Greek Food Recipes

Baby Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary

Today, I'd like to share a delightful Baby Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary recipe. This was my first experience eating lamb chops. I don't know why, but I've always had an issue with eating baby lambs and could not bring myself to try it.

Last year, I entered the Baby Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary recipe in the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog Challenge. Although I did not progress through the contest, I discovered I actually enjoy lamb chops and this recipe has become one of our favorites.

It is very easy to prepare and the roasted garlic and rosemary topping adds a ton of extra flavor. I hope it becomes one of your favorites as well!

BABY LAMB CHOPS WITH GARLIC AND ROSEMARY

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Adapted from Michael Chiarello's Lamb Chop recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use 1/8 cup for marinade and 1/8 cup for cooking lamb chops)
2 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 Tablespoons fresh Rosemary leaves
1 Lemon, zested
4 Baby Lamb Chops
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat 1/8 cup olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until light golden brown. Add rosemary leaves and cook until crispy.
2. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
3. Transfer to small bowl, add lemon zest, and mix well.
4. Heat remaining olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
5. Season both sides of lamb chops with salt and pepper.

Baby-lamb-chops-stovetop

6. Cook lamb chops in skillet 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
7. Transfer to serving platter and spoon rosemary-garlic marinade on top.

Baby-lamb-chops-with-garlic-and-rosemary


Cheese and Honey Phyllo Rounds

Cheese-an-honey-fillo-rounds
I created cheese and honey phyllo rounds for my Greek Feast for Two entry into the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog Challenge. Although, The Cheap Gourmet did not proceed to the next round, I've acquired a love for Greek food and indulge in it whenever I can. If you haven't experimented with Greek recipes, I encourage you to do so. The flavors are amazing and many of the traditional recipes are relatively easy to prepare.

The cheese and honey phyllo rounds make a great appetizer and a semi-guilt-free dessert. As with anything, moderation is the key. You can change the type of cheese, but it's best to use a semi-hard cheese for this recipe. Soft cheeses will melt too much and you'll end up with a product that's more like a mozzarella cheese stick. 

The original cheese and honey phyllo rounds recipe called for cutting the dough into rounds. I didn't have much luck with that method and cut the sheets into quarters. This dish is intended to be served at room temperature, but my husband and I liked them best straight out of the oven. 

CHEESE AND HONEY PHYLLO ROUNDS

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Yield: 16 rounds
Prep Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Bake Time: 12 to 14 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

8 sheets refrigerated Phyllo dough, cut into quarters
4 ounces Pecorino-Romano cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil for basting
1-1/2 Tablespoons Honey

Athens-fillo-phyllo-dough
 
DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place phyllo dough on large cutting board. Cut sheets into quarters and stack into a pile.
3. Use two sheets of phyllo dough for each cheese-stuffed round. You will need to work quickly so the dough doesn't dry out.
4. Place two sheets of dough on cutting board and lightly brush with olive oil. Place 1/2-teaspoon of cheese near the end of the square. Gently roll and lightly baste with olive oil. Carefully roll one end toward the center to create a snail shell.
5. Place on baking sheet and lightly baste each round before placing in oven.
6. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until light golden brown.


Cheese-and-honey-phyllo-rounds-baking
7. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to serving platter. Drizzle with honey. Serve at room temperature.

Cheese-and-honey-fillo-rounds-baked


Greek Feast for Two Dinner Menu: Project Food Blog Challenge #2

I am excited to share my Greek Feast for Two Dinner Menu with you, but first want to extend my gratitude for voting The Cheap Gourmet blog through to Round Two of the FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Challenge. It means a lot that you are taking time to read my cooking blog and submit your votes and to that I say, Thank You!

This week's challenge is to "tackle a classic dish from another culture" and as you can see, I chose Greek food. I've been enchanted by the Greek Islands for as long as I can remember. A few weeks ago I watched the Grek Islands episode of Anthony Bourdain's show, No Reservations. I found myself fixated on the food and realized I knew very little about the classic Greek dishes.

Greek foods consist of local ingredients and include tons of fresh produce, fragrant herbs, olives, and olive oil. Research revealed lamb, pork, and seafood are the most common proteins. I based my menu selections on foods often served during Greek festivals.

The Greek Feast for Two dinner menu includes: Greek Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing, Greek Paidakia, Baby Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary, Roasted Vegetables, and Cheese and Honey Filo Rounds.

This was, by far, one of the best meals I have ever prepared. My husband and I were intoxicated by the cooking aromas and the savory, salty, earthy flavors of the foods. Everything about this meal was fun and I am proud to share the recipes with you today.

The Greek Feast is relatively easy to prepare, but does require about 2-1/2 hours of time. Step-by-step directions are provided for ease in preparation. I think you will find the end result well worth the effort.

Preparing the Greek Feast for Two Dinner Menu

  Greek-feast
Start by preparing the Greek Paidakia. Marinate for 2 hours to achieve ultimate tenderness and intense flavor. Prep time is 15 minutes. Chops are broiled for 15 minutes. Total prep and cooking time is 2-1/2 hours.

Greek Paidakia
Adapted from Grilled Lamb Chops at GreekHomeRecipes.com

I was attracted to this dish because the original recipe stated, "Paidakia is to the Greeks as baby back ribs are to Southerners." Since I live in the South and LOVE baby back ribs, I figured I couldn't go wrong with Greek Paidakia.

