Showing posts with label dill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dill. Show all posts

Traditional stuffed peppers and tomatoes - Gemista

Stuffed peppers and tomatoes is a very traditional and popular summer dish in Greece while the vegetables are in season. This is also one of my favorite Greek dishes. The tomatoes are medium size, firm, ripe and juicy. The peppers are small and so tender that you don’t need to peel the skin when cooked. I have experimented with different type of peppers. There are only two types that can be stuffed; bell peppers and cubanelle peppers. Cubanelle peppers have thinner skin than the regular bell peppers. I find them the closest to the peppers I find in Greece.

My mother used to make mainly peppers and tomatoes, but the peppers were the only ones I would eat. Sometimes she’d stuff eggplants too. The eggplants in Greece are also small; what we call here in the US baby eggplant. When my mother made this dish during the summer, she made it mainly vegetarian. On occasion she’d use ground beef. The vegetarian version is with rice and different vegetables. When I make the vegetarian version, I use chopped carrots, and if I stuff zucchini or eggplant, I will incorporate the flesh in the stuffing along with herbs like parsley and dill.

There are many different versions of gemista – or yemista. My mother in law used raisins and pine nuts in the vegetarian version. The raisins give them a sweeter taste and the pine nuts some crunch.

I often make this delectable stuffed peppers, tomatoes and eggplant dish. Living in the US we can find these vegetables year round, (they are being shipped here from warmer climates). Sometimes I will make them vegetarian style, and other times I will use ground turkey. I usually make enough so that I can give some to my daughters. They also freeze well, especially the peppers. Tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini are best eaten first if you are planning in freezing some. You can place the uncooked stuffed peppers in a separate dish, cover them tightly with saran wrap and aluminum foil and freeze them. When you need them you can take them out, pour some olive oil, a little bit of tomato sauce, season and bake them in the oven. They will taste as good as the day you made them. Another option is to cook all of them, and freeze the stuffed peppers in an airtight container. When you need them, you can take them out of the freezer early in the morning, then warm them up in the oven for about ½ hour till heated through. Now you have dinner ready in minutes.

These will take an hour to prepare and about two hours to cook in the oven. But it’s worth all the effort. Enjoy them with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a slice of feta and some fresh crusty bread on the side. A glass of red wine will also go nicely.

Enjoy!

Stuffed Peppers, Tomatoes and Baby Eggplant

Makes 13 servings about 15 oz each serving

½ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 lbs ground turkey
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped dill
1 cup chopped eggplant (the flesh)
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (the flesh)
½ cup rice
3 large tomatoes
5 cubanelle peppers
5 baby eggplants
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
14 oz diced tomatoes

Directions
Wash, clean and peel the baby eggplant (as you see in the picture).   Hollow out the eggplant and chop the flesh. Set aside. Wash the tomatoes. Hollow out the tomatoes and chop the flesh. Set aside. Wash the cubanelle peppers, cut the top, and remove the seeds. Set aside. Wash, peel and chop the onion. Set aside. Wash, peel and shred the carrots. Set aside. Wash and chop the parsley and the dill. Set aside.

In a large skillet add the 1/2 cup olive oil, and the chopped onions. Sauté till lightly browned. Add the ground turkey. Sauté till cooked through. Add the carrots and the flesh from the eggplant and sauté. Add 1 cup of the diced tomato flesh. Add the 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup water and cook till the rice is slightly cooked. Add the salt and pepper. Stir. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large oven proof pan, 13x10 assemble the vegetables. Take one by one and fill with the mixture. When the pan is full and all the vegetables are stuffed, drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper, the remaining cup of the chopped tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes. Add 1 can (14 oz) of water. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours, uncovered, till the vegetable are tender and slightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and serve.

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 15.708 oz (445.3g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 272
Calories from Fat 124
Total Fat 13.8g
Saturated Fat 2.1g
Cholesterol 26mg
Sodium 139mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.8g
Dietary Fiber 10.5g
Sugars 9.8g
Protein 13.8g 







Chicken with lima beans and artichoke hearts in Avgolemono (Egg and Lemon Sauce).

I make this dish quite often in the winter.  Originally, this dish is made with fava beans or broad beans.  I haven't been able to find either at the super market, but I also can not acquire a taste for fava beans.  From what I recall, when my mother used to make this dish, I just couldn't eat the beans.  I ate the artichokes but not the beans.  Probably because my mother didn't like them that much either. Therefore,  she wouldn't make this dish too often.

