Posts tagged greek
Recipe: Orzo with Lamb, Olives & Feta
Sure, orzo is good in soup, but there’s no need to stop there. Here it’s a base for a bold blend of spices, tomato sauce and flavorful ground lamb. The optional pinch of crushed red pepper will add the heat that many crave.
- 6 ounces lean ground lamb, or ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary, or oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
- 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons chopped, pitted black olives
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 12 ounces orzo
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
- Cook lamb (or beef) in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, rosemary (or oregano) and crushed red pepper, if using; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add lamb (or beef).
- Puree tomatoes and their juices in a food processor until smooth. Add to the meat mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olives. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook orzo until just tender, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve garnished with feta.
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Recipe: Greek Ziti with Lamb Ragù
This meal is so rich it could feed a small Greek army, and it’s special enough for festive gatherings of family or friends.
- 2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
- Fine sea salt and black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano or marjoram, leaves finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 small red chile pepper, such as fresno or cherry, finely chopped
- About 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- A small handful pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped, or 2 tablespoons black olive tapenade
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- A few grates fresh nutmeg
- 1 pound ziti pasta
- 1/2 pound brick greek feta cheese, drained and finely crumbled
- A handful each flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint, finely chopped
- Heat a large dutch oven over high heat. Add the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, and the lamb; brown the lamb, caramelizing the meat to deep brown. Add lots of black pepper, sea salt, the oregano (or marjoram for a milder taste), garlic, onion, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and chile pepper and cook for 7 to 8 minutes to soften.
- Add the tomato paste and olives (or tapenade) and stir for 30 seconds. Add the wine and deglaze the pan; add the milk and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add nutmeg to taste and simmer the ragù while you cook the pasta.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the hot pot with half of the finely crumbled feta. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Add the ragù to the ziti and stir, adding in the pasta cooking water as necessary to move the heavy ragù around the pasta. Serve in shallow bowls topped with the remaining feta and the finely chopped parsley and mint.
Cooking time (duration): 30 min
Number of servings (yield): 6
Inspired By: Greek Ziti with Lamb Ragù
Recipe: Greek Bison Burgers
Feta and spinach not only add great flavor to these Greek-inspired burgers, but also provide moisture and texture to lean ground bison. The yogurt sauce is a perfect condiment, with much less fat than regular mayonnaise.
- 1 pound ground bison
- 1/2 cup cooked spinach, squeezed dry
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably sheep’s-milk
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat Greek-style plain yogurt, (see Note)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bun & Toppings
- 4 French rolls, or 4-inch pieces of baguette, preferably whole-wheat, split and toasted
- 16 thin slices English cucumber
- 8 slices vine-ripened tomato
- 4 thin round slices red onion
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Place bison, spinach, feta, 2 teaspoons dill, oregano, cumin, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Gently combine without overmixing. Form into 4 oval-shaped patties roughly the size of the rolls.
- Oil the grill rack (see Tip, below). Grill the burgers until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 155°F, 5 to 6 minutes per side.
- To prepare yogurt sauce: Combine yogurt, lemon zest and juice, 1 teaspoon dill and mint in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Assemble the burgers on rolls with the yogurt sauce, cucumber, tomato and onion.
Cooking time (duration): 45 min
Number of servings (yield): 4