Friday, July 29, 2011
Family Friendly Greek Miscellaneous Dinner
Dinner: July 27
My sister and two nieces - ages 6 and 8 - were visiting from St. Louis, and they wanted to spend an evening away from the hotel to have dinner at Aunt Jen’s apartment. Last year, we made talapia, mac & cheese cupcakes, and veggies, and they were able to participate in the preparation of the meal. Fun!
This year, we had more difficulties. Neither of the girls can have anything with cow’s milk, which eliminates most cheeses from dinner options. Combine that restriction with finding something that both girls will like and eat is a tougher task than most would imagine.
I finally decided on a Greek meal with ingredients they could combine to their liking, and the only cheese involved was Feta. And we had a winner!
I found numerous recipes on the internet, and some of the items I figured out on my own. For the meat, I used this souvlaki recipe for the basic ingredients, though I simply fried the meat in a pan instead of grilling it, and we only used chicken and lamb. For the hummus, I used a Rachel Ray recipe that looked like something the kids would call regular hummus. And the tzatziki recipe came from an old cookbook on my shelf called The Book of Greek Cooking. I also put together a bowl of onions and sliced cherry tomatoes with Mediterranean oregano and olive oil, and a separate bowl of halved kalamata olives. And we had pita bread as the base.
Basics: Combined a can of drained chick peas, juice of a lemon, oregano, fresh parsley, a garlic clove, salt, tahini paste, and olive oil in a food processor. Chopped until smooth.
It was a pretty good hummus, though not the best I’ve ever tasted. I don’t believe it needed the parsley, and it was missing something. But everyone liked it, so I’ll chalk it up to an easy success.
Basics: The chicken and lamb were quite simple. I cut them into relatively small pieces and marinated them all day with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Mediterranean oregano. Later, I put them into a heated pot to fry, along with the juice of a lemon.
Tasty! I was afraid the kids wouldn’t eat the lamb, but they tried it and couldn’t find much wrong with it. And my sister and I loved it. The chicken was a hit, too.
Basics: Peeled, seeded, and diced one cucumber. Dried with towel and mixed with minced garlic, chopped fresh mint, oregano, and a cup of Greek yogurt.
This was pretty good. It was the topping for our pita sandwiches, but it can also be a dip for pita. The kids liked it because of the cucumber.
All in all, this was a great dinner for kids and adults. Everyone could eat what they wanted - even pulling the tomatoes out of the mixture with the onions - and make their own concoctions. The pita sandwiches didn’t hold together well, but we made little mini-pizzas out of the ingredients, and one of the girls just decided to mix everything together as sort of a salad and eat it.