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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recipe Wednesday! I "MINT" to post these GREEK recipes...

Hello blog friends!
Please forgive my lapse in posting, and consider it my vacation! (Which it was, if crazy-busy counts as vacation!) My favorite herb this week...MINT!!!! Mint grows around streams like crazy here, just look for it near a wet area. These recipes use mint in a different way...try it and see!

Full of Mediterranean flavor, this open-face sandwich is great for lunch or dinner, with hearty meatballs made of ground beef, veggies and spices, and served with a cool and tangy mint yogurt sauce.


MEATBALL SOUVLAKI

Ingredients

Yogurt Sauce
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp each ground cumin, garlic powder and salt
Meatballs
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp each garlic powder, salt and pepper
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-in. rounds
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-in.-thick wedges
2 tsp olive oil
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 4 wedges
Warmed pocketless pitas, lettuce (optional)

Directions:

1. Position racks to divide oven in thirds. Heat oven to 500ยบF. You’ll need 2 rimmed baking pans lined with nonstick foil.

2. Yogurt Sauce: Mix all sauce ingredients in medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with meatballs.

3. Meatballs: Stir bread crumbs, egg, water, minced onion, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper until blended. Add beef; stir with fork until thoroughly blended. Roll rounded Tbsps into balls; place on a lined baking pan.

4. Put zucchini and red onion on other lined baking pan ; toss with oil. Place vegetables on top rack, meatballs on bottom. Roast 20 minutes.

5. Remove pans from oven, turn browned vegetables over, then push to one side and add tomatoes; turn meatballs. Roast meatballs and vegetables 5 minutes more or until zucchini is tender; toss together.

6. Serve on pitas with lettuce if desired. Top with yogurt sauce.

Note: To cut down on prep time, buy prepared turkey meatballs. Just roast for the last 10 minutes.


CHICKEN SOUVLAKI

Ingredients:

1½ tsp. dried Greek or Turkish oregano
1½ tsp. fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. red-wine vinegar
~ Juice of 1 lemon
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken breasts or 6 to 8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped finely
~ Salt to taste
1 green bell pepper, veins and seeds removed, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half
4 slices pita bread

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together the oregano, thyme, black pepper, minced garlic, 1 tsp. vinegar, and lemon juice, then whisk in olive oil until the vinaigrette comes together. Take half and toss with the chicken in another dish; set aside the remaining vinaigrette. Grill the chicken on both sides until it is cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt with the remaining vinegar, diced cucumber, and chopped mint. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together the bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, and olives, then toss with the remaining vinaigrette.
Heat the pita bread either by wrapping it in foil and keeping it warm in a 200-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or by toasting it on the grill to warm it through.
To serve: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. On each pita bread, distribute evenly the chicken, yogurt-cucumber salad, and the bell pepper-tomato salad.


WATERMELON FETA SALAD WITH FRESH MINT

Ingredients:

Salad:

2 cups seedless watermelon chunks
⅓ cup chopped Kalamata or Greek black olives
½ cup Greek or Bulgarian feta cheese
2 - 3 Tbsp. fresh mint, shredded
4 cups arugula, rinsed (if desired)

Vinaigrette:

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
~ Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Toss the watermelon, olives, cheese, and mint together in a medium mixing bowl. Divide and arrange on beds of arugula, if desired, or directly on plates.
Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or a lidded jar; whisk or shake. Drizzle salads with the balsamic vinaigrette and serve. Serves four!

"As for the garden of mint, the very smell of it alone recovers and refreshes our spirits, as the taste stirs up our appetite for meat."
~Pliny

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! Once again you have given out some wonderful recipes!!! These look divine! Can't wait to give um a try!

    ReplyDelete