Showing posts with label feta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label feta. 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







Feta and Artichoke Frittata

This is a great dish to make for a Sunday brunch or a luncheon with friends. Pair it with a crisp arugula salad and you have a meal. You can even pair it with a nice Chardonnay or even a mimosa.

Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 8 servings)
10 eggs
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped dill
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup shredded pecorino romano
2 cups crumbled feta
24 oz. frozen artichoke hearts defrosted
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. bread crumbs*

Directions
In a bowl mix all ingredients together except the 1 tsp. olive oil and bread crumbs.

In a spring form pan brush the olive oil and sprinkle the bread crumbs. Pour the mixture in the spring form pan. Place the spring form pan on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350°oven for 45-50 min or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Nutrition FactsServing Size 1 serving (204.4 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 271
Calories from Fat 152
Total Fat 16.9g
Saturated Fat 9.7g
Cholesterol 248mg
Sodium 837mg
Potassium 571mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.8g
Dietary Fiber 5.5g
Sugars 3.0g
Protein 18.2g

*Note: you can use gluten free breadcrumbs





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.
 
 

 

Spinach Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita)

For my first recipe post, I picked the most difficult of the Greek dishes to make.  But I love Spinach and Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita).  And so does my whole family.  Since I was making it for all of us, I thought it would be nice to post it on my blog.  Enjoy!!!

Spinach Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita)              

52 servings or 1.5 oz each piece approximately

15x10 ovenproof glass pan (pan measures inside the rim)

1 Pkg (16 oz) phyllo dough (Athens brand or any phyllo dough will do)
2 pkg (12 oz each) frozen cut leaf spinach
½ cup green onion chopped
½ cup shallots chopped
1 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
2 tbsps olive oil
16 oz low fat cottage cheese
1 and ½ cups crumbled feta cheese (12 oz)
½ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
4 eggs
¾ cup olive oil (for brushing the phyllo dough sheets between layering)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Defrost the frozen spinach and drain any excess water by squeezing between your hands.  Set aside.  Chop the green onions, shallots, and parsley.  Set aside. In a frying pan, over a hot stove, pour the 2 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the green onions and shallots till transparent.  Add the frozen spinach and parsley.  Heat through.  Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the hot stove. 
            
In a bowl, mix together the low fat cottage cheese, the crumbled feta and the eggs.  Add to the spinach mixture.  Make sure the spinach mixture is cool or the eggs will curdle.  Add the ground pepper, salt and ground nutmeg.  Set aside.
          
Have the ¾-cup olive oil handy with a brush.  Brush the 15x10 pan with olive oil generously.  Open up the package of phyllo dough.  There should be two small packages in the box.  Take the one out and open it up.  Have to work quite fast with phyllo dough since it dries quickly. In order for it not to dry out, cover it with a damp towel.  Take one phyllo dough sheet and place at the bottom of the pan.  Brush with oil. 

       The picture, above, shows with a few phyllo dough sheets already layered and brushed with oil.

Take another phyllo sheet and continue layering at the bottom of the pan brushing with olive oil in between.  Make sure the whole pan is completely covered with some of the phyllo dough extending at the ends of the pan (once the filling is poured in you will be able to fold the excess phyllo dough and hold the filling inside). 
       This picture, above, shows with the one package of phyllo dough layered. 

When you are finished layering the first package of phyllo dough pour the spinach/cheese mixture. 
                    This picture, above, shows with the spinach mixture.

Now fold the ends of the phyllo dough on top of the filling. 
                                    With the ends folded in.

Continue layering with the phyllo dough sheets brushing with olive oil in between the sheets. 

                          Completed with all the phyllo dough sheets

When finished, take a serrated knife and cut the pie into diagonal pieces. 


Place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for one hour and 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Serve when cool. 
                                  Hot right out of the oven.

ENJOY!!!


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size                             1serving(47.8 g)
Amount Per Serving
            Calories                       93
Calories from Fat                      55
Total Fat                                   6.1g                       9%
Saturated Fat                             1.8g                       9%
Cholesterol                              21mg                       7%
Sodium                                 178mg                       7%
Total Carbohydrates                   6.1g                       2%
Dietary Fiber                             0.5g                       2%
Sugars                                     0.4g
Protein                                     3.6g