Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fun with the Inlaws, Part 5

Day 5 was a beach day, or beach evening depending on which of us you were. And really, I don't have any pictures of it. Thatboy took a half day at work and decided to take his parents on a tour of the coast. I joined in at their last beach of the day. Once again, we were ditched by TBIL, TSIL, and the kids who decided they wanted to go to a different beach than the rest of us. A beach I would never send anyone I liked after Thatboy and I watched a junkie shoot up on the street in front of us. It's not a "nice" beach.

On the other hand, TFIL and TMIL LOVED the beach we brought them too. TMIL kept oohing and ahhing and remarking about what a wonderful beach it was. After the sunset, we went back home for dinner. A little side note - I had originally planned on serving fresh pita from our local "International Market" which specializes in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foodstuffs, but then I saw this gorgeous gigantic fresh round of what they dubbed "Mediterranean Bread" and I just knew I had to pick it up. As large as a Super Extra Large Pizza, it was fun to pull apart, and pretty tasty.

Green Salad with Greek dressing
Mediterranean bread
Roast Lamb
Couscous with Melted Leeks and Thyme

Broiled Tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. In a small bowl mix the vinegar and salt and let stand a few minutes.
  2. Add the pepper and slowly whisk in the oil.

TFIL considers his rack of lamb to be "his" signature dish. So of course I wasn't going to make rack of lamb. I make a pretty mean leg of lamb, so I figured that would be easy and impressive. It was.

Roast Leg of Lamb
leg of lamb
olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Rub olive oil over lamb and on a rack set in a shallow baking pan.
  2. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Cut 10-12 slits in lamb and slide slivers of garlic into the slits.
  3. Place lamb on rack and roast for 1 1/2 hours.

I'm not sure the inlaws have ever had couscous before. I know TFIL was totally intrigued by "melted leeks" but had a very hard time understanding how I made and incorporated them. I tried to explain that I just cook the leeks in butter until they "melt" and then add them to cooked couscous, but I think "leeks" and "couscous" might be a stretch to begin with.

The tomatoes were a nightmare. I tried to broil them, but I would probably recommend baking them next time. As you can see, they browned pretty unevenly. I'll give you the recipe I used to make them - even with the uneven browning the tomatoes were nice and soft and would be a great base for a soup or marinara sauce.

Broiled tomatoes
4 tomatoes, halved
1 cup breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat broiler
  2. Sprinkle tomatoes evenly with breadcrumbs
  3. broil tomatoes until tops are browned.

My original plan was to make something with phyllo dough for dessert, but I also wanted something impressive because - heeellloooo inlaws. I had seen these gorgeous kataifi on Kalofagas and they looked like exactly what I needed - something that was incredibly simple to prepare, but looked way more complicated (one of my favorite kinds of dishes.) My only problem? I have NO idea how to pronounce it. Thatmom, who recognized it immediately and worked in a Middle Eastern grocer, but is not known for her pronounciation skills calls it "kah-tah-yeef". I'm just waiting for Elly to chime in with the real pronounciation. Here that Elly? I NEED you. TFIL was ridiculously impressed by these and asked about them for the rest of the trip. I sent the leftovers in with Thatboy for an office birthday party and they quickly disappeared and caused quite the sensation there too. Don't worry - I saved one to bring up to Thatmom.


  1. That's a delicious dinner you prepared there...I think all present would have love it.

    As for pronouncing Kataifi..."thatmom" has it right...just add "EEE" to KUH-Duh and you get KUH-Duh-EEF-EEE!

    Thanks for the link-luv.

  2. Kataifi is one of my favorite things ever. Ever ever ever. It's like a schmancy baklava. Anyway, Peter already let you in on the pronounciation (though I say the duh more like a die). The whole meal looks so fabulous. But then, you are so fabulous.

  3. Looks like a great dinner!

    Very impressive desert. I've never seen that before with the Phyllo dough!

  4. This looks so delish!! Nice work.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.