My Big Fat Greek Valentine

Napoleon Dynamite said it best when he said,”Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!” Now I’m no master of numchuks or funky dancing, but I do have a few crazy romantic skills, like cooking and buying flowers. Trust me, I’d never pick such an unfortunate and somewhat inappropriate title for this post if I didn’t have some major skills.

For all of you still wondering, the food was Greek…Jenny’s German and Irish and quite petite. Valentine’s day is like the Olympics for guys with romantic skills, so I appropriately turned to this proud nation for inspiration for dinner.

As always, Jenny and I continued our tradition of staying home for a romantic dinner for two. We do so to avoid all the hustle and crowds of local restaurants, movie theaters and such, and to give us an excuse to bust out our china.

The menu was simple. I didn’t have time for major research and development, so I turned to the internet to find the critical recipes for a feast of gyros and sauteed artichoke hearts and peppers.

I started with a pound of whole lamb, marinated in Dave Lieberman’s kebob spice mix. I added garlic, dried parsley and some olive oil to the mix to give it a bit more bite. I don’t have a grill, so I broiled the lamb on skewers with a few halved tomatoes. The meat was delicious, if a little tough. I fault the cut of lamb. In the future, I think I’ll just mix the marinade in with ground lamb and shape it onto skewers.

I teamed this up with AB’s Tzatziki Sauce (which was perfect). But the real star of the show, was home-made pita bread, courtesy of Farm Girl Fare’s excellent recipe and procedure. This really kicked up the meal to a whole new level.

Store bought pita bread will forever be bland, tough and flavorless. I did a rough calculation, and each loaf is about 4 points (don’t hold me to that), which makes the whole thing so much better. The only thing I’d add is to let the unbaked rounds rest for five minutes before baking. My pitas puffed much better after the rest than before.

I’m not sure if the performance warranted a gold, but I’m pretty confident the judges would put me on the podium. Now all I have to do is work on my dancing.

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