1 package frozen Phyllo sheets – defrost for at least 24 hours in fridge
4 finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 pound melted butter
1 1/2 cups honey
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 lemon, seeded and cut in quarters
!Assemble the following:
1 13-inch x 9-inch pan
1 pastry brush, or use a 2 1/2-inch paint brush just for this purpose
1 large sheet waxed paper
1 cotton hand towel
1 sharp Paring knife
1 pair kitchen shears (if available)
1 package foil lined cupcake papers
Combine the walnuts, cinnamon, lemon zest, sugar and set aside.
Open the Phyllo sheets onto the waxed paper and split along the middle fold to create rectangular sheets that will be slightly larger than the 13-inch x 9-inch pan.
Cover the Phyllo with dish towel. Turn off the ceiling fan if you have one.
Brush the pan lightly with melted butter.
sheets at a time, place Phyllo in pan gently patting into corners with brush to avoid large air pockets. Gently brush melted butter between each double layer.
** the bottom of the pan should have about 16-20 sheets or 8-10 double layers.
*** don’t soak the Phyllo with butter, just moisten it.
Spread 1/2 of the nut filling over the Phyllo.
Place 2 double layers (4 sheets) of Phyllo over the mixture.
Spread the 2nd half of the nut mixture onto the thin middle layer of Phyllo.
Repeat the process that was done for the bottom layers of Phyllo using 16-20 sheets or 8-10 double layers.
** this is a lot like making Lasagna.
Trim the Phyllo that is extended over the sides of the pan, but keep the filling enclosed in Phyllo.
Place pan in fridge for 15 minutes till the butter has solidified.
Score the top layers of Phyllo with a sharp paring knife in a diamond pattern, cutting deep enough to reach the top layer of nuts.
* you should yield 48-60 pieces.
Bake in a 350-Degree F oven till golden brown. Approximately 45-55 minutes. Do not under bake. Cool on wire rack.
** the Phyllo will curl up where it was scored.
Combine the honey, sugar, water and lemon quarters and bring to gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
*****Skim off the foam that will form and discard the lemon once cooking time is completed.
Once the Baklava is baked and cooled, pour the hot syrup slowly over the cooled Baklava till absorbed. You’ll probably have a little less than a cup of extra syrup which is fantastic on French toast or pancakes.
When completely cooled cut each row all the way through and place in foil lined cups.
You may cut a row at a time as you use the Baklava to keep the pieces intact.
This can be frozen unbaked, after baking-before adding the syrup or after completely prepared.
**it’s best to pour hot syrup over cool Baklava OR cool syrup over hot Baklava.
NOTE: In some areas preserved grape leaves may be found in the grocery store. Depending on the store, they might be in the canned vegetable section, the gourmet section, or the area with the pickles, pepperoncinis, and olives. If you live in a larger city they can be found in a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern type grocery.
1 8-ounce jar preserved grape leaves
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked converted rice
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt and pepper
Soak the preserved leaves in hot water for five minutes to remove some of the salt and to soften them.
Mix the remaining ingredients.
Take a tablespoonful of the hamburger mixture and place it in the center of a grape leaf. Roll it over and over away from you, folding in the sides as you go.
Place the rolled leaf into a large saucepan seam side down.
When the bottom of the pan is filled place another layer on top.
Continue to do this until all the leaves are filled and rolled. Cover with water.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Watch to make sure they do not boil dry. Add more water if needed.
Serve with crusty French or sourdough bread.
This is a traditional vegetable mixture that is often eaten cold, accompanied by hunks of country bread and Feta cheese.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed, halved crosswise
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces zucchini, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
8 ounces Russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 28-ounce can Italian-style tomatoes, drained, juices reserved, tomatoes chopped
Heat oil in heavy large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes.
Add green beans and cayenne pepper and sauté until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add zucchini, potatoes and parsley.
Pour tomatoes and their juices over vegetables. Bring to boil. Reduce heat.
Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring frequently, about 45 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat.
Can be prepared 1 day ahead — cover and refrigerate.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
6 to 8 Servings.
1 large vine-ripened tomato, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
2 Tablespoons chopped onions
1 Tablespoon coarsely chopped black olives (about 4 olives)
1 1/2 teaspoon Olive oil, preferably Extra-virgin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except Feta cheese.
Spoon the mixture on top of baked potatoes. Sprinkle on top and serve.
Makes about 1 cup, enough for 4 potatoes.
This is absolutely required when making Chicken Souvlaki.
store bought Pita Bread
dab of butter
Grill the pita bread until they are kind of toasty on the outside. Don’t turn up the burner too high!
Pita should be brought to the table warm.