An Armenian-Greek Dinner Party, Part One
Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. GB and I were involved in a pretty serious car accident and, although we have some minor injuries, we are so lucky because it could have been so much worse! Unfortunately my back is acting up again and it seems my ankle has a minor sprain so I can’t work out this week. But the show must go on and we are still looking forward to hosting a little dinner party for friends at our house. We are finally all settled into the new house and excited to entertain so there was no way we would ever postpone this dinner! And yes, we know Saturday is the day before St. Patrick’s Day but no, we are not serving corned beef and cabbage. Since I’m Armenian and GB is Greek, we incorporate a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods into our diet. It’s really cool that Armenians and Greeks eat a lot of the same stuff but sometimes the names are slightly different – fassoulia/fassoulakia (green beans with tomato sauce), dolma/dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), etc. GB loves anything I cook but I think he especially loves any Greek/Armenian specialty I whip up because it reminds him of his childhood and maintaining our culture is very important to both of us.
So here’s what I’m thinking so far for Saturday’s menu…oh and FYI, one of our guests is a vegetarian and some of my favorite Armenian/Greek dishes are vegan or vegetarian!
Mezze/Appetizers: hummus a la Steamy Kitchen (vegan), pita chips, veggies
Dinner: Yalanchi vegetarian grape leaves (vegan)*, Imam Bayldi (vegan roasted eggplant)*, vospov kufteh (vegan lentil patties), pepper dolma (meat/rice stuffed peppers)*, tzatziki (vegetarian yogurt sauce), pita
Dessert: baklava bites*
Beverages: Water, white wine, red wine, beer
Anything with an asterisk is a family recipe so I will be posting those over the next few weeks. The baklava bites idea came from The Armenian Kitchen so that we can have a light dessert and because it’s so much faster than making traditional paklava/baklava. I will still use my family’s recipe for paklava (Armenians usually say paklava and Greeks say baklava) but I’ll use The Armenian Kitchen’s phyllo cups idea. I’ve also decided to call it baklava bites even though I usually say paklava because I have a slight obsession with alliteration!
Here’s my shopping list for anything I don’t already have in my kitchen…
2 15 oz cans chickpeas
1 bag finely chopped walnuts
2 small onions
2 large eggplants
12 green peppers
3 cans crushed tomatoes
1 15 ct. package phyllo cups
1bag red lentils
1 bag bulgar wheat (size #1)
1 jar grape leaves
1 pkg ground lamb
1pkg ground beef
I’m going to try to tackle this list now so I can prepare some of the recipes ahead of time. I’ll be posting my dinner party to do lists for Thursday, Friday and Saturday later this week.
How do you plan your dinner party menus? What’s your favorite thing to make for company?