As I was experimenting one day to make something with chicken, I wanted to give the lima beans a try.  (Honestly, when I first tried this dish years ago, I thought that the fava beans were lima beans :) what can I say I was young and didn't know much about cooking).  So I came up with this recipe.  Lima beans with chicken and artichoke hearts in avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce).  I have been making this dish ever since, and when I'm short on time and forget to defrost the chicken breasts, I will also make it without the chicken.  It's a nice vegetarian version if you are not too strict of a vegetarian since there is egg in the sauce.  Both ways, with the chicken or without, the dish is delicious, and it's also gluten free.  Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 6 servings-appr. 12oz ea.)

1 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast cubed
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. dill
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 cups chicken stock
12 oz. frozen baby lima beans
12 oz. frozen artichoke hearts

Avgolemono - Egg and lemon sauce:
1 egg
½ cup lemon juice

Directions:

In a Dutch oven, pour the olive oil and sauté the chicken with the onions and garlic.  Add the dill and thyme.  Let the chicken sauté until there is no pink showing.  Add the lima beans and artichokes along with the chicken stock.  Add the salt and pepper.  Lower the heat and let it cook for about an hour, until the beans, artichokes and chicken pieces are tender.  Remove from heat and let it cool before making the avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce). 

Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce)
1 egg
½ cup lemon juice

Separate the egg yolk from the egg white.  Place the egg white in a bowl.  Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon, about ½ cup.  Beat the egg white till frothy.  Add the egg yolk and continue beating.  Add the lemon juice while still beating and slowly pour the mixture over the lima beans and chicken.  Stir, so the egg and lemon sauce will distribute evenly.  Serve.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (306.8 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 319
Calories from Fat 117
Total Fat 13.0g
Saturated Fat 1.8g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 92mg
Sodium 703mg
Potassium 783mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.3g
Dietary Fiber 6.2g
Sugars 2.3g
Protein 32.9g



Grilled Vegetables in Balsamic vinaigrette

Here is a nice side dish for the summer.  Serve along any type of grilled meat.  

Makes 8 servings (approx. 7 oz each serving)

4 cups eggplant
3 cups squash
2 cups zucchini
2 cups red onion
1 cup parsley
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Wash the vegetables, and peel the skin into stripes.  Cut them into 2" pieces.  Place them in a large pan.  Wash and chop the parsley and the dill.  Toss with the rest of the veggies and marinate them with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Refrigerate. When ready to grill, put them in aluminum foil boats and grill for about 20 min till veggies are tender. 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (182.4 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237
Calories from Fat 194
Total Fat 21.6g
Saturated Fat 2.9g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 162mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.2g
Dietary Fiber 3.9g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 2.9g


Marinated in the balsamic vinegraitte
Wrapped in foil ready for the grill
After they are grilled.  

Enjoy!





Cabbage rolls in Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce)


Cabbage rolls in Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce) is a traditional Greek winter food.  When I was working full time I would make this dish, on weekends – usually on a Sunday - and have left overs the next day.  It’s a dish that I avoided making often because of the time it consumed.  Of course, you are not going to make this dish every week, or you will get tired of it, like any other type of food that you eat often.  There is a less consuming type of cabbage rolls that you can make; and that is without preparing the filling on the stove; but instead mixing all the ingredients together raw.  The only thing you will need to do is boil the cabbage leaves.  I found that type of preparation though, a bit heavy on the stomach.  My mother will always cook the filling on the stove (as per recipe below).  In the past I used to mix it raw, but when I quit work, I decided to make it the way my mother used to make it.  And Dah! No heartburn, no acid reflux, no heaviness on the stomach (this is on individual preference; it does not affect some people like others).  So from then on, I decided, since I love this dish so much, to cook the filling. 

There is also another way of cooking the cabbage rolls, and that is baking them in the oven in tomato sauce.  Instead of cooking them on the stove, you layer the cabbage rolls in an ovenproof pan, in a single layer, pour a 14 oz can of tomato sauce on top, mixed with 1 cup of water, add the ½-cup olive oil, and bake at 350° for about one hour to an hour and a half.   This way is also very delicious.  But for now enjoy this wonderful dish in the Avgolemono sauce. 

Cabbage rolls in Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce) 

Ingredients (Makes 46 servings)

46 cabbage leaves

To boil the cabbage:

8 quarts of water for 1 large cabbage
2 large cabbages about 3lbs each

For the filling:

1 ½ lbs ground turkey
1 cup rice
½  cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped dill
1 tsp salt or according to taste
½ tsp ground pepper
1 ½ cups water

For cooking:

2 1/2 cups water – enough to cover the cabbage rolls
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt

Avgolemono - Egg and lemon sauce:

1 egg
½ cup lemon juice

Directions:

Wash and remove the outer leaves of the cabbage.  Place it in a large pot with water and boil.  As the cabbage leaves soften, remove the leaves by cutting them at the core.  Place them in a colander to strain.  When all the leaves are cooked, leave them in the colander to strain and cool.  Make sure that you don’t over boil the leaves, otherwise when you try to roll them, they will tear.  

