Friday, January 6 –
This dinner had four parts to it, all of them equally amazing. We had meatballs, yogurt sauce, cheese turnover, and salad. We also had a new face at the table, Missing Man, joining Wonderful Boyfriend, Roommate Extraordinaire, and Mr. Hero. Roommate Extraordinaire brought the wine of the evening, all of them rating nothing more than a “meh” at best. He tries to pick regionally appropriate wine, and apparently wine from Hungary just isn’t our taste. But it was a good experiment with flavors, that’s for sure!
So I started with the cheese turnover, which I probably screwed up right away. I didn’t thaw the phyllo dough for 10 hours… actually, I didn’t thaw it much at all. Oops! I took a pie pan and sprayed it with cooking spray and then I layered the phyllo, butter, and cheese mixture as it called for in the recipe. I used a cheddar/monterey jack blend that had jalapenos in it – because that’s what we had in the fridge to use. I put a baking moat under the pan just in case the butter and cheese decided to try to escape from the pan, and then I prayed that it puffed up like it should had I thawed the dough.
I moved onto making the meatballs, in which I used all pork meat. I shredded the onion in my brand new, extra fancy food processor, and then mixed all of the rest of the ingredients together as the recipe called. I used half smoked paprika and half regular. Once the balls were formed and into a hot pan I moved onto the yogurt sauce. I made that recipe exactly as it called with the exception of the garlic, which I, of course, quadrupled. I also didn’t let the cucumber drain for an hour. Instead I sprinkled the grated cucumber with a little bit of salt, let it rest for a few minutes, and then I packed it all into paper towels and then squeezed out the juices. Roommate Extraordinaire made us a green salad and Wonderful Boyfriend set the table and made sure the glasses were topped off.
Dinner was served! The meatballs were slightly spicy without too much heat. The yogurt sauce was perfect – not runny, not bland – just perfect. The cheese turnover was almost like a quiche made out of layers of phyllo dough. Not my choice, personally, but all of the guys at the table loved it so much that they had seconds. I would probably want to add some stronger flavored cheeses to it, or something. It was bland and greasy for my tastes. But we all know (by now at least) that I really love food when it has punch to its flavor.
Things I have learned: This is a repeat lesson from earlier, which I haven’t learned apparently. And that is to read the recipe the day before, in case there is something like thawing that requires more time than I have after work.
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: recipes.wikia.com)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and grated
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 3 tbsp hot Hungarian paprika, or sweet paprika and a little cayenne
- 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- olive oil for basting
- 1 pint yoghurt
- ½ cucumber, peeled, grated and drained 1 hour
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and ground white pepper to taste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
Mix all the ingredients, except the oil, thoroughly and roll the mixture into little “cigars” about 1 inch by 3 inches. Rub lightly with olive oil and grill or broil until done.
- 10 sheets of filo dough
- 4 – 5 eggs
- 500 g ricotta cheese
- 200 g of your 2 favorite cheeses
- butter and oil
Mix the cheeses, eggs and pepper together. Set aside. Use a large soufflé or a deep pie dish for this one. Oil the bottom of the pan. Then put 1 sheet of filo dough and cover the bottom. Brush some butter over the filo dough. Repeat this again and then put some filling on. Repeat this until you use all of the filo dough sheets and cheese. Top with butter and put into a pre-heated oven at 350°F for 45–55 minutes. Do check from time to time and brush additional butter on the top. Serve in small triangles or enjoy as a dinner dish with a green salad. Ziveli!.