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Greek themed tasting

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smilingal May 13, 2011 10:31 AM

Last year everyone was so helpful when I did the tea party tasting for 100. It was a huge success. This year the show is involving a greek cruise being performed at the theater so I would like to do little tastings for 100 with that greek theme. Thus far, I have considered a chopped vegetable salad with Feta and Olives, perhaps hummus and tzatziki and pita, maybe baklava. Don't have any real recipes as of yet.
Would greatly appreciate your help. This is meant for theater patrons to enter our theater, have a taste or three from this table and then go into the theater for the show.

PLEASE HELP!!

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  1. lilgi RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 10:50 AM

    Smilingal, this is my favorite recipe 'ever' for Spanakopita, and since Amy is an actress and not a professional cook I'm guessing it must be pretty close to a family recipe. I've made this countless times, and I highly recommend some fresh fennel (not too much) as well as a tad of fresh dill. This one will give you one that is firm with a nice height and she uses more spinach, I just make sure I squeeze every drop of moisture from it (cheesecloth is good for this also).

    http://erincooks.com/amy-sedariss-spa...

    I may have some other recipes, I'll double check in a bit but hope this will start you off.

    9 Replies
    1. re: lilgi
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      smilingal RE: lilgi May 13, 2011 11:13 AM

      lilgi - I know when I have worked with phyllo pastry the cutting into neat pieces becomes problematic - in fact, that is one of my hesitation with doing baklava. How do you find it with the spanakopita recipe - to present 120 neat pieces?

      1. re: smilingal
        lilgi RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 11:30 AM

        This is going to sound weird but it works:
        Bake it once following the instructions. After it cools down completely, bake again and let it turn just a bit more golden (of course, don't overbrown). You should get perfect pieces and a nice flaky phyllo on top.

        One more trick (I don't do this all the time though): Bake the first half of phyllo until you see it crisp a little. This helps the bottom from being gummy.

        Also, I find that when I defrost the phyllo overnight in the fridge I have to take it out for an hour before working with it. This is the best way to get the phyllo completely defrosted.

        Please try at home if you're inclined; I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

        1. re: lilgi
          buttertart RE: lilgi May 13, 2011 11:39 AM

          That prebaking the bottom is a great idea, thanks, lilgi.

          1. re: buttertart
            lilgi RE: buttertart May 13, 2011 11:46 AM

            yes! yw ;)

          2. re: lilgi
            s
            smilingal RE: lilgi May 13, 2011 12:34 PM

            I'm a bit confused --- bake the first half until it crisps? --- you mean before you place the spinach on top?

            Also- can you bake this a day in advance then heat it again the next day? Would you suggest cutting it once cooled and heating up the individual pieces the next day?

            1. re: smilingal
              lilgi RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 01:05 PM

              Yes, if you bake a day in advance, much better. And on the bottom half it helps to crisp before layering the spinach. Please let me know if you decide to try it or if you had problems. Just make sure you have one half of the phyllo in one pan under plastic, then let a damp towel fall over the sides of the pan covering it to keep the air in there moist. Same for the phyllo you're working with (without the towel, just saran but working diligently since the dough must be completely covered at all times).

              eta: one more thing, when brushing the butter on the phyllo don't skimp on the butter, brush generously and make sure you get the whole sheet on one side (you don't have to drown it but the phyllo benefits tremendously from the butter).

              1. re: lilgi
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                smilingal RE: lilgi Jul 11, 2011 10:57 AM

                lilgi - the recipe was DELICIOUS! thank you! The only thing I am wondering if the phyllo sheets can be decreased - or perhaps I needed to use even more butter than I did - and I think I added another 2 TBS to begin with! - because the phyllo on top all crisped away from the pieces when they were cut.

                1. re: smilingal
                  lilgi RE: smilingal Jul 11, 2011 03:43 PM

                  Glad you liked it!

