Tag Archives: Feta Cheese

Zucchini Pancakes with Mint and Basil

Zucchini Pancakes with Mint and Basil

I am having a tough time believing that it is zucchini season already.  The summer is speeding by and even though it seems like our first CSA delivery was just a couple of weeks ago, we are already finding ourselves with lots of zucchini and summer squash. 

Lots of Zucchini

We are always looking for new ways to cook zucchini.  With the early veggies, we enjoy simple sautes and stir sliced zucchini into pasta.  However, as the season wears on, I start needing to spice things up a little bit.  These pancakes are really tasty, easy to make, and make use of lots of fresh summer ingredients.  According to my little brother, these zucchini cakes were “mad good”. 

Herbs and Feta

It is worth noting that the batter is very loose.  There is not a lot of binder relative the rather large amount of zucchini in the recipe.  This makes the cooked cakes a little fragile, but I like the way the zucchini and herb flavors come cleanly through.  If you wanted more of a typical “pancake” texture, adding an extra egg and maybe another 1/4-1/2 cup of flour would help.

Cakes on the Griddle

Zucchini Pancakes with Mint and Basil

Adapted from Joy of Cooking

Ingredients:

2.5 lbs zucchini, golden zucchini, or summer squash

1/4 of a large onion

2 large eggs

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

3 tbls fresh mint, chopped

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

To Make:

Using the coarse side of a box grater, grate the zucchini and onion.  Rinse briefly with cold water.  Place handfuls of the grated vegetables in a tea towel and squeeze all the water out.  Repeat until all the zucchini and onion are squeezed dry.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Add the cheese, bread crumbs, flour, garlic, and herbs and stir to combine.  Stir the zucchini and onion into the batter.

Drop the batter by 1/4 cupfuls on a lightly oiled, preheated skillet or griddle.  Cook until golden brown on one side, about four minutes.  Flip, flatten gently with the back of the spatula, and cook until the second side is golden.  Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree oven until they are ready to be served.

To Serve:

Serve warm or room temperature.  Makes about 20, 4 inch cakes.

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Filed under CSA Talk, Dinner, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Greek Inspired Meatloaf with Tomato Jam

Meatloaf - Cooked and Ready to Serve

Greek Inspired Meatloaf with Tomato Jam

When the weather gets colder, it seems like classic comfort foods start to get a lot more attention in our kitchen.  I don’t think anyone could argue that meatloaf is about as classic as it gets.  The problem with meatloaf though, is that I really didn’t like it much when I was growing up.  I never had a hankering for meatloaf, never ordered it in diners, and I never really got excited when someone cooked it for me.  My biggest problem with meatloaf was that all too often it was a dry hunk of rather tasteless beef topped with a sickly sweet ketchup sauce.  Did I mention that I don’t really care much for mass-produced ketchup either? 

Then I met my husband, a bone fide meatloaf lover.  He likes to get creative with meatloaf and suddenly I found myself *gasp* enjoying the creations he concocted.  Meatloaf with pepperoni and bacon, meatloaf with a cheesy layer in the middle, meatloaf with lots of spices and nary a spoonful of ketchup in sight.  His meatloaf is never dry; his secret ingredient is evaporated milk.  It sounds strange but it keeps the meatloaf moist without making it soupy. 

Half the Meatloaf in the pan with the Feta Cheese Layer

Meat and feta cheese layer

We developed this meatloaf because we were looking to recreate a delicious moussaka we made earlier in the summer.  The spice combination was very tasty and we felt that it would translate well to a meatloaf.  We made this with ground beef but if there had been any ground lamb in the house, we definitely would have included it as well.  Combine the ground beef with moussaka spices, a layer of feta cheese, and top with a spiced tomato jam and you have a meatloaf that even I can get behind.

Meatloaf ready for the oven topped with Tomato Jam

Meatloaf ready to bake

Greek Inspired Meatloaf

Ingredients:

About 1 lb ground beef or a mix of ground beef and ground lamb

1 small red onion, finely chopped

4 oz evaporated goat’s milk (you can substitute regular evaporated milk if desired)

1 egg

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2 teaspoon dried mint

salt and pepper to taste

 1/2 cup bread crumbs

4 oz feta cheese – crumbled

1 recipe Tomato Jam (see below)

To Make:

Preheat your oven to 375F.  In a medium bowl combine the red onion, egg, evaporated goats milk, and the tomato paste.  Use your wicked (awesome) whisk to mix.  Add in the spices and bread crumbs and whisk to combine.  Add the ground meat and mix by hand until just integrated.    Be gentle and don’t overmix or the loaf will be tough.  Form the ground beef into a ball and divide in half.  Using a meatloaf pan (a basic loaf pan with a false bottom) or a loaf pan, layer half the meat and sprinkle with the feta cheese.

Top with the remaining meat and spread the tomato jam on the top. Bake the loaf in oven for 50 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads between 155F and 170F.  The loaf should rest 10-15 minutes before serving.

To Serve:

This meatloaf serves four people.

Tomato Jam

Adapted from a recipe in the New York Times

Ingredients:

About 1 lb of fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped

1/2 – 2/3 cup sugar (we used 2/3 cup and it was pretty sweet, use less sugar for a less sweet jam)

Juice of half a lemon

2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

Rounded 1/2 tsp cumin

Rounded 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

To Make:

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan set over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has the consistency of thick jam.  About 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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Filed under Meat, Recipes