Greek Dinner

Let’s go Greek! I’m all about the Greek salad with the cheese, onions and feta. Yum! They are my favorite components. This super bright salad is great to make for gatherings or to bring to one! How I really love to eat it is with Greek grilled chicken and of course tucked in between a warm pita! You can do this at your next BBQ gathering or just any day of the week! Let’s get cooking…

Serves: 4 Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients for salad

·4 large vine tomatoes, cut into large chunks

·1 cucumber, peeled, de-seeded, cut into half moon (cut in rounds then in half)

·½ a red onion, thinly sliced

·1 cup Kalamata olives

·1 tsp dried oregano

·1 cup feta cheese, cut into chunks

·4 tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for chicken

·2 lb of boneless chicken breast cut into chunks – thighs work too

·2 tbsp lemon juice

·3 tbsp of olive oil

·1 tsp dried oregano

·2 tsp minced garlic

·Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for yogurt

·1 cup Greek yogurt

·2 tsp olive oil

·½ red onion – large chunks

·1 cucumber – large chunks

·Salt and pepper to taste

·1 tbsp dill dried or fresh – reserve a sprinkle for garnish

·¼ cup parsley

·Lemon wedges and parsley for garnish – optional

·Pita bread – optional

Let’s work on the chicken first so it can marinate while we prep the rest. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl if you like heat add in now. If you want to skewer them, cut into 1 inch chunks and place in bowl. if using wooden skewers place in water for an hour, this will prevent them from burning. Wrap bowl, place in fridge and lets work on salad.

In a large bowl place your already cut tomatoes and chopped cucumber, your thinly sliced red onions, Kalamata olives, dried oregano and toss together. Grab your feta cheese and crumble into chunks. Drizzle olive oil, black pepper or chili flakes if you like it spicy and gently toss together. Feta is salty so taste it, if you feel you need to salt only do a pinch. Wrap and place in fridge until ready to serve. Flavors will come together once it sits for a while. Taste again and adjust if needed.

Now that that’s done grab your chicken and skewers and start skewering. If you have zucchini you can cut into rounds and add them to the kabob. Onions and peppers work as well or leave them as is.

Fire up your indoor or outdoor grill and grill for 5 minutes on each side for skewers. Cook 8 minutes per side if chicken breast is whole. While chicken is cooking start your yogurt sauce. Super easy, mix all the ingredients in a processor. You don’t want it super smooth or very chunky. Somewhere in the middle. Taste, adjust if needed and add to bowl. Garnish with dill.

If you don’t have Greek yogurt but have plain yogurt we can make it! Grab a mesh colander, line with paper towel and place yogurt inside. You will need to place the colander in a bowl. Adjust where the bottom of colander is NOT touching bottom of bowl. The liquid whey will strain and we don’t want it touching. Cover in plastic wrap and let sit in fridge about 12 hours. It can take up to 48, check consistency after the first 12 hours you will know if you need it a little longer.

Once chicken is done grab salad and yogurt sauce and dinner is served! Do you have pitas? Warm them right on the grill, no pita no worries. But if you do have any crusty bread you may to soak up all those juices from your deliciously prepared meal. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon and enjoy
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Potatoes Hot or Cold!

potatoes

Food, friends and family are the base of any great gathering! With the 4th July in just a few days, the menu planning is underway. I have so many to share but let’s get the must haves for the festivities either large or small this dish is perfect for any meal! We are back with the almighty potato. Yes! I’ve given you a few recipes from this versatile root vegetable.. The potato makes a great side dish or even eat it as a main. I love potato salads either hot, cold or creamy, it is delicious! I’m going to share with you my family recipe I make or take to any gathering which is a cold and creamy version and my newer fav., a warm potato salad that I can literally eat as a meal! Let’s get cooking…

Serves: 6 -8 Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

•1½ Pounds potatoes - cut into small cubes – Yukon, Red, Russet, Idaho any potato works