        2. re: lilgi
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          smilingal RE: lilgi Jun 22, 2011 10:26 AM

          lilgi - I am wondering about how many pieces this yields? It seems to be a lot given the 5 eggs and the 1 1/2 lbs of cheese with the 30 oz of spinach! It looks yummy. I am thinking of starting to experiment this weekend. I am referring to the Spanakopita recipe from Amy Sedaris that you linked.

        3. f
          ferret RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 10:55 AM

          Spanakopita (as the other poster pointed out) is a safe bet (and those of us who are lazy often rely on the bite-size Costco version). Other great dip options are skordalia (heavy on the garlic) and taromasalata (fish roe spread).

          1 Reply
          1. re: ferret
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            smilingal RE: ferret May 13, 2011 11:10 AM

            ferret - a favorite skordalia recipe??

          2. s
            smilingal RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 11:09 AM

            I have never made my own Spanakopita - thanks for passing along the recipe - and I do like Costco's very much - I would imagine that I would need to set up a sterno warming tray - baking them off at home and then warming them up on the table --- do you agree or have other thoughts?

            1 Reply
            1. re: smilingal
              perk RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 07:07 PM

              While you're at Costco, you could get some stuffed grape leaves as well.

            2. porker RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 11:14 AM

              Retsina...and lots of it!

              1. s
                Sailing77 RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 11:33 AM

                How about a salad comprised of cubed watermellon, feta cheese, a squirt of lime juice and either a little mint or basil on top?

                1. mamachef RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 11:51 AM

                  I have a recipe for Hortopita, which is a greens and feta pie akin to spanakopita, but a bit different. Likewise, Alevropita, which is a feta "tart", great finger food. Here's the recipe for the second; the first is a little detailed but I'll be happy to post if you're interested in it.
                  The recipe for Alevropita requires an unusually-sized pan, so be aware if you decide to try it.
                  6 T. evoo
                  2 t. vodka
                  1 egg
                  1 1/4 c. sifted ap flour
                  1/4 t. salt
                  1/8 t. baking powder
                  10 oz. crumbled Feta
                  2 T. softened unsalted butter
                  18"x13"x1" baking sheet w/ rim. Begin by preheating oven to 500 for 10 minutes.
                  Heat oven. Put baking sheet in for 10 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together 2 T. oil, voda, egg, and 1 c. water in a large bowl. Separately, whisk flour, salt and baking powder. Pour wet over dry and whisk til smooth. Brush remaining oil over bottom of hot baking pan, and add batter, smoothing to coat evenly. Distribute cheese evenly over batter; dot with butter. Bake 10 minutes; rotate pan halfway, and continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mamachef
                    mamachef RE: mamachef May 13, 2011 02:17 PM

                    Sorry: and cut into 2"x1" rectangles. This makes finger food for 16 or so.

                  2. Euonymous RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 11:54 AM

                    What about stuffed grape leaves? They should work out nicely as they're portable finger foods that are only 2 or 3 bites a piece.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Euonymous
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                      smilingal RE: Euonymous May 13, 2011 12:36 PM

                      i know - those would probably be a great offering - but since I don't like it -- I usually don't like to serve something which I already am predisposed to thinking isn't great!

                      1. re: smilingal
                        buttertart RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 12:54 PM

                        They are also a colossal pain in the ass to make, as far as I'm concerned. Once was more than enough. Way too fiddly.

                    2. lilgi RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 12:03 PM

                      This is my recipe for Greek butter cookies. I think the size of a walnut is a good size (a teeny bit smaller) and it's important to put these in the paper liners so that the powdered sugar has a place to go (instead of someone's suit or dress). These are very easy to make, just make sure that you stop adding the flour just as soon as the dough is still very soft but not sticky:

                      Kourambiethes (Greek butter cookies)
                      (About 60 cookies)

                      1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
                      1/4 cup superfine sugar
                      3 Tablespoons brandy
                      1 egg yolk
                      4 cups all-purpose flour
                      1 cup finely ground almonds
                      1/4 salt
                      2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

                      Measure out 4 cups of flour into a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine one cup of the measured out flour with the salt and ground almonds. Set the 2 bowls aside.