The original recipe uses lamb, but I substituted with pork. This recipe is super easy to make and uses minimal ingredients. The flavor is incredibly savory and the meat melts in your mouth.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds Pork Rib Roast, frenched and cut into 4 to 6 individual chops. Frenched means the meat and fat is removed from the upper bone; providing a handle for ease in eating.
2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, cut into wedges

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, combine basil, parsley, salt and pepper.
2. Rinse pork chops and coat each side with herb mixture.
3. Lightly brush each side with olive oil.
4. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Pork-paidakia

5. Broil pork chops 8 minutes per side.
6. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with lemon wedges.
7. Squeeze lemon juice over pork chops and devour!

Pork-paidakia-with-lemon-wedges

Next, prepare the Greek Salad. The Vinaigrette dressing should chill for at least 1 hour prior to serving.

Tip: I bought the Kalamata Olives from the Olive Bar at my local grocer. It was less expensive than jarred olives and I could pick the best olives.

Greek Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
Adapted from www.GreekSaladRecipe.net.

Greek Salad Ingredients:
1 head Romaine Lettuce, washed, dried, and loosely chopped
10-ounce bag Baby Greens
1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1/2 English Cucumber, diced
4 ounces pitted Kalamata Olives
4 ounces Feta Cheese, crumbled

Greek-salad-fixings

Greek Salad Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice from 1 whole Lemon (use the zest of this lemon for the Baby Lamb Chops)
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar

Directions:
1. Gently toss vegetables and olives together in a salad bowl. Top with Feta cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
2. In a small bowl, combine Vinaigrette dressing ingredients and briskly whip together using a wire whisk. Transfer to serving container and refrigerate for one hour.
3. Transfer to salad plates and add desired amount of dressing.

Greek-salad-with-vinaigrette-dressing

Now, it's time to work on the Cheese and Honey Filo Rounds. This recipe was the most challenging dish to prepare due to the delicacy of the filo (phyllo) dough. The original recipe cut the dough into rounds. I didn't have much luck with that method and ended up cutting the sheets into quarters. This dish is intended to be served at room temperature. Makes 16 rounds. Prep time is 15 to 20 minutes and bake time is 12 to14 minutes.

Obtain the original Cheese and Honey Filo Rounds recipe and watch a preparation video at www.Greek-Recipe.com.

Ingredients:
8 sheets refrigerated Filo dough, cut into quarters
4 ounces Pecorino-Romano cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil for basting
1-1/2 Tablespoons Honey

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place filo dough on large cutting board. Carefully cut sheets into quarters and stack into a pile.
3. Use 2 sheets of filo dough for each cheese-stuffed round. It is important to work quickly so the dough doesn't dry out.
4. Place 2 sheets of dough on cutting board and lightly brush with olive oil. Place 1/2-teaspoon of cheese near the end of the square. Gently roll and lightly baste with olive oil. Carefully roll one end toward the center to create a snail shell. As you can see, I need more practice.

Honey-and-cheese-patties-baking

5. Place on baking sheet and lightly baste each round before placing in oven.
6. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until light golden brown.
7. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to serving platter. Drizzle with honey. Serve at room temperature.

Honey-and-cheese-filo-pastries
Next, prepare the roasted vegetables. These require 10 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to marinate, and 16 minutes to cook.

Roasted Vegetables
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Lamb Chops with Roasted Vegetables and Spring Pea Risotto

The original recipe roasts the vegetables in the oven for 15 minutes. I marinated the vegetables for 30 minutes and broiled them with the Greek Paidakia.  Either method will provide great results.

Ingredients:
1/2 pound fresh Green Beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 dozen Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced diagonally
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup Pecorino-Romano cheese, finely grated

Directions:
1. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss green beans, tomatoes, and onions with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roasted-greek-vegetables

3. Broil at 500 degrees Fahrenheit on lower oven rack for 16 minutes. The Greek Paidakia should be placed on the top oven rack while veggies are roasting.
4. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with cheese.

Roasted-greek-vegetables-with-pecorino-romano-cheese

Finally, it's time to prepare the Baby Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary. It is recommended to serve lamb chops medium-rare. This recipe requires 15 minutes prep time and 8 minutes to cook. Start preparing the marinade 5 minutes before placing the veggies and Greek Paidakia in the broiler.

Adapted from Michael Chiarello's Lamb Chop recipe

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use 1/8 cup for marinade and 1/8 cup for cooking lamb chops)
2 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 Tablespoons fresh Rosemary leaves
1 Lemon, zested
4 Baby Lamb Chops
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Directions:
1. Heat 1/8 cup olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until light golden brown. Add rosemary leaves and cook until crispy.
2. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
3. Transfer to small bowl, add lemon zest, and mix well.
4. Heat remaining olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
5. Season both sides of lamb chops with salt and pepper.
6. Cook lamb chops in skillet 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Baby-lamb-chops-stovetop
7. Transfer to serving platter and spoon rosemary-garlic marinade on top.

Baby-lamb-chops-with-garlic-and-rosemary
This is my Greek Feast for Two dinner menu. I hope your family and friends enjoy the meal as much as we did. I welcome and appreciate your votes. Each one helps launch me to the next level of the Project Food Blog Challenge. Voting is open from 6 a.m. PT Monday, September 27th through 6 p.m. PT Friday, September 30th. Thank you for your support!

P.S. If you missed the first challenge, click here to read, Defining The Cheap Gourmet Blog