Last year, I had way too much food, so this year's smaller menu worked out perfectly. With a little pre-planning and the help of a friend, this was a totally stress free event to pull off.
I made the tztatziki and melitzanosalata on the Wednesday night before the party, and my friend Melissa came over to help with the baklava and meatballs on Thursday night. That actually translated to me rolling the meatballs (which took all of 20 minutes), then drinking wine and watching - I mean 'supervising' Melissa make the baklava for the next hour and a half. Worked for me, and while it tasted every bit as good as last year's, her final product was much prettier than mine. So hopefully that becomes an annual thing too....
I'll repost any recipes that I made again here this year.
adapted from elly says opa
1 16 oz low fat Greek Yogurt
1 seedless cucumber
4 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Peel & seed the cucumber. Using a box grater, shred cucumber and squeeze out all the excess moisture (I used a towel, which Elly also suggests) - you really want to get it as dry as possible.
Mix together the yogur with the cucumber and grate the garlic over the mixture using a micro-plane (or you could make a garlic paste). Mix in the vinegar and lemon juice, then salt & pepper to taste.
Like I said, I made mine a couple days in advance, but Elly recommends letting it sit at least a half hour in the fridge to let the flavors marry.
1 large eggplant
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons of wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
freshly ground pepper
Pierce the eggplant with a fork and 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.
As soon as it can be handled, peel by hand (the skin will come off easily), and transfer to a bowl. Chop the pulp into small pieces with a knife, and mash with a fork. With a wooden spoon, stir in oil and vinegar slowly, alternating between them, until well blended. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper.
Serve chilled or at room temperature, with pita wedges.
Spiced Lamb Meatballs
source: elly says opa
These little devils were heavenly - the cinammon and spices really makes for a rich flavor, I've been craving them ever since I made them!
1 lb. ground lamb
1/2 small onion, grated or finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper
olive oil for pan frying
I prepped these the night before, mixing all the ingredients together for the meatballs (except the olive oil) and formed the meatball, letting them sit in the fridge until I was ready to fry them the next day.
Using a dutch oven or heavy pan, heat up the oil for frying, and brown the meatballs until cooked through.
I served mine with the tztatziki.
source: Elly's recipe on bakespace.com
1 package phyllo dough (16 oz.)
1 cup butter, melted
1 lb. chopped toasted walnuts
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
2 tsp. lemon juice
Remember to thaw your phyllo before working with it! Your best bet is to put it in the fridge the night before.
Preheat oven to 350, and grease a 9x13 pan. Mix walnuts,cinnamon and cloves, and set aside.Layer 1 sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the prepared pan, keeping a moist towel over the phyllo that you are not working with.
Brush melted butter over it and top with a second sheet. Continue this until you have layered 8-10 phyllo sheets.Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture over the phyllo and then repeat the layering 2 times, ending with layers of phyllo. I cut mine into square inches. Bake for 45 minutes.
For the syryp, heat sugar, honey, water, lemon and cinnamon in a saucepan.Bring to a boil to thicken slightly, and then remove from heat. Allow to cool before pouring it over baklava.
Until next year Dancing Queens.....