Opa!

Well I just returned from lots of travel.  First we spent a week with my family in Gulf Shores, and then we headed to our oldest son’s college registration at the University of Missouri.  Needless to say there was a lot of cooking, but also a lot of eating on the go.  On our family trip the first thing we survived was each other!  Yay!!!   I never thought we’d get through a whole week with 28 people in one house without someone leaving early or killing each other,  but we survived and actually had a wonderful time being together.  Also, to feed our troops we planned meals where each family was responsible for a dinner.  This worked out just splendidly, so if you are vacationing with family or friends and you want an easy way to plan for evening meals, this is a great way to do it.

For the meal that I planned I wanted simple, light, and delicious.  I tend to think Greek or Mediterranean when looking for delicious easy fair that can feed a crowd,  and that is appetizing when you’ve spent a day in the sun.  That said, tzatziki ( cucumber dip) with warm pita bread is always a huge hit, and my lemon oregano chicken kabobs can feed an army.  I made a huge salad to accompany it all and voila, dinner was served!

Image result for chicken kabob photogreek salad

Classic Tzatziki

  • 3 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt ( I use full fat not light or low fat)
  • 1 tsp salt ( I use course kosher)
  • 1 cup finely minced cucumbers (I process mine in a food processor then squeeze out all of the moisture)
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dill ( I use a lot more)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice (again I use a lot more)

If this is the first time you’ve made a recipe like this, follow it closely and then as time goes on tweak it to your liking.  Mix all of the ingredients together and refrigerate.  The longer it sits, the more delicious it becomes as all of the flavors marry.  Serve this with warm pita bread.  (it’s also great on cut veggies, sandwiches, brats, you name it)  We also use it as a dip for the chicken kabobs and it’s amazing!!

Lemon Oregano Chicken Kabobs (this is a single recipe and feeds my family of five)

  • 3 Large chicken breasts cut into chunks (1-2 inch pieces work well)
  •  juice of 1 and one 1/2 lemons
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • one bunch of fresh oregano, leaves cleaned removed from stem, and finely chopped

In a gallon plastic bag squeeze the juice of the lemons.  Add in enough olive oil that the bag is filled about 2-3 inches from the bottom.  Add lots of salt and ground pepper.  Vigorously shake the bag and taste the mixture.  It should have a strong flavor of lemon and be a bit salty.  Remember this is a marinade and is coating your chicken.  You don’t want bland chicken!  Add in your oregano and shake again.  If it’s flavored to your liking add in the cubed chicken.  Seal the bag and squeeze to coat all pieces.  Let the chicken marinate for 30-60  minutes.  Take out the pieces and put them on wooden skewers. (I soak my skewers in water for at least an hour to cut back on them burning) Place the kabobs on a preheated grill.  They typically take around 20-25 minutes on a grill heated to 375 degrees.  Turn them often so they don’t burn and I usually dump the rest of the marinade on right at the beginning of their cook time to really pump up the flavor.  Serve them with the tzatziki sauce, pita bread, and a simple greek salad.  This dinner is a major hit even with picky eaters.

These recipes came from two places.  My fabulous uncle gave me the recipe for the chicken and the tzatziki from the most amazing Greek cook book that I found online with recipes compiled by the Greek Orthodox Church of South Carolina.  After all,  the best recipes usually come from family,  or from church ladies!  Just sayin!  I hope you enjoy this dish and if you have any questions, just holler!  Thanks for Dishin with me today and in the words of my Greek friends, Opa!

 

 

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