1. I love 80's music
2. I love musicals
3. I love Meryl Streep
Every year at Christmas, my family gets one movie that we become obsessed with and watch it all week long - this year it was Mamma Mia.
Two of my brothers (who have a healthy appreciation for musicals), my sister, a reluctant Joe and I spent 4 days straight watching Mamma Mia over and over, while eating olives and feta (much to the chagrin of my mother when she went to make her Greek salad for a family Christmas party) and drinking wine.
Somewhere along the line, the idea was born for me to throw a Mamma Mia party back in Chicago and make a whole bunch of Greek food and force my friends and my brother who lives in Chicago to sing along with me! They were reluctant.....but it worked:
So as for the food, a BIG THANK YOU to Elly, of elly says opa. Elly's blog is chock full of authentic greek recipes, many of them handed down for generations - so if you want to make some legit Greek food, this is a good place to start. I asked Elly for help in planning my menu and she had so many great ideas. Most of the recipes I used came from her blog too.
Olive Tapenade, Hummus, Melitzanosalata with Pita and Veggies
Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki
Pretty self explanatory, just drizzle on a little e.v.o.o., red wine vinegar and oregano.
Olive Tapenade, Hummus and Melitzanosalata with Pita and Veggies
- 20 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp rinsed, drained, and chopped capers
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp anchovy paste (optional)
- Fresh cracked black pepper
Just mix everything together in a food processor or blender.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons of wine vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
Pierce the eggplant with a fork and char on the grill, or over an open flame (alternatively, broil for 10-15 minutes) until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath.
- 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15 oz.)
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
In a food processor, process beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and oregano until desired consistency. If hummus is too thick, simply add olive oil in small increments(i/2 teaspoon) until desired consistency.
From Elly's blog. I love this "cheater" recipe that uses puff pastry rather than phyllo dough. After making baklava, I was happy not to have to use phyllo again!
These were a hit, and are for sure going to be one of my "go to" appetizers.
Also from elly says opa!
These were so delicous and easy, I just set up a little "gyro bar" for everyone to make their own!
From Elly, on bakespace.com.
So, yeah, this was a little difficult, but I expected as much. I've worked with phyllo before, but due to some poor planning on my part (regarding defrosting the phyllo) it was more difficult to work with than I've experienced before.
I ended up with one less layer than Elly's recipe calls for, but it still turned out delicious!
Thanks to my dancing queen friends, and my brother for being a good sport. We'll get Chiquitita out of our heads at some point....