Greek Night & Beef Souvlaki Recipe

Greek Night & Beef Souvlaki Recipe

Trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight?  I think it’s an age old problem, one even my Grandmother faced.  I remember her telling me that she loved to cook but deciding what to cook for dinner every night was her biggest problem! I face this issue daily myself, but not only do I have to decide what to cook I like to try and make dinner a fun family time too.  That’s why I came up with the dinner theme ideas.  I center dinner around a theme like Italian Night, Mid Easter Night, and so one.  This means I make food matching my theme and set the table to make it look we’re eating in whatever country the food is from.  One of my favorites is Greek night because we can have Beef Souvlaki!  Opa!

It doesn’t take much to plan a Greek night dinner all you need is some great Greek food like chicken or beef gyros, tzatziki sauce for dipping or topping, Greek Salad, souvlakis, and maybe some baklava for dessert.  You can wash it all down with some Greek wine or Ouzo for a fruity smoothie for the kids.

As far as table settings start with a blue and white table cloth or runner, if you have one with a Greek key design or border that works great, then use blue and white plates if you have them.  An alternative would be a burlap cloth stenciled with green olives or anything that reminds you of the sea or olive orchards.  Scatter some sea shells or fresh lemons in the center and a potted rosemary pot to complete you tablescape.  Just remember to keep it simple and fresh looking!

 

Or consider dining outdoors just like you would if you were on Santorini or Mykonos!  Just keep the blue and white theme going and you’ll do great.  Now for the most important part, food and drink!

You can start off with some ouzo if you dare or a nice minty lemonade is refreshing.  Then set out plates of greek olives, cheeses, and fresh crusty bread.  You can also set out bowls of tzatziki for dipping.  Click here for my tzatziki recipe!

For a lighter dinner serve a nice big Greek Salad.  Or you can have everyone make their own gyro sandwiches or plates.  Just set out the meat and the toppings and let everyone create their own!  Click here for my beef gyro recipe that’s made in an Instant Pot!

Or you could have a Greek barbecue!  Make these wonderful Beef Souvlaki.  What’s souvlaki?  Well it’s meat on skewers!  Here’s my recipe!

Beef Souvlaki

Marinade

2 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1 Tbs. Rosemary

1 Tbs. Fresh Mint chopped

1 Tbs. Fresh Parsley chopped

1 Tsp. Ground Cloves

1 Tbs. Oregano

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Vinegar

1/2 Tbs. Salt

1/2 Tbs. Pepper

Mix all ingredients together and place in a bowl or large ziplock bag

Skewers

6 Ribeye Steaks – trim the fat and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 Green Peppers cut into chunks

1 Large Onion cut into chunks

1 Container Mushrooms

Directions

Place meat in marinade and toss to cover all the meat

Marinate in the refrigerator overnight

Just before cooking put the meat on bamboo or metal skewers alternating meat with the veggies

Discard marinade

Grill until the meat is done to your taste

Serve with salad, rice, tzatziki sauce, pita bread or whatever you prefer.

Hope you love this Beef Souvlaki as much as we do!

 

 

Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Gyros seem to be getting trendy, even the fast food chains are putting them on their menus.  Makes sense I guess since Gyro (pronounced YEE-roh) can be considered fast food meaning you can grab a sandwich and eat it on the go.  Gyro meat can be either beef, pork, chicken, lamb, or a combination of these meats.  The meat is usually ground up and cooked on a vertical spit then thin slices are shaved off as needed to make plates or sandwiches.  Having grown up in New York City gyros have always been a familiar food, I remember seeing the big hunks of meat rotating behind a window at the corner deli or diner.  Anyway trendy or not we love Gyros, specially beef gyros!

We always grab a gyro or two when we’re in Greece and sometimes in NYC, I mean it’s not like we’re going to set up a huge vertical spit and roast meat for hours.  That’s why the  Instant Pot is a great addition to my kitchen!  I can make Beef Gyros anytime I have a yen for them.  The beef gyros made in my Instant Pot tastes pretty authentic and can be made in about half an hour!  Doesn’t beat a trip to Athens or Santorini, but it hits the spot!

