Delicious Mediterranean Calamari (Fried Squid)

Calamari is a surprisingly easy meal to prepare. In this video Eva shows us how to properly clean and cook the squid. Calamari is wonderful as an entree or as side dish and is amazing with home-made tzatziki. Be sure to fry the squid right before you serve the meal, as it best eaten immediately.

1 box of frozen squid
Enough flour to dip the squid
Vegetable oil for frying
Fresh lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper

Allow the squid to defrost. Clean and cut the squid into small pieces or rings. Cut off the tentacles and body, and be sure to discard the backbone, ink sac, sand sac, and innards. Wash squid thoroughly and place on a strainer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the fridge for a few minutes. Dip the squid in flour and shake off excess. Heat a large frying pan with vegetable oil. Fry the squid in small batches and cook until golden, turning over. Place calamari on a paper-towel lined plate. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and serve with tzatziki sauce.

Next time on Thursday for Dinner: Spanakorizo (Spinach & Rice)

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Indian Cucumber Raita

Raita is a yogurt dish used as a sauce or dip. The yogurt is usually seasoned with ground red mustard seeds, ground cumin, coriander (cilantro), salt and optionally sugar. Vegetables such as cucumber and carrot and even fruits like grapes and banana are used. The mixture is served chilled. Raita has a cooling effect on the palate that makes it a good neutralizer for spicy Indian dishes. In this recipe we will be using cucumber and grapes and adding sugar for sweetness.

Ingredients

2 cups yogurt
3/4 cucumber peeled and grated
1/2 cup grapes chopped into quarters
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground red mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. To an empty medium sized mixing bowl, add 2 cups of yogurt. Mix lightly just until the yogurt is of smooth consistency.
  2. Squeeze all the water from the grated cucumber. Add to the yogurt. Mix gently. Avoid mixing too much or too rigorously as this will cause any remaining water to be released from the cucumber making for a watery raita!
  3. Add the spices – salt, sugar, ground red mustard seeds, ground cumin. Mix gently.
  4. Add the grapes, mix gently. Garnish with cilantro.

We want the raita to be a nice balance of sweet and sour. Upon tasting if you feel one over powers the other feel free to make some adjustments.

Enjoy!

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Greek Village Salad Recipe (Xoriatiki)

Greek salad (or village salad) is one of the most common dishes found throughout Greece.  These salads are a great way of using your garden tomatoes, especially in late August when they are so plentiful.  To make a truly great salad you really should invest in a good quality olive oil.  Sprinkle this wonderful salad with feta cheese and oregano and you’ll experience a truly authentic Greek experience!

4 tomatoes cut in wedges
½ cucumber sliced
½ red onion thinly sliced
A large slice of feta cheese
A handful of kalamata olives
About 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
Season with dried oregano, salt and pepper (to taste)

Cut the vegetables and place in medium bowl.  Add the thinly sliced feta cheese and olives.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix well.

Enjoy!

This recipe makes 4 servings.

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Greek Style Rice Pudding (Rizogalo)

Rizogalo is one of my favourite desserts. When making rizogalo, you can’t stray too far away from the kitchen, as this dish requires constant stirring otherwise the milk will burn. You may add raisins if you like, although Eva prefers this recipe without the raisins. Rizogalo can be served either warm or cold. This recipe provides 8 servings.

1 cup of Italian rice (washed and strained well)
4 cups of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
1 tsp of cornstarch
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of rice and turn the heat to medium-low. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the water has evaporated.

Add 4 cups of milk and continue to stir (in the video Eva added 3 cups of milk but later added another cup of milk). Turn the heat up and add the sugar and stir. Add the vanilla and the egg yolks. Once the liquid has come to a boil, turn the heat to low and allow it to simmer. Allow the liquid to reduce, stirring often. This may take between 30 to 45 minutes.

To thicken the pudding, add 1 tsp of cornstarch (diluted with water). Continue to stir and allow it to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.

To serve, pour the pudding into individual cups and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Enjoy!

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Thank You to Our Sponsor

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We’d like to thank High Park Nutrition for sponsoring Thursday for Dinner. High Park Nutrition is an online health nutrition store based out of Toronto. They offer a wide range of products from vitamins, minerals, sports nutrition, diet, nutritional supplements, body care and more. There is also free shipping anywhere in North America on orders over $24. Be sure to check out their sale items too.

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Italian (Sicilian) Rice Balls w/ Chicken, Peas & Tomato Sauce

Rice balls are fabulous as a side dish or an entrée. This dish can be modified in various ways; for a healthier version opt for ground turkey or chicken rather than beef, or if you are a vegetarian omit the meat altogether. We hope you enjoy our first Italian recipe!

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef / turkey / chicken
1 jar of tomato sauce
2 tsp salt
1 bag sticky rice
½ bag frozen peas
1 small brick of mozzarella cheese
2 tsp parmesan cheese
1 small onion chopped
1 tbsp garlic finely chopped
1 package of bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

Sauté the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes with a little oil, then add the ground meat. Sauté the meat until it is fully cooked. Season the meat with a pinch of salt.

In the meantime, begin to boil the frozen peas in a pot of water on the stovetop.

Cook the rice on the stovetop. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package. Once the rice is cooked, add some tomato sauce a little at a time to ensure that the rice remains sticky. Then add the parmesan cheese and mix well. Let the rice cool for 5 minutes. The rice needs to be fairly hot to make it easier to work with when forming the rice balls.

Place the bread crumbs into a large casserole dish. Cut up the mozzarella into small cubes and place into a bowl. Place the cooked meat and peas into two separate bowls.

Form a ball of rice in the palm of your hand. Insert your finger into the ball, and place a small amount of peas, ground meat, and 1-2 cubs of cheese into the middle of the ball. Close the ball by adding more rice.

Roll the ball into the bread crumbs until the ball is completely covered.

Fill the deep fryer pot with vegetable oil and place the rice balls into the oil until the ball becomes a light brown colour, approx 5-8 minutes.

Heat up the tomato sauce and generously slather some sauce on each ball before you serve.

ENJOY!

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Under the Summer Sun

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Hey everyone, we hope you are all enjoying the first weeks of summer. The past few weeks have been hectic for us, but now everything has calmed down and we are definitely ready to start posting our videos more consistently. So please stayed tuned, we’ve got some really delicious video blogs coming including Cypriot style dolmathes, rice pudding, karidopita, and rice balls, among many others. See you on Thursday!

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