•½ red bell pepper – small dice

•½ green bell pepper – small dice

•½ cup mayonnaise

•¼ cup sour cream

•1 small red apple – green works too

•5 hard-boiled eggs – peeled – medium chop

•½ yellow onion – small dice – red works too

•salt and pepper to taste

•sprinkle smoked paprika for garnish – optional

Warm potato salad ingredients

•1 ½ lbs of potatoes – yukon or red potatoes work best

•1 pack of bacon – crisp and crumble

•5 hard-boiled eggs – peeled – medium chop

•½ cup of chives or scallion – red onions work too

•½ cup or sour cream or crème fraiche

•Sprinkle smoked paprika for garnish

In a large pot fill with water and add salt. Rinse your already cubed potatoes and add into salted water. Turn to high heat and once the water begins to boil, grab a slotted spoon, fish one out and stick a fork to it. We are checking for doneness. It still will be hard, but this will give you an idea of where it is. It will only take 8-10 more minutes at best. You DO NOT want to overcook the potato where it is falling apart. Once done at fork tender drain the potatoes and set aside. In another pot get your eggs in and cover with water, turn to medium high heat and boil for 8- 10 minutes, let cool slightly peel, dice and set aside.

Meanwhile, get your prep on bell peppers, onions and apple. Add them to a large bowl with the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add in eggs when ready, season with salt and black pepper and stir. Once potatoes have cooled add into bowl and stir together. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Flavors will really come together once chilled. Sprinkle with smoked paprika for garnish!

Now for my warm potato salad cut your potatoes in quarters, this is a chunkier salad. Same method, potatoes will cook for 10 – 12 minutes once you do the first check at roiling boil. In a large pan crisp your bacon and set aside, reserve some of the bacon fat. Chop your chives or scallion and add into a large bowl. Use same method with eggs once done add to the large bowl. Get your bacon and crumble into bowl – reserve some for garnish. Once your potatoes are done drain and add into bowl and spoon in a tablespoon of reserved bacon fat over potatoes then add sour cream, salt and pepper and stir together while potatoes are still warm. Garnish with extra bacon and sprinkle smoked paprika. This salad is warm and delicious, perfect as a side or a main! I love topping my warm salad over fresh spinach! With so many variations of the potato salad be inspired to create one of your own, remember to use what you have also. Use beets, peas, carrots, broccoli florets or asparagus tips anything goes in your salads! Serve a hot or cold version and enjoy!

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Let's Grill Some Shrimp!

shrimp

Summer months are fun with outings, gatherings and all the fun you can have with food! Grilling foods has to be one of the best parts of summer for me. I truly love putting food on a skewer, placing on the grill and easy enough to grab and go while eating. It’s a food that’s great for mingling, easy one hand food and for me once I’m done, its easy clean up. These Hawaiian kabobs are the tastiest I’ve ever done, sweet, tangy, spicy it hits all the notes and guaranteed to be the star of any gathering or dinner meal!

Serves: 10 Total time: 20 minutes

·6 tbsp brown sugar

·2 tbsp honey

·6 tbsp soy sauce

·3 tbsp rice vinegar

·2 tbsp sesame oil

·3 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly diced

·3 tbsp fresh garlic, roughly diced

·2 lbs fresh non cooked shrimp – size 16/20

·2 cups fresh pineapple squares – optional

·2 red bell peppers, cut into squares – optional

·2 bunches of green onion, cut into pieces – optional

In a large shallow dish, mix together the brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Place shrimp in a large baking dish and mix with the sauce. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours. The longer you can let it sit the better. When using skewers (if wooden, make sure to soak them in water for at least an hour to keep them from burning), add shrimp, pineapple, red bell pepper, and green onion. The order does not matter and feel free to use any type of veggies you may have and skewer them in also. Reserve any marinade and drizzle while cooking. (it did have raw shrimp so be sure to let it cook well) Cook on a hot grill about 3- 4 minutes per side. You can also make them with chicken or steak too, they will cook just a few minutes more! Make sure to cut chicken or beef into cube size pieces. If you want to cook whole chicken pieces like legs or thighs, make the same marinade and let chicken sit overnight. If you don’t have whole chicken pieces but have ground meats like chicken, beef or turkey, make the same marinade, add half into ground meat. Mix well and form little meatballs, you can pan sear them or place them in the oven and half way done drizzle the remainder of the marinade, finish cooking and you have sticky Hawaiian meatballs. You can place them on a platter, skewer them and voila!

Options are endless with this delicious recipe! Serve hot anyway you make it! Enjoy!

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