The Beef Gyros I make in the Instant Pot are tender, juicy, and tasty; in short perfect!  We slather the pita with homemade Tzatziki, a creamy cucumber yogurt sauce, then fill it with meat and veggies, delicious!

Here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Beef Gyros and Tzatziki Sauce, hope you love it as much as we do!

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The Beef

Ingredients:

2 Lbs. Chuck roast sliced into thin strips about 1/4″ long – cut meat against the grain

1 Large White Onion thinly sliced

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Oregano

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Black Pepper

1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Cup Beef Broth

Shredded Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce

Sliced Tomatoes

Sliced Purple Onion

Sliced Cucumbers

1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

Fresh Pita Bread or Naan

Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the Pita, Lettuce, and Tomato in the Instant Pot

Cover and make sure the valve is in the “Sealing” position

Turn pot on to Manual – high pressure

Set timer to 30 minutes

Once timer goes off allow the pot to sit for 15 minutes.  Then switch the valve to “venting” and allow the pot to depressurize.

Remove cover and stir.

While you’re waiting for the meet to cook make your Tzatziki Sauce and prepare your veggies

Place shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions on a dish and sprikle with Apple Cider Vinegar then set aside until ready to use

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

1 Cup Finely chopped cucumbers – remove seeds before chopping

1 Cup plain whole milk yogurt

2 Tbs Fresh Dill chopped

1 Tsp Garlic finely minced

1/4  Tsp Salt

Directions:

Take the cucumbers and squeeze out the liquid.  Squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

Place cucumber in bowl and add in rest of the ingredients and mix very well.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sandwich assembly:

Cover pita bread with a damp paper towel and warm in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds

Place one pita bread flat on a piece of aluminum foil

Spread bread with Tzatziki Sauce

Place a layer of shredded lettuce over sauce

Remove desired amount of meat from pot and drain liquid then place over lettuce

Add cucumber, onion, and tomato slices on top then add more tzatziki sauce if desired

Roll sandwich and foil, use the foil to hold the sandwich together.  Peel off foil as you eat.

You can also make a plate or bowl instead of a sandwich.  Any left over tzatziki can be used a dip, just place in a dish or bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Dip pita chips in the sauce for a great snack or appetizer!

 

Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
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Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
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Ingredients
Tzatziki Sauce
Servings:
Instructions
Beef
  1. Place all the ingredients except the Pita, Lettuce, and Tomato in the Instant Pot
  2. Cover and make sure the valve is in the "Sealing" position
  3. Turn pot on to Manual - high pressure Set timer to 30 minutes
  4. Once timer goes off allow the pot to sit for 15 minutes. Then switch the valve to "venting" and allow the pot to depressurize.
  5. Remove cover and stir.
  6. While you're waiting for the meet to cook make your Tzatziki Sauce and prepare your veggies
  7. Place shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions on a dish and sprikle with Apple Cider Vinegar then set aside until ready to use
Tzatziki Sauce
  1. Take the cucumbers and squeeze out the liquid.  Squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Place cucumber in bowl and add in rest of the ingredients and mix very well.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Assembly
  1. Cover pita bread with a damp paper towel and warm in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds Place one pita bread flat on a piece of aluminum foil Spread bread with Tzatziki Sauce Place a layer of shredded lettuce over sauce Remove desired amount of meat from pot and drain liquid then place over lettuce Add cucumber, onion, and tomato slices on top then add more tzatziki sauce if desired Roll sandwich and foil, use the foil to hold the sandwich together.  Peel off foil as you eat. 
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Sesame Beef Stir Fry

Sesame Beef Stir Fry

this easy sesame beef stir fry is incredibly flavorful and easy! serve with authentic ramen noodles, over rice, or in a lettuce cup for a lower carb version!
Chinese takeout is something we all love right? Sesame Beef Stir Fry is a guilty pleasure and takes so little time to arrive to your door! however what if I told you that you simply may build one thing as as tasty, in precisely concerning constant quantity of time… and YOU get to manage the ingredients? Sounds superb right?