In a large frying pan, add the olive oil, and saute the onions and the ground turkey.  Add the rice, salt, parsley, dill, pepper, and water and let it cook for 5-10 minutes or until the water is absorbed.  The rice will not be fully cooked.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 

At the bottom of a dutch oven, place the small cabbage leaves, enough to cover the bottom of the pot. 
Take one large cabbage leaf, cut the core, and place a teaspoon of the filling on it.  Roll once covering the filling, then fold the sides and continue to roll till you make a nice oblong shape (see picture below).  Place it in the dutch oven and repeat, till done.  These will make about 2 rows of cabbage rolls – 46 pieces total.  Cover the cabbage rolls with the rest of the small cabbage leaves that you have leftover. 

Place the pot on the stove and pour the ½ cup olive oil, ½ tsp salt and 2 ½ cups water and let it simmer for 1 hour till cooked.  When slightly cooled, prepare the egg and lemon sauce. 

Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce):

Separate the egg yolk from the egg white.  Place the egg white in a bowl.  Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon, about ½ cup.  Beat the egg white till frothy.  Add the egg yolk and continue beating.  Add the lemon juice while still beating and slowly pour the mixture into the cabbage rolls.  Swish the pan around so that the egg and lemon sauce will distribute evenly.  Serve. 

 Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 serving (55.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 6.7g
Saturated Fat 1.2g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 71mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Sugars 0.6g
Protein 4.6g
The raw cabbage

The filling

Layering the bottom of the pan with the small cabbage leaves

Assembling the cabbage rolls

Adding the filling

Rolling the cabbage 

Folding the cabbage

The cabbage roll in the final folding stage

Layering the pot with the cabbage rolls - tightly together

Layering with the remaining cabbage leaves on top

The cooked cabbage rolls with Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce) 

The finished product.  Delicious!




Crust-less Broccoli Fennel Quiche

Makes 8 servings 

2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups sliced red onion
1 cup fennel cleaned, washed and sliced
12 oz frozen broccoli defrosted
2 tbsp fennel leaves chopped
1 cup low moisture part skim milk mozzarella cheese shredded
¾ cup Pecorino Romano shredded
1 ¾ cup egg beaters (approx. 1 carton)
1 cup skim milk

Saute the onion and fennel in the olive oil. Add the broccoli. Set aside to cool. Mix together the egg beaters, shredded mozzarella, romano cheese and milk. Add to the broccoli/fennel mixture. Butter a 9x2 inch pie plate. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pour the mixture into the pie plate and bake for 1 hour or till a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 7.09 oz (201g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 227
Calories from Fat 112
Total Fat 12.4g
Saturated Fat 6.0g
Cholesterol 31mg
Sodium 469mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.6g
Dietary Fiber 2.1g
Sugars 3.8g
Protein 19.9g















Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Peas in tomato sauce

Peas in tomato sauce with dill or with fennel is another common, vegetarian Greek dish. It’s mostly a summer dish, since the peas are available fresh in their pods. I remember when I was young, my mother showed me how to peel the pods remove the peas and then peel the skin off the pods so that they will cook along with the peas. It was a dish, even though I disliked vegetables, one that I loved. The fresh tomato sauce and the fresh dill made it even tastier. The fresh bread, that we used to pick up from the bakery, along with a slice of feta and a fresh tomato salad completed the summer meal.  

On other occasions, my mother cooked the peas with beef tenderloin. It was more of a Sunday meal, one she used to serve over hot rice.  

Here is my version of peas in tomato sauce with pork tenderloin instead of beef. I also experimented with fennel instead of dill. I’ve tried it both ways and both ways is equally tasteful. If you don’t like the taste of fennel you can omit it altogether and add fresh dill to the dish. The dill (or fennel) is what actually gives the dish that savory flavor.


Makes 14 servings (approximately 8 oz each serving)

2.5 lbs pork tenderloin cut into 2” chunk pieces
½ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
15 oz can tomato sauce (1 can)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (1 can)
2 cans water
1.5 cups sliced fennel (1 large fennel bulb)
2 12 oz bags of frozen peas
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped fennel leaves
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Wash and pat dry the pork tenderloin. Cut into 2” chunk pieces. Set aside. Peel, wash and chop the onion. Set aside. Peel and chop the garlic. Set aside. In a dutch oven, over high heat add the olive oil, the onions and garlic. Saute till transparent. Add the pork pieces. Saute a little longer. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce along with 2 cans of water. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 1 hour. Don’t add salt, since salt will toughen the meat and will need to cook longer.

