How About a Greek Super Bowl Party:
Bring the flavor of Greece to your Super Bowl party this year

The Greeks invented the Super Bowl! No? Well, they invented the party, didn’t they? You’ve heard of Greeks breaking dishes when they party; you’ve seen them yelling OPA! at a Greek festival or in a movie; you’ve seen them dance the night away in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and you’ve seen them drinking Ouzo, the most popular and most recognized alcoholic Greek drink. The truth is, when Greeks are watching Europe’s version of the Super Bowl, the World Cup (of soccer), it’s a wild celebration and there is fun enough for everyone. It’s just like the Super Bowl, folks!

With food options like Soutzoukakia, the little football-shaped meatballs of Greece, you just can’t go wrong. Greek food was made for this.

The Food:
Besides Soutzoukakia served on skewers, try the following…
· Chopped Greek Salad—the same ingredients, but chopped into small pieces. Offer small Romaine lettuce cups to scoop it up, just like chips.
· Tsatziki—the delicious sauce serve with Gyro sandwiches can double up as a dip at this party. Surround it with your choice of dipping veggies and chips. Prepare enough to use with your burgers.
· Greek Burgers—Grill your favorite burger patties and top with Chopped Greek Salad and a dollop of Tsatziki for a flavor-packed bite.
· Greek Potato Salad—What’s a Super Bowl party without potato salad, right? This recipe is made without mayonnaise, so there’s no concern about leaving it out for several hours and you can eat it guilt-free—it’s made with olive oil and vinegar!
· Greek Chicken Wings—Adapt my Greek Grilled Lamb recipe by grilling or frying up to 50 chicken wings and slathering with the grilling sauce when they’re done. Now we’re talking Super Bowl!

The Drinks:

Wine—There really is something about the taste of Retsina, that pairs beautifully with Greek food, so you may want to have a couple of bottle for your friends to taste. Add two large bottles of Sauvignon Blanc or your favorite Chardonnay and one large bottle of a Merlot and you wine selection is complete. Keep the white wine on ice.

Beer—You can’t have a Super Bowl party without Beer, which is actually quite popular in Greece. A tub of assorted beers on ice is all you need, and they don’t have to be Greek.

Offer an Ouzo bar: You’ll need one to two bottles of Ouzo. Try two different labels for variety. Add a small tub of ice and a large pitcher of cold water to the bar and the only thing missing is a large sign warning people of the dangers of drinking Ouzo too quickly!

Print drink cards to place on the Ouzo bar. You want your guests to know HOW to drink this refreshing anise-flavored drink. Try this, or come up with your own.

Ouzo is the national drink of Greece.
Don’t drink it straight up.
Ouzo is potent, and, with an alcohol level around 45 percent, will have you on your knees in no time.
The traditional (and prescribed) way to drink Ouzo is to drink it with water, usually one part Ouzo to two parts water.
Ice may also be used.
Pour Ouzo in the glass and top off with the water. It will turn milky—that’s the look you want. If it’s too strong, add a little more water.

It’s Greek to Me: Learn to say it in Greek.

§ Opa! OH-pah! Say it with enthusiasm, as in Bravo! It means, “ALRIGHT, you did it!” It means, “Way to GO! “ It means, “Man, this party is great!”
§ Ouzo. OUzo. This is the singular version of the word. What does it mean? A potent alcoholic drink flavored with anise, a Greek party in your mouth, “Zorba, the Greek” in a glass, learn to speak Greek in two sips.
§ Ouzakia. The plural diminutive. OuZAkiah. This is used to order more than one drink at the seaside tavern, as in, “Theeo OuZAkiah, parakalo!” or “Two Ouzos, please!”
§ Mezethes. MehZEthes. Plural. Say it like you mean it!
§ Soutzoukakia. Sou-tzou-KAH-kiah. Little football-shaped meatballs.
§ Tsatziki. Dza-TDZEE-keeh. The sauce served on Gyro, which can be used as a dip or to serve over burgers.



(If you'd like additional recipes, e-mail me and I'll forward them to you.

