New (to Me) Blogger on the Block Thursdays

by Cate on December 23, 2005

Hey all! Thanks for the well wishes … I actually AM finally starting to feel a bit better tonight. Now that I have new antibiotics, and just took the second dose, things are looking better than they were yesterday, that’s for sure! Baby steps…

First things first. Since it is New (to Me) Blogger on the Block Thursday, time to introduce this week’s nod, ToastPoint, a blogger from Washington DC that I recently discovered this past weekend, again, following a link to a link to a link. As a fellow non-coffee drinker and Nigella fan, I know I’ll be visiting this site often. Check it out when you have a chance.

I took advantage of ordering some groceries online last night to save The Husband a trip to the grocery store today, planning an easy dinner for him to cook tonight. Yeah, I know, I’m generous like that. ;) I did help him in the kitchen, and dinner was on the table in about 20 minutes — not too shabby, eh? Two new recipes, and I’d definitely repeat both. Even better, Sneaky Mom scores yet again, getting both Nicholas AND The Husband to eat spinach! The burgers were flavorful and really simple to make, and with both Nicholas and The Husband liking feta cheese enough to eat it plain, I knew I’d have a hit.

All for tonight folks. Tune in tomorrow to see what’s on tap for our Christmas Eve menu. Being part Italian, we do the Feast of the Seven Fishes … and being part French, the tradition for Christmas Eve is 13 desserts. Needless to say, I don’t think anyone will be going hungry. Until tomorrow…


Spanakopita Burgers


Greek Style Fries with Tzatiki Sauce

Chicken or Turkey Spanakopita Burgers and Fries with Yogurt Dip
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
1 package store-bought frozen fries, any variety
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus some for drizzling
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, 2 chopped, 1 crushed
1 red onion, 1/2 chopped, 1/2 thinly sliced
1 box, 10 ounces, frozen spinach, defrosted
2 teaspoons dried oregano, lightly crushed in the palm, divided
1/4 pound feta crumbles
1 1/3 pounds ground chicken or ground turkey breast, 1 package
1 tablespoon grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
1/3 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise, plus 1 small, 2-inch piece of cucumber peeled, trimmed and chopped
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced lengthwise
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups good quality plain yogurt, look for Greek yogurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup arugula, coarsely chopped or shredded
4 crusty rolls, split

Topping:
2 roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful
1/4 cup 10 to 12 pitted kalamata olives
Hot pepper rings or pepperoncini, optional

Preheat oven to directions on the package and bake fries until crisp. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. To one side, add a little extra-virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. When butter melts, add the chopped garlic and chopped red onion and cook 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and garlic to a bowl to cool. Return pan to heat.

Wring the defrosted spinach dry buy twisting it in a clean kitchen towel over your sink. Separate the spinach as you add it to the bowl with cool onions, garlic and season with 1 teaspoon of oregano. Add in feta crumbles then chicken or turkey, grill seasoning and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix and form into 4 patties, 1-inch thick. Raise heat on pan to medium-high. Add patties and cook 6 inches on each side.

Season the sliced cucumbers and tomatoes with salt and pepper. Toast rolls, if you prefer.

Place remaining chopped cucumber, the crushed clove of garlic, yogurt, 1 teaspoon oregano and juice of 1/2 lemon in a food processor. Add a little salt and process the sauce until smooth. Transfer to a small dish and serve with the fries as a dipping sauce. Rinse out the processor bowl and return to base.

Place red peppers, parsley and olives in food processor, season with salt and pepper and process until a paste forms. Place cooked burgers on roll bottoms. Top the burgers with sliced cucumber, tomato, reserved red onions, shredded arugula and hot peppers, if using. Slather roll tops with red pepper and olive paste and serve with chips of choice.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine December 23, 2005 at 3:46 am

Hey, thanks for the hat tip! I’m thrilled to be this Thursday’s newbie!

Reply

MeBeth December 23, 2005 at 3:51 am

7 fishes + 13 desserts – you are not messing around! My Nonny used to do the 7 fishes and I cant believe how vividly I remember it. Cant wait to see tomorrow’s menu.

Reply

Anna December 23, 2005 at 2:22 pm

Those burgers look great. I hate being the only one in the family who likes feta :(.

I wonder if they’d freeze well.

Reply

amateur December 23, 2005 at 2:45 pm

I appreciate the new blogger recomendations! dinner looks great!!

Reply

Mona December 24, 2005 at 12:27 am

Oh my god did you make those fries?? I’m very impressed.

Reply

Randi December 29, 2005 at 2:45 pm

I dont drink coffee and I like Nigella too, Ill have to check it out.

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