He slices, he dices, he julienne fries!



Greek Feast!

Lamb

Lamb shoulder or any meaty cut is good. Whichever cut you use, rinse and pat dry, then sear the meat in a large frying pan until it's brown on all sides. Sprinkle it with some rosemary, garlic powder and--this is the most important--Cavender's® Greek seasoning (yellow canister, you can get it at any decent supermarket). Put the lamb in a large stew pot and add a large can and a regular can of tomato sauce, some chopped onion, a tablespoon of Cavender's® Greek seasoning, and some more rosemary with some sage. Cover the pot and stick it in the oven to bake at 350° for about 4 hours. It depends on the size of the cut of lamb you use, so check it after 2 1/2 hours for tenderness and liquid. When it's ready to fall off the bone, it's ready!

Spinach souffle/perfect with the lamb

  • 2 paks of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 lbs. small curd cottage cheese
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese grated
  • 4 oz. Swiss cheese grated (sometimes I'll throw in a little feta for zing; hey, it's up to you, it's optional)
  • 6 eggs, beaten (don't worry this is what they were born for)
  • 6 to 7 tbsp. flour (white bleached)
  • 4 scallions chopped and sauted until soft, not brown
  • 1/4 lb. butter melted (did any body say nonfat, I think not)
  • 1 tsp. seasoned pepper
  • a dash of dill
  • 1 tsp. Cavender's® Greek seasoning
  • Salt to taste (start with a tsp and go from there)
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, then spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with your favorite cooking lubricant and add ingredints to pan. Spread it around real nice and even and bake for one hour at 350° or until light brown on top.  (If you don't have 2 ovens, you can ask your neighbor, or cook it with the lamb in the last hour, or bake it the night before and stick it back in the oven for 15 minutes before serving.)

Greek green beans

You'll never want green beans any other way!
  • 2 large cans of cut green beans, drained
  • 1 medium white onion chopped nice
  • 1 can chopped tomatos
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cavender's® Greek seasoning (no, I am not getting kickbacks)
  • A pinch of dill
  • A pinch of mint
Put it all in a large saucepan and let it simmer covered on medium low for about 20 minutes to a half hour. Stir occasionally and check for moisture. Add a bit of water here and there if it's sticking.

Last but not least here's a recipe for...

Tsatziki

If you don't have a food processor, forget it--It's to much chopping for normal people! This is a yogurt based garlic cucumber dip that is for garlic lovers.  Everyone at the table should eat this just to be fair.

  • Large container of plain yogurt, regular not lowfat!
  • Cheese cloth (you can usually find it in the baking aisle. Ask somebody.)
  • Raw garlic, 6 to 9 cloves peeled
  • Large cucumber peeled, halved, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • Dill weed
Now here's the deal--fold your cheese coth into a large square with at least 3 layers, dump the yogurt into the middle and tie with string. (I swear last time I did it with dental floss) Wrap the yougurt up in a bundle. You want to drain the whey off the yogurt, so what I do is stick 2 bamboo kabob sticks through it and hang it in a plastic pitcher for at least 4 hours; overnight is better.

Take your garlic and put it through the food processor until it's mush, then set aside. Take your cucumber chunks and put through the food processor the same way, but when you're done processing, take it and put it in some leftover cheese cloth and squeeze it dry. In a big bowl put your drained yogurt (it should be very thick), your garlic (start with 3/4 of whats prepared and go from there...I just put it all in!), add your squeezed cucumber, a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of dill, and some salt (to taste) and you're off.

This is excellent with crusty bread, or smear some on your lamb (or each other--it's all you now, baby.)


A few more non-Greek recipes

DC's Honest-to-God Spaghetti sauce with Meat

Most guy's idea of making spaghetti is opening a can of Ragu and boiling some noodles. Although an honest effort, it doesn't quite scream "cuisine," does it?  The secret of this sauce is letting it cook low for 5 or 6 hours. Because I don't trust electric stoves, I'll put the sauce together and then put it in a crock pot to simmer all day. This recipe will feed a small army. It also freezes well and is great reheated! You'll need a frying pan and 2 large pots.

