Our trip to Greece on Christmas day!

Before I began…….

I had a different entry, but WordPress decided to do me dirty while I was writing, and erase everything I wrote for 45 minutes. After flipping my imaginary table, I’m good now.

We have a tradition of having a different type of culture of food every year for Christmas. After our version of international Olympic committee of voting, we voted on Greece.

I decided on:

Orange Roasted Leg of Lamb with Red Potatoes
Tiropetes
Classic Greek Spinach
Greek Green Beans
Tzatziki with Pretzels
Retsina Wine(Red Grape Sparkling Juice for the kiddies)

I made the Tzatziki a couple days before hand. Cucumbers, Greek yogurt, sour cream, kosher salt, and olive oil. Blend in my blender, stored in the refrigerator for later. That was two days ago.

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Today, I defrosted the lamb, and started that dish. We washed the lamb off, and cut the red potatoes in half. I put the potatoes into a mixture of olive oil, mustard, oregano, salt, pepper, orange juice. I tossed the potatoes in that mixture, and spooned them into my roaster. Placing the lamb on top, I made slits into the lamb and added minced garlic in those openings. Then I poured the mix over the lamb and baked for hour on 375. I basted the lamb every twenty minutes. I had to add more juice and water to make sure I didn’t burn the potatoes. In reality, the cook time was about hour and half.

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I began the process for the tiropetes.

Before I continue, if you have health issues with butter, oil, or salt, stay away from Greek food. In other words, if you are trying to lose weight, have high cholesterol, or your a vampire, don’t do it. Greek food calls for a lot of butter, garlic, and salt. It’s not a bad thing in moderation, but if you already have issues, I’m putting on disclaimer, I’m not responsible for that. LOL

Back to topic…..

If you choose to make these, it’s not the ingredients, it’s the timing. Especially with the Phyillo Dough, if you aren’t fast, you’ll mess up some expensive dough. Began with melting butter, you’ll need a lot. I made the filling for these small hot pockets(as I told my kids and friends). Egg yolks, olive oil, hot milk, feta cheese, Colby jack cheese, flour, salt, and pepper. I made sure it was think enough to ‘coat a metal spoon’. Here is where the real fun began. Cutting the dough in half, and greasing a pan, I began an assembly line. Brush the dough with butter, filling, fold into a triangle, put in pan, and brush outside with more butter. If your not fast, you’ll waste dough. It dries out fast. You can wring out a wet paper towel and place on top to keep it moist to work with. If not, you’ll rip the dough, and trust me it’s not hard to do. Bake these on 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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The green beans were up next. Earlier in the day, I snapped the green beans, and soaked them in water. If I don’t anything from this experience, I will say this. I’m buying fresh green beans now opposed to canned. These green beans took longer, but they were fabulous! A little more work, but fresh has a different taste compared to canned, I can’t stress that enough. Reminds me of my great grandmother, that’s all she cooked was fresh foods. I sautéed onions in olive oil until soft. Then I added the green beans(strained), fresh tomatoes(chopped in quarters), minced garlic, salt, salt and pepper. Cooked them until they were soft. It took about an hour.

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Lastly was the spinach. Started out the same, but after the onions being sautéed, we added spinach and diced tomatoes. I let that simmer for 10 minutes, and then added rice, salt, pepper, 4 cups of water, minced garlic, beef bouillon, and tomato paste. This cooks until the water boils off, and then you add two more cups of water. This took about an hour and 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.

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I also found a white wine to match up with dinner. It was called Retsina. It’s a Greek wine, made in Greece. The story that was explained to me, was the woodsy taste was due to storing too long in barrels. It initially was a mistake, but was requested so much, the company continued to create the wine that way. Loved the taste, and price(5.00/bottle).

Dinner was awesome! I flipping took a nap afterwards, and we have leftovers so this mommy isn’t cooking for a couple days. Of course that was just dinner! We all know we could do just dinner, desserts are up next!

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~CSM~

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