In many ways, yes! The tender crisp vegetables really retain additional nutrients by preparation quickly during a pan or pan than they might if they were stewed. This specific fry uses 2 totally different children of oils, however in comparatively tiny amounts, that is far healthier than preparation during a great amount of oil (like most takeout Chinese restaurants do – a minimum of in my area).


Click Sesame Beef Stir Fry for recipes! enjoy!!!!!

Ingredients:

BEEF MARINADE
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1/4 tsp black pepper

STIR FRY

1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced
1 cup snow peas, sliced in half across
1/2 cup sliced carrots
8 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup beef broth
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp honey or light brown sugar
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for cooking)

Instructions:

1. Combine marinade ingredients in bowl and add flank steak. Set aside 15 minutes.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in large skillet over MED HIGH heat. Remove excess marinade from steak and cook in a single layer, for 2-3 minutes, stirring to cook both sides. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in batches. Remove steak to plate.

3. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, then add peas, carrots and green onion and cook stirring often, 2-3 minutes.

4. Whisk together broth, soy sauce, honey/brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, fresh ginger, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes. Add steak and sauce to skillet, stirring to combine. Sauce will thicken.

5. Stir in cooked ramen noodles if using, and serve!

Sesame Beef Stir Fry
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Cinco de Mayo Celebration – Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Recipe

Cinco de Mayo Celebration – Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Recipe

It’s Cinco De Mayo again and to me that’s the best excuse for a celebration featuring Mexican food and drinks!  Not that I need a reason to enjoy Mexican food, I’m just crazy about it!  No one ever has to twist my arm into making a pitcher of Margaritas or a tray of tacos and burritos.

 

But Cinco De Mayo is still a great excuse to throw a party!  You don’t have to be Mexican in my opinion to celebrate.  But if you really must know the reason Cinco De Mayo is celebrated it’s a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.  Just in case you were thinking it’s the Mexican Independence day, it’s clearly not.  I believe the largest Cinco De Mayo celebration is in Puebla.

History aside Cinco De Mayo has become somewhat a part of American culture simple because it involves great food and drinks I think.  What ever the reason it’s a great time to throw a party or at the very least have a “Mexican” night with the family.

It doesn’t have to be an invite the whole neighborhood block party, you can keep it simple and have a pot luck with friends and family or simpler still enjoy some Mexican dishes with just the family.  Here’s a few fun ideas you can use to make your celebration fun for all!

Set up a Margarita Bar

Guests can help themselves to margaritas, you can serve the classic margarita or add a flavored one or two like mango and strawberry.

If you’ve got kids or for any one wanting something non-alcoholic (like the designated driver) put bottles of Jarrito in a tub of ice, don’t forget the bottle opener!

Or set up a Horchata bar with several flavors of this refreshing Mexican drink.

Put up a Pinata

Pinatas are always fun.  They’re colorful and full of candy, what’s not to like?  You can use your pinata as just decoration or you can actually have the kids break it.

If you consider breaking the pinata with a stick too violent, I’m a bit iffy on it too, you can cut a flap on the bottom of your pinata and attach ribbons or string to it.  The kids just have to tug on it to let the candy and other treats out.  This is a safer option specially when there are toddlers involved!

 

 

Set a colorful table!

Use colorful dinnerware at the table and as serving plates.

They don’t have to be ceramic, you can mix and match colorful paper or plastic plates.

 

Decorate with bright colors and props

Dust off the maracas and sombreros and haul out the serapes.  Use colorful balloons, fabrics, banners, paper lanterns and flowers to spruce up the party area.

Don’t forget colorful baskets they can hold everything from flatware to favors!

 

 

 

Serve lots and lots of Mexican Food!