                      In the bowl of an electric mixer fixed with a paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 10 to 15 minutes. Slowly add sugar and combine. Add egg yolk, and brandy. With the mixer on low, slowly incorporate the mixture of flour and almonds.

                      Remove the bowl from mixer. Continue to combine the flour in small amounts and begin kneading by hand. Stop adding flour as soon as dough is still very, very soft but no longer sticky. Dough should no longer cling to sides of bowl. (It may not be necessary to use all of the flour, but 4 cups is good measure and you shouldn't need more.)

                      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

                      Form balls, roughly by the tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheets. Bake sheets one at a time in center rack of oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove cookies just as they slightly begin to color; it's important not to let them cook beyond this point.

                      Place cookies on a cooling rack and let cool completely. Roll cooled cookies one at a time in a bowl of powdered sugar and place each in a small paper cup. Before serving, use a strainer to dust the cookies with additional powdered sugar.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: lilgi
                        buttertart RE: lilgi May 13, 2011 01:05 PM

                        I'm happy to have this recipe, thank you. One of the many nice things about a short visit to Athens at New Year's 2009 was these and melimakarona being available everywhere, even in our hotel lobby, in great piles. Love Greece and Greek food!

                        1. re: buttertart
                          lilgi RE: buttertart May 13, 2011 01:23 PM

                          yw Bt, and I'm glad to share it. I'll have more time later to see what else I can help with, I was hesitant with the melomakarona because of the syrup, but the spoons sound good.

                        2. re: lilgi
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                          smilingal RE: lilgi May 16, 2011 08:40 AM

                          are these very small? If I want to supply for 120 people - would you triple this - or more? Last year when I made lemon curd tartlets - one was adequate per person.

                          1. re: smilingal
                            lilgi RE: smilingal May 16, 2011 10:18 AM

                            They're about the size of a walnut after baked. When baking look for the slight color change and take them out immediately. I would triple, unless you plan on making other desserts like melomakarona which are more work but can be done a few days in advance(these are walnut cookies in syrup), baklava, or galaktabouriko which is made exactly like spanakopita (phyllo top and bottom) and sandwiching a custard, syrup poured over. I figured that you probably didn't want to work with phyllo but those are easier to cut, and usually cut prior to pouring the syrup.

                            1. re: lilgi
                              buttertart RE: lilgi May 16, 2011 10:43 AM

                              Could you possibly post or link your melomakarona recipe? Thanks much.

                              1. re: lilgi
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                                smilingal RE: lilgi May 16, 2011 12:12 PM

                                lilgi - you are correct that I am apprehensive working with the phyllo - especially when it will be under stress - but if I am reassured that it is a tried and true recipe and can receive all the forewarning comments before I start the drinking!!! then I would consider anything - I really am out to make the impressions. Trying to spread the "catering" word.

                                1. re: lilgi
                                  s
                                  smilingal RE: lilgi Jun 22, 2011 08:44 AM

                                  lilgi - not sure if I have overlooked it - but have you posted your recipe for melomakarona?
                                  If not, I would greatly appreciate your sharing it!

                            2. JungMann RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 12:42 PM

                              This seems like the perfect occasion to put out soup spoons with spoon sweets. You could also have some firm cheese to balance the sweetness.

                              Small lamb keftedes with toothpicks, fava or gigantes bean salad, tiropita/spanakopita, dolmades and olives could fill everyone up before the dessert.

                              20 Replies
                              1. re: JungMann
                                buttertart RE: JungMann May 13, 2011 12:53 PM

                                Kefalograviera cheese, maybe. I like the spoon sweet idea, very distinctively Greek.

                                1. re: buttertart
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                                  smilingal RE: buttertart May 13, 2011 07:02 PM

                                  i had no idea what lilgi was referring to in the earlier post about the spoons sounding good - it is interesting to learn that this manner of serving is distinctively Greek. I am confused what I would be serving in them?!

