Cooking & cars run in my family

Yanoulis Restaurant

I just converted this photograph to a digital file. It was taken in the early 1950’s, of my maternal grandfather, Emanuel Yanoulis, and his family, at his restaurant on the east side of Detroit near the Chalmers Motors/Chrysler Jefferson Assembly plant in Detroit. So you see cooking & cars run in my family!

Starting from the top left is my Aunt Bess, who is my mom’s twin, my dad, Fred Dallas, my brothers, Ted and George and my Mom, Matina. In the middle is my cousin Nick, just under my Aunt Bess, then my Papou. Starting from the bottom left are my cousins, Victoria, and Evelyn, and my brother Mike.

Many Chrysler auto workers ate breakfast, lunch and/or dinner at my grandfather’s restaurant. Here’s a photo of a Chrysler Town & Country, which was a model they made at that time. Also, my father worked for Ford Motor in Dearborn for over 30 years. More evidence of cooking & cars.Chrysler Town & Country Newport CoupeLots of Greek and Detroit history in that family photo. And don’t you just luv this car?!!

Recipe of the week: Beet salad

Today I made a big salad for dinner based totally on an intuitive craving. It tasted great. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
1 can of garbanzo beans – rinsed & drained
1 can of sliced beets – rinsed & drained
1 red onion – sliced
1/4 lb of feta cheese – crumbled
I used Mt Vikos sheep and goats milk blend.
1 head of boston leaf lettuce – rinsed & spun, then torn by hand
I used Mirabel hydroponic lettuce.
My Greek salad dressing
Mix, toss…

Beet Salad
Beet Salad

Yiayia’s Youvarlakia

Erica Danos
Erica Danos

My friend Erica Danos craved her Yiayia’s Youvarlakia (Greek meatballs in tomato sauce). She tried making the dish a couple of times and was finally content with it turning out “95% like Yiayia’s”. I say that’s success! Here is Erica’s recipe for Yiayia Erato’s Youvarlakia.
For the meatballs you will need:
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup of raw rice medium grain (to help bind the meatballs together)
1 lb. ground beef (at least 90% lean -10% fat)
1/4 cup combined dried parsley, dried oregano and dried dill
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
flour (to roll meatballs in before cooking) seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil to saute onions, garlic and rice
For the sauce you will need:
3 cups chicken broth, non-fat (enough to cover the meatballs)
1/2 can of tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a small skillet. Saute the onion 2-3 minutes until soft then add the garlic for a minute. Next add the rice for 2-3 minutes to allow it to get coated with the mixture.

Place ground beef in a medium bowl. Add the sauteed onion, garlic and rice mixture, as well as the dried herbs, beaten egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together lightly and then shape into walnut shell-sized meatballs.

Bring broth to a boil with the tomato paste in a medium saucepan. As meatballs are formed, roll in flour, then carefully drop into boiling liquid. Simmer covered for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6. Erica suggests, “Serve with soft bread or rolls for dipping!”

Yiayia's Youvarlakia
Yiayia Erato's Youvarlakia

This recipe was adapted from “Youvarlakia” in the cookbook Taste of Life Greek Food, by the Ladies Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Grand Rapids Michigan.