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Revive Your Sunday Supper with ONE-DISH Dinners

The concept of Sunday Supper was introduced to me 20 years ago. I met, fell in love with and married the oldest of three (first generation) strapping Greek boys. I was the first “not to be Greek” wife in the entire family.

No pressure, none at all.

I will never forget My Yanni inviting me to meet his family and enjoy a Sunday Supper with them. I was in no way prepared for what I was about to walk into. Sure I’d grown up enjoying family meals around the kitchen table but I had never experienced a weekly feast that included the entire extended family that could rival any major holiday.

Now imagine, if you will, walking into a kitchen pulsating with authentic Greek music, a mass of people laughing & talking loudly (including my in-laws speaking very fast and furiously and only in Greek) with a stove top full of bubbling pots, a table full of more chairs than I could count and me standing there in awe. It didn’t take long for me to be pulled in the delightful chaos and find myself setting the table alongside my soon-to-be-brother-in-laws while sipping on wine that had been placed in my hand without me even realizing it. Sunday Suppers were and still are quite the experience! Only now we have even more people crowded around the table and my mother-in-law seems to spend countless hours cooking in the kitchen. She will happily spend the whole day making everything from scratch. I gotta tell ya I’ve often worried about how in the world I would be capable of carrying on this most cherished tradition. That was, until I met Pam Anderson.

Pam is a phenomenal lady, culinary wizard and contributing editor of Fine Cooking magazine.  She has written many incredible cookbooks, but her latest, “Perfect ONE-DISH Dinners” has saved me, my family and the future of our Sunday Suppers! Her book is a collection of recipes for entire meals from the appetizer course to the dessert. And the best part? If you can believe that it gets any better, every main course is an easy one-dish meal.

When Pam and her lovely daughters invited me to write a post about Sunday Suppers and Perfect One-Dish Dinners, I was both honored and overjoyed! I had cooked from Pam’s cookbook already but using this as a fantastic source for all of my future Sunday Suppers had never occurred to me. And they are right! This book will assist me in Sunday Suppers for years to come. It will never leave my side, or my kitchen or my house or my life.

After pouring over the book for the perfect dish I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to go all out with a lamb recipe! I had never (gulp) ever dared to even think of preparing lamb before. The pressure to perform and to be compared to the centuries of relatives who had perfectly prepared lamb was just too much.

But now, knowing that I had Pam on my side, I decided to make the Braised Lamb Shanks.

Pam suggests starting the meal with Parmesan Pepper Crisps.

Crispy, salty, peppery, festive little clouds of perfection. The perfect way to tantalize your taste buds.

I will be making these religiously from this day forward.

After everyone had happily crunched away on the yummy Parmesan Crisps (and I had safely hidden some away for a midnight snack), the salad was served.

We dined on Baby Spinach with Fennel, Oranges, and Red Onion. The salad was perfection. Delicate baby spinach mixed with sweet juicy oranges, paired with red onions and the gentle flavor of black licorice provided by the fennel would make any Greek god dance.

Next, the moment that I had been waiting for. The unveiling of the lamb. The quintessential essence of Greek life. I couldn’t decide what was causing my forehead to bead with sweat more, the heat from the oven, the sting of my very first burn while cooking this dinner or the anticipation of waiting to see if I had cooked my way into the ranks of Greek Goddess.

After the oooh’s and aaah’s had subsided, the question that I had been dreading was asked. “Wendy honey (spoken in a thick Greek accent) how did you make this?” “It’s delicious.”

*Rats*

I had to admit right there and then in all my glory that I had indeed not slaved over 15 boiling pots to prepare this incredible meal. I admitted that this delicious meal was made in <sigh> one-dish. The tender lamb and succulent side of beans with tomatoes and vegetables, they were all made in one-dish in no time flat. And my mother-in-law? To my surprise, she was overjoyed and intrigued by my one-dish method.

The finale of my flawless Greek inspired meal was the Shredded Baklava Cups. They were nothing short of a religious experience. You’ll never believe how easy it is!

First, you’ll want to place 12 cupcake liners into muffin tins and spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray.

These are the simple ingredients that you’ll need: honey, sugar, pistachios, butter and cinnamon.

And of course, phyllo dough, the star of this delectable dessert.

When working with phyllo dough, the key to perfection is keeping the phyllo moist.

A damp dish towel wrapped around the dough covered in plastic does the trick.

You’ll want to create ribbons out of the phyllo dough and it’s really very simple. Leaving the phyllo rolled up, cut crosswise into 1 inch slices.

Shake each cut section of phyllo dough into a bowl allowing them to fall and voila you’ve got ribbons.

Next, pour 1 cup of pistachios into a food processor,

and pulse until finely ground.

Sprinkle all but 2 tablespoons of the finely ground pistachios and cinnamon into the phyllo ribbons and toss.

Pour 1/4 of the melted butter over the phyllo ribbons, toss to coat…

and repeat until butter is gone.

