Well, we have football back and I guess Aaron Rodgers is still good, which means we’re going to have to suffer through that victory/chastity/garter/rope-with-an-onion-tied-to-it belt or whatever supposedly funny bit he does for a little bit longer. Drew Brees threw for 419 yards and made me wish I had started Robert Meachem in fantasy football. As per NFC rules, neither team fielded a defense. And of final note, the pulled pork I made for the game was delicious.
Over the summer I was one involved in a pretty serious debate about what was the perfect bar food for watching sports. The usual suspects had their supporters; wings, mozzarella sticks, personal pizza (awful, never in my life have I had good bar pizza) and rather vocal contingent for fried pickles that oddly enough, was not headed-up by me.
Me? Nachos. Nachos go with sports like all the cliched pairings you can think of to list here. Hearty, cheesy, salty, doesn’t need silverware, some vegetables; plus they’re cheap and easy to make. Sometimes though, you don’t want something as heavy as typical bean and cheese styled nachos.
Enter, the Greek nacho. Baked pita chips topped with warm hummus and feta, with a chopped Greek salad on top. Tart flavors of lemon and red wine vinegar smoothed out by silky olive oil, bright fresh herbs matched with hummus and salty feta. Refreshing cucumber and tomatoes with briny olives and crunchy red onion.
Bry’s already requested I make this for Sunday’s game, so if you’re coming to our place for football this weekend, this is one of they things we’ll be having. (Note: None of you are invited over for football this weekend. Steelers-Ravens viewing is not for the feint of heart.)
This may seem like a lot of ingredients. Maybe. If you wanted to cheat and use store-bought hummus (although