Branching out-Greek night
When my mom began to show me around the kitchen and teach me how to cook, I was still fairly young so she stuck to the basics. I learned to make delicious Italian food from my mom, who is a goddess in the kitchen (I love you Mom!!). However, after Will and I got married and I was more or less thrown into the military life, I met people from all over the world. The Army is the true melting pot; I worked with someone who joined the Army because he was homeless and didn't want to work at Burger King, I became very close friends with a guy who grew up in the foster care system, I met other wives who grew up as military brats in multiple locations and then married into the military. It's been a wonderful experience, and it's truly made me appreciate my roots, and the incredible family I was blessed with. Currently, I work with a couple of women who grew up in the Philippines, and on very special days they bring their delicious food into work! I decided that this next week I am going to branch out a little, and break out of my Italian cooking bubble.
I began last night with "Greek Night," and amazingly enough I was able to create this dinner on my own without relying on someone else's recipe. Will and I went on a Mediterranean cruise for our honeymoon, and when we were in Greece we picked up some ouzo. I've been dying to add it to a recipe, and I'm pleased to say it went very well with my feta-stuffed chicken. Opa!
1/2 head of Romaine lettuce, washed, with the leaves torn into medium-sized bits
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 mini cucumbers, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T dry red wine
1 tsp dried oregano
1. Place the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and feta cheese in a salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In a small plastic container, combine the olive oil, red wine, and dried oregano. Cover with a lid and shake well. Pour over salad, and mix until completely blended.
Ouzo Chicken Stuffed With Feta
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 T ouzo
1 T molasses
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 thick slice feta cheese
extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. In a small bowl, combine the ouzo, molasses, lime juice, black pepper, salt, and white onion and mix together. Rinse the chicken and trim off the fat, then add the chicken to the bowl. Cover completely with the mixture, and let marinate for 1/2 hour.
3. Cut a medium patch in the chicken, and stuff with the feta cheese (it's okay if you can't fit that much in, I know it's difficult!). Lightly brush the bottom of a baking pan with olive oil, and arrange the feta-stuffed chicken in the pan. Add the rest of the marinade, and add any remaining feta cheese pieces and kalamata olives.
4. Bake in oven for about 1/2 hour. Serve hot.