Meatballs with Tomato Sauce Over Rice (Yiouvarlakia in Greek)

In this video Eva shows us how to prepare another family favourite: Yiouvarlakia, more commonly known as meatballs with tomato sauce over rice. Like many of Eva’s recipes, this dish requires only a few simply ingredients and is not overly complicated to make. We hope you enjoy!

To prepare the meat:

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion graded
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of dried mint (use fresh mint if it is available)
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

To cook the meat:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 cup of tomato juice
  • ½ glass of water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • ¼ cup of water

To prepare the rice:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 4 cups
  • Pinch of salt

Using your hands, combine the ingredients together in a large bowl. Once you have thoroughly mixed the ingredients you may begin to shape the meatballs. Rather than roll the meat into balls, shape small portions of meat in an oval shape.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until light brown in colour. Add the tomato juice and ½ cup of water. Season with salt and pepper and cover the pot with the lid. Once the liquid has come to a boil you may add the meatballs. Carefully place the meatballs in the pot and lower the heat to medium.

In the meantime you may prepare the rice. Eva suggests that you boil the rice for a few seconds and then drain the water in order to remove as much starch as possible. Once you have washed the rice, set the water to boil again and cook the rice for 15 minutes. Remember to use 2 cups of water for 1 every cup of rice.
Once the liquid in the meatballs has begun to boil for a few minutes, lower the heat and allow the meatballs to simmer for 20 minutes.

To thicken the tomato sauce add 1 tablespoon of flour to ¼ cup of water, stir well, and pour the liquid into the tomato mixture (be sure to strain the liquid as you pour it in). Allow the meatballs to cook for another 15 minutes.

When serving this dish be sure to place a generous amount of tomato sauce over the rice. Enjoy!

Fish Baked in the Oven w/ Lemon, Carrots, Onion & Potatoes

With thousands of miles of coastline, it is not surprising that Greeks have developed numerous delicious ways of preparing fish. In this video, Eva show us how to prepare fish baked in the oven with onions, carrots, garlic, lemon, parsley and olive oil. We love this recipe for its simplicity and nutritional value. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  • 6 herring fillets (you can use a different type of fish if you prefer)
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic (leave whole)
  • 2 carrots coarsely chopped
  • 4 small potatoes cut into small wedges
  • ¼ a cup of chopped parsley
  • About ½ cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice from 1 ½ lemons
  • ¼ cup of wine
  • 1 glass of water

Clean the fish well and season it with salt, pepper, and a few drops of lemon juice. Set the fish aside in the fridge for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a large pan with a few drops of olive oil and place the fillets on the pan. Place the chopped onion on top on the fish. Add the garlic, carrots, and potatoes to the pan. Season the vegetables with a pinch each of salt and pepper, and the fresh parsley. Add about 1/3 a cup of olive oil, the remainder of the lemon juice, the wine, and water to the pan.

Cook in the oven at 350 degrees. After an hour take the pan out of the oven and turn the potatoes over on the other side. Put the pan back in the oven for another 30 minutes. It is now ready to serve, enjoy!

Giouvetsi (Lamb with Pasta Baked in the Oven)

Giouvetsi is a traditional Greek dish made with only a few simple ingredients but it is packed with flavour. It is made with lamb (although you could also substitute the lamb for beef), tomato juice and spaghetti. In our fast-paced world, it really is comforting to sit down to a wholesome meal. As Greek-Canadians, we appreciate the authenticity of this recipe, even though today it is made in electric ovens rather than wooden ovens baked in clay pots. We hope you enjoy!

  • A leg of lamb, about 1 to 1½ pounds (be sure to trim the fat)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon each of salt and pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 3 large glasses of water
  • ½ a package of Number 7 spaghetti

Wash the lamb well and place it at the center of a roasting pan. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce and water. Cook the lamb in the oven for about 3 to 3½ hours at 400 degrees. For the first hour cover the pan with the lid, but for the remaining time remove the lid.
After about 3 hours, remove the pan from the oven. Remove the lamb and set it aside. Add the spaghetti to the same pan and mix it a bit. Place the lamb back in the pan, on top of the spaghetti, but be sure to turn the lamb over on the other side. Put the pan back in the oven for another 45 minutes.

It is now ready to serve. Enjoy! (serves 6)

Irene’s Kourabiedes (Kourabiethes) (Greek Butter Cookies)

Kourabiedes are a traditional Greek cookie made for special occasions like Christmas. They are butter cookies covered with icing sugar and are a favourite among Greeks. This recipe makes a huge amount of cookies (about 8 dozen), so feel free to cut the recipe in half or simply give them away to loved ones as gifts!