                                  1. re: smilingal
                                    lilgi RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 10:20 PM

                                    Sorry to confuse, I didn't mean the spoons for the cookies. I've had the spoon sweets at festival at one time, I think they use preserves if memory serves.

                                    Let me know if you need the melomakarona recipe and I have a few others, one of my favorites is Kaltsounakia (sweet cheese pies) if you don't mind rolling out and working with dough.

                                    1. re: lilgi
                                      buttertart RE: lilgi May 15, 2011 04:30 PM

                                      I'd love any and all Greek recipes you'd like to share, and I'm sure a lot of other people here would too.

                                    2. re: smilingal
                                      mamachef RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 10:32 PM

                                      Spoonfruits are akin to whole-fruit jams; simple and delicious and ultra-traditional. The "protocol" for eating is that they are served with a large tumbler of ice water; the spoon fruit is interspersed with swallows of water, and only 1 or 2 spoonfuls are eaten at one time - it's like the big bang final finish, post-dessert, and is also kept in many pantries to have on hand for hospitality's sake when guests drop by. Great idea for the tasting!! How fun!! :)

                                      1. re: smilingal
                                        lilgi RE: smilingal May 14, 2011 12:26 AM

                                        Here's a photo of what yours could look like:
                                        http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z1...
                                        Someone more knowledgeable can tell you what to look for and fill with, my sister knows more about these than I do (our friends are Greek American).

                                        1. re: lilgi
                                          Wtg2Retire RE: lilgi May 14, 2011 09:10 AM

                                          lilgi and mammachief , if you don't mind posting all of your Greek recipes, I sure would appreciate it. I love Greek food, but have never made it myself. But I want to do so and would only do so from recipes from people I believe I can trust.

                                          1. re: Wtg2Retire
                                            lilgi RE: Wtg2Retire May 14, 2011 04:29 PM

                                            I like the Papoutsakia recipe from Saveur:
                                            http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                            and if you'd like to see the recipe and photo for Mamachef's Alevropita posted above from Saveur also:
                                            http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                            The spanakopita I posted above is a favorite. I used to make another pastitsio until I started making Vefa's:

                                            Ingredients
                                            2/3 cup olive oil
                                            1 onion grated
                                            1 pound 2 ounces ground beef
                                            1 cup pureed peeled fresh or canned tomatoes
                                            1 tablespoon tomato paste
                                            pinch of ground cinnamon (optional
                                            )1/2 teaspoon sugar
                                            3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
                                            salt and pepper
                                            1 egg white, lightly beaten
                                            scant 1 cup grated kefalograviera or other semi-hard cheese such as cheddar
                                            11 ounces thick tube shaped pasta, such as macaroni or zit
                                            4 tablespoons melted butter , plus extra for brushing
                                            2 tablespoons fine bread crumbs
                                            2 cups grated gruyere cheese
                                            3 egg yolks lightly beaten
                                            3 cups light white sauce
                                            pinch of grated nutmeg

                                            Directions
                                            Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat. stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until softened. Increase the heat to medium, add the ground beef, and cook, stirring and beaching up the meat with a spoon, for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon (if using), sugar, and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Fold in the egg white and 1/2 cup of the kefalograviera or cheddar cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

                                            Bring a large pan of water to a boil, stir in salt and the remaining oil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and toss with melted butter, then let cool.

                                            Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, brush a 10 x 14-inch oven proof dish with melted butter and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Stir the gruyere cheese into the cooled pasta. Fold the egg yolks and the remaining kefolagraviera or Cheddar into the white sauce, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the nutmeg. Line the base of the prepared dish with half the pasta mixture and spread the meat mixture on top. Cover with the remaining pasta and pour the white sauce over it. Bake for about an hour, or until the top is golden brown. Let the dish stand for 15 minutes before cutting into serving pieces. Serve hot.