There is just nothing more divine than a bowl of phyllo dough ribbons covered in butter, cinnamon and pistachios.

OPA!

Now you’re ready to fill each muffin cup with the phyllo ribbons,

press gently with finger tips.

Sprinkle remainder of finely ground pistachios over each phyllo cup.

Bake for 22-25 minutes at 350º until golden brown.

In the meantime, bring 6 tablespoons of honey, water and sugar to a boil, set aside and let cool.
Drizzle over Baklava cups then prepare yourself to taste a little piece of heaven.

W.S. Gilbert once wrote:

“It’s not so much what’s on the table that matters, as much as what’s in the chairs.”

But after easily preparing, heartily consuming and thoroughly enjoying a delicious one-dish meal, I kinda think that I can enjoy BOTH.

May you & your family enjoy many special Sunday Suppers to come.

Wenderly

Here’s Pam’s Shredded Baklava Cups recipe, you can buy the book on Amazon for all of the other delicious recipes!

Shredded Baklava Cups
Adapted from Pam Anderson’s Perfect One-Dish Dinners
(makes 12 servings)

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 8-ounce package (from a 16-ounce box) frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 cup roasted pistachios, finely ground in a food processor, set aside 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons water

Here’s what you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 350º. Place 12 cupcake liners into muffin tins and spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray.

Slice rolled phyllo dough crosswise into 1 inch strips.

Place phyllo strips into bowl by shaking into ribbons. Pour in all but 2 tablespoons of finely ground pistachios and cinnamon, toss gently with fingers to evenly coat phyllo ribbons.

Pour melted butter 1/4 at a time over phyllo ribbons, toss to coat, repeat until butter is gone.

Fill each muffin liner with phyllo ribbons, gently press into cups with fingers and sprinkle each with remaining ground pistachios.

Bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown.

How to make honey drizzle:

Pour 6 tablespoons of honey, water and sugar into a pan and bring to boil. Set mixture aside until cooled to warm. Drizzle honey mixture over Baklava cups.

Enjoy!

Make Sure to Enjoy More Sunday Supper One-Dish Dinners From These Fab Peeps!

TickledRed.com

SheWearsManyHats.com

DadCooksDinner.com

RecipeGirl.com

ArtofGlutenFreeBaking.com

KitchenGadgetGirl.com

MyBakingAddiction.com

ThisWeekForDinner.com

BluebonnetsandBrownies.com

TheSensitivePantry.com

WhatsCookingBlog.com

TwoPeasandTheirPod.com

WhatsGabyCooking.com

Bellalimento.com

SmithBites.com

MyFavoriteEverything.com

FoodForMyFamily.com

SavoringTheThyme.com

Ivoryhut.com

DineAndDish.net

WhatWeAreEating.com

PickyPalate.com

GlutenFreeGirl.com

HowTo-Simplify.com

lafujimama.com

Sugarcrafter.com

Rookiemoms.com

Steamykitchen.com

Lapommedeportland

Categories
Eat Inspire Main Courses

Food For The Soul

Call it what you want…

Food for the soul, food for thought, a fabulous piece of lasagna …wait, more about that later…or “Big Summer Potluck”.  It was my very first time going to an “event” with fellow bloggers. Foodie bloggers to be exact. The title doesn’t really matter. What matters is, I walked in expecting that my brain be filled and walked out with my soul being fed.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend an event called “Big Summer Potluck” and let me tell you, it was all that and more. It was the creation of four lovely ladies, Maggy, Sharon and Pam of Three Many Cooks and Erika of Ivory Hut.

They decided to put together a day filled with information, inspiration and good old fashioned fun with the theme being “potluck.”

Brilliant, they are, seeing that we are all FOOD BLOGGERS and what do we love as much (if not more) than blogging? Well…yes, food.

I felt like “little grasshoppa”- I was excited, nervous, curious, anxious, nauseated, perhaps even a little bit bloated. But most of all, I was elated to meet a group of people who were just like me. People who were creative, innovative and behind a camera lens (and a computer screen) most of their day.

But once I walked in saw this room full of people…

I was instantly put at ease. Just look at all of those beautiful people (thanks to Erika of Ivory Hut for this fantastic photo)!

I even found Abby Dodge. Fellow Leo, lover of life. One of the many awesome demonstrators of the day. Oh, yea and former pastry chef, contributing editor of Fine Cooking magazine, author of 7 cookbooks…

Sheesh, maybe I was feeling a bit nervous again.

Nah.

There’s just something priceless about being in a room full of people who “get it.” People who get the passion of cooking, creating, and sharing. Who get the hours of preparation, set up, grocery shopping, humongous messes in the kitchen and the lengths that you’ll go to carrying a plate of food around your house just to get the right “light” for the shot. It’s SO soul satisfying to see the understanding in their eyes and the willingness to share their stories as well.

