52 Dinners - Week 13: Mamma Mia! It's Greek Week!

52 Dinners - Week 13: Mamma Mia! It's Greek Week!

Opa!

We had a Greek meze party with Anna Jane from Little State Flower Company, Brad from Lumber and Farm, Hilary, and Dave from Morey Hill Farm last week and it was so much fun.

Anna Jane and Brad came for a quick weekend getaway to Vermont and stayed with us on their first night. They arrived early afternoon, and I wanted to come up with a dinner menu that could be prepared entirely ahead of time so that I could spend the day hanging out instead of working in the kitchen.

I made spanakopita, dolmas, hummus, melitzanosalata (eggplant spread/salad), tzatziki, endive tabbouleh, and keftedes (Greek meatballs) a day or two in advance, and picked up some olives, mushrooms, dried fruits, nuts, and pita to round things out.
At dinner time, all I had to do was bake off my frozen spanakopita, fry the meatballs, and warm the pita.
And all of that was done with a big glass of ouzo in my hand.

For dessert I made an apricot and fig ice cream with pistachios using another David Lebovitz recipe. Dried apricots and figs were reconstituted in white wine for a couple hours, then pureed into an ice cream base. I didn’t strain it because I wanted to keep all of the fig seeds. And as it was churning, I folded in some roasted pistachios. It was a texture-lovers dream, and tasted as good as it sounds.

I’ve got to say, I could see myself getting used to room-temperature, single-course meals. Having a pastry chef brain, I often find myself drawn to making foods that require lots of small repetitive motions.
Whether it’s the samosas from the Indian dinner a few weeks ago, the dolmas and spanakopita from last week, or the pierogis I’ll soon be making, I really enjoy setting up a little station and getting to work creating rows and rows of small special nibbles. I don’t know what I’d do if I ever developed carpal tunnel.

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