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July 25, 2011

Mediterranean Dinner

I kind of went all out tonight, I made 3 dishes, a sauce and some muffins tonight. Started cooking around 2PM and dinner was ready at 6PM. It was fun, and delicious! I definitely added my own spin to this dinner, I think I changed at least one thing about every recipe. I got almost all of these recipes from the FoodNetwork show, 5 Ingredient fix, so naturally I added a few ingredients! We had many of the ingredients for these recipes, so if you don't have everything exactly, improvise! It will be just as good if you have to sub fresh herbs with dried, etc. Well, I mean it would be better with fresh herbs, but it won't taste disgusting without them! So without further ado...
Tzatziki Sauce for the Lamb Sandwiches 
Fresh Cucumber Salad
Toasted Israeli Couscous
Lamb Sandwich (they were basically gyros, just with lamb patties)
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Tzatziki Sauce

Here's the recipe adapted from Ina Garten.

Prep Time: 20 min | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: 8

2 (7-ounce) Containers Greek Yogurt (Recommended: Fage Total)
1/2 English Cucumber
¼ cup Sour Cream
2 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Minced Fresh Dill (I used about a Tbsp of dried dill, mostly because I had decided to make this at the last minute, and thus had everything but the fresh dill)
1 ½ tsp Minced Garlic
2 tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1. Place the yogurt in a medium bowl. Grate the cucumber on a box grater and squeeze the grated cucumber in a paper towel with your hand to remove some of the liquid. Add it to the yogurt along with the sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, dill, garlic, salt and pepper and stir. Refrigerate until serving time.

Fresh Cucumber Salad
Here's the recipe adapted from Claire Robinson.

Prep Time: 15 min | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: 4

1 English Cucumberpeeled and diced
1 cup (¼ whole) Honeydewfinely diced
Kosher Salt
cup Greek Yogurt
¼ Red Onionthinly sliced
1 Jalapenoseeded and finely minced

1. Put the cucumbers and honeydew in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Press out as much liquid as possible. Toss the cucumber and melon with the yogurt, onion and pepper in a serving bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or until ready to enjoy.

Toasted Israeli Couscous
Here's the recipe adapted from Claire Robinson.

Prep Time: 15 min | Cooking Time: 20 min | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: 4

2 Tbsp Lemon-Flavored Olive Oilplus more as needed
2 cups Israeli Couscous (Make sure it is Israeli couscous, it's slightly larger than regular couscous)
¼ cup Shelled Unsalted Roasted Pistachios,coarsely chopped
2 ¼ cups Hot Water
Kosher Salt And Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
6 Dried Turkish Apricots
1/8 cup of Golden Raisins
2 Scallionssliced

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the couscous and pistachios and cook, stirring, until toasted and light golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add the water, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

2. Remove the lid, stir in the apricots, raisins and scallions, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Transfer the couscous to a serving bowl and serve warm with a little more lemon oil drizzled over the top, if desired.

Lamb Sandwich
Here's the recipe adapted from Claire Robinson.

Prep Time: 15 min | Cooking Time: 20 min | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: 4

1 ¼ pounds Ground Lamb
3 Garlic Clovesminced
Kosher Salt And Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
4 Pita Or Flatbreadspreferably Greek style
Tzatziki sauce for topping
Red onion for topping
Tomatoes for topping

1. In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb with the garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide the lamb into 12 small balls and form them into patties. Cook the patties on a hot nonstick grill pan over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. (The meat will release from the pan when ready.)

2. Put the 3 lamb patties in the middle of each flatbread and top with 2 tablespoons tzatziki sauce, red onion and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Here's the recipe adapted from Grace's Sweet Life blog.

Prep Time: 15 min | Cooking Time: 30 min | Difficulty: Easy | Yield: 12 muffins

1½ cups Plain All-Purpose Flour
⅔ cups Caster (Super Fine Granules) Sugar (or plain sugar run through the food processor for a minute)
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
8 ounces (1 cup) Mashed Ripe Bananas (About 2 Large)
1 large Egg
½ cup Unsalted Buttermelted
¼ cup Whole Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
¾ cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a large-sized bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a medium-sized bowl mix together the mashed bananas, egg, melted butter, milk and vanilla.

4. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir to just combine (do not over mix).

5. Add the chocolate chips and stir to just combine.

6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling three-quarters full.

7. Bake, rotating tin halfway through baking time, until tops are pale golden and a tester inserted in the centre of one muffin comes out with some melted chocolate attached but no crumbs, about 32 minutes.

8. Transfer baking tin to wire rack to cool for a five minutes. Turn muffins on their sides in their cups and cool completely.

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