Greek recipe

Baklava

Baklava

Baklava

This was specially requested for a dinner with friends. I don’t make it often, but who can say “no” to friends? Rich and sweet, small squares of baklava are a wonderful end to any meal.  You can easily cut this recipe in half if you want to make a smaller batch. When working with phyllo keep the sheets pliable by covering them with  a damp towel to keep them from drying out.

Baklava

2 lbs. phyllo

1 lb. butter, preferably unsalted

1½ lbs. walnuts or blanched almonds, chopped fine

½ c. sugar

½ t. cinnamon

1/8 t. cloves

Combine nuts, sugar and seasonings and set aside. Brush a large jellyroll pan (12×17) with butter and line bottom with 15 phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter as you go. Spread 1/3 of the nut mixture on phyllo leaves. Top with 5-6 buttered sheets of phyllo. Spread with another third of the nut mixture. Add another layer of 5-6 buttered leaves and remaining nut mixture. You should have 15-17 leaves for the top. Brush top layer of leaves with remaining butter. With a sharp pointed knife score the top sheets in whatever shapes and sizes you want. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Baklava should be golden brown.  Meanwhile prepare syrup. When baklava has cooled, warm up the syrup and pour over.

Syrup:

2 c. sugar

1 c. honey

2 c. water

zest of 1 lemon or orange

Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.  Strain and set aside.

Chicken with Lemon Sauce

Chicken with Lemon Sauce

Chicken with Lemon Sauce

I did a cooking class yesterday and made lamb with lemon sauce. I loved it and wanted to make some when I got home- but alas I didn’t have any lamb defrosted. I also didn’t have the romaine lettuce the recipe called for. Part of the trouble with not going to the grocery store is having to swap our ingredients sometimes. I decided to swap out a few things and the end result was quite nice. I used boneless chicken thighs in place of the lamb and a combination of shredded cabbage and baby bok choy for the romaine lettuce. Frankly, I love the lemon sauce so much pretty much anything I served it with was going to taste pretty  good.

Here is the lamb recipe with my substitutions noted. Since I had boneless thighs I didn’t have to cook the dish as long, probably simmered it for 30 minutes in total.

Fricassee of Lamb with Lettuce

2 1/2-3 lbs. lamb shoulder, or use pork- I used boneless chicken thighs

3 medium onions, chopped

2-3 heads romaine lettuce, washed and sliced thin- I used 2 c. shredded cabbage and 2 heads of baby bok choy, sliced

1/2 c. olive oil

Egg and Lemon Sauce -recipe follows

Cut the meat into serving pieces. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the meat. Add salt, pepper, the onions, lettuce and a small amount of water. Cover the pot and let the fricassee simmer for about an hour. Prepare the egg and lemon sauce, pour it over the fricassee and serve.

 Egg and Lemon Sauce

1-2 c. stock

2 eggs

juice of 1 lemon

flour, about 1-2 tablespoons, depending on how thick you want the sauce

Bring stock to the simmer. Beat eggs well. Mix the flour with the lemon juice.

Add to the eggs and keep beating. Add the hot broth slowly while you keep beating. Pour the egg and lemon sauce in the pot and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Makes 1-2 cups. For a thinner sauce eliminate the flour.