Friday, October 29, 2010


by AttilaTheMom

3 lbs ground beef
1 sm onion, diced
2 cans kidney beans (plain)
1 can black beans (plain)
1 jalapeno, diced small, or 1 small can diced jalapeno
1 tablespoon pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (comes in a can and you have to puree it yourself but only use about a tablespoon, freeze the rest)
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 15oz can diced tomatos
32 oz can tomato puree
1 bottle guiness draft
1/2 hershey's special dark chocolate bar or 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

brown all the beef on the stove top with the spices, drain off the grease and put beef in a crock pot.
saute the diced onion (with the salt) in the same pan the beef was browned in until slightly caramelized. 
Add onions to the crock pot.
Deglaze the pan with some of the beer, add to the crock pot with more beer.
Drain the cans of beans and add to crock pot along with the can of diced tomatos and 2/3 the large can of pureed tomato.
Stir in the chocolate pieces

Heat on low heat in the crock pot for 4 hours or overnight, stir often. Add more beer or pureed tomato to adjust consistency.

Serve with shredded chedder or sour cream (optional).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Salmon and Caramelized Leeks

Fresh salmon (I prefer filet, you might use salmon steaks)
Leeks and young onions (sliced to taste, about one half cup per salmon filet)
Red wine, about one-third cup (I prefer Cabernet or Merlot)
Olive oil, minced garlic (to taste)
Brown sugar (about one tablespoon per filet)

Saute leeks, onions, and garlic in oil, until softened, and starting to brown. Add wine, and simmer to cook down liquid (not too long, please). Add brown sugar, cooking just long enough for it to dissolve.

Place the salmon face down (skin side up) in mixture, and cook, covered, until tender, over medium heat. Serve salmon and leeks with basmati rice, or new potatoes, and fresh string beans, or a green salad.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pastitsio (pa-STEE-tsee-oh)

By Eva

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes


1/2 cup olive oil
2 lbs. ground beef (or ground lamb, or a mixture of both)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 14 oz. can tomato puree or sauce
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (or Kefalotyri if available)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tbsp. breadcrumbs
1 pkg. #2 Macaroni for Pastitsio (500g)- available at Greek or ethnic groceries. You can substitute 2 lbs. ziti or penne
4 egg whites (reserve the yolks for bechamel sauce)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

For the bechamel sauce:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 quart milk, warmed
8 egg yolks, beaten lightly
a pinch of ground nutmeg

This recipe will yield about 24 servings depending upon the size of your pieces. I use a lasagna pan that is roughly 12 x 18 x 3 inches deep.

Begin with the Meat Filling:
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add ground beef and cook over medium-high heat until pink color disappears, about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until they are translucent, about 5 minutes more.

Add wine, tomato sauce, parsley, allspice, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and allow sauce to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. While sauce is simmering put water on to boil for pasta.

Cook pasta noodles according to package directions and drain well. Rinse noodles in colander under cold water to cool them slightly.

Stir in 3 tbsp. breadcrumbs to meat sauce to absorb excess liquid and remove from heat.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in pasta pot and return cooked noodles to the pot. Stir in beaten egg whites and 1 cup of grated cheese and toss lightly, being careful not to break the noodles.

Brush the bottom and sides of the lasagna pan with olive oil. Layer the bottom with half the pasta noodles and press down so that they are somewhat flat.

Add the meat filling in an even layer to the pasta. Top with remaining pasta noodles and flatten top layer as best you can.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees while you prepare the bechamel sauce.

Bechamel Sauce:
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Using a whisk, add flour to melted butter whisking continuously to make a smooth paste or roux. Allow the flour/butter mixture to cook for a minute but do not allow it to brown.

Add warmed milk to mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously. Simmer over low heat until it thickens but does not boil.

Remove from heat and stir in beaten egg yolks. Add pinch of nutmeg. If sauce still needs to thicken, return to heat and cook over very low heat while continuing to stir.

Bechamel is thicker than gravy but not quite as thick as pudding. It should be somewhere in between. One way to tell if it is thick enough is to dip your wooden spoon in the sauce and draw your finger across the back of the spoon. If the sauce holds a visible line then it is thick enough.

Pour the bechamel over the pasta noodles making sure to pour sauce down in to the corners as well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the top is a nice golden color.

Monday, September 20, 2010


1 onion, chopped
3 cloves
2 Tbs. oil
1 green pepper, sliced
2 cups diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cups water with 1 bouillon cube)
1 cup cooked lima beans
1 cup fresh corn
1 1/2 cups sliced okra
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Sauté the onion and cloves in oil until the onions are soft. Remove the  cloves. Add green pepper and stir over medium heat for several minutes; then stir in the tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn down the heat, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring soup to a boil again, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add rice if desired. Makes about 8 cups. Canned tomatoes may be substituted for fresh.

Add shrimp, pork, chicken, or other meat, if desired.

Corn Chowder

2 cups water
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced potato
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup fresh raw corn off the cob
2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Simmer the water, onion, celery, potato, and parsley until half cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the corn. Simmer gently with the other vegetables until nearly done, not more than a few minutes. Add the milk and bring the soup just to the boiling point without actually boiling. Add seasonings to taste. Serve piping hot. Serves 4 to 6.

Monday, September 13, 2010


By Eva

-1 lb greek yogurt (I prefer Fage Total for the best flavor. The yogurt is one of the most important ingredients)
-3-4 large cloves garlic (play with quantities here if you don't want it to have a very strong garlicky flavor)
-1 teaspoon salt  (I am not a salt friend and go low on that, please try and adjust according to your family preferences)
-1 tbsp vinegar
-1 large cucumber
-3 / 4 cup. olive oil
-1 teaspoon finely chopped dill

-After peeling, chopping and crushing the garlic, mix along the salt and mash together until the mixtures becomes "one". the mashed garlic/salt mixture will be much easier to mix and have it go all over the yogurt mixture, instead of getting spoonfuls of garlic pieces one time and no garlic in another spoon.
-Clean the skin of the cucumber but without removing it- this way you keep all the nutrients of the cucumber and give some color to the tzatziki. 
-cut in half and with a spoon remove/scrape the seeds.- this is one way to avoid the tzatziki becoming watery.
-grate the cucumber and strain in to let the rest of the juice/water go away.
-In a bowl put the yogurt and cucumber and mix with a spoon. 
-Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. 
The tzatziki is ready, taste it and if necessary add a little more salt. 
serve with toasted pita bread, roasted red peppers, olive oils and if barbecuing, prepare some beef skewers- souvlakia, and use tzatziki as a dip.-great mezes!!!

Meat Loaf

By jazcat

Meat Loaf
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs 
1 onion, finely chopped
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 oz. tomato sauce

12 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Mix together Meat Loaf ingredients. Form loaf and put in pan. Combine sauce ingedients and pour over loaf. Bake at 350 for 1 1/4 hours. Baste occasionally. Makes 4 to 6 servings.