Tacos, burritos, nachos, chimichangas, enchaladas, you name it!  Serve up lots of your favorites.  If you’re just wanting to keep it simple then focus on an entree like fajitas, and serve up sides of rice and beans.  But don’t forget the salsa and guacamole!

If you don’t  a lot of time to cook then whip up a pot of my Beef Barbacoa, you can use it in tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, or whatever you want.  Best of all it’s made in an Instant Pot and can be made in less than 2 hours.  Your friends and family will think you slaved over a hot stove all day!

Here’s the recipe!

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Ingredients:

3-4 Lbs. Chuck Roast cut into large chunks

2 Tbs Minced Garlic

3-4 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (you can buy a can in the Mexican section of the grocery store) – chopped

1 (4oz) can of diced green chiles

1 Onion finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Bay Leaves

1 Tbs Cumin

1 Tbs Oregano

1 Tbs Sea Salt

1 Tbs Black Pepper

1/4 Tsp Ground cloves

3/4 Cup Beef Broth

2 Tbs Olive Oil

Directions:

Turn on pot to Saute and heat olive oil

Sear meat chunks in the oil

Add the remaining ingredients on top of the beef

Cover and make sure valve is set to “Sealing”

Change pot setting to Manual and adjust time to 60 minutes

Once it’s done let it sit in the pot for 15 minutes then carefully turn the valve to “venting” to depressurize the pot

 

Remove cover and shred beef – it shouldn’t take much to shred it by now the meat should be falling apart.

Leave in juices until ready to use

Use to fill tacos and burritos or to top nachos.  Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

You can store leftovers in its juices in a sealed container in the fridge for about 5 days or freeze up to 3 months.

 

 



Beef Barabacoa Nachos! Just one of the dishes you can make using the Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

MECHADONG BAKA (FILIPINO BEEF MECHADO)

MECHADONG BAKA (FILIPINO BEEF MECHADO)

Mechadong Baka (Beef Mechado) could be a tart Filipino beef tomato stew with potatoes, carrots, and onions. Historically, the stew was created exploitation low-cost and lean cuts of meat that had little or no fat/marbling. To assist add flavor, associate degree incision was created into each bit of meat and a strip of pork fat was inserted, as delineated at Kawaling Pinoy. This method is what gave the stew its name- Mecha which means wick for the strip of pork fat protruding of the meat sort of a candle. I served the Mechado over a bed of steamed polished rice; however Chad conjointly likes it with Pandesal (Filipino Rolls).

While exploring through recipes, I found variable amounts of soy. Begin with 2 tablespoons and rise to four tablespoons supported style. Mixture of onions, carrots, and potatoes to the stew Shredded bell peppers also are widespread.The instruction is well doubled to serve additional individuals or create enough for leftovers. Like several stews, the flavor is even higher consequent day.

Calamansi (Kalamansi, Calamondin Orange, Golden Lime, and Chinese Orange) could be a style of citrus native to geographic area. it’s a cross between the Mandarin Orange and Kumquat. The fruit has associate degree orange bitter flesh and a skinny, sweet rind that starts inexperienced, however turns orange because it ripens. The rind is usually consumed with the flesh to supply a sweet bitter flavor. it’s usually found in Filipino preparation, from garnishes to condiments. The fruit are often found within the turn out department or the juice frozen in some markets that includes Filipino ingredients. If you’re unable to find it, substitute with lemon (I have seen mixtures line of work for one half fruit crush to three elements lemon juice), lime, or Meyer lemon.

 

Click  MECHADONG BAKA (FILIPINO BEEF MECHADO) for recipes.
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 pound stew beef (chuck, round), cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons calamansi or lemon juice
2-4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 large potato peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 carrot peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Steamed rice for serving

Instructions

1. In a large pot, drizzle the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides.
2. Add the water, tomato sauce, calamansi juice, soy sauce, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
3. Add the potato and carrot. Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve hot with steamed rice.