So comforting that I actually found myself babbling about balancing my camera on my bosom to get the perfect shot while my daughters look at me as if I have lost my mind. Then I thought, wait a minute, DID I loose my mind? Am I really saying this out loud? Only to realize that heads were nodding and eyes were twinkling and I was not alone in my shenanigans.

It can’t get any better than that!

As I said it was a potluck and the food tasting took place all day in between learning. It was fabulous. Extra time at the gym for me, but totally worth every bite!

Along with the food, we all enjoyed wonderful demonstrations, intimate speeches, food styling and photography tips.

It was a five star day.

We even got goodie bags! Pam of Three many Cooks was kind enough to give us all a copy of her newest cookbook, “Perfect ONE -DISH Dinners”. This is Pam’s fifth cookbook just one of many successes of this dynamic blogger, food columnist for USA Weekend, contributing editor to Fine Cooking and Runner’s world magazine AND loving mother and wife. <whew> She really needs to do more with her life, dontcha think?

This gorgeous cookbook will be in stores mid September but you can buy it on Amazon now. Do yourself a favor and RUN don’t walk to get a copy. I poured over it the WHOLE drive home. I knew the moment I opened the book that it was imperative to myself, my family and all of you, that I cook a dish out of that book as soon as I stepped foot in the door.

And guess what? I did. And it was stupendous. So without further ado, I MUST share it with all of you!

I decided to make Pam’s Quick, Creamy Lasagna. And let me tell you, it was not only quick and easy, but it was TO. DIE. FOR.

The first thing you’ll need, Lasagna noodles.

Soak the noodles in salted, hot tap water for about 10 minutes until soft.

While the noodles are soaking, begin making the filling.

Here’s what you’ll need for the “dreamy, creamy filling” (as I now call it): cream cheese, dried basil, a jar of marinara sauce, chicken broth, Parmesan cheese, and grated mozzarella cheese.

And you’ll need 4 cups of chicken as well.

My Yanni had just grilled up some yummy chicken so I used that. Pam calls for shredded chicken, but I diced mine.

Mix your diced chicken, basil, cream cheese, and broth in a bowl.

And this my friends is the creamy, dreamy lipsmackingly incredible filling.

Once you have your filling mixed, it’s time to assemble the lasagna.

First spread 1/4 cup of marinara sauce in bottom of your baking dish.

On top of that, place 3 noodles, then marinara sauce…

The creamy, dreamy filling…

Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese and then TOP that with Parmesan. I know can you believe it? I told you that this dish was divine!

Repeat these steps- noodles, sauce, filling, cheese, until you’ve got 4 layers.

When you’ve finished layering, you’ll top the whole thing off by slathering another creamy layer with the remaining cream cheese and 1/4 cup chicken broth.

Then sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese topped with Parmesan.

Cover with foil (Pam suggests spraying the foil with cooking spray, she’s so smart) and then place into a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and broil for another 4-5 minutes until brown and bubbly.

This is what you’ll have as a finished product.

WARNING: Consumption of this dish may cause blinding euphoria and uncontrollable urges for more servings.

The recipes in Pam’s cookbook are easy, delicious and soul satisfying…which perfectly sums up my day.

I walked into Big Summer Potluck feeling like “little grasshoppa”…

And walked out to find this on my car.

Life is mysterious.

But as I drove away, with my mind full and my soul fed, I realized that I had indeed left that little grasshoppa behind.

Wenderly

Here is the recipe for Pam’s fabulous “Quick, Creamy Lasagna!” Thanks Pam!

Quick, Creamy Lasagna

Adapted from Pam Anderson’s Perfect ONE-DISH Dinners
(Serves 8 to 12)

Ingredients:

  • Salt
  • 15 oven-ready (rippled- style, such as Ronzoni) lasagna noodles (from two 8-ounce boxes)
  • 4 cups (shredded) chicken
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened, divided
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 jar (25-26 oz.) good marinara sauce
  • 4 cups (1 pound) grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese divided

Instructions:

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat to 400 degrees. Dissolve 1  1/2 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts piping hot tap water in a 13-by-19-inch baking dish. Add noodles and soak until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, mix chicken with basil, 8 ounces cream cheese, and 1/4 cup broth. mix remaining 4 ounces cream cheese with remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl; set aside. To assemble, smear 1/4 cup marinara sauce over bottom of baking dish, then assemble 4 layers of each of the following: 3 lasagna noodles, a scant cup marinara, 1 cup filling mixture, 3/4 cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons parmesan. Top with remaining 3 noodles, cream cheese-broth mixture, remaining 1 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.

Spray one side of a large sheet of heavy-duty foil with vegetable oil cooking spray. Cover baking dish with foil, oiled side down, and bake until bubbly throughout, 40 to 45 minutes. Leaving lasagna on same rack, turn oven to broil. Remove foil and broil until lasagna is spotty brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.