Category Archives: Meat

Greek Steak Souvlaki with Feta and Cucumber Pomegranate salsa

Now that summer is here I can’t wait to get the Bbq on, and these Steak Souvlaki skewers are perfect for grilling. Tender pieces of Beef are marinated for a few hours with Greek herbs and spices. The marinade is so amazing that you can use it on any kind of meat. The red wine vinegar is a key ingredient as it tenderizes the meat and gives the dish that typical Greek flavour.  
The smell when the beef is grilling is insane – you can really smell the oregano and it’s almost as if your in a Greek Tavern, (with a bit of imagination and perhaps a glass of Retsina in your hand).   If you ever go to Greece make sure to bring back some Oregano, they sell it dried in bushes and it’s the best you’ll ever find.

Serves: 4 – 6

INGREDIENTS:

• 2 lb / 1 kg beef (steak), thinly sliced
Marinade
• 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and grated
• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
• 1 tsp. smoked paprika
• 1½ tbsp dried oregano
• a pinch of cinnamon
• a pinch of ground cloves
• a pinch of dry mint
• 1/2 tsp dry chili flakes
• salt and pepper


Cucumber Pomegranate Salsa:
• 1 large beef tomato, de-seeded and diced
• 1 cucumber, peeled, de=seeded and diced
• 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
• 1/2 red spanish onion, peeled and finely chopped
• a pinch of sugar
• salt and pepper
• a drizzle of olive oil
• a little squeeze of lemon juice
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
• 1/2 tsp.dry mint
• 1/2 tsp. dry oregano


To serve:
• 4 – 6 Pitas or baguette
• extra lettuce
• more Feta to crumble on top

INSTRUCTIONS:


1. Place the Marinade ingredients and the beef in a ziplock bag and massage to mix. Marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 6. Remove from marinade and skewer on to wooden or metal pins alternating with pepper and onion pieces.
Salsa
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl.
Cook Beef
1. Heat a griddle pan over high heat.
2. Cook the skewers on high for a few minutes until crispy and brown then turn them over and cook for an other two minutes.
3. Remove and serve straight away. Serve with lots of Pita or Baguette

Enjoy!


Grilled Cheese Meatballs in Onion Sauce

Meatballs loaded with onion sauce and finished off under the grill to melt all that cheese to golden perfection. These are the kind of dishes that make me wish winter would last forever.

You can serve these with mashed potatoes, over pasta or even in a bun.

The meatballs in this recipe are medium large intended for dinner, but you could make them a lot smaller and then serve them as an appetizer for a party with little wooden skewers in them.

Serves: 4 – 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ———————————-
  • 4 medium onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup grated cheese*

*Cheddar , Gouda, Asiago, Fontina, Gruyère, Havarti, Monterey Jack are all great cheeses for melting and grilling, use any one or make a mix.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre heat the oven to 220° C / 425° F
For the meatballs, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands. Don’t overmix. Form 8 meatballs.
Put them in a oiled oven dish and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes. I use a cast iron skillet but a baking dish is fine too.
Meanwhile heat a large frying pan and glaze the onions on medium low heat in the two tablespoons of olive oil, add a pinch of salt. Partially cover and let cook for about 20 minutes. Stirring now and again. After the 20 minutes add one tablespoon of sugar and stir around until in begins to caramelize and gets a deep golden color.
Add the two tablespoons of flour and again stir until this too gets a golden color.
Gently add the beef stock and stir to completely combine. Add the cumin and let simmer for 10 minutes.
When the meatballs are cooked take them out of the oven and carefully pour over all the onion sauce.
Set the oven to grilling.
Cover the meatballs and onions with the grated cheese and place back in to oven. Grill for about 5 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Tuscan Meatballs au Gratin

tuscan meatballs with cheese
tuscan meatballs with cheese

These have to be our favourite meatballs. They have everything we love. Good quality beef, cheese and mediterranean flavours.

This dish is actually lighter than you might think. The trick is to remove any fat after cooking the meatballs by draining them in a colander. The lemon zest lifts the whole thing up, and the fresh herbs add freshness. A great dish for all year round. Serve over pasta, with french bread or in a sandwich, or make small ones and serve as an appetizer. Also make a double batch and put one in the freezer for an other day (without the cheese).


tuscan meatballs with cheese

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 14-oz cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • a tiny grating of lemon zest, about 1/4 teaspoon
  • a pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cream, I use half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano

Meatballs:

  • 1-1/4 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Topping:

