Emily Digenis with GreekFest gave a quick preview of what hungry festival goers can expect.
Cucumber Dip "Tzatziki"
1 (8 ounce) container plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream (or less depending on consistency)
1 English cucumber, peeled, and finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 6 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh dill (or dried)
Juice of ¼ wedge of lemon
Combine all ingredients, check the taste and add salt as needed. Refrigerate until serving. Yields 3 cups.
Pastitsio: Greek Lasagna
Meat Sauce and Noodles:
2 Tlbs. Olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 lbs. ground beef
2 Tlbs. Greek oregano
2 cans tomato sauce (8 oz.)
Salt/pepper to taste
1 box of mostaccioli noodles, cooked & drained
½ cup parmesan cheese
2-3 beaten eggs
2 Tlbs. Butter
2 Tlbs. Flour
2 cups milk or half and half
Salt and pepper
In a saucepan, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent; add ground beef and cook thoroughly. Season meat mixture with salt, pepper, Greek oregano. Add tomato sauce and let it simmer for 35 minutes. Boil mostaccioli noodles and drain then thoroughly. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in saucepan and pour over noodles in pot. Add 2-3 beaten eggs slowly to coat the noodles followed by parmesan cheese.
For the Béchamel Sauce: Melt butter and flour until a roux is formed. Add 2 cups of milk or heavy cream slowly to thicken; whisk slowly. When thickened, add salt, pepper, dash of nutmeg and 2-3 eggs one at a time. Continue to whisk until all is incorporated into sauce.
For Assembly: Prepare a Pyrex pan with cooking spray; layer half of the noodles; then all of the meat, then the other half of the noodles. Pour béchamel sauce over noodles and sprinkle with more parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown on top. Cut into squares.
Baklava Sundae Recipe
(Baklava Recipe by Helen Digenis)
After following the directions for baklava, cut 2 pieces of baklava, and then crumble over your favorite vanilla ice-cream.
1 lb. Phyllo
1 lb. walnuts ground pretty fine 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup cinnamon
1 lb of unsalted butter
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Melt1 lb of butter, unsalted. From the Phyllo package take 2 sheets (or 4 halves) and put them aside covered with a towel. Have a heavy baking Cookie sheet (10x16) spread with some melted butter. Lay one sheet of phyllo or two halves as they come in the package to cover the pan having the phyllo even at the edges of the pan. This means that you could ruffle up the phyllo in center so that it comes even at the edges. Brush with melted butter. Repeat same process until you have 9 sheets on pan. Put another sheet, do not butter, spread 1/3 of nut mixture, cover with a sheet of phyllo, and butter.
Cover with a sheet, no butter, nuts, another 1/3 and so on until nut mixture is finished. Finish the remaining phyllo sheets, buttering each one. Cover with two saved sheets making sure they are stretched, cutting the excess phyllo around edge of pan.
With a sharp knife, cut pastry into diamonds. Bake in slow oven 300 oven for 1 hour until lightly brown. Remove from oven.
Pour cool syrup all over it. Let it sit for a few hours. Can be frozen at this stage for up to 3 months.
Syrup: Bring to boil 4 cups sugar, 2 cups water, juice of 2 lemons, 4 sticks of cinnamon and a handful of cloves. (Boil in syrup lemons after squeezing)
Temperature of syrup should reach 225 degrees on a candy thermometer. Prepare ahead of time and let cool to room temperature before pouring on the hot baklava.