Tag Archives: feta

Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Yogurt Cucumber Dill Sauce

These crispy zucchini fritters make a wonderful starter or side dish, and they’re a delicious way to use up summer zucchini, because Lord knows, you or your neighbors are likely swamped with it. Of course there is always the local farm market or grocery store…

The word fritter usually conjures up something heavy and deep-fried, but these zucchini fritters are as light as can be. Serve them as a light vegetarian meal or mezze (small plate) with tzatziki and a Greek salad, or as a side dish to any Mediterranean-style fish, chicken or lamb dish.

To eliminate all of the excess moisture in zucchini, shred on a box shredder, salt it and let it drain in a fine mesh strainer for 10 minutes. Finally you want to wrap it tightly in a clean towel and squeeze out any lingering moisture. Do not let the zucchini sit on its own for too long after it’s been squeezed dry or it will turn brown.

Bind the dried zucchini with eggs and a little flour which allows its delicate flavor to shine. In ATK’s The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook where we found this recipe, and the one I followed, it did not mention baking powder as an ingredient. However, online it shows adding 1/2 teaspoon, which makes sense so I listed it below.

Oh, and do yourself a favor and buy a good block of feta cheese, not the pre-crumbled varieties. Odyssey and Mt Vikos are two great brands that contain no preservatives, additives, or calcium chloride and are Non-GMO. Traditional feta is made authentically by small family dairies in central Greece using fresh milk from sheep and goats.

Zucchini Fritters with Feta

  • Servings: 12 fritters
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. zucchini (about 2 medium), trimmed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or cornstarch)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more if necessary
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk. Transfer the zucchini to a fine mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Toss the zucchini with the salt and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Put zucchini in a clean dish towel and fold and wring out real well with (you may need to repeat with another towel), then set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the dried zucchini, scallions, dill, feta, garlic and black pepper. Sprinkle the flour (or corn starch) and baking powder over mixture and stir until uniformly incorporated.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop 2-tablespoon sized portions into the pan, then use the back of a spoon to gently press the batter into 2-inch-wide fritters. Pan-fry until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat as needed.
  5. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate. Add a bit more oil to the pan if necessary, then repeat with the remaining batter. Serve warm or room temperature with lemon wedges.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

By Jennifer Segal, adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Yogurt Cucumber Dill Sauce

Not a dill fan? Substitute cilantro, mint, parsley or tarragon instead. Sauce can be made one day ahead.

Yogurt Cucumber Dill Sauce

  • Servings: Yields about 2 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and shredded
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Whisk yogurt, oil and garlic together in a medium bowl until combined.
  2. Stir in cucumber and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Refrigerate covered. Take out and leave on counter for 30 minutes before eating.

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Greek-Style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

Saganaki is a traditional Greek dish with sweet, briny shrimp covered with a garlic- and herb-accented tomato sauce, and topped with crumbles of creamy, salty feta cheese. This version hails from America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) “The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook.”

This recipe works equally well with jumbo (16 to 20 per pound) or extra-large (21 to 25 per pound) shrimp, but the cooking times in step 3 will vary slightly depending on which you use. The base for the sauce is provided by canned diced tomatoes along with sautéed onions and garlic. Dry white wine adds acidity, and ouzo brings welcome complexity with its slightly sweet anise flavor.

*Since ouzo is not in everyone’s liquor cabinet (it wasn’t in ours—but is now), here are two alternatives: Pernod—Though slightly sweeter than ouzo, this French anise-flavored liqueur is the next best thing. Or use a combo of Vodka + Anise Seed, with one tablespoon of vodka plus 1/8 teaspoon of anise seed to equal 1 tablespoon of ouzo.

Serve the shrimp with crusty bread or steamed white rice.

Greek-Style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on, if desired
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. ouzo (*see note above)
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. grated zest from 1 lemon
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, diced medium (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced medium
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomato, drained, 1/3 cup juices reserved
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill leaves

Directions

  1. Toss shrimp, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon ouzo, 1 teaspoon garlic, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in small bowl until well combined. Set aside while preparing sauce.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, red and green bell pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables release their moisture, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture cooks off and vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes longer.
  3. Add remaining 4 teaspoons garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes and reserved juice, wine, and remaining 2 tablespoons ouzo; increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded and sauce is slightly thickened (sauce should not be completely dry), 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add shrimp along with any accumulated liquid to pan; stir to coat and distribute evenly. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque throughout, 6 to 9 minutes for extra-large or 7 to 11 minutes for jumbo, adjusting heat as needed to maintain bare simmer.
  6. Remove pan from heat and sprinkle evenly with feta. Drizzle remaining tablespoon oil evenly over top and sprinkle with dill. Serve immediately.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe for America’s Test Kitchen

Cellentani with Spiced Beef, Onion Sauce and Feta

This savory pasta dish was inspired by kawarma, the spicy ground beef topping spooned over hummus in Israel. Milk Street re-envisioned it over pasta with just a few adjustments, resulting in a ground beef sauce seasoned with fragrant spices and generous amounts of onion and garlic, all lightened with a good dose of mint at the end.

I was scratching my head over the ingredients, wondering how they would all come together. Well we were both surprised how delicious the meal was! While we didn’t change anything dramatically, the amount of ground beef was a stretch over the one-and-a-half pounds by another four ounces, no biggie.

Milk Street warns not use ground beef fattier than 90 percent lean or the sauce will be greasy. However, we happened to have an 85 percent lean ground beef in the house and just made sure to siphon off the grease after Step 2, before adding the tomatoes. The type of pasta was switched from linguine to cellentani because that’s what we happened to have on hand, plus I think the feta clung to those curves more willingly.

And by all means, make sure to use authentic Greek block feta, not the already crumbled bits packaged in plastic containers—the taste is immeasurably more pleasant. Rather than sprinkle the feta as a garnish, it is tossed in with the just-cooked noodles so it melts and coats the strands, or in our case, the cork screws because we used cellentani pasta.

Perhaps because of the extra beef and thicker pasta, our version would easily feed five.

Cellentani with Spiced Beef, Onion Sauce and Feta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs. 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 12 oz. cellentani, linguine, or your choice of pasta
  • 8 oz. block feta cheese, shredded on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper and ¼ cup water. Mix with your hands until homogenous.
  2. Add the beef mixture, onion and garlic to a 12-inch skillet. Set the pan over medium-high and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a spatula, until the onion has softened and the beef is no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes with juices and bring to a simmer, then reduce to medium and cook uncovered, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and 2 tablespoons salt; cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water (you probably won’t need it all), then drain the pasta.
  5. Return the pasta to the pot. Add about ¾ of the feta and toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper, add reserved pasta water a bit at a time to loosen if needed, then transfer to a platter.
  6. Stir the mint into the sauce, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining feta.

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Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street