When the meat is almost done, during the last 5 minutes add the sliced fennel, the fennel leaves, the peas, the parsley and salt and pepper. Cover and let it simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve over rice or orzo. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese or romano cheese if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 
1 serving (219.6 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237
Calories from Fat 93
Total Fat 10.3g
Saturated Fat 2.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 59mg
Sodium 392mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.0g
Dietary Fiber 4.2g
Sugars 4.9g
Protein 24.7g


If you try this recipe and like it please comment below. If you like what you see on this blog, please feel free to follow it. Thank you.
 
 

 

Phyllo Dough Spinach Roll

It is quite common in Greece to make just Spinach pie or just Cheese pie. And they are very delicious.  This recipe is a nice alternative to the Cheese-Spinach pie for people who don't want to have any dairy.  Enjoy!

12 servings (approximately 1.5-2 oz each serving).

The following ingredients will make 3 phyllo spinach rolls.

12 oz bag of frozen spinach (thawed and strained well to remove any excess water)
12 sheets of phyllo dough
¾ cup chopped green onion
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp parsley (either fresh or dried)
1 tsp dill (either fresh or dried)
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbs olive oil for brushing between the phyllo dough sheets


Defrost the spinach and squeeze any excess water with your hands. Set aside.

In a saucepan heat the 3 tbs of olive oil. Saute the green onions and add the spinach. Heat through. Remove from heat. Add the parsley, dill, ground nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix well together. Set aside.

In the meantime, line a cookie sheet with wax paper that’s brushed with olive oil. Set aside. 

Separate 12 sheets of phyllo dough (you can re-freeze the leftover phyllo dough as long as you wrap it in saran wrap first, then in aluminum foil).

Take 1 sheet of phyllo at a time and brush it from the 4 tbs of olive oil that you have set aside for that purpose. Take another sheet of phyllo dough and place it on top of the other and brush with olive oil. Repeat with the 3rd and 4th sheets of phyllo dough, while brushing with olive oil in between sheets.
 



Take 1/3 of the mixture and place it alongside the prepared sheets of phyllo dough. 




Fold the sides to hold in the filling. 



Then start from the end towards you, and roll away from you. 


Once you complete the roll, brush with olive oil and place it in a cookie pan lined with wax paper, that’s also brushed with olive oil. 

Repeat the above steps for the other two rolls. 



Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven 30 minutes till golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool before cutting. 



Right out of the oven.
 Cut and serve.
Enjoy!



 
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (50.9 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97
Calories from Fat 67
Total Fat 7.4g
Saturated Fat 1.1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 69mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.5g
Dietary Fiber 1.0g
Sugars 0.3g
Protein 1.6g

Fried Cod in Beer Batter



Makes six servings (about 6 oz each)

1.3 lbs cod fillets

Beer Batter

¾ cup flour

¾ cup beer

2 tsp fresh dill finely chopped

2 tsp fresh parsley finely chopped

½ cup canola oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste (you can add the salt and pepper in the batter. I don’t put much salt on this dish, since fish to begin with is salty).

Rinse the cod fillets and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

In a bowl and with a whisk, mix together the flour, the beer, the fresh dill and the fresh parsley. Mix well, so there are no lumps.

In a non-stick frying pan, add the ½-cup canola oil. Let it heat through, but not too hot. Coat the cod fillets with the beer batter, and drop carefully in the hot oil. When the fillets crisp on the outside, lower the heat and let the fillets cook for a couple more minutes. Make sure that the oil is not too hot, as the batter will burn and the fish will not cook inside. If unsure, take a piece out of the frying pan and cut it with a fork. If it’s flaky, then the fish is cooked. If not, put it back in the frying pan and let it cook a little longer. The cooking time depends on how big the cod fillets are. If the fillets are small then the cooking will take less time, if big it will need more time to cook through.

When all the fillets are fried, place them in a platter lined with a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. When ready to serve, remove the paper towel or place them in another platter, drizzle some fresh squeezed lemon juice and serve with lemon wedges.



Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 5.732 oz (162.5g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 334
Calories from Fat 173
Total Fat 19.2g
Saturated Fat 1.5g
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 54mg
Sodium 79mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.2g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Protein 24.3g