This was an all day affair. Similar to when I put together a dinner from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This time I used a marinade I found at Kalyn’s Kitchen , the Tomato Fritters are from About.com, the salad from the book The Diabetic Chef : More Than 80 Simple but Spectacular Recipes from One of New York City’s TopChefs, and lastly, the Greek Loaf I found in an old Taste of Home magazine. Would I do it again? Probably not all at once, but I loved each individual item, so I will make them all again.
I used pork steaks, which I marinated all day and then removed from the refrigerator a couple of hours before grilling. I also wiped off the marinade and dried the meat with paper towels, something I learned from Julia that allows the meat to brown beautifully.
I was the only one who liked the tomato fritters. I thought they were very good. Hubby said they had no taste (though I am seriously beginning to think his taste buds are just dead), and the kids wouldn’t even try them.
The salad was good, but too much dressing. Everything melded well, but I don’t like my salad swimming. I followed all the recommendations in the recipe, but only used 2/3 of the vinaigrette and it was still too much for my tastes.
The bread recipe was originally for the bread machine. Well, my bread machine, the one I bought from a thrift store many months ago, finally kicked the bucket. So I winged it and adapted the recipe to work by hand. We all loved it, even my olive hating children. Because you use chopped olives, and because they are chopped so small, the olive pieces look more like flecks of pepper and the kids were none the wiser! ;) I love tricking my kids into eating things that they otherwise wouldn’t. We enjoyed half the loaf and gave the other half to my neighbor who also loved it. Definitely a keeper!
And now for the recipes:
Greek-Seasoned Grilled Pork Chops with Lemon and Oregano
4 boneless pork sirloin chops (I used 3 bone in pork steaks)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest (or use 1/2 tsp. dried lemon peel)
2 tsp. dried Greek oregano (You can also use 2 T minced fresh Greek oregano, but I often use dried herbs in a marinade like this.) – I used fresh
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic (or use 1 tsp. dried granulated garlic) – I used fresh
fresh ground black pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Greek oregano, garlic, and black pepper. Trim all visible fat from pork chops and place in large Ziploc bag or flat glass dish. Pour marinade over pork chops and marinate in refrigerator for 4-8 hours, turning a few times if you’re home.
To cook, remove pork chops from refrigerator and wipe off excess marinade. Dry chops with paper towels and let come to room temperature while you pre-heat gas or charcoal grill or George Foreman grill, or stove-top grill pan. (Preheat outdoor grills about 10 minutes. George Foreman grill or stove-top grill pan only needs to be preheated 4-5 minutes.)
For criss-cross grill marks, place pork chops on a diagonal to the grill grids, rotating 45 degrees when the first set of grill marks start to show.
Pork chops will take about 10-12 minutes to get done on an outdoor grill or stove-top grill pan, and about 5-6 minutes on a George Foreman grill which cooks both sides at once. Pork chops are done when they feel firm (but not hard) to the touch and look slightly browned. Serve hot.
Domatokeftethes: Tomato Fritters
4 ripe medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 medium zucchini, grated
1 medium onion, grated
1 1/2 – 2 cups of self-rising flour (or add 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 1 cup of AP flour)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh mint or fresh basil, finely chopped (I used basil)
sunflower or canola oil for frying
Combine all ingredients except flour in a bowl. Add enough flour to make a thick batter.
Heat 1/2 to 3/4 inch of oil in a nonstick frying pan. When the oil is hot, drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the oil and fry until browned. Turn once to brown on both sides.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper towels.
Yield: serves 4-6
Modern Greek Salad
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Chianti vinegar (red wine vinegar)
Freshly milled white pepper
1/2 cup haricots verts (French for green beans, use the small tender ones only)
1 pound mesclun salad greens (I used romaine)
1 English cucumber, skin on, seeded, medium dice
1 pint cherry tomatoes (I cut mine in half)
1 pint yellow grape tomatoes (I cut mine in half)
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, picked
1 bunch mint, picked
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted (I sliced mine)
1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed
To make he vinaigrette, whisk the olive oil and vinegar together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Blanch and shock the haricots verts. COmbine the mesclun, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, parsley, mint, olives, haricots verts, and feta cheese in a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.
(Next time I will save the vinaigrette and serve it on the side.)
(If you want the bread machine version, click the Taste of Home link at the beginning of this post)
1 cup milk (70° to 80°)
1 tablespoon sugar
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk and let sit a few minutes until bubbles begin to form. Combine bread flour, salt, oil and milk mixture. Stir until a dough forms then turn out onto a floured board or counter. Knead bread for 8 – 10 minutes, then place into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Punch dough down, knead in the cheese and olives, knead until combined well, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle cookie sheet with corn meal and form dough into a loaf. Place loaf on cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double about 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Brush loaf with melted butter and sprinkle with seal salt. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.