  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon  fresh oregano

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet melt the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook about 3 minutes . Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds until it starts to soften, Add the tomato paste. Stir in the sugar. Add the wine. Add the lemon zest.
  2. Add the canned tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Add the herbs. Reduce heat to a simmer and let it cook while you prep the meatballs.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the onion until it is finely diced. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined. Roll the mixture into meatballs about the size of golf balls.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220° C / 425° F.
  5. Heat a large non stick frying pan and add the meatballs to the pan with no extra oil. The meatballs will start to release some fat as they cook. Cook for 15 minutes – it’s okay if they aren’t cooked all the way through since they are also going into the oven. Remove from heat and drain off all the fat in a colander.
  6. Place the meatballs in an oven proof dish.
  7. Pour the sauce over the meatballs, add the cream. Stir.
  8. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  9. Place in the oven to bake until the cheese on top is bubbling , about 20 minutes.
  10. Garnish with the fresh oregano.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

tuscan meatballs with cheese
Fool Proof Lasagna

Classic Lasagna

Fool Proof Lasagna

Nothing beats classic lasagna!
And this is the easiest recipe you will ever make. It’s FOOL PROOF ,  anyone can make it even if you have never cooked before. Follow the recipe exactly and you will be super happy with the result. Also, it can be made ahead of time and it’s freezer-friendly!
This recipes does take some time to make and a little bit more effort – but I promise you, it’s worth it. I even double the recipe some times and put one lasagna in the freezer.
The lasagna has layers of classic meat sauce, bechamel and cheese. A.K.A. layers of goodness!
This one of those dishes that tastes even better the very next day! So if you have leftovers, lucky you!

Serves: 6-8

Cooking time: approx. 1 hour


INGREDIENTS:

• 9 fresh lasagna noodles
• 1 pound ground beef
• 4 oz. finely chopped bacon
• 1 onion peeled and diced small
• 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
• Salt and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 1/2 Cup Pasatta (tomato sauce)
• 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
• 1 tbsp. bouillon powder
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
• 1 C. red wine or water
BECHAMEL:
• 1/2 Cup Butter
• 1/2 Cup Flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 4 Cups milk
• a grating of nutmeg, about 1/8 tsp.
• 1 bay leaf
ADDITIONAL:
• 3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

•Fool Proof Lasagna

DIRECTIONS MEAT SAUCE:
• Preheat oven to 350° F / 180° C . Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
• Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and fry until it starts releasing a bit of fat, add the ground beef and onion and cook until beef has browned, add the garlic. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; season with pepper, to taste. Drain off excess fat. Put back on the heat. Stir in the pasatta, bouillon powder and Italian seasoning until well combined. Add the wine or water and let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
• Remove from heat.

Fool Proof Lasagna

DIRECTIONS BECHAMEL:
1. Heat a large pot with a thick bottom, add the butter and melt.
2. Add the flour and stir with a whisk until well combined.
3. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly, until very well combined and there are no lumps at all.
4. Add the bay leaf and nutmeg.
5. Simmer for about ten minutes until flour is fully “cooked”
6. Remove from heat.
ASSEMBLE LASAGNA:
1. Spread 1 cup tomato mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the bechamel sauce and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat . Top with remaining noodles, tomato mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan.
2. Place into oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until bubbling.
3. Let cool 15 minutes. This is an important step! *
4. Serve, garnished with parsley, if desired.
*Letting the Lasagna rest for 15 minutes will ensure that you can cut beautiful squares or portions.
*MAKE-AHEAD: Cover lasagna tightly with foil. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through and golden on top.
*TO FREEZE UNCOOKED: Cover lasagna tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. To bake, remove plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake for 90 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through.
*COOKED from frozen: sometimes I will make this recipe and divide it into four portions and pack them into foil baking dishes. Then freeze, when I’m in a hurry I will only have to defrost and place on a plate and microwave, and believe me….still really delicious.

Fool Proof Lasagna

greek meatballs in tomato sauce

Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce, Keftedes me Saltsa Domata

greek meatballs

After having our first beach day of the season today I felt it more than appropriate to share this super delicious and easy dish with you that just screams SUMMER .

It’s the kind of dish you make in a breeze and it tastes heavenly, it reminds me of long hot summers in Greece.
You can serve it with pita bread and a Greek salad or oven fries, it’s all good and the point is to keep it simple.

greek meatballs in tomato sauce
________________________________________
⏰ Prep time: 10 min
♨ Cooking time : 15
🍴 Serves : 4-6
________________________________________

Ingredients:

• 1 lb. ground beef, pork, or lamb
• 1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• 1⁄4 tsp. ground all spice * SEE NOTE
• 1 small red onion, grated
• 1 clove garlic grated
• 2 large egg yolks
• salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
————————
• 1 tablespoon olive oil (Greek preferably)
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 1⁄2 tbsp. tomato paste
• a pinch of sugar
• 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes
• 2 tsp oregano
• 1/4 tsp all spice
• 1 cup dry white wine
• salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 tbsp. chopped dill, for garnish

greek meatballs in tomato sauce

Instructions:

In a medium bowl combine the meat with the breadcrumbs, oregano, all spice, grated onion, garlic, salt, pepper and egg yolks.
Divide mixture into small balls or roll into ovals.
Heat a non stick skillet over high heat and working in batches, cook meatballs until browned on all sides for about 6-8 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a plate and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.
Heat olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and a pinch of sugar. Tip in the can of tomatoes and the white wine. Add the oregano and all spice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs back to the skillet and cook for another 10 minutes. Garnish with Dill.

καλή όρεξη.

• NOTE: If you don’t have All Spice you can make a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves in equal parts.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

greek meatballs in tomato sauce