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Food

Delicious Greek Flavors for Weeknight Meals

September 29, 2020

Weeknight meals are a great opportunity to get the entire family involved in the preparation and cooking process. In this way, each of us becomes more conscious and invested in our nutrition while also spending quality time with our loved ones away from screens for a short time at least. Cooking at home also offers a chance to broaden our culinary repertoire and further enjoy the wonderful flavors of Greece. With just a few, great Greek ingredients, home cooks can incorporate the classic flavors of the homeland and elevate even the simplest of meals to new gastronomic heights. 

Greek Pita Pizzas 

4 store-bought pitas, such as Kontos 

2-3 medium to large tomatoes, sliced 

1 cup feta Dodonis, crumbled, or more to taste  

Greek extra virgin olive oil 

1/4 teaspoon dried Greek oregano 

Freshly ground pepper to taste 

Additional toppings, such as Greek olives, steamed broccoli florets, if preferred 

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F. Place the pitas on rimmed baking sheets, drizzle the pitas with a bit of olive oil, top with the tomato slices, some of the feta, the oregano, and additional toppings, such as the Greek olives of your choice or various vegetables such as mushrooms, peppers, baby spinach, or steamed broccoli florets, if preferred. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, as needed. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the edge of the pitas are golden brown. Serve warm. 

Greek Pasta and Beef Stew 

2 pounds beef for stew, cut in cubes 

2 large onions, chopped 

4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil 

1 large can (28 oz.) San Marzano tomatoes, chopped, or 4-5 fresh, ripe tomatoes, if available 

1 bay leaf  

Water 

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt  

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 

1 pound pasta, such as Misko kofto makaronaki, (tubetti for Italian pasta brands)  

Water 

Brown the cubes of beef on all sides in a pan over medium high heat, add salt and pepper to taste, set aside. In a large, deep pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent. Add the browned beef, the tomatoes, bay leaf, and water- enough to cover all. Bring up to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2-3 cups water to the reduced sauce and bring up to a boil. Add the pasta and stir to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Continue simmering until the pasta is cooked al dente, keeping in mind that even after you switch off the stove, the residual heat of the pot will allow the pasta to continue cooking and absorbing the liquid from the sauce. Serve immediately with crusty bread, feta, and a salad. For richer flavor, a cup of red wine may be added to the sauce as it simmers as well as a tablespoon of tomato paste, if preferred. Lamb may also be substituted for the beef in this recipe. 

Serve with your favorite Greek red wine such as Agiorgitiko or Xinomavro. 

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