Michael surprised me Friday night by taking me out to dinner after my swim. It was a nice surprise, especially since we went to one of my favorite restaurants: Eleni’s Estiatorio It’s the restaurant where we had our very first real date. I love their food. They use fresh, organic vegetables and local meat that isn’t treated with hormones. The owner uses her own recipes from her home in Crete.
It’s a romantic restaurant (perfect for a date) so as you can imagine it was dimly lit. The photos I took didn’t turn out. So I had to scour Google Images for what I was looking for. I had 2 martinis over the course of the evening. They were delicious. Especially the garlic stuffed olive. Yum.
We started with Michael’s favorite dip: KTIPITI. It’s a spicy blend of feta cheese, olive oil and red wine vinegar; spiced with chili flakes and served with tomatoes and mixed olives. It’s definitely got a bite to it and it’s delicious. Served with carrots, okra and crunchy french bread.
It also came with some olive tapenade. Perfect appetizer.
I ordered the Arni Me Filo. It’s a leg of lamb braised and then baked inside of filo dough with a tomato and chili sauce. Every bite was full of flavor and I didn’t want the meal to end.
WOW. This dish was decadent! I love lamb but never prepare it for myself so it’s something I like to order at Greek restaurants. Eleni’s does it right. The lamb must have been cooked in a slow cooker all day because it fell apart immediately. I found the recipe online for their Arni Me Filo. If someone makes this recipe, please tell me because I really want to try it myself after last night’s amazing dinner.
ARNI KAPAMA ME FILO
- 1 package fresh filo dough (can be purchased in Greek retail markets)
- 1 cup grated Kefalograviera cheese (also at Greek markets)
- 1 cup feta (sheep’s milk) cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2-1/2 lb leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into stewing cubes
- 2 large white onions, peeled and diced
- 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup minced fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup minced fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup minced fresh thyme
- 6 cups peeled diced tomato
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Kapama (stewed meat)
1. In a large, heavy stewing pot, heat olive oil and cook lamb pieces, turning frequently on all sides to brown evenly and lightly. Season with salt, pepper and cumin.
2. In separate, large stock pot, heat olive oil, add onions and coarsely chopped garlic. Cook onions until translucent, then add lamb pieces, fresh minced rosemary, thyme and oregano, and white wine, and cover with diced tomatoes.
3. Cover pot with lid and reduce heat to a slow simmer for approx. 3 hours.
Use three 12×17 sheets of filo per serving
1. Use a room temperature saute pan. For each serving, brush pan entirely with olive oil and quickly place three sheets of filo paper, alternating/overlapping each other.
2. Using a slotted spoon, place a serving of the Kapama lamb in center and sprinkle with handful of cheese.
3. Quickly fold each edge of filo, covering the lamb to create a filo “package” completely enclosing the lamb; brush lightly with olive oil and brown in a convection oven at 500 degrees for approx 4-6 min
4. Slide out of pan onto plate carefully using a metal spatula.
5. Repeat process for each serving.
Optional: Top with sautéed asparagus and more feta
I cannot gush over this dish enough. I think it might be my new favorite thing to order there. Last time I ordered the leg of lamb on orzo and that was great too but this filo dish was much better. Michael ordered the pork chop with garlic mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. I had a bite of his and the pork chop was moist and chewy. We still have not been able to master the pork chop…
We skipped dessert. I was stuffed. It was worth it. 😉
I love Date Night. 🙂
QUESTION: What is your favorite way to make pork? And how do you make it not dry out?