Monday, August 10, 2015

New friends and Old Friends

We were fortunate enough to share meals with some great folks this weekend and find some great food at local markets.

Figs! We love figs but they are late this year and we ran across them at Trader Joe's so we had to have them on the menu for company. Dressed with honey from a local supplier and blue cheese, they were delicious.
So tasty.

For Saturday's dinner we entertained a new couple that we know from church but have never gotten together.  Tammie and Jason Gill showed up about 5 and we made a nice loaf of Prosphora together while I finished preparing dinner for all of us. Sam's had Broccolini this year so of course a bit of that along with Greek potatoes and a nice roasted salmon on the grill.  I dressed the Broccolini with a bit of truffle butter and served the salmon with our standard Artichoke Salsa (recipe elsewhere on the blog)  For dessert I made a Blueberry Crostini with some puff pastry. Came out great.

I had just removed 2 fresh loaves of French baguettes from the oven before they arrived. We had so much fun we kind of forgot about the rising Prosphora and it rose a touch too much. I sent the whole loaf home with them after it baked. I hope it was OK.  We stayed up way too late and just had a lot of fun.

For the Greek Potatoes:

I had  Red Potatoes thanks to Brenda's folks so I wedged those and harvested some Rosemary from the yard

The marinade was 1 cup Chicken stock, one juiced lemon, 1/4 olive oil and 4 cloves of crushed minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of  minced rosemary.  I arranged the spuds in a non stick pan and poured  the marinade over reserving about 1/4 cup. I roasted the potatoes at 400 for about 40 minutes or less, the marinade had been absorbed and turned them over then back in the oven for about 20 minutes. Gave them another douse of marinade then served. Really, really tasty.

On Sunday, we reconnected with some old friends, Mike and Nicki Schmader. I grilled some chicken and Pork Kabobs and had a nice pilaf, grilled veggies and Greek salad with Panna Cotta with a berry coulis for dessert. So good. Figs, olives, humus and Feta for appetizers. Great time reminiscing and reliving our past exploits and just catching up.

So for the chicken, you know I like to brine (4 c water, 1/4 c salt and sugar) my poultry and I threw the pork cubes in the brine also. I grilled the chicken plain and dressed it after I cut it up with fresh lemon juice and olive oil and a smattering of oregano. For the pork I used a dry rub:

  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • I coated the brined pork with this and gave it a douse of olive oil before setting the cubes of the grill. Moist and seasoned well, they were just great after a squeeze of lemon and a bit more olive oil.

    For the Greek Salad like they make on the islands:

    Tomato wedges
    Fresh cucumbers
    Red onion
    Kalamata olives
    Feta cheese
    Dressed with lemon juice and Olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper. 

    You will notice a very Mediterranean theme here as I used a lot of olive oil and about 6 lemons this weekend. I have a few leftovers for lunch this week.

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