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!

Greek Souvlaki (Souvlakia) (Shish-Kebabs)

Souvlaki has become the quintessential Greek dish. You may prepare souvlaki with pork tenderloin, chicken breast, lamb, as well as pork shoulder. It is wonderful in a pita, or served with a side of rice, Greek salad, and tzatziki sauce. If you are planning to serve this dish, be sure to marinate the meat at least 24 hours before you start the barbecue.

2 to 4 pounds of pork tenderloin (depending on the number of people)
1 clove of garlic
½ cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of oregano
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
½ cup of wine
wooden skewers

Cut the meat into 1 inch cubes and place in a bowl. Combine the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, lemon juice, and wine together in a small bowl and mix well. Pour this mixture over the meat, making sure that all of the meat is equally coated. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

Skewer the meat, placing about 4 to 5 pieces of meat per skewer. Fire up the barbecue! Once you’ve placed the souvlakia on the grill, lower the heat to medium and allow the meat to cook, turning the meat over periodically. Allow the souvlakia to cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked to taste.

Enjoy!

Chicken with Tomato Sauce (Kotopoulo Kokkinisto in Greek)

This dish is a guaranteed family favourite! It is made with only a few simple and healthy ingredients and takes less than an hour to make. It is absolutely delicious and one of our favourite comfort foods. We grew up on this dish and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. This dish is usually served with rice but feel free to substitute the rice for pasta if you prefer.

  • Chicken legs and thighs (about 8 pieces altogether)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 3-4 tomatoes chopped (or 1 cup of tomato sauce)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ glass of wine (Eva’s uses white wine in this recipe but you could also use red wine)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of rice

Before you begin to prepare the dish, wash the chicken thoroughly; remove the skin and season with salt and pepper. Allow to stand for about an hour. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and place the chicken in the pot and cover with the lid. Cook the chicken for a few minutes, turning the chicken over a couple of times. Add the wine, garlic, onion, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and allow the chicken to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the tomatoes to the chicken, and turn the heat to low. Allow the chicken to simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the rice. Use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice and be sure to wash the rice thoroughly. Bring the water to a boil, add the rice, some salt, a dash of olive oil and cover with a lid. Lower the heat and allow the rice to cook for about 15-20 minutes.

To serve, place one cup of rice on the plate and add a couple of pieces of chicken. Pour a large spoonful of the sauce over the rice and chicken and serve with your favourite side dish.

Chicken Avgolemono (Egg-Lemon) Soup

This is another classic Greek dish which has been handed down from generation to generation. It is made with fresh and healthy ingredients, and it is the perfect meal to serve on a cold winter’s night. There are different variations of Avgolemono soup, but in this video Irene shows us how to prepare it with rice and chicken.

To prepare the base:

4 quarter chicken legs
2 medium potatoes cut into quarter pieces
1 cup chopped carrots
2 medium onions
2-4 stalks of celery
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of vegetable seasoning (Irene uses Vegeta)
1 cup of rice

To prepare the Avgolemono

2 eggs, separated
The juice of 2 lemons

Boil the chicken in a large pot filled with water. After about 10 minutes of boiling the chicken, remove any film that develops at the water surface. Add the coarsely chopped vegetables, olive oil, salt, and seasoning to the soup. Allow to boil for another 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Add 1 cup of rice to the soup (be sure to wash the rice thoroughly before you add it). Add 1 cup of warm water and allow the rice to cook for 20 minutes.

Tear the chicken into small pieces and remove the bones. Add the meat to the soup and stir well. After about 2 minutes turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs whites until fluffy. Add the yolks and continue to whisk the eggs. Add the juice of 2 lemons and mix well. To add the avgolemono to the soup, first add a small portion of the soup into the egg mixture and then slowly add the entire mixture to the soup.

Garnish with fresh pepper and lemon.

Enjoy!

Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon Potatoes

This is the perfect meal to make on a weekend afternoon. It is simple and healthy and fills the house with wonderful smell. Add a side of salad and it is perfect for family gatherings!

Potatoes (use 2-3 potatoes for each person)
2 carrots
1 whole chicken
¼ cup of lemon juice
Half a lemon
5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of oregano
Salt and pepper
¼ cup of olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Clean, peel, and cut the potatoes and carrots. Place the chicken at the center of your pan and assemble the potatoes and carrots.

Season the chicken and potatoes with salt, pepper and oregano, and squeeze out the juice of half a lemon. Place the remaining lemon inside the bird, along with a clove of garlic.

Place the remaining garlic cloves on the pan and add the ¼ cup of lemon juice to the potatoes. Add the olive oil and a large glass of water to the pan.

Cook in the oven for about an hour at 400 degrees. Turn over the chicken and potatoes and cook for another 45 minutes.