The old adage "the world is your oyster" couldn't have been more true, especially when it comes to food bloggers far flung across the Net. The evidence?
I was poring over the web looking for a recipe for Spaghetti Pie.
Because Carmela had just served it to her dysfunctional family, and I was getting hungry watching them eat it. So I had to have it.
Enter Google, who safely deposited me in the Netherlands where a Dutch Girl was Cooking. Not in New Jersey, far from the Garden State to be exact. And I subsequently forgot about Spaghetti Pie (even though she makes a mean one too). Because I discovered Bifteki. Which ironically , is Greek.
And I've been making it religiously ever since. My dad likes it so much, he even requests it "You know that one, the meat, with the cheese inside, can you make it!". Which is more of an order, and not so much of a request.
And it just occurred to me that I'd never posted it yet. But here goes a shout out to Kay, who is the brilliance behind Kayotic Kitchen. Check out her mad photo skills in her step-by-step tutorials. I've caught myself trying to reach into her kitchen and grab some of that food via my computer screen. And since I'm no Oprah, all 5 of you who read this blog, hurry on over and check out the other wonderful recipes she has on board, 98.7% of which I've bookmarked. Don't go crashing them servers, now!
Bifteki is ridiculously simple to prepare, and is essentially seasoned ground beef, with a shard of feta cheese in the center. I make them stove-top on a grill pan because I'm not so great around real fire. Long story.....
And they are wonderful with potatoes or on pita bread along with a huge dollop of tzatziki. I've tried making them with goat cheese and gorgonzola, and I prefer the feta version hands down, I like how feta doesn't ooze as much while cooking, and yet loses a little of its tartness to the meat.
Bifteki (adapted ever so slightly from Kayotic Kitchen)
1 lb ground beef
1 small red onion - finely diced
1 heaped Tbsp Greek dry seasoning (I have a pre-mix of dried oregano and spearmint - I love this stuff)
1 tsp dried red chilli flakes (I make 'em hot!)
1 egg - beaten
2 cloves garlic - grated
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste (~1/2 tsp each)
Feta cheese - cut into shards or crumbled - as needed (individual taste)
1.Mix beef, onion, garlic, dry spices, egg, garlic and breadcrumbs together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Let the meat rest for about an hour in the fridge to let the flavors blend.
3. Form patties ( I made about 8). Place a patty in the palm of your hand, depress the center and add some feta cheese, I like to work with crumbled feta. Add as much as you like, then close the patty by pressing the sides all around (feta will now be in the center of the meat patty).
4. Heat a grill pan, and cook patties on both sides.
5. If necessary, leave in oven with broiler on low to keep them warm and to complete cooking before serving.
Great with roasted potatoes and a Greek salad and tzatziki.