                                            White Sauce (Thick)
                                            1 cup milk
                                            2 Tablespoons butter
                                            2 Tablespoons al-purpose flour
                                            pinch of ground nutmeg
                                            salt and white pepper

                                            Pour the milk into a small pan and bring just to a boil, then remove from the heat. Melt the butter in a heavy, nonstick pan, stir in the flour, and cook stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, and gradually pour in the hot milk, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. If lumps form, strain the sauce into another pan. Return the sauce to medium heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and season with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. To enrich the sauce, add 1 - 2 egg yolks. For a velvety sauce, stir in 4 Tablespoons heavy cream.

                                            I'm really flexible on this recipe sometimes using only what I have on hand and it's still good. I like using Bucatini pasta because it cuts like a pie, and I've used up to 2 pounds meat (I like it better). If I don't have the cheese on hand I'll use whatever grated cheese I have. Don't forget if you make this you have to triple the béchamel (white sauce). This is a really good version if you want to follow it verbatim.
                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                            These are just a few basic ones (I have too many) but if you like homemade gyros Smitten Kitchen has an excellent guide on making the pitas and I'll only make them with the pitas warm and fresh from the pan:

                                            http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/03/pit...

                                            (read before hand so you know exact times when to let the dough rest or you'll have a stretchy, unworkable dough). As for the ground lamb, season and brown the thinnest patties you can possibly make in a cast iron skillet. I sometimes purchase the tatziki sauce when I haven't had time to make it myself.

                                            I also posted the classic Greek butter cookies above (typo on salt ingredients, should read 1/4 teaspoon).

                                            1. re: lilgi
                                              Wtg2Retire RE: lilgi May 15, 2011 08:33 AM

                                              Thank you so very much. I have corrected the butter cookie recipe in my Word document. The pastitsio sounds wonderful, as does the recipe for stuffed eggplants. When you make the pastitsio, do you add the pinch of cinnamon?

                                              When I copy and paste recipes into a Word document, I like to list who gave me the recipe and if there is a story to add the story. Thus, I am asking who is Vefa, because I am putting your comment about used to use another recipe until you made Vefa's.

                                              1. re: Wtg2Retire
                                                lilgi RE: Wtg2Retire May 15, 2011 01:30 PM

                                                You're welcome. I add just a pinch of cinnamon, which in my kitchen is probably less than an 1/8 tsp just to keep it classic, but maybe you could try it first without. It's also very personal, some people just don't like it. Vefa's Kitchen is a good Greek cookbook but the layout is a "pita".

                                                1. re: lilgi
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                                                  smilingal RE: lilgi May 15, 2011 02:03 PM

                                                  I am thinking - how does the chopped salad (or perhaps spanikopita), the Pastitsio, and then a dessert - maybe the butter cookies? - sound as a 3 offering combination? Can the Pastitsio be served room temp or should it be over a sterno? This all needs to be able to be balanced on a plate - ohhh - and maybe I would serve a little taste of greek wine in a shot glass?

                                            2. re: Wtg2Retire
                                              mamachef RE: Wtg2Retire May 26, 2011 02:27 PM

                                              Wtg2Retire: so sorry, did not see this 'til just now. Of course I'll print some recipes for you, the majority of which are mains and sides, since the baking of all those delicious Greek sweets looks fully covered. I'll have them to you here by tomorrow......Cheers!

                                              1. re: mamachef
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                                                smilingal RE: mamachef Jun 1, 2011 07:50 PM

                                                Yo mama - wondering if you were referring to some Greek recipes that you were planning on printing? you always have great suggestions - and I know that you usually have the experience with them as well!

                                                1. re: smilingal
                                                  mamachef RE: smilingal Jun 2, 2011 04:58 AM

                                                  Hey smilingal and Wtg2retire: Here you go....sorry re delays, my life is like that sometimes. :)

                                                  If you look upthread, you'll find my recipe for Alevropita, or Feta pie. So easy and delicious; wonderful with drinks as an app or served in larger portions with a beautiful salad, for lunch. These zucchini fritters are equally delicious and also wonderful as an app, or can be a side dish:

                                                  Kolokithokeftedes

                                                  1 lb. zucchini, grated

                                                  2 t. kosher salt

                                                  1/2 c. minced parsley

                                                  1/2 c. grated pecorino (it's just what I happened to have around, and I like it)

