Dolma

Dolma

1 lb. ground lamb

1/3 cup raw white rice

1 egg

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

4 tablespoons butter

3 cups chicken stock or more as needed.

salt and pepper; to taste

1 (10 oz.) jar grape leaves in brine

Mix the meat, rice, egg, parsley and mint in a large bowl. Saute the onion and celery in the butter until translucent. Cool slightly and add to meat mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Carefully unroll the grape leaves, rinse in cold water and boil in large pot for 5 minutes; drain well. Spread out one leaf at a time on a work surface. Cut out the tough parts from the leaves, stem and hard rib. Place 1 tablespoon of meat mixture on grape leaf on the longest part of the leaf; fold over once; fold over edges toward the center and roll again to create a complete package.

Place the stuffed leaves, seam side down, lay in layers in a deep pan. Add simmering 2 1/2 cups stock, cover ans simmer for 1 hour. Serve hot or cold.

Greek Custard- Filled Phyllo Pastry (Galaktaboureko)

Greek Custard- Filled Phyllo Pastry (Galaktaboureko)

Custard

8 cups whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

zest from 1 orange

2/3 cup farina

4 large eggs

1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 lb. pkg. Phyllo dough

Spiced Lemon Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

zest from 1 large lemon

2 cinnamon sticks

4 whole cloves

juice from 1 lemon

Bring the milk sugar and orange zest to boil over medium heat. Whisking constantly, add farina slowly in a thin stream. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool the mixture, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin from forming on the top. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking to blend well. Stir in vanilla and orange juice.

Brush a large 9×13 baking dish with a little butter Unfold phyllo and place damp towel over unused dough, to keep from drying out. Layer the phyllo sheets with a light brushing of butter between each 8-10 sheets thick in baking dish. Pour custard in phyllo lined dish. Continue to layer phyllo with buter over top of custard with another 8-10 sheets. When down to the last 2 sheets tuck in over hang of dough and finish. Make the top sheet smooth as possible. Brush with butter and make diaginal hash marks with a knife on top crust without cutting into filling.

Preheat oven to 350, with rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes until top is golden. Allow to completely cool to room temp.

While custard is baking , make the syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Add the lemon zest, cinnamon sticks and cloves and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Pour strained syrup over custard pie slowly and allow to soak in.

Ready to eat when syrup is absorbed and custard firm. Can refrigerate at this point.

Greek Potato Zucchini Casserole

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2 1/2 lbs, ripe tomatoes, peeled , seeded and diced

1 large red bell pepper, chopped into medium chunks

1 lb. red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

2 onions, sliced

1 lb. zucchini, cut into 1/2 in slices

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute sliced onions over medium heat until just fragrant, add garlic and saute about 2 minutes more until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with foil or lid and bake about 1 1/2  hours until potatoes are tender. I like to serve over brown rice.