Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Broccoli Rice Casserole

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My Broccoli Rice Casserole is a great side dish, wonderful for the holidays, and perfect for family get-togethers.

I’m using a quick-cooking long-grain white (Basmati) rice because it’s my favorite. You could definitely substitute short-grain rice like Arborio which also would be delicious, it’s a personal preference. I’m also using frozen broccoli florets for this dish.

Most Broccoli Rice Casserole recipes call for sour cream, here I’m substituting Mascarpone cheese because whenever I can add Mascarpone to either a savory or sweet dish I will.

One other option I’ve added to this recipe is to add a light sprinkling of breadcrumbs over the top of this dish, totally up to you. Let’s get started.

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Basmati Rice

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Tuscan Soup (6)

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Breadcrumbs

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (2-quart) casserole dish, 3-quart saucepot, colander, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, aluminum foil, medium-size mixing bowl, large mixing bowl, chef’s knife

Note: One bag of rice makes about 2 cups of cooked rice. I made both bags of rice to ensure I’d have 2 cups of cooked rice.

Ingredients:
1 pound (16 ounces) of frozen broccoli florets, thawed, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups of long-grain white rice, parboiled (Basmati, Success Boil-in-a-bag)
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced (substitute short-grain rice, Arborio rice)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, extra butter for greasing baking dish
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups of chicken broth/stock, reduced-sodium or unsalted (substitute vegetarian broth)
2 cups of whole milk (substitute 2%)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
2/3 cup of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature (substitute sour cream)
1 cup (8 ounces) of mild Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese mix (substitute sharp cheddar)

Topping: optional
Combine
1/4 cup each of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs and Panko
2 tablespoons of finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley for topping (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by buttering the baking dish and placing it onto a rimmed baking sheet pan. Fill a large pot with water. Submerge the 2 bags of quick-cooking rice. Bring up to a boil, add a pinch of salt, cook the rice, according to box directions, only half the time, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, remove the 2 bags, allow the water to drain, open, and dump the parboiled rice into a medium-size mixing bowl. To the same pot of hot boiling water add the broccoli, stir, for 1 minute, drain into a colander, transfer to a large mixing bowl, set aside.

In the same pot, add the butter, onions, and garlic and sweat them for a few minutes or until translucent (you don’t need to develop any color)n add the flour, stir it all in for a minute then add the milk and stock. Whisk well to get rid of any flour lumps and simmer while stirring the whole time until the mixture thickens.

Add the seasonings, whisk them in to combine really well, then add the 2/3 of the cheese and Mascarpone cheese followed by the partially cooked and drained rice and broccoli.

Give everything a big stir (at this point the mixture is runny and that’s exactly what you want because the rice will soak up the sauce as it cooks) pour into the buttered baking dish, cover with foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the foil, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese (this would be the time to add the seasoned breadcrumb mixture over the top if desired) place back into the oven and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot. There you have it my Broccoli Rice Casserole.

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Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes (Lemoni Patatas)

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If you’re looking for the best-roasted potato recipe look no further. Simple and comforting lemon roasted potatoes with garlic finished with fresh oregano.

This is a traditional greek side dish known as Ellinikos Lemoni Patatas is really popular in Greek cuisine. Here’s the recipe for my Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes.

Tina, my sister, is coming over to photoshoot this spread. I’m making a double batch of my Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes and plenty of Pork Slovakia With Tzatziki Sauce this way she can take home dinner for her and her husband, Dave.

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Oregano

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50  minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields: 12 servings (2 baking dishes)
Equipment: large mixing bowl, 2 (9 x 13) baking dishes, hand-held juicer, chef’s knife

Note: This recipe is for two baking dishes of Roasted Greek Potatoes. If needed divide recipe by half.

Note: To achieve the right texture, greek potatoes are baked covered for approx. 40 minutes in plenty of liquid-olive oil, lemon juice, and broth. As they’re covered the potatoes become tender as they absorb steam and take in the flavored liquid.

Ingredients:
8 medium to large size Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, washed, cut into wedges, divided
8 large garlic cloves, finely minced and divided
1/2 cup of olive oil, divided
2 lemons, juiced, divided
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth, divided (substitute unsalted vegetable broth)
1 1/2 tablespoons of dried Greek oregano, divided (substitute dried oregano)
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish, divided
1/2 cup of fresh greek oregano leaves for garnish, divided

Directions:
Peel potatoes and cut them in half. Next, slice each half into large wedges. Let them stand in water while preparing the sauce.

In a two large mixing bowls whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, broth, dried oregano, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

Drain and dry the potatoes.

Spray both baking dishes with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly divide the potatoes and finely chopped garlic between both baking dishes. Toss to combine.

Pour the liquid from each bowl into each baking dish of potatoes.

Cover each baking dish with foil, transfer to the oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven briefly to uncover both baking dishes. Return to the oven to roast for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and golden brown with a little crust forming.

To add a nice char and great texture to the potatoes, place one baking dish, at a time, under the broiler for about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.

