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Greek Chicken Roulades

IMG_2874Well, it has been a while since I have blogged more than one  item in a week!  I have been in the mood to try new recipes.  Here are two recipes from Cuisine at Home.  I did not have enough Kalamata olives to make this dish, but did have olive tapenade in my fridge that I used in the filling.  Also, I doubled the recipe from the original.  I made Cuisine at Home’s recipe for Creamy Orzo to go with this.  Both recipes are easy to prepare, prepared in about 30 minutes, and tasty, in short: they are keepers. Start cooking the Orzo first. Now for the recipes:

Creamy Orzo with Feta and Sun-dried Tomatoes

adapted from Cuisine at Home | Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry orzo pasta
  • 4 oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Instructions:

In a small saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil.  Add the orzo and bring to a boil again.  Reduce heat, and boil, uncovered, for 9 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Turn off heat.  Drain any excess liquid.  Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, salt, and pepper.  Serve warm with Greek Chicken Roulades.

 

Greek Chicken Roulades

adapted from Cuisine at Home | Serves 4 (doubled from original)

  • 1/2 cup olive tapenade (originally 24 Kalamata olives)
  • 6 Tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 6 Tbsp minced oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of fat
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 12 Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Instructions:

Combine the olive tapanade, breadcrumbs, minced sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest, minced garlic, and dried oregano in a small bowl.

Slice or pound the chicken breast halves to 1/4 inch thickness.  Spread about 1/4 of the tapenade mixture on the chicken breast halves.  Roll up and secure chicken roulades with toothpicks.  Repeat with remaining 3 chicken breast halves.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Sear the rolls of chicken about 3 or 4 minutes each side until golden brown.  Remove the chicken to a platter.

Saute the minced shallots in the same pan you cooked the chicken in for about 2 minutes.  Add the white wine.  Cook for a few minutes until the wine has reduced by about half.  Add the chicken broth and the chicken rolls back into the pan along with the chopped Kalamata olives.  Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.  Cover, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken roulades to a clean platter.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch and stir to a slurry.  Add to the sauce in the pan and whisk in.  Cook to thicken.

Remove toothpicks and cut the chicken rolls crosswise to show the filling. Serve with Creamy Orzo and the white wine sauce.

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Tzatsiki

I was searching IMG_3243for a good Tzatsiki sauce to go with my Gyro recipe.  My friend Sherilyn shared this recipe with me.

Tzatsiki Sauce

Yields: about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and grated, wrung dry in a clean kitchen towel
  • 2 cups (500 ml) plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp minced dill
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients and mix well to combine.  Chill and serve with Gyros.  You can find my recipe at:

https://goodcookbecky.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/gyros/ (link)

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Breaded Goat Cheese

I recently had breaded goat cheese slices in a salad at a restaurant.  After I researched the process, I discovered that they are so easy to make.  I decided to make them last weekend when our friends Mike and Anneke came to visit us with their children.  We do not get to see them very frequently, so our time with them was sweet.  I decided that since I had goat cheese, that I would try this new technique.  It is super easy to make.  The hardest part is slicing the goat cheese as it has a tendency to crumble like Feta does.  One site recommended using dental floss, but since I only had mint flavor, I passed and used a sharp knife which worked out okay.  These can be made ahead and then added to your salad later – they would also be even more fantastic warmed a little just before serving.

Panko Crusted Goat Cheese

(for salad) goodcookbecky

Ingredients:

  • 1 log goat cheese, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Panko breading
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Preparation:

Dip the goat cheese rounds into the egg and then coat in the Panko breading (Japanese style bread crumbs that you should be able to locate at your well stocked grocery store in the International isle).  Melt the butter with the olive oil in a small non stick skillet over medium high heat and fry the breaded goat cheese on both sides until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel and refrigerate until dinner time if making ahead – otherwise just add to the salad and eat.  It is a very nice addition for a quick change.

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Gyros

I was recently looking through my very first cookbook that I bought for myself.  I was a Freshman in College then – and the Betty Crocker Cookbook was just the beginning of a growing passion.  I found a recipe for Gyros in the cookbook and I hesitate to try new recipes on my family – my two girls were off to winter camp with their church youth group – and the only child remaining was my adventurous eater… so I stopped at Trader Joe’s and picked up a few pita bread pockets.  I looked for ground lamb, but all they had was ground beef and it was an acceptable substitute. I also picked up some crumbled seasoned Feta cheese (though not in the original recipe) and it took the Gyro to the next flavor level.  Yum!

