It's OLYMPIC time again! Once again, I am planning on cooking a meal from a different country each night during the Olympics. We started this as a way to learn more about countries other than the United States and to expand our palette. Please keep in mind that I culled all the recipes together, illiciting ideas from Facebook friends and Pinterest boards. I am the complete opposite of a professional chef. In fact, I do not like to cook at all. I guess that's another reason I took on this task. It forces me to cook things I would otherwise never attempt.
It's the first full day of the Sochi Olympics and my intent was to cook our Russian food tonight. Alas, in between grocery shopping for our two weeks of ethnic cooking, picking up and then sorting 130+ boxes of Girl Scout cookies for delivery, shoveling another 4 inches of snow from the driveway, and helping kids complete their generic Valentines (I just don't have the time or energy to make homemade this year!), I neglected to make the dough in time. When I finally got around to getting the ingredients out, I realized that the dough would need to rise for about 2 hours and then set for another 30 minutes or so before I could even cook. So, we changed gears and decided it would make sense to begin our Olympic cooking with Greece, instead.
For dinner we had Kolokythokeftedes and Greek Marinated Chicken.
We made the marinade for the chicken first. The girls wanted to help with the process and worked on adding the ingredients while I chopped herbs. It was fine, but after one measurement error (TBSP vs tsp), I decided they needed a little more supervision, thus making the process a little longer.
While the chicken was marinating, Boo and I whipped up a batch of zucchini balls or
Kolokythokeftedes. The recipes for both dishes are listed below.
Verdict: The kids really liked the flavor of the chicken and seemed to enjoy the Kolokythokeftedes, too. Ebabe wasn't overly enthusiastic about the fried outside part, but gobbled up the insides. Guess this might be a good way to get them to eat their vegetables!
GREEK CHICKEN MARINADE (recipe from Budget Bytes)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 medium lemon
- ½ tsp salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- ¼ bunch fresh parsley
- 3½ to 4 lbs chicken pieces
To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Use a fine holed cheese grater or a zester to scrape the thin layer of yellow zest from the lemon skin into the bowl. Also add the juice from half of the lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp). Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Roughly chop a big handful, or about ¼ bunch, of parsley and stir it into the marinade.
Add the chicken pieces and marinade to a gallon sized zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible, close the bag tightly, and massage the bag to mix the contents and make sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate the bag for 30 minutes.
After marinating for 30 minutes, cook the chicken on a grill.
- 2 zucchinis, grated and squeezed to remove as much liquid as you can
- 1/4 cup of crumbled feta
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced
- a few table spoons of freshly chopped dill and parsley
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- approximately 1/2 cup flour
- 2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- oil for frying
Mix in enough flour and breadcrumbs (we used about 2/3 cup of Panko bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of flour) that you can work with the mixture to form balls. Form the mixture into balls and dust in flour.
Fry in oil until golden brown.