Tag Archives: Mediterranean

Greek Vegetable Pizza

Like having a Mediterranean garden on a little island of dough.

We can’t eat meat all the time, no matter how much we wish it was possible. For those times when the circles of meatlessness and pizza overlap on your Venn diagram of hunger (how’s that for an intelligent reference) try our vegetable version. With classic Greek flavors this easy crowd pleaser is also great for using up leftover veggies (zucchini, peppers, extra greens, scallions, we could go on…) with minimal effort and maximum results.

Equipment Needed: Baking Sheet or Pizza Pan or Pizza Stone, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Tongs, Mixing Bowl, Plastic Wrap, Serving Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 4 people (or 2 Brown Brothers)

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pilsners, Light Lagers  

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-made ball of pizza dough (about $1.99/package)
  • 1 medium red pepper ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 small onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 C pitted olives ($5.99/lb)
  • 1/2 C sundried tomatoes (about $5/3 oz jar)
  • 6 oz feta cheese ($7.99/lb)
  • 1/2 C  our roasted garlic and artichoke cream (you can just mince artichokes with olive oil or buy a spread if you prefer)(about $6/8 0z jar)
  • 1 TSP dried oregano ($3.50/1 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Preparation:
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Before anything else, wash off your red pepper and put it directly over the burner on your stove. If you don’t have a gas stove, pop into the oven directly on the baking rack for about 10-15 minutes. You want the skin to start burning and blistering so keep a close eye on it and rotate when one side gets too done; a crackling, popping noise means you’re headed in the right direction.

Let the pepper char up completely on each side before you turn it.

  • When your pepper is properly charred, put it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to sweat it out. While you’re waiting for it to steam peel and slice your onion crosswise into thin strips and do the same with your sundried tomatoes (the cutting into strips part, not the peeling part).
  • After about 5 minutes remove the pepper from the bowl, run it under hot water and rub the skin off. Cut in half lengthwise, remove the ribs and seeds and slice into thin strips lengthwise.
  • Peel your onion and slice it into thin discs, halfwise.
  • Throw a little flour on your baking sheet and spread out the pizza dough into the shape your heart desires. Drizzle some olive oil over the top and pop it into the oven for 5 minutes to let it firm up a bit.
  • Take the dough out and coat it with your artichoke spread. Layer on the red pepper strips, onion discs, sundried tomatoes and olives.

Crush the olives before you put them on so they cook down better and cover more pizza real estate.

  • Crumble some feta over the whole lot and sprinkle some dried oregano evenly over the top. Pop it back in the oven for another 10 minute, or until the crust is crisped to your liking. Pull it out, slice it up and take it down.

You could buy the pre-crumbled stuff but where's the fun in that?

Greek Nachos

Like a crunchy deconstructed gyro.

Don’t get us wrong, we like nachos as much, nay, more than the next person but variety is the spice of life. What better way to give the chip/meat/cheese/sauce combo than take it on a trip through the Mediterranean? No better way, that’s what. Go ahead and use beef if you can’t find ground lamb or don’t like the flavor. You can also save some time by using pre-made olive tapenade, but we suggest trying to make it at least once; it’s easy and the results taste much fresher.

Equipment Needed: 2 Baking Sheets, Frying Pan, Mixing Bowl, Wooden Spoon, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Basting Brush (or) Pastry Brush, Microplane

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 10

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Lager, Pale Ale

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground lamb ($6.99/lb)
  • 1 medium red onion ($1.29/lb)
  • 8 oz feta cheese ($4.39/8 oz)
  • 2-3 C tzatziki sauce (About $5/16 oz tub or make your own)
  • 10 whole wheat pita pockets (about $1.29/6 pack)
  • 1/2 lb pitted olives ($5.99/lb)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary (about  $1.99/sprig)
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil, divided ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 1 TBSP ground oregano ($2/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Olive Tapenade Preparation:

  • Finely dice the olives and toss them in your bowl or container.

Dice them small but don't mince them into mush.

  • Zest in the skin of the lemon, then squeeze in the juice. Be careful not to get any seeds in.

Stop when you hit the pith (the white part) to avoid bitterness.

  • Mince the rosemary and toss it in the mix. Peel your garlic and turn it into a paste by sprinkling about a teaspoon of salt on top and repeatedly pressing it with the edge of your chef’s knife. Throw it in with the rest.

We grow our own.

  • Crack about a tablespoon of fresh black pepper in, pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and give it a good stir to make sure everything is well-distributed. Adjust your flavors as you see fit and let the mix sit in the fridge for about an hour to let the flavors meld before you use it.

Nacho Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Take your pitas and cut them into eighths. Pull the halves apart so each piece becomes two chips. Place the triangles in a single layer on your baking sheets, brush them with olive oil and give them a good sprinkle of salt. Put them in the oven for 5 minutes or until crisp. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

Don’t saturate them, a light basting will do.

  • While the chips are baking dice your onion and mince the 3 cloves of garlic. Remove the chips when they’re done.
  • Put the frying pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook them down for about 5 minutes.
  • Toss in the lamb and season it with the cumin, oregano and a good dose of salt and pepper. Break up all the meat and cook it through, stirring occasionally (about 8 minutes).

Lamb gives the whole shebang a richer flavor.

  • Drain as much of the fat off as you can and spread the meat evenly across the pita chips.  Crumble the feta on top of that and pop the baking sheets back in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Pull the nachos out, spread tzatziki and tapenade across the top and devour.

Pita Personal Pizzas

Different preparation, different dining experience. Work with us here, people.