SAUCE:
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin (you can use ground beef if you must)
  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage (ground)  If you don't like a little bite in your sauce use mild.
  • 2 large cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • large white onion, chopped
  • large Mayan or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 can of sliced black olives
  • 1 large can of Italian-style chopped tomatoes
  • 8 cloves of garlic minced or put through a processor (you can buy minced garlic in a jar, but I prefer fresh)
  • 1 cup of red wine (buy a couple bottles for dinner and just use a cup in the sauce. Pinot Noir or Merlot is nice. Stay away from Night Train or Mad Dog 20/20)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 box of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • heaping tablespoon oregeno
  • heaping tablespoon sweet basil
  • 2 teaspoons Lawry's® seasoned pepper
  • fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste
O.K. here we go! Brown beef and sausage in frying pan, drain, and set aside.  With a 1/2 cup of olive oil in medium-hot pan, add garlic and simmer for a minute then add onions, green pepper.  Saute until soft, then add zuchinni and mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes. Add canned tomatos, black olives, wine, oregeno, seasoned pepper and basil and simmer on medium low for about 15/20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now throw everything in the frying pan into large pot, and add tomato sauce, tomato paste and meat, then throw in chopped parsley and mix together well. Now, if your going to be home and can stir and check the sauce once and awhile, leave it in the pot. If you want to leave it, I suggest a crock pot on low. I've done both. If you trust low or simmer on your stove you should be OK. Cook at least 3 hours, the more the better. Use regular spaghetti, or angelhair pasta is nice, too.

GARLIC BREAD

You can buy prepared garlic bread, and there's some good ones on the market, but if you want to do fresh, try this. Simmer sliced garlic (about 4 or 5 cloves) in 2 tablespoons olive oil until soft, not brown, and add this to a soft cube of butter with a 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste. Mash it up and spread on a split fresh loaf of Italian bread, and sprinkle a little parsley on top. Wrap it in tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes at 350°. For an "extra" after baking, open it up and dust with fresh parmesan cheese and broil it for a couple minutes until bubbling. This is going the extra step, and not really needed but it's really good!

Guacamole (party batch)

  • 5 ripe haas avacado’s
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 small ripe tomato
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice of 1 regular lime
  • salt to taste
Cut avacados in half, remove seed, and scrape the meat into a bowl.  Cut the ends off the onion, peel outer layer, then chop the onion fine and add to bowl. Chop tomato very small and add to bowl.  Chop cilantro fine, add to bowl. Add limejuice and garlic powder, then mash and mix it all up really good.  Always use a little less salt than you would usually, as the salt on the chips makes up for it.

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

My recipes have been picked up all over the planet, and they’re authentic when I learn them.  Then, because I am relatively lazy, I adapt them for ingredients we can buy at just about any neighborhood grocery store. They taste just as good but you don’t have to put the time in running around trying to find ethnic stores for the things you need.

One other point, you can play with these recipes for different size crowds or just for 2. This one’s for about 6.
  • Package of boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatos (they have diced tomatoes with ethnic fixin's now e.g, Mexican or Italian, so if they’ve got the Mexican use it.  If not just get the regular)
  • 1 large can diced green chilies
  • 1 can chile verde cooking sauce
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s® seasoned pepper (I use this on everything)
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, regular if they don’t have it
  • 1 bag of grated cheese (you can find Mexican-style cheese at the store)
  • 1 package of large (burrito size) flour tortillas
  • 2 cans Old El Paso® green chili enchilada sauce
In a large pot, put 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil and heat on medium high. (a big mistake most guys make is cooking stuff way to hot) Add minced garlic and stir it around until it starts to turn golden, then add the onion and lower the heat a bit. Cook the onion until it gets soft, then add green chilies, tomatoes, cilantro, cumin, oregano and pepper. Add a cup of water and bring it all to a boil. When it boils, turn it down to a simmer and cover.

Now while that’s simmering, cut up the chicken in small pieces. Put a little oil in a frying pan and add chicken and chili verde cooking sauce. When I am cooking the chicken, I sometimes add a little garlic powder and salt. Cook the chicken until it's white, then throw it all into the big pot. I recommend cooking this for a couple of hours, although you can start putting together your enchiladas after about 45 minutes. Make sure you stir it from time to time and add a little water if it needs it. When you’re ready to start, heat your oven to 350°, take a tortilla, stick in the microwave for about 15 seconds (this makes it soft and foldable).  Using a slotted spoon, take some of your filling put it in the middle of the tortilla, then fold the ends in and roll it up.

Put your finished enchiladas in a 9x13 baking dish. Line them up side by side until the dish is full. Pour a can of the green chile enchilada sauce over the top and spread it around. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top, (I like a lot of cheese) and if you like, add some sliced black olives on top.  Put the dish in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. You can serve this with some refried beans, (once again, I am not getting kickbacks but I like Old El Paso® or Rosarita®) I use the vegetarian beans as they don’t have lard. Add a little lime juice, cheese and garlic powder to jazz them up. Here’s some serving suggestions: sour cream and salsa on top, and guys, try to use matching plates--women seem to appreciate that! Good luck and enjoy!
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