The recipe:

Gyros
adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook (1998)
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 lb ground lamb (beef)
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp canola oil
Sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek works too)
1 Tbsp fresh minced mint (or 1 tsp dry)
1 tsp sugar
1 small cucumber peeled, seeds removed, chopped

2 roma tomatoes, small dice
4 pita sandwiches, cut in half and opened
Crumbled seasoned Feta cheese

Instructions:
Mix first 8 ingredients together.  Form into 8 small meat patties.  Heat a skillet and add oil. Cook the meat over medium heat, turning frequently until meat is cooked. About 10-12 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, combine the yogurt, mint, sugar and cucumber. Stir to combine.

Serving Instructions:
Open the pocket of each half of pita bread and put one meat patty inside. Top with a heaping spoon full with the cucumber sauce, diced tomatoes and about 1 Tbsp feta cheese in each pocket. 2 halves equal 1 serving.

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Greek Orzo Salad

This is a wonderful refreshing dish that I love to serve at our home.  My husband and I seem to always battle for the last bowl when the late night munchies hit.  We end up sharing!

It is an easy dish to put together, chop your veggies and such while the pasta cooks and then cool the orzo under running cold water and it is a flash to assemble.  The beauty of this dish is you can put any veggies in you want.  My mom made this with green beans once and broccoli another time. Both were delicious.  I happen to like this combination the best.  But if you did not like artichokes, or cucumbers – substitute away!

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
Serves 6-8

  • 3/4 lb Orzo Pasta (I love the Barilla Brand)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced (I like the hot house or English ones they are most consistently good)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 can black olives (Greek style if you desire, but can be made with just regular olives if you wish)
  • 1 package cherry or grape tomatoes (chopped tomato is fine too)
  • fresh basil, chopped (to taste or 1 tsp of dried basil works in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cut in cubes if you like larger pieces of feta
  • 1/2 jar roasted Red Peppers (optional)

For the Dressing:

  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. mint
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Cook the Pasta according to the directions.  Prepare the vegetables, and put in a large bowl.  When the pasta is cooked, drained and cooled, add to the chopped veggies.  Combine the ingredients of the dressing and pour over the pasta salad.  Combine.  Add the feta cheese last, it seems to hold together better then.  Enjoy.  This really is quite addicting.  I think you will find it is as well.

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Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono Chicken Soup

Strange name I know, it’s Greek and is a wonderful Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup.  I went to a ladies night out and a friend brought this soup to the event.  I went back for thirds and then took some home with me to share with my husband.  Delicious!  My kids all love it too and it is a frequent request now.  I make it about every other week now.  The recipe is from Cat Cora on the Food Network.  I made a few changes to suit my family’s tastes.

Just today my daughter announced that every Restaurant should have this recipe and serve it because she would order it every time!  It really is that good.  Do try it!

Source:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cat-cora/avgolemono-chicken-soup-with-egg-lemon-sauce-recipe/index.html

Avgolemono: Chicken Soup with Egg-Lemon Sauce – Cat Cora

  • 1 (3 pound) free range chicken
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 leek, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
  • 2/3 cup Aborio rice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

Place the chicken in a large pot with 2 quarts cold water, enough to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, skimming when necessary.

In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions. Sweat the onions until clear. Set aside.

When chicken is cooked through, remove from the broth. Let the chicken cool and pull the meat from the bones. Dice into large cubes. Set aside.

Add the onion, bay leaves, leek, and carrot to the broth and simmer for 1 hour. When finished, remove the carrot and leek from the broth and add the rice. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to medium high to simmer until the rice is cooked to al dente, about 30 minutes. Add the chicken back into the broth. Add more water if needed.

In a small bowl beat the eggs and lemon juice together. Pour 2 cups of broth slowly into the bowl of egg and lemon, whisking continuously. Once all the broth is incorporated, add the mixture into the pot of chicken soup and stir to blend well throughout. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Prep     10 min

Cook    3 hr 10 min

Total:     3 hr 20 min

Serves 8-10

Becky’s NOTES:

After I remove the carrots and leeks I chop the carrots into small pieces (last time I even squeezed them through my potato ricer) I add the carrots back into the soup with the chicken.  I do not add onions, my kids don’t care for the texture, but I do let them simmer in the broth with the leeks and carrots, but do not add them to the final product.  Very very yummy and fairly easy to make!  Do go out and buy some Aborio rice, it is perfect for this soup.

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