Soutzoukakia pronounced, Sou-tzou-KAH-kiah

This is a traditional Greek dish, served over rice as an everyday meal. I have added a modern twist (store-bought marinara), to make it easier to prepare, and have made the meatballs smaller for serving as an easy party finger food.

While these are meatballs, they are more like footballs, due to the slightly elongated shape. The shape is traditional, but I don’t imagine the flavor will be hindered in any way, should you choose to make them round. This recipe will yield about 150 small meatballs. They freeze well, either raw or cooked, so plan ahead. Yield: about 120 Soutzoukakia.

3 ½ lbs ground beef (I prefer to use 20%-80% fat to meat ratio. The higher fat to meat ratio helps add a little more flavor and it keeps the meatballs fluffy and not hard as a football)
4 eggs
¼ cup finely chopped onion
6 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
½ t. cinnamon
½ t. cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
2 c. fresh breadcrumbs soaked in1 ½ c. warm water
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
3 c. marinara (you can make your own or use store-bought)
3 c. tomato sauce
1 c. red wine
salt and pepper
¼ chopped Italian parsley
2 T. chopped Italian parsley
6 T. shredded parmesan or Romano cheese
small wooden skewers

Soak breadcrumbs for 15 minutes and squeeze through a colander lightly to remove the water which has not been absorbed.

Combine all ingredients by kneading well with properly washed hands. If you prefer to mix in a food processor, you’ll need to do it in two batches.

Using a small scoop, measure out portions, shape into an elongated ball and drop into about 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Dredge lightly, turning out onto a piece of parchment paper or foil.

Heat vegetable oil and fry all meatballs. Taste one to see if additional salt is required.

Pre-heat oven to 325F. In a large baking dish or roasting pan, combine sauce ingredients and place in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Add meatballs to the sauce, stir lightly and return pan to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve in a shallow bowl, and place a small wooden skewer in each meatball. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and cheese just before serving.

Going, going…all gone! Soutzoukakia, shortcut recipe. They still taste good, still look good.

SHORTCUT: We’re all too busy at times, so for those situations when life is on overdrive, try this simple shortcut. Instead of the ground beef, buy your favorite frozen & pre-cooked meatballs. I’ve found them in 2lb bags in the freezer section (about 60 meatballs) and I use two bags. Look for “Italian Meatballs” or “With Italian Seasoning”, so that the flavors will approximate the Soutzoukakia made from scratch. They are usually fully cooked, so no frying is required.

Adapt the original recipe:

· Omit the meatball ingredients, except for the 6 large cloves of garlic, chopped/1/2 t. cumin/1/2 t. cinnamon
· Add these ingredients to the sauce recipe and follow the original directions.


Greek Hamburgers

In this super simple recipe, I’ve added Greek flavors to the hamburger. Instead of the traditional mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and optional cheddar, onion, tomato and lettuce, I use Chopped Greek Salad. Could not be easier, really

2 lbs ground beef (20%-80% fat to meat ratio for more flavor)
1 cup chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 eggs
2 T. dry oregano
½ T. cumin
1 t. pepper
1 t. salt
2 T. warm water

6 whole wheat hamburger buns

Greek Chopped Salad

Combine all ingredients by kneading for 1-2 minutes. Shape into 4 patties and grill on hot grill. You can also cook in a non-stick pan. Use 1 t. olive oil in pan before cooking the burger. Once done, serve on heated whole wheat buns. Top each burger with Chopped Greek Salad and a generous dollop of Tsatziki.

SHORTCUT: When you’re in a bit of a hurry, use pre-formed hamburger patties. Combine the oregano, cumin, salt and pepper (original recipe), add 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Greek Chopped Salad

1 cup diced cucumber (usually one large peeled cucumber)
2 cups diced tomatoes (usually 4 large Romas)
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 t. dry oregano
Generous pinch sea salt
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
3-6 anchovy filets (optional)

Combine all ingredients and serve. All the Greek flavors are there, but now it’s a more versatile side dish and easy to pack and take to a picnic. Yield: 4-5 cups
© 2010 Despina Panagakos Yeargin