                                                  1/2 c. breadcrumbs, the staler the better

                                                  1 minced white onion (can also grate it)

                                                  1 beaten egg

                                                  black pepper

                                                  cayenne

                                                  Olive oil, for frying

                                                  Toss shredded zucchini with salt; put in colander and drain for an hour with weighted plate on top. Transfer to absorbent kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Mix rest of ingedients up to egg, add zucchini, blend well; season w/ cayenne and pepper to taste. Form into patties: roughly twelve. If mixture's a little loose, chill briefly to allow it to reabsorb. Heat 2" oil over medium heat, to 320, and fry patties (don't crowd them, so definitely at least two batches if not three) for 5-6 minutes until crispy golden brown; drain well. Great w/ tzatziki.

                                                  Piperies Me Feta (Feta-stuffed Peppers)

                                                  6 5" Anaheim chiles

                                                  10 ozs. best quality feta

                                                  2 T. olive oil

                                                  2 T. yogurt

                                                  1 T. minced parsley

                                                  1/2 t. lemon zest, minced

                                                  1/2 t. minced fresh oregano

                                                  1 extra-large egg, or two yolks (I prefer the yolks, but the whole egg is just fine)

                                                  salt and pepper to taste

                                                  Preheat broiler

                                                  Arrange peppers on flat shallow pan 6" from broiler element; broil, turning one time, until just soft. (5-6 minutes total; watch for charring.) Transfer to rack, and let cool. In lg. bowl, whisk until smooth the rest of the ingredients; season w/ salt and pepper to taste. Now, split cooled peppers lengthwise; remove ribs and seeds and stuff generously with cheese mixture. Chill all for one hour. Broil stuffed peppers till golden brown and hot and bubbly. You might consider doubling this. Even confirmed pepper-haters get down with this dish in a big big way.

                                                  Melintzanosalata (Eggplant/Parsley Salad that's more like a dip)

                                                  2 large eggplants (2 lbs total)

                                                  1/2 c. good olive oil

                                                  1 green or red bell pepper, cored and chopped

                                                  1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

                                                  1 c. flatleaf parsley

                                                  3 T. wine vinegar

                                                  4 cloves minced garlic

                                                  salt, pepper to taste

                                                  more oil to drizzle

                                                  Pita or Laganes, to scoop or dip with

                                                  Preheat oven to 450.

                                                  Split eggplants; roast facedown on rack over pan until soft and charred, about 15 minutes more or less. Remove; let cool, and scoop out flesh, discarding skin. chop coarsely, sprinkle lightly with salt and drain in colander for half an hour. Meanwhile heat half the oil in a large skillet, medium high. Add peppers; cook until soft. Add jalapenos, and let cook until starting to caramelize but don't let them burn. Put eggplant and sauteed veg and rest of ingredients up to garlic in food processor (or blender) and process until slightly chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a dash of lemon for brightness; serve with pita or laganes for dipping/scooping. Best at room temp, but fine chilled.
                                                  These are some of the best I've had. As I mentioned, I have a lot of Greek recipes, all home-tested and revised when necessary - are you most interested in meats, sides, veg? Talk to me. I'll be glad to streamline my response to your needs, e.g. if your families don't like fish, I won't send any recipes for that. But do let me know, I'm happy to help (even if I show up later than promised for the party.) also let me know if there are flavors you/r family doesn't like and I'll avoid sending those. Meanwhile, enjoy!

                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                    s
                                                    smilingal RE: mamachef Jun 2, 2011 10:59 AM

                                                    thanks so much! hope today is a good one!

                                            3. re: lilgi
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                                              smilingal RE: lilgi May 15, 2011 01:56 PM

                                              looks interesting! Thanks for the clarification about the spoons. Not sure it is so widely recognized - but perhaps that is my own limited experience (which I didn't think was so limited!).

