A few suggestions for you... recipes are easy, even if they look complicated.
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
32 large mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tb butter
1/2 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Remove stems from mushrooms. Finely chop stems and sauté in butter in large heavy skillet with garlic until mushrooms are wilted, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, stirring, until brown. Add remaining ingredients, stir to mix well; taste to adjust seasoning. Stuff each mushroom cap with about 1 heaping tb sausage mixture. Place mushrooms in shallow baking pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
Crispy Won Tons
Note: Won Ton wrappers are available in nearly any supermarket, so I didn't include the recipe here. If you'd rather have it, too, let me know.
1/2 lb lean pork, chicken or shrimp
3 slices fresh gingerroot
8 water chestnuts
1 ts salt
2 green onions
2 ts soy sauce
Dash of pepper
1/2 ts MSG (optional; I never use this)
Put meat, water chestnuts and green onions in food processor and finely chop. Mix with rest of ingredients. Place a Won Ton noodle in front of you with one point facing you. Put 1 ts filling on lower half and fold top half over, making a triangle. Moisten edges and press together, being sure you do not leave a pocket of air inside. Cross the right and left points by bringing them together on the fold opposite the point toward you. Moisten and press together. Fry in deep, hot oil (375°) until brown. Serve with Soy Sesame dipping sauce: Combine 3/4 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 4 ts toasted sesame oil, and 4 ts sugar. Stir to mix well.
Makes 16, but you can double or triple the recipe and freeze.
5 tb olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
1 1/2 lbs spinach, washed and dried
1 1/2 cups onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups leek whites, finely chopped
1 ts garlic, minced
1 tb mint, chopped
1 tb dill, chopped
1 ts parsley, chopped
4 tb feta cheese, crumbled
2 tb Kefalotyri cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
1 package phyllo dough
Preheat oven to 350°. Wash and dry the leeks before chopping. Heat 2 tb of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and sauté for 3 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer the spinach to a cookie sheet and let cool. Place the cooled spinach in a colander to drain any excess liquid. Once drained, coarsely chop the spinach and set aside.
Heat 3 tb of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and translucent, about 10-12 minutes. Add the leeks with a pinch of salt and cook until the leeks become soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach, mix well and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Transfer spinach mixture to a cookie sheet and set aside to cool. Once cooled, transfer the spinach to a mixing bowl. Gently fold in the herbs, cheeses, egg, and set aside.
Lay one sheet of phyllo out on a clean surface. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the phyllo with oil. Lay a second sheet directly on top of the first and lightly brush with oil.
Using a sharp paring knife cut the phyllo lengthwise into seven 2 inch wide strips. Working with one strip of phyllo at a time, place 1 tb of the spinach mixture in one corner of the dough. Fold the phyllo over the mixture to form a triangle. Continue to fold over in a triangle shape until the whole strip of phyllo is folded into a neat triangle package. (This is like folding a flag, or folding one of those paper footballs.) Place on a baking sheet.
Repeat until all of the spinach mixture is used. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately. After cooking, these can be frozen for up to 3 weeks.
Note: if you can't find the Kefalotyri cheese, you can use any hard goat's or sheep's milk cheese.