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or to desired doneness, turning skewers frequently for even cooking.

These turned out GREAT!!!

Next, the pita. We used this recipe from Kitchen 22:

Pita Bread (recipe from Kalofagas)
makes approximately 6 big ones

3 cups plain flour
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
oil for greasing the pan
flour for dusting
Mix the water, olive oil, yeast, salt and sugar and leave for a few minutes. Add the flour slowly and mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a dough. When it is too difficult to do it with the spoon, start mixing with your hands. When the flour has been incorporated, knead until the dough looks smooth. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave for half an hour.

Pull pieces off the dough, the size of an orange (although it depends on how big you like your pita!) and roll them out into 1/4 inch thick round sheets. Use a fork to poke holes into the dough, without going all the way through it.

Very much like making tortillas!

Very delicious!

Carianne was cooking the pitas, and she decided not only should you put oil in the pan before you throw the pita in, but it's also better if you brush the other side of the pita with oil as well to prevent it from getting too dry.

The hummus was something I just kind of threw together based upon my preferences on taste and no particular measurements. I used 2 cans of chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic and salt and just blended everything up until it was smooth, creamy and tasted good!

Served with fresh cut veggies, too!

And finally, the veggie dish. I used a variation on this recipe from Taste of Home (my edits are in parentheses): 

2 small yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced (I used 4 big zucchini because I couldn't find any yellow squash that day)
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup pitted ripe olives (I used kalamata)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion (I used yellow onion)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I added feta as well)

Place the yellow squash, zucchini, tomato, olives and onion on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 17 in. x 18 in.). Combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic salt, oregano and pepper; pour over vegetables (I put cheese in at this point instead of waiting until the end). Fold foil around mixture and seal tightly.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 30-35 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. (My foil pack was SO BIG we had to put it in the oven instead of on the grill because there wasn't enough space with all those skewers, too!)

Transfer vegetables to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 4 servings (Mine made WAY more than 4 servings...6 of us ate and still had leftovers!)


And of course there was snacking...

White truffle oil, olive oil and feta

I had no idea exactly how pungent and strong truffle oil was, but mellowed with a bit of EVOO and mixed with some feta, it was a great dip for the pitas!

And there was wine involved, too...followed by Zach being, well, Zach.

Charlotte's Red (L) and Ludmila (R) from Davenport winery.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling (center)

Zach + old man sunglasses - one lens = pseudo-pirate