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.
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.
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.
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.