Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Recipe - Partying in a new decade!

As some of you already know, I'm turning 30 on Wednesday. So this past Saturday was my big party, and this being me, I ended up cooking all day. I'm listing the recipes below (but keep in mind that I'm winging it off memory).

For those of you who came to the party, thanks for coming! I had a great time (well, apart from the migraine, but at least that went away eventually), and I hope you did too!

The Asian meatballs disappeared right quick, and the orzo soon after. I heard some people liked the falafel (I wasn't a big fan, but part of that I think was because I didn't add enough couscous, so the spices were way too strong). One of my longtime favorites is the stuffed grape leaf recipe.

Fruity wine
For a yummy (and antioxidant-full) cocktail, mix a half glass of white wine with blueberry-pomegranate juice. It's like fruit juice with an alcohol kick.

Orzo feta with cherry tomatoes
1 lb orzo, cooked al dente and cooled
24 oz cherry tomatoes, halved (that's about 3 pints, I think)
6T marjoram, minced (this is about one of those small spice containers-worth)
3C feta
2/3C green onions, sliced thinly
4T dijon mustard
1/2C lemon juice
1/2C olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cooked and torn into small pieces (optional)

Whisk marjoram, green onions, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a bowl. Take 4T of the mixture and add it to a bowl with the cherry tomatoes, mixing to coat thoroughly. Pour the rest of the marinade over the orzo and feta, stirring to mix. Add the tomatoes. Add chicken if desired.

Asian Meatballs
2lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped finely
6 green onions, sliced finely
4t sesame seeds
1/2C soy sauce (I can't remember exactly if this quantity is right, but it's somewhere around there)

Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into 1" meatballs and put on a non-stick (or greased) pan and broil for 10-15 minutes.

Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmathes)

2 jars grapevine leaves, washed

1 1/2 lbs ground beef and/or lamb

2 1/2 t salt (optional)


2T vegetable oil

2 onions, chopped

1C rice, raw

Juice from 1 1/2 lemons

1/4C mint

1/2C water

1/4C butter (optional)

2C chicken broth

Mix meat, oil, onions, rice, lemon juice, mint, water, salt and pepper in a large bowl. To roll the leaves, take a grape leaf and lay it out flat, vein-side up. take a small dollop of the meat mixture and put it at the base of the leaf. Fold the two sides on to the center, then roll away from you to make a small log-shaped roll. Make sure the leaf is not torn, and that it is rolled tightly (if it isn't, it may explode apart while cooking).

In a large pot, line the bottom with layers of grape leaves. Make sure they are packed as tightly together as possible (if they're loose, again, they may explode in cooking). To make more room in the pot, smoosh them together as closely as possible. Then start another layer. Pour in chicken broth until the leaves are just barely covered and add the pats of butter if desired. Bring to a simmer and cook for 45-60 minutes (or until rice is cooked through). Grape leaves freeze easily.

Oven-baked Falafel
I found this recipe on this wonderful food blog, Food Stories. The main mistake I made was that I didn't use enough couscous (it really looked like A LOT of couscous when I was making it, so I decided to wing it to add less). The great thing about this is that falafel is normally fried, and this is baked, so it's healthier.


WeightingGame said...

can I just drink the wine straight? I still get some antiox benefit that way, right? :-)

The Lethological Gourmet said...

Truetrue! Wine in and of itself has antioxidants!

Helen said...

That is exactly what I thought when I was making them but then I chucked it in anyway and they turned out good. If you make them again, I'd be interested to know if you still think the spices are too strong as it may just be a case of my preference for falafels!

The Lethological Gourmet said...

I also kind of fudged with the spices, because I was having math issues in figuring how much of each to put in (I didn't have the 7-spice mix). I think that it was actually the parsley that was too strong in my mix, because I used farmer's market parsley instead of the bland stuff from the supermarket. If I try them again, I'll let you know!