Greek dinner success

I tried three new recipes for Greek food tonight, and each was a winner. I don’t usually like how my first attempt at complex dishes turns out, so I’m happy with my efforts (and very full!) right now.

First, I made dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). My neighbor and fellow gourmand Sue served a store-bought version of these to me a couple of weeks ago as an appetizer. I was a little nervous about eating what looked like a slimy green cigar butt (which is why I’d never tried one before), but their awesome flavor won me over and they immediately became my new favorite food. I had to try making them for us.

dolmades-ingredients

My ingredients for dolmades. The filling is mostly chopped onion and fennel with rice and pine nuts. The fresh dill really makes the dish.

dolmades-finished

The finished product. A few fell apart when I lifted them out of the pan because of my amateur leaf-rolling technique, but otherwise I got a very nice batch and they were DELICIOUS (even if they do look like cigar butts).

The main course was spanakopita (spinach pie), a dish I’ve always enjoyed but mistakenly assumed was too complicated to make at home. Once you have the phyllo dough in hand, it’s pretty much a breeze. I must say, though, that I seriously underestimated the amount of butter and olive oil needed to coat 20 sheets of phyllo. Spanakopita is delightful, but it is not a low-fat treat.

spanikopita-ingredients

My ingredients for spanakopita. Lots and lots of spinach and onion, plus two kinds of cheese. The perfect combination.

spanikopita-finished

The finished product. It tasted as good as it looks.

The appetizer was a Greek 7-layer dip, which was super easy to make and a really nice twist on an old party standby. It’s just layered hummus, tzatziki, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives and mint.

layered-dip

Fresh ingredients make the difference—fresh mint on the top made this dish amazing.

Sue brought over some Greek music for us to listen to during dinner this evening, and she declared each dish a success, which is really saying something because she knows from Greek food. Even if we did eat way more than we should have, it was totally worth it.

Spanakopita is too rich a dish to make more than a couple of times a year, but I am going to keep that dolmades recipe close by to make again soon.

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2 thoughts on “Greek dinner success

  1. You are making my hungry! Good thing we’re having an early dinner today!! I had to be fasting since 7:30 this morning for a test and just got home – so I’m really, really, hungry!!

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