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Apr 23, 2008 10:03 AM

Greek appetizer

We are invited to an 80th birthday party for a Greek/American gentleman. I would like to bring a Greek appetizer that is not too complicated. Dolmates ( sp?) are already on the menu. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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  1. i'd go with either some tzatziki or babaghanouj with pita chips. the former is actually one of my favorite dips to chip away at.

    5 Replies
    1. re: beelzebozo

      Theses sound great - where would I find the recipies? Thanks.

      1. re: klmsfd

        i use alton brown's recipe for tzatziki, and bobby flay's recipe for babaghanouj. note that in the tzatziki recipe listed below, you can omit the draining of the yogurt if you manage to find thick greek yogurt (i didn't, so the process was a bit longer for me than it would be for someone with that on hand). i reduced the amount of mint, and also added a little fresh oregano, because greek and oregano just go together to me.

        Tzatziki Sauce:
        16 ounces plain yogurt
        1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
        Pinch kosher salt
        4 cloves garlic, finely minced
        1 tablespoon olive oil
        2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
        5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

        Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

        Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

        1 large firm eggplant (about 1 1/3 pounds), cut in half lengthwise
        Olive oil
        1 tablespoon tahini
        4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
        1/4 cup minced shallots
        1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
        2 tablespoons olive oil
        Salt and freshly ground pepper
        1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
        2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
        2 loaves of naan
        Olive oil

        Preheat grill. Brush flesh of the eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill flesh-side down for 15 to 20 minutes, turn over and grill an additional 15 minutes, or until soft. Let cool slightly and remove the flesh with a large spoon and mince..
        In a large bowl, mix the tahini, garlic, shallot, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cilantro together until combined. Fold in the eggplant and reseason with salt and pepper and more lemon juice if necessary.

        1. re: beelzebozo

          Many, many thanks. I am getting hungry just reading the recipes. I really appreciate your taking the time to write these excellant recipies. I'll look for the Greek yogurt. Can't wait to make them.

          1. re: klmsfd

            Fage yogurt is great for tsaziki and needs no draining. The recipe above is pretty close to mine but I add a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh dill along with the mint.

          2. re: beelzebozo

            To drain yogurt for tzatziki (or anything else) line a plastic colander with plain white paper towels, dump the carton of yogurt into the middle, place another paper towel over the top, then set it in the refrigerator over a bowl that will catch the drippings. Rest another bowl on top of the yogurt. Depending on how thick you want the yogurt, it can drain anywhere from a couple of hours to a day and a half if you want yogurt cream cheese.

            My tzatziki is kind of old fasioned. Just yogurt, peeled, seeded and grated cucumber, garlic to taste, salt and olive oil. This is the basic classic recipe common throughout Greece and Turkey.

            When offering it with kebabs, I also put out small bowls of thinly sliced red onion, coarse chopped mint, dill sprigs, chopped tomatoes and pita/pida bread.

      2. Spanakopita made in phyllo triangles. Or taramasalata -- though I know a lot of people who think it's too fishy for them. But I find it's the rare person who doesn't like spinach pie.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Miss Needle

          Many htanks, I thinnk I can find a recipe for spinich pie, but what about the taramasalata?

        2. Have you checked with the party-throwers to make sure a potluck dish would be welcomed? I would think that for an 80th BD, family and friends will be bringing in tons of fabulous Greek food. I, personally, would attend and eat! Take the best bottle of ouzo I could find as a present to the gentleman and maybe a stack of really cheap ceramic dishes (go to yard sales, mis-matched okay, small, large, whatever) tied with blue and white ribbons (aren't those the colors of the Greek flag?). Ouzo for toasting, dishes for smashing on the floor! Oopah!

          4 Replies
          1. re: nemo

            Since the Greek dishes will likely be supplied in plenty by those expert in cooking that cuisine, what if you brought something small that is from your ancestral background? That way you are sharing something of yourself and will be offering something different, as well as cooking something you're already used to preparing which you know will be wonderful.

            1. re: rockandroller1

              Thanks, excellant idea - with an old Irish background - it might be potatoes.

            2. re: nemo

              They are dear friends and I offered to help. I love the idea of the dishes. I'm also trying ot think of a funny Greek gift.

              1. re: klmsfd

                Some worry beads and an evil eye charm! Can't miss. '-)

                I'd go with tyropita and/or spanakopita. I don't do the triangles. Too time consuming with all the folding. I just do mine in jelly roll pans, at least two of each, and then cut them into diamond shapes a little larger than baklava before baking. Doesn't matter how much I make/take, it's always the first empty dish at the party.

            3. You might consider making lamb meatballs, I put mint & pignoli nuts in mine and serve with tsatsiki (sp?) sauce. They're good hot or at room temp.

              1. I love greek food! What about Tiropitas, or Keftedes? As far as the Spanakopita, it is my favorite. I could just eat a plate of those, but I really just want a little of everything!