My mom, Barbara, aka World's Greatest Cook and honorary Greek, won a recipe contest! We are so proud of her, but to those of us who have dined at her table, this is no big surprise. My mom can look into a near empty fridge and whip up something fabulous. It was hardly fair for the other mere-mortals who competed.
Having mastered many Italian and Greek Delights, Mom even took some Cordon Bleu classes back in the day. While other kids were eating sloppy joes and mac n cheese and fish sticks - the Karounos kids were dining on homemade Chicken Kiev. In the 70s ok? You couldn't drive over to the warehouse club and get them frozen back then. That is unless you were driving Michael J. Fox's Delorean and time traveled forward a couple decades to Costco. But then you would have had to have known about a movie that hadn't been made yet and it all gets very Mobius Strip-y and circular and self-reflexive and none of that has anything to do with Chicken Kiev. Look. The point is Mom was ahead of her time cuisine-wise and we ate really well, ok?
Anyway, (try to focus here, will you people?) there were over 100 entries -- the winner is pictured above and looking cute as a button in her red capri pants, wearing the glasses we gave her for Mother's Day. She was awarded a gift certificate AND..................wait for it.......her Athenian Pasta recipe added to the menu!
The chef added shrimp to Mom's recipe, but for those of you looking for a great vegetarian dish, especially during Lent, here's her original formula for Athenian Pasta.
1 lb. angel hair pasta (prepare in pot as directed on package)
Use a large frying pan to prepare the following ingredients:
1 Pkg (10 oz) ready to use (cut and clean) fresh spinach
1 lge can of petite diced tomatoes incl. liquid
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
2 tbsp. grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup pitted Calamata olives (for that unique touch)
2 small cloves of crushed garlic
salt, pepper and basil, olive oil
Sauté garlic in olive oil, add pkg. of fresh spinach and cook until limp (drain some of the liquid from frying pan)
Add diced tomatoes to pan and stir to mix
Lightly salt to taste, pepper, sprinkle basil and grated cheese over mixture
Cook down (about 15 minutes), then add Feta cheese, Romano cheese & quartered (pitted) Calamata olives
Stir, leaving feta not completely melted
Add mixture to cooked pasta and blend
Serve with more feta and Romano sprinkled over pasta and spinach mixture
Ok, now that your tummies are full, how about a feast for the eyes? Something to satisfy your creative hunger? And this second course is still in keeping with the Greek theme - some hot mezes, if you will. Heck, this is like saganaki hot, only without the cheese. Or the singed hair.
Vintage Cate, or YiaYia Katina (did I translate that correctly?), that nice Greek girl over at A Charmed Life (also Features Editor at Cloth Paper Scissors and author Mixed Media Self-Portraits and a whole bunch of other impressive stuff) is giving away some delicious fabrics. And you thought we only gave wooden horses.
Just follow the link and comment. It's a win-win: you get a chance at the yummy fabrics and I won't be in deep ca ca. Make sure you tell her I sent you or it won't count and she'll think up some way to (ahem) repay me.