 

MECHADONG BAKA (FILIPINO BEEF MECHADO)
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Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

As many of you know one of my daughter’s gave me an Instant Pot for Christmas last year.  It took a few weeks of staring at the box before I actually opened it; all those buttons were a bit intimidating!  But once I made my first recipe, Instant Pot Beef Stew, it was instant love!  Now I don’t know what I’d do without it!  So I’ve been exploring possibilities and one of my new favorites in this Instant Pot Mongolian Beef.

Mongolian Beef is a family favorite and we always order it when we dine at Chinese Restaurants, we love the tender morsels of beef in its delicious sauce.  I’ve tried to make it at home, after all it’s just a basic sitr fry, but I could never get the meat to be so tender.  I’d tried all sorts of cuts except filet mignon, I mean seriously who’d use filet in a stir fry?  Whatever I did I could never get it as tender as the restaurants do; that is until now!  It never occurred to me that the secret was in the cooking method.  I mean all the recipes said fry the meat in a wok or a pan, I’m guessing you’d get very tender meat if you stir fired filet mignon, but at over $15 a pound that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon!

Well it seems to me the secret to tender beef is to pressure cook it!  Enter the new love of my life, the Instant Pot!  When I adapted my Mongolian Beef stir fry recipe to the Instant Pot the whole dish changed!  It transformed from a pretty good stir fry to a tender delicious restaurant worthy dish!  This Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is seriously delicious!

But it’s not only yummy, Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is easier than stir fry!  What?  Easier than stir fry?  How is that possible?  First of all my original recipe has me marinating the meat for at least an hour; no need to marinate Instant Pot Mongolian Beef so that cuts kitchen time down a bit.  And stir fry requires you to, um, well, stir what you’re frying; with the Instant Pot Mongolian Beef stirring  is kept to just a few minutes to brown the meat.  And best of all from start to finish you could get Instant Pot Mongolian Beef on the table in about 30 minutes!

I serve it over steamed white rice which I make in my  Zojirushi Rice Cooker.  You can even make bowls and bentos with this recipe!

So here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Mongolian Beef!

Ingredients:

2 Lbs. Flank  or Sirloin Steak cut into small thin slices

1 Tbs. Sesame Oil or vegetable oil will work if you’re allergic to sesame seeds or don’t have sesame oil on hand

2 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1/2 Cup Soy Sauce

1/2 Cup Water

2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar

1 Tbs. Molasses (or you can skip the coconut sugar and Molasses and use 2/3 cup dark brown sugar instead)

1 Tsp fresh minced ginger

3 Tbs. Cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup water

3-4 stalks green onions cut to small pieces

1 Tsp Sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:

Turn Instant Pot to Sauté and place oil inside inner pot

Heat oil about 1 minute

Place small amounts of beef in pot and brown both sides – about 2 minutes

Remove browned meat from pot and brown remaining meat in small batches until all meat is browned

Add garlic to pot and cook about 1 minute

Add soy sauce, water, worcestershire sauce, sugar, molasses, and ginger into the pot and mix well

Turn pot to manual and adjust time to 12 Minutes

Return meat and any juices that seeped out to the pot

Place lid on making sure the valve is set to Sealing

When timer goes off move valve to venting to quick release the pressure

Remove lid and stir in cornstarch mixture until the sauce is thickened

Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.


Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
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Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Turn Instant Pot to Sauté and place oil inside inner pot
  2. Heat oil about 1 minute
  3. Place small amounts of beef in pot and brown both sides - about 2 minutes
  4. Remove browned meat from pot and brown remaining meat in small batches until all meat is browned
  5. Add garlic to pot and cook about 1 minute
  6. Add soy sauce, water, worcestershire sauce, sugar, molasses, and ginger into the pot and mix well
  7. Turn pot to manual and adjust time to 12 Minutes
  8. Return meat and any juices that seeped out to the pot
  9. Place lid on making sure the valve is set to Sealing
  10. When timer goes off move valve to venting to quick release the pressure
  11. Remove lid and stir in cornstarch mixture until the sauce is thickened
  12. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.
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