Sunday, December 13, 2009

Going Greek

“Whadda you-a mean you-a eata NO meat?”

Awkward pause….

“That’s OK. I-a make-a you-a lamb.”

Yes. The crazy aunt from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is unforgettable.

I know, I know.

My movie quotes are so 2002. Or let’s be real, 90s. Or yeah, 80s.
Like seriously, if there were life challenges that required useless quotes from: “Singles,” “Pulp Fiction,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Clueless,” “Old School,” and if we’re really talking historic: “Heathers” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” I hands down would win the big prize of knowing trivial movie quotes from obsessively watching the same not-very-deep movies over and over again. And yes, these films have not appeared in movie theaters for decades and they’re probably not winning any awards, although I think “Pulp Fiction” won a bunch of stuff, but it was the 90s. We were too Kool and the Gang, Jimmy, to care.

So, the aunt who is the self-proclaimed best chef in the family and mispronounces words and drinks a lot of booze and has no tolerance for vegetarians in the Greek wedding movie. That lady totally gets me.

In honor of her and the awesomeness that is Greek food, I made a kind of Greekish din featuring Fantabulous Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce, Greek Salad and Lentil Salad.

Heavy on the salads, I know. But me and the husband love to get the veg on despite grooving on meat and fish and proteins that were alive at one point. Variety is the spice of life, no?

And when I saw that my little, ole SuperFresh in H’town actually carried lamb, I rejoiced and just about did cartwheels down the aisle. (I kind of live in the sticks, so when other cultures/cuisines arrive here, I get a bit hysterical and praise Jesus that I can cook things other than chicken and pork and salmon, oh my.)

So, spice up your day with some Greek food. It’s way delish and packed with good things for you like fresh herbs and vegetables and lemon juice. Yay!

Fantabulous Spicy Lamb Meatballs
(Makes 16)

1 lb. ground lamb
¼ cup chopped red onion
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. hot sauce
¼ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh black pepper

Mix all the ingredients gently in a bowl.

Roll meat into balls with a 1 1/2 –inch diameter. Line up on a baking sheet. (You may refrigerate until ready to bake.)

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes.

Serve with Yogurt Sauce.

Yogurt Sauce for Spicy Lamb Meatballs
¾ cup Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh mint or basil, chopped
Pinch of salt
Fresh black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Chill until ready to serve

Greek Salad Dressing
(Use on your favorite salad vegetables such as romaine, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cucumber, red onion. Makes enough salad dressing for four big servings.)

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Pour over salad. Toss salad.

Lentil Salad

For the lentils:
1 cup favorite dried lentils (I like French green lentils)
2 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
¼ tsp. dried oregano

Place the above ingredients in a large pot or saucepan. Cover with at least 2 inches of water. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until lentils are cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain mixture in a colander. Rinse lentils under cold water. Discard bay leaves

For the salad:

1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
3 Tbsp. basil, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
Prepared lentils (see above)

Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Gently mix.

For vinaigrette:

6 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
6 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk or a fork. Add to lentil mixture. When ready to serve, top with feta cheese.


  1. Susan, I nominated you for an award on my blog. Have a great night!

  2. ".... I make Taki go to the big dry cleaning store, and now I have no time with heeeeeem."


    "Tell me what to say, but don't tell me what to say."

    or the OTHER aunt:

    "Rodney! Harry! Ouzo!"