Introducing our new post category, the Righteous Remix, or leftovers for you laypeople. It’s the day after, there’s some remains from yesterday but you don’t want to just nuke ‘em and power through it. Give those scraps a little life with these quick and easy ideas to turn afterthoughts into an after party for your stomach. Tonight, it’s personal pizzas with the leftovers from yesterday’s pita wraps.

Equipment Needed: Baking Sheet, Spoon, Frying Pan, Cutting Board, Chef’s Knife, Basting Brush

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Ingredients:

  • Leftover tzatziki sauce
  • Leftover pita filling
  • Leftover feta chese
  • Leftover Mediterranean-style pita bread
  • Olive oil
  • Any additional items you’d want to use as toppings (we sliced up some banana peppers).

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F. Brush olive oil on both sides of the pita bread and place on the baking sheet.
  • Spread an even layer of tzatziki sauce on top of each pita and top with leftover fillings and feta cheese. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the bread is crispy. Cut into quarters for easy eating.

Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki Sauce

A Greek-inspired wrap as tasty as it is simple.

Living in Astoria gives us access to some pretty serious Greek food, but sometimes you’ve gotta take matters into your own hands. This simple riff on a traditional gyro is an easy option for nights where you just need a quick flavor fix. Homemade tzatziki sauce goes well on everything so you may want to make extra for later dipping adventures.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Cutting Board, Chef’s Knife, Wooden Spoon, Vegetable Peeler, Cheese Grater, Mixing Bowl

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Lighter Ales, Lagers, Pilsners

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts ($4.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1/2 C pitted olives (you can use canned, but we prefer the type you find in your grocers’ or deli’s olive bar; about $5.99/lb)
  • 1 cucumber (about $1.49/lb)
  • 2 lemons ($0.50/each)
  • 16 oz greek yogurt($4.89/16 oz)
  • 7 cloves garlic ($2.99)
  • 8 oz feta cheese crumbles ($4.99/8 oz)
  • 4 Mediterranean-style pita breads (you can use pita pockets if you like; $2.79/package of 10)
  • About 4 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • 2 TBSP dried oregano (about $4/2.75 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP crushed red pepper (about $2/2.75 oz jar)
  • 2 TSP dill ($3.50/2.75 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Tzatziki Preparation:

  • Spoon the yogurt into your mixing bowl. Mince 5 cloves of garlic and add to the bowl.
  • Peel and grate 3/4 of a cucumber and add to the bowl, then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.

Grate the cumumber for even consistency in your sauce.

Be sure not to let any seeds into the mix.

  • Add dill, a pinch of salt and some pepper and mix it all together. Refrigerate until you’ve finished everything else. As any connoisseur of street meat knows, tzatziki makes all meats and vegetables better, so get creative with your leftovers; it keeps for several days in the fridge.

Chicken Preparation:

  • Wash and trim any fat from your chicken breasts and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks

  • Place your frying pan over medium heat and coat the bottom in olive oil once it gets hot. Mince your other two cloves of garlic and toss them in the oil with the crushed red pepper.
  • Season the chicken pieces with the oregano, salt and pepper and add to the pan. Turn the pieces after about 5 minutes and cook for another 5 or so. Dice your onion and add to the pan at the very end for about a minute or two just to soften them a bit.

Leave the onions a little firm, you just want to take the edge off.

  • Dice the rest of the cucumber you used for the sauce as toppings for your pita. Slice the olives as well.
  • As far as assembly goes, we recommend the following layers for your pita: tzatziki, a few spoonfuls of chicken and onions, feta cheese, olives, cucumber and some hot sauce.


Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken

Make your mouth say Opa!

Make your mouth say Opa!

Classic Mediterranean ingredients fuse together for a bright, sweet and rich dish that takes a snoozer like chicken and cranks it up to eleven. Each bite is equal parts sweet and savory, making your taste buds dance around and smash super-mini plates in celebration.

Equipment Needed: Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, 13 x 9  Baking Pan (we prefer glass or ceramic), Meat Thermometer, Oven

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pale Ales (stay away from hoppier IPAs though, they’ll be overpowering), Red Ales, English Ales, Hefeweizen

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ($4.99/lb)
  • 12 dried black mission figs ($4.99/lb)
  • 6 oz goat cheese ($2.99 )
  • 3 TBSP Honey ($3.99/16 oz)
  • 3 TBSP Spicy Brown or Dijon Mustard ($1.99/12 oz)

Preparation

  • Preheat your oven to 375° F before you start your other prep work.
  • Wash and trim the chicken breasts. With your hand carefully and strategically placed on top of the breast  to hold it in place (stop giggling), insert your knife into the side and slice lengthwise. Be careful not to cut your fingers (bad), or to cut all the way through the piece (less bad); you want to create a pocket big enough for the stuffing, but need to keep the ends of the chicken intact to hold everything in.
Slice down the middle of the side of your chicken, but don't cut it all the way through.

Slice down the middle of the side of your chicken, but don't cut all the way through.

  • Slice the stems off of the figs and then cut each one into equal pieces. We prefer to slice lengthwise, but go nuts and cut them however you like.
  • Cut equal-sized discs from the goat cheese (we’re assuming you bought a mini-log, but if you’ve got crumbles that’s cool too).  Spread the cheese evenly inside the chicken breast as heavily or lightly as you want to (we use about an ounce and a half per piece).
Goat cheese is a go!

Goat cheese is a go!

  • Toss the fig pieces into the mix and place the results in your baking pan.
This is what it looks like to put figs in a chicken breast.

This is what it looks like to put figs in a chicken breast.

  • In a small bowl or cup mix equal parts mustard and honey (yes, you can cheat and use store bought honey mustard, but we think this tastes better). Coat each breast evenly with the mixture and throw them into the oven for about 40 minutes, or until your meat thermometer reads around 165° F. Remove and let stand for a few minutes before serving.