Remove from the oven. Before serving, garnish with finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley and fresh oregano leaves.

Serve hot.

Greek Village Salad

Pork Souvlaki With Tzatziki Sauce

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Pork Souvlaki With Tzatziki Sauce

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The word Souvlaki simply means, “meat on skewers”. Greeks also use it to describe an actual meal, loaded with perfectly grilled meat, and topped with Tzatziki sauce. Souvlaki is street-food and is super delicious. Usually made with chicken, today I’m doing it using pork, pork tenderloin to be specific. This is my Pork Souvlaki With Tzatziki Sauce.

I’m starting with the Tzatziki sauce. The most important trick to making Tzatziki Sauce is to thoroughly drain the gated cucumber before mixing it into the yogurt.

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mint

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E.V.O.O.

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Marinating the pork for Souvlaki.

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Olive Oil

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Tzatziki Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: overnight (8 to 12 hours)
Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, medium-size bowl with a tight-fitting lid, box grater, vegetable peeler, mesh sieve, cheesecloth, chef’s knife, hand-held juicer, Microplane

Pork Souvlaki
Prep Time: 30 minutes (time includes skewering the pork)
Inactive Prep Time: overnight (8 to 12 hours)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 40 minutes
Yields: 10 to 12 skewers
Equipment: indoor grill pan, large bowl with a tight-fitting lid, whisk, wooden skewers, metal tongs, chef’s knife, hand-held juicer, 2 sheets of cheesecloth

Tip: Drain the yogurt the night before.

Ingredients For Tzatziki Sauce: 
1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt, full-fat
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 large (10-ounce) hothouse (English cucumber) peeled, grated using large holes on a box grater, and drained
2 tablespoons of *e.v.o.o.
2 tablespoons of fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, freshly grated
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 sprig of fresh mint for garnish
1 sprig of fresh dill for garnish

Directions For the Tzatziki Sauce:
Start by lining a mesh sieve with cheesecloth. Make sure the cheesecloth is large enough to cover the yogurt completely. Place over a large mixing bowl. Cover the yogurt completely with the cheesecloth. Place a heavy bowl on top to help the yogurt to drain. The next day unwrap the yogurt and transfer it to a medium-size mixing bowl with a tight-fitting lid and place back into the refrigerator.

Wash and dry the bowl and mesh sieve.

Using the same mesh sieve, lined with another piece of cheesecloth add the grated cucumber and 1/2 teaspoon of  Kosher salt. Tightly twist up in the cheesecloth and squeeze gently with your hands removing as much of the excess moisture as possible. Untwist the cheesecloth, set it carefully back into the mesh sieve. Place the mesh sieve over a bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes to continue draining.

Remove the yogurt from the refrigerator. Remove the lid. To the yogurt add ground cumin, olive oil, herbs, lemon juice, grated garlic, Kosher salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. At this point taste for seasoning if needed. Place the lid on, transfer back to the refrigerator to chill.  Spoon the Tzatziki to a serving nice serving bowl. Garnish with fresh dill and mint right before serving.

Tip: Soak skewers for 1 hour before using.

Ingredients For Pork Souvlaki:
1 (2-pound) pork tenderloin, silver skin removed, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt, full-fat
1 1/2 tablespoons of ground cumin
8 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, juiced
2 fresh bay leaves (substitute dried)

Garnishes: 
3 lemons, halved and grilled
8 sprigs of fresh oregano
mixed organic greens (as a bed for the platter)
sweet and tangy pepper drops, optional

Side Options: Links for recipes are below.
Greek Village Salad with Grilled Ciabatta or grilled pita bread
Roasted Greek Potatoes
Blackberry Cornbread Cake

Directions For Pork Souvlaki:
Prepare the marinade. In a large mixing bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, grated garlic, Greek yogurt, ground cumin, dried oregano, dried rosemary,  sweet paprika, bay leaves, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine.

Add the pork to the marinade. Toss to combine making sure all the pork is well-coated with the marinade. Cover with lid (or tightly using plastic wrap) and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours and/or overnight.

When ready, thread marinated pork pieces through the prepared skewers.

Preheat the grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the flesh side of each lemon with a little oil. Place the lemon halves onto the grill. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes or until you get nice charred grill marks. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.

Once again, prepare the indoor grill pan. Brush with a little oil and heat over medium-high heat. Place pork skewers on the grill pan (in batches). Grill until well browned and internal temperature reads 150-degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer. Be sure to turn skewers evenly to cook on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Adjust the temperature of the grill pan if necessary.  Repeat this process for the second batch. Allow the pork skewers to rest for 5 minutes. Discard any leftover marinade.

Transfer and arrange the pork skewers to a large serving platter lined with organic mixed greens. Garnish with fresh sprigs of oregano, grilled lemons, and sweet and tangy pepper drops.

Serve Pork Souvlakia with aside of chilled Tzatziki Sauce.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

Blackberry Cornbread Cake With Maple Whipped Cream

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes (Lemoni Patatas)

Greek Village Salad

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