The cookbook I cooked from last night was titled, “Favorite Recipes” and it was compiled by The Ladies Philoptochos Society of St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church in 1996. I was inspired to make something from one of my Greek cookbooks because I had an excellent Greek meal this past weekend and I wanted to re-create some of the dishes we enjoyed. Our daughter Victoria, graduated from Auburn University this past Saturday. WAR EAGLE! She’s been babysitting for one of her freshman professors for a few years now and they threw her a graduation party after the ceremony. They were the sweetest couple and we really enjoyed visiting with them. The food was fantastic and the company was just as great. The whole family had a wonderful time. Thank you Mitchell and Chris!
I have two Greek cookbooks. I know what you’re thinking… “Out of all those cookbooks, you only have TWO Greek cookbooks?” . Yes, it’s true. It’s not because I don’t like Greek food, because I LOVE Greek food. I guess the Greek cookbooks are just harder to find. Anyways… The first recipe I wanted to re-create was a grilled pork tenderloin that Vincent pulled me in their kitchen to see before dinner was served. He asked me, “How come you’ve never made THAT?”, as he pointed at the pork. He immediately requested that I make it for him before he goes back to college. So my search was on. The second was a cream cheese pound cake topped with fresh strawberries.
I actually tried three recipes from the Favorite Recipes cookbook. The first recipe was shishkebob (souvlakia)… made with Vincent in mind. The recipe says you can use lamb, beef or pork, so I chose pork so I could compare it to what I had this past weekend. This turned out great! The only thing I’d do next time would be to marinade overnight instead of just a few hours and I might try grilling them outside instead of broiling in the oven. Next was a recipe for oven roasted potatoes. This was not on the menu last weekend, but I love NikoNiko’s roasted potatoes and wanted to give the recipe a try. These are great, but I think I’d add a little butter next time around. Last, was a recipe for a cream cheese pound cake. I tried a recipe for cream cheese pound cake a few months ago and was not impressed, but I liked this recipe much better. I’d have to say this is the best so far. However, it still was not as moist or as flavorful as Mitchell’s pound cake, so I’m still on the hunt for the “perfect” cream cheese pound cake. If you know of one… please let me know!
My menu last night consisted of pork tenderloin, roasted Greek potatoes, green beans, warm pita bread, tzatziki sauce and cream cheese pound cake topped with strawberries for dessert. What a wonderful mid-week treat! Opa!
~Please note that the recipes below are not exactly like the ones printed in the book, I have tweaked them to accommodate my family’s tastes. ~
1 – 2 pounds beef, lamb or pork, cubed (I used pork tenderloin)
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1/3 cup red wine
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
In a plastic container with lid, combine olive oil, lemon juice, red wine, oregano, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well. Add bay leaves and meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours. Overnight would be better! Soak wooden skewers in water for at least an hour. Run skewers through the middle of each piece of meat. Meat may be cooked over the grill or broiled on low in the oven. Remember to turn occasionally. Serves 4.
Greek Oven Roasted Potatoes
4 large baking potatoes, peeled and sliced
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup water
Grease a 9X13-inch baking pan. In a bowl, toss potatoes, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper, until all potatoes are coated. Layer the potatoes in the baking pan. Pour in 1 cup of water and bake at 450F for about 25-30 minutes. Serves 4.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
1 cup butter, unsalted
6 ounces cream cheese
5 large eggs
2 cups cake flour
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour a 9-inch flat-bottomed tube pan. Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Beat well. Add vanilla and blend. Pour into the prepared tube pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until cake tests done. Cool slightly before removing from pan.
(This is my Mom’s recipe & I’m sure this is how Mitchell made her strawberries)
1 pound strawberries
3 teaspoons sugar
Wash strawberries, hull and slice. Place strawberries and a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved and all strawberries are slightly coated with sugar. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
(From my personal recipe stash, posted for Shirley)
1 cup sour cream
½ of an English cumber (or regular cucumber if you can’t find the English)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dill
Peel cucumber. Grate cucumber into a bowl. Add sour cream, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and dill. Cover and refrigerate. Keeps for several days.
Also, I wanted to post a picture of Victoria, whom we are very proud of! We know she will go far in life. War Eagle!