How to make a Greek Salad

1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 Romaine lettuce
3 large tomatoes
1/2 red onion (or you can substitute with green scallions)
1 large cucumber rinsed and peeled (I prefer seedless greenhouse)
1 lb of Greek or French feta ( I prefer French sheeps milk feta )
1 can of sliced beets
@20 Black Kalamata olives – pitted

Into a lettuce spinner add iceberg lettuce, ripped by hand into small pieces. You can cut the romaine lettuce with a knife because it doesn’t bruise/brown like iceberg. Add cut Romaine into lettuce spinner, rinse well, drain and spin until all the moisture is gone.

Into a large bowl add both lettuce.  Cut the peeled cucumber in thin halved slices and add.  Cut the tomatoes in small wedges  and add.  (Be sure to remove the circle core at the top of the tomato.) Cut the red onion into half moon slices and add. Drain and rinse the beets. Cut the beet slices in half and add. Add the olives. Cut the feta into small cubes and add. Toss gently.

Greek salad dressing
Into a jar mix:
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp dry basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp of dijon mustard (acts as an emulsifier)
Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until blended.
Add dressing to the salad to your taste and toss again. Any dressing left over can be kept in reserve in the jar. (I like my salad drenched!)

Roast Chicken with Potatoes

5 to 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
(I prefer hormone and antibiotic free)
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of water or white wine
6 to 8 small red skin potatoes cut in quarters (with peel but scrupulously cleaned)
Juice of one large lemon
One large crushed and diced garlic clove or 1 tsp garlic powder
Oregano, Basil and Salt and Pepper

Place chicken in a small roasting pan. Peel and quarter the potatoes and place in the pan around the chicken. (Sometimes I put the potatoes under the chicken.) Drizzle olive oil on chicken and potatoes.  Sprinkle with garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Pour lemon juice, water or wine all over chicken and potatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour. Baste occasionally with pan juice.

Koulourakia (Butter cookies)

1 pound unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 eggs
2 tsp. vegatable oil
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
Zest of one orange or 2 tsp. orange extract
4 to 5 cups of all purpose flour
Small can of sesame seeds

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Mix well.  Add in cream, vanilla, oil and zest. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to form a firm but pliable dough. Using about a tsp of dough, roll with hands on counter surface in long ropes, then fold in half and twist into a braid like cookie.

Place on cookie sheet. Brush tops of cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

This one is my Mother’s recipe. I have made these cookies by hand with and without a mixer. I always give them out at Christmas.