2 lbs of unsalted butter
1 lb of Crisko
1 cup of icing sugar
2 cups of sliced and toasted almonds
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of ouzo*
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 tablespoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
10 cups of flour
½ cup of rose water
About 3-4 cups of icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Using an electric blender, cream the softened butters together. Blend for about 5 minutes as you scrape the sides of the bowl. Slowly add in the icing sugar followed by the toasted almonds (be sure to toast the almonds in the oven for about 6-7 minutes at a low heat before you begin making the cookies). As you continue to blend the mixture, add in the egg yolks. Add the ouzo and vanilla and continue to blend. Add the baking powder and baking soda to the mixture (be sure to mix it with a cup of flour before you slowly add it to the mixture). Slowly add the remaining flour and continue to mix with the electric blender. With your hands, knead the dough for a few minutes. You can tell the dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your hands as you knead it.

To shape the dough you may use a cookie cutter or simply shape the dough into small crescents and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Once the cookies have finished baking, remove from the oven and sprinkle the cookies with rose water. Allow the cookies to cool slightly and then roll each cookie in a bowl of icing sugar. Set on a decorative plate. Enjoy!

*in this video Irene uses ouzo, but you could use either cognac or brandy (Metaxa is usually used)

Diples (Thiples) (Honey Rolls) Greek Dessert

Diples are a wonderful Greek dessert to make on special occasions. The dough is rolled into long, thin strips, fried in hot oil and then dipped in syrup. It is best to prepare and fry the dough a couple of days before you add the syrup. Frying the diples takes a bit of practice, but once you become more experienced you might try frying the diples in fancy shapes.

For the dough
12 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of ouzo
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla
7 cups of all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying (about 2-3 cups)

For the syrup
1 8-ounce glass of sugar
2 cups of water
1 cup of honey
Half an orange or lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
A pinch of cloves
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

For the garnish
A handful of walnuts (finely grounded)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of sugar

Using an electric blender beat the egg yolks and egg whites together. Add the sugar, ouzo, lemon juice, and milk. As you continue to blend the ingredients, add the baking powder (be sure to mix it with some flour), vanilla, and slowly add the rest of the flour. Once you have finished adding the flour, you will need to knead the dough with your hands. Once you finished kneading the dough, allow it to rest in the bowl for about 10 minutes.

Fill a deep-frying pan with 2 inches of oil and set on the stove at a low heat.

Sprinkle flour on your countertop and roll the dough into 2 inch balls. Flatten the balls and run each strip through your pasta maker until they form long, thin strips. As you continue to shape the dough, cover the strips with a slightly damp cloth in order to prevent the dough from drying out.

Once you have prepared the flatten strips of dough, you can begin to fry the diples. Drops the strips into the hot oil – one at a time – turn immediately using two forks, and roll into a cylinder. Remove from the oil when golden and drain on paper towels and cool.

To make the syrup you need to mix the sugar, water, and honey together in a medium size saucepan. Add half a lemon (or orange), about 5-6 cloves, and 2 cinnamon sticks and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 15-20 minutes. To see if the syrup is ready you can test it by placing a small drop of the syrup on your stove-top and feel it with your finger. If it has a nice body to it, it’s ready. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to help it stay nice and smooth after it cools down.

Please note that in this video Eva uses pre-prepared syrup. If you would like to view Eva making the syrup, please watch the baklava video. The same syrup that is used to make the baklava is used for the diples.

Combine the finely grounded walnuts, sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Dip each honey roll in the hot syrup. Place the diples on a plate and sprinkle with the walnut mixture.

Enjoy!

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!

Gigantes/Yiyantes (Greek Giant Baked Beans)

This is a nutritious and wonderfully satisfying vegetarian dish. The name ‘yiyantes’ comes from the Greek word for giant (‘giant beans’). Yiyantes can be cooked a couple of different ways, and in this recipe Eva shows us how to prepare these giant beans in tomato juice baked in the oven (plaki-style).

3 cups of large lima beans (yiyantes)
½ cup of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 pieces of garlic, finely diced
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
2 cups of crushed tomatoes, or tomato juice
Salt and pepper

Place 3 cups of washed lima beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Allow the beans to soak in the water overnight. Drain the water and pour the beans into a large pot of boiling water and blanche them for about 5 minutes.

In a large pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onions. Add the garlic, carrots, salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

After about 5 minutes of boiling the beans, remove them from the heat and drain the water. Place the beans in a large pan. Add the tomato sauce to the beans. Add 4 cups of water and mix well to ensure the tomato sauce is evenly spread.

Allow the beans to cook in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees.

Serve as a side dish or as the main meal. Enjoy!