Saturday, April 22, 2017

Eating Omaha... Blackstone Meatball

Today we met Ellen and Mark at Mom's house and cleared out more stuff. We caught up on a lot of things, found more photos and threw out a bunch of stuff none of us wanted. As the day wore on we decided to make dinner plans in Midtown. The Blackstone district is the new Omaha "it" spot. Seen and be seen. So much fun people watching, gabbing and drinking craft cocktails at Night Owl after dinner. Met some work friends too.

So, Meatballs is a craft bar/eatery and serves only....meatballs. Mark and I had a flight of 5 while the girls had a bowl of 3 meatballs atop grilled veggies. A choice of 5 flavored meatballs and 5 sauces are offered on a variety of vehicles including veggies, pasta or grits and more. All the flavors were great, some better than others like the Rueben meatball special topped with Thousand Island. The Chicken meatball with Alfredo sauce was tasty as well. Least favorite was the Vegan and Pesto(mushroom, white bean) but still wasn't bad.

We had quick service, were invited to sit as long as we pleased and skipped dessert. A very busy place indeed. After paying the bill,  about $50 incl tip each,  we strolled across the street running into Rich and Julie et all, along the way.

We ducked into Night Owls for another cocktail, people watching and conversation before making the long ride home. Great evening out in a nice section of town with a lively crowd,  mostly younger, for a nice Friday night diversion.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Eating this Post Lenten Week

So far I have had lamb, Greek chicken, lamb and more lamb. Okay,  I am getting a little tired of lamb and after lunch today I have only one serving left to consume. It is really goo though and I will probably prepare it ( sous vide) this way from now on.  Greek chicken is brined breasts, sliced hot off the grill and bathed in lemon juice, oregano and olive oil. Very tasty.

So far this week, the only thing I have had off the ranch is a burger at Hardee's after a trip to Menards last night and yes, Hardee hamburgers are very good. Very good indeed.

We (I) have consumed a loaf of tsoureki as toast. I cannot get enough of this. Its like a pastry more than a bread and toasted it is divine food of the gods.  The mahlab adds a distinct pleasant flavor that you really cannot put your finger on but when I have a slice to my favorite Syrian physician, he nearly teared up as it reminded him of home. How is that for authentic?  One of my workmates thought the chunk of lamb I gave him was tenderloin, it's that tender.  I know I am a whackadoo when I have to share everything I bring with my work mates. They probably think I am crazy and acquiesce out of kindness.

As my tummy settles down I will be racking up some ribs later this weekend or Huli Huli Chicken. I just found a recipe that looks so tempting.

Huli Huli Chicken 

Huli means 'turn' in Hawaii and with the sugar in this marinade it is a good idea to keep turning the chicken to avoid burning it.

The recipe is enough for about three chickens, split in half.  You can use chicken pieces if that’s what you have. Marinate your chicken for at least a half-hour.
                               1/3 cup ketchup
                               1/3 cup soy sauce
                               1/4 cup brown sugar
                               1/4 cup honey
                               1/4 cup sherry
                               1-2 Tbsp. sesame oil
                               1-2-more pieces ginger root, crushed
                               3 cloves garlic, crushed
                               Worcestershire sauce to taste
                               Sriracha or Asian chili paste (or red pepper flakes) to taste
                               Squeeze a lemon in if you've got one
Brush the chicken with the remaining marinade while cooking over a grill. And don't forget to huli the chicken.

I stole this recipe from

Let youo know Monday on how this comes out if I get a chance to make it. Looking for something to take to KC for Nick's graduation anyway....maybe it be this?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tsoureki by Xeno

I made this traditional Greek Easter bread this year again but this time the recipe from My Greek Dish was a proven winner. It turned really dark baking because of the sugar in the dough and came out of the oven weighing nearly nothing. Make sure you hit the 190-195 mark before removing. It proved to be light and very tasty, great for toasting but it toasted really fast so be careful but it tasted good even a little burnt. I used the real deal spices, mahlab and masticha. Trust me and hunt these down. Here in Omaha, a trip to the Mediterranean market (84th and Blondo) is in order as they will surely have them. 
I did not put anise seed or extract as some people find the taste off putting but the Greeks love it. Does not matter to me one way or the other. The texture of the bread is sublime, soft, stringy even crumb. I made these 2 huge loafs from one recipe, enough to share with really good friends. If we ever see Matt and Lori again, I will have to make this for them.

Rather than re write the recipe follow the link to the great article. Yum.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sous Vide Lamb Kebabs

I have been salivating over this for weeks as Lent has winded down and the devil distracted my thoughts with lust for food. Well, Pascha in the Greek church means lamb and who could blame him. This year I wanted the most succulent treat I could imagine and I got out the trusty Sous Vide oven and went to town on a boneless leg.  after 12 hours in the sous vide bath at 130 degrees, I drained the meat, added a few onions and hit the grill. Grilled on high for just long enough to crust the meat with a mahogany color, it was literally falling apart as I took it off the burners.

Very hot grill

So here is how it's done. You'll thank me.

1 leg of lamb cubed
1 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon paprika
Good glug  of olive oil
Seal the sous vide bag cook at 130 for about 12 hours

Remove meat and drain juices. Place in large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoons of oregano, salt and pepper to taste, a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few chunky onions. Heat grill to very hot (600) and drop meat and veggies into a grilling basket. Toss frequently, move away from flames until desired color is achieved. Using tongs, remove to a clean bowl. So tender and yummy.

Yes I know it's nine in the morning.

PS...the reviews are in. Mackenzie says not to lose the recipe or technique. I have to agree, best lamb ever.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

No posts since February.....

Around Mother's Day 2016, all my ladies...

I just noticed that I have not posted anything since February.  For whatever reason, deep in Great Lent, there are many things I do not do this time of year. One of them is cook anything special. We had some great meals but all are meatless and a little boring frankly. Not the season of the year where it is important. I did made a fantastic vegan (?) Seafood Gumbo for Pre-Sanctified one Wednesday but that recipe is already on the blog. .

Been dealing with some tummy issues lately so I have seriously cut back on the spiciness in our dishes, even black pepper. Coffee is dealing me fits, chocolate almost anything really.  I am sure this too shall pass but it really affects my appetite and by default my cooking.

My Mom passed away early in March. She had some chronic illnesses that did not seem to affect her travels too much but eventually caught up with her and she passed peacefully at home. Expected but unexpected we dealt with everything we could and now my sister and I are trying to put the house to rest and put it on the market, going through each room and sifting through years of accumulation of stuff and memories. So far a few Saturdays have proven fruitful but we have a ways to go.

Prepping for Holy week and Pascha this year but without the boys coming home, I have little desire to put on our usual meat festival. I will make some lamb but I am thinking its just us and Mackenzie this year.  We'll see what happens as a few on Mackenzie's friends are thinking of coming over and we are always happy to have them.  Hopefully I will be feeling a little better by then and resume the thing I do love and do the best.


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