                                              1. re: smilingal
                                                lilgi RE: smilingal May 15, 2011 02:18 PM

                                                I'm with the Kourambiethes and the wine all the way, very Greek. I think do the spanakopita if you're comfortable and if you feel better about the salad how about this gorgeous photo:
                                                http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                                The pastititsio is probably better with the sterno, I'd say the spanakopita is good at room temp. I think you're going to have a lot more to choose from as more people visit the thread.

                                                1. re: lilgi
                                                  s
                                                  smilingal RE: lilgi May 16, 2011 08:35 AM

                                                  i was originally considering this salad --
                                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                  Guess they are similar - I haven't tasted it however

                                                  1. re: smilingal
                                                    lilgi RE: smilingal May 16, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                    I think the one I posted is a better choice, you can sub the parsley for dill or mint. The on you selected might get you pulled over by the Greek police ;)

                                                    1. re: lilgi
                                                      s
                                                      smilingal RE: lilgi May 16, 2011 12:16 PM

                                                      would you suggest I chop all kind of fine? the beautiful photo is quite a large salad as opposed to a tasting - which I am thinking maybe I would preportion out into those little little plastic cups that can rest on their paper plate holding the other things.

                                      2. raygunclan RE: smilingal May 16, 2011 07:04 AM

                                        last fall i was in boston visiting a friend and had a fantastic mezzo platter that had this magenta stuff on it that tasted like heaven! when i got home, i did some 'vestigating and discovered it was beet tzatziki. so that night i made a greek mezze platter of my own for my hubby. :) i made lamb meatballs with currants and served that with regular tzatziki sauce, hummus with red pepper squares as chips, beet tzaziki with naan and some really good feta. he loved it! :)

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: raygunclan
                                          s
                                          smilingal RE: raygunclan May 16, 2011 08:36 AM

                                          beet tzaziki - did you like your recipe? so different!

                                          1. re: smilingal
                                            raygunclan RE: smilingal May 16, 2011 09:43 AM

                                            i have to say that not only did i like my recipe, i have made it at least a half a dozen more times. it is relatively easy and with that hot pink magenta color, a great conversation piece.

                                            http://muchdependsondinner.blogspot.c...

                                            i have to say that i double the garlic (as with everything), use greek yogurt (it is a greek recipe, right?) and crumble feta and fold it into the dip and then crumble some on top. i also buy my feta at restaurant depot. cheese is one of those things that it pays to buy a better brand. :)

                                             
                                            1. re: raygunclan
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                                              smilingal RE: raygunclan May 16, 2011 12:17 PM

                                              yes - I agree with you about the cheese - and just made my first purchase at restaurant depot a couple of weeks ago! I couldn't get over the great price on the goat cheese - and it wasn't in an unyieldy quantity. thanks for sharing the recipe!

                                              1. re: raygunclan
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                                                smilingal RE: raygunclan May 26, 2011 01:56 PM

                                                raygunclan - a question about restaurant depot - are you familiar how their prices on meat (steaks) compare with Costco's? I don't find Costco's prices on their meats to be that great - but I do think their quality is better than the supermarkets.

                                                1. re: smilingal
                                                  raygunclan RE: smilingal May 26, 2011 03:16 PM

                                                  i would say that restaurant depot is about the same, maybe a little cheaper. but it si the selection that i love! and if you are in the market for bleu cheese, their maytag is mouth. watering.

                                            2. re: raygunclan
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                                              Sailing77 RE: raygunclan May 16, 2011 12:22 PM

                                              Yep, I have had beet tzaziki was well as radish tzaziki. Both are good.

                                            3. l
                                              L987 RE: smilingal May 16, 2011 09:49 AM

                                              souvlaki, moussaka, halloumi, marinaded feta, olives and garlic. use a lot of olive oil and lemon and herbs. Maybe bake some greek bread. for dessert u can always serve something simple like greek yogurt and honey and maybe some toasted nuts and dont forget the drink, ouzo!!

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: L987
                                                lilgi RE: L987 May 16, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                Ouzo! ;D
                                                Love the idea for Greek bread.

                                                1. re: lilgi
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                                                  smilingal RE: lilgi May 16, 2011 12:21 PM

                                                  just called our local wholesale bakery - no greek bread - what are you referring to? something different than pita I am assuming?

                                                2. re: L987
                                                  THewat RE: L987 May 16, 2011 02:24 PM

                                                  There's a Greek place in NYC called Symposium that serves really wonderful bread. It's fluffier than pita & I always look forward to it. I'd LOVE to know how to make my own.

                                                  1. re: THewat
                                                    1sweetpea RE: THewat May 26, 2011 02:53 PM

                                                    I had a delicious mezze on the island of Crete a few years ago. It was called dakos. It's made with a rusk-like double baked bread that can be stored forever. They run it under water for a moment, then let it reconstitute. It is then topped with chopped tomatoes, feta, herbs and lots of olive oil. It is not unlike a homey bruschetta. Delicious.

                                                    Another winner from Santorini was zucchini fritters. I have a Saveur issue from not too long ago that was devoted to Greek cuisine. I'm nearly positive that there is a recipe for the fritters there. We ate wonderful grilled sardine/smelts in Athens and had fantastic grape leaves stuffed with lamb on Crete.

                                                    A loukanika (Greek sausage) tastes great flamed with ouzo and served in coins with toothpicks. Similarly, grilled octopus or squid with lemon and olive oil could be served in little disposable cups with a decorative toothpick to skewer each bite.

                                                    1. re: 1sweetpea
                                                      THewat RE: 1sweetpea May 27, 2011 01:55 PM

                                                      Wow - I love the reconstituted bread story. I would have been riveted.

                                                      1. re: THewat
                                                        1sweetpea RE: THewat Jun 3, 2011 07:59 AM

                                                        I've since found something similar in an Italian deli. I have a package of the dried bread rounds (like dried fat bagel halves) in my cupboard, but have yet to make dakos with it. I think good tomatoes, Greek olive oil, sheep milk feta and fresh oregano or a mix of oregano and mint (to approximate chubritsa, a Bulgarian fave which tastes like a blend of mint and oregano) would make a delicious dakos, by way of Canada.

                                                3. chef chicklet RE: smilingal Jul 11, 2011 11:40 AM

                                                  So far it looks like you have many wonderful ideas. My very favorite Greek food is Moussaka! I used to be a volunteer as a fund raiser for a well known and great children's hospital. As a way to raise money and event is held where one can bid on decorated Christmas trees and booths hold wonderful hand made items to purchase. My first Christmas participation was wonderful,and as part of the event one could purchase a dinner ticket. I'd never had a Greek dinner. Oh sure I'd eaten spanakopita, baklava but not much more. On the dinner menu was Moussaka. At first glance I thought it was lasagna, but after that first bite oh my what a surprise! I immediately fell in love. I think a small square of this delicious pasta would be a huge hit. Put it in one of those low cut cocktail cups, I bet they'd want more...

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: chef chicklet
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                                                    smilingal RE: chef chicklet Jul 11, 2011 02:16 PM

                                                    YES! agreed....moussaka is deeelish! - but I think that it is a bit messy to serve in a small little bite. This function is for people to come into the theater lobby, pass the food tasting table, take a sample, put plate in trash and continue on into theater.

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                                                    smilingal RE: smilingal Jul 17, 2011 06:01 AM

                                                    Thanks to all of you.... my tasting yesterday was a great success! I had brought my camera, but of course, never took it out! Thanks again! I wonder what the theme (show) will be next year!

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: smilingal
                                                      LaLa RE: smilingal Jul 17, 2011 08:57 PM

                                                      did I miss what you chose to do?

                                                      1. re: LaLa
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                                                        smilingal RE: LaLa Jul 19, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                        LALA - I did english cucumber rounds with tzatziki, spanakopita, and galaktoboureko.

                                                        1. re: smilingal
                                                          LaLa RE: smilingal Jul 19, 2011 04:22 PM

                                                          PERFECT!

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