Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Greek Family

I was surprised that this pleased all of my children, but it did. Me, too. It's a Greek family favorite!

Israeli Veggie Couscous
Israeli couscous is larger than typical north African couscous. Really delicious, similar in size and texture to orzo or pearl barley.

2 and 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 and 1/2 cups dry Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 small shallot, minced
1 red bell pepper, trimmed and chopped small dice
1 small zucchini (corgette), trimmed and chopped small dice
A small handful of fresh, chopped parsley
A small handful of fresh, chopped cilantro (coriander)

1) Place the chicken stock into a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add in the cous cous and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the stock is absorbed.

2) While the couscous is simmering away, saute the shallot, red bell pepper and zucchini (corgette) in the olive oil, until just tender-crisp (about 5 minutes). Once the veggies are softened, remove from heat and toss in the chopped herbs.

3) When the couscous is done, toss in the veggie/herb mixture. Serve hot.

Greek Chicken Pie
Having nothing to do with authentic Greek cuisine, I did use the typical seasonings for this. It's like a giant chicken burger and remarkably good (if not elegant).

1 pound ground chicken breast
1/2 small shallot, minced
1 fat clove garlic, mashed or minced
Hefty pinch of dried thyme
Same of dried oregano
Same again of sea salt and black pepper
Sesame seeds

1) Mix all the ingredients (except EVOO and sesame seeds) in a bowl (use a spoon, it's messy). Cover and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

2) When you are ready to cook: Dollop a teaspoon or two of EVOO in a heavy saute pan set over medium heat; allow to heat up. When the oil is quivering, dump the chicken mixture into the pan and shape into a large patty with a metal spoon. Cover with a lid and cook until the top edges turn white, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle that side with sesame seeds, then CAREFULLY tip the 'burger' onto a plate, re-oil the pan and flip the burger, sesame seeds side down into the pan, cover again and cook for another 5 minutes-- until cooked through.

Cut into wedges and serve with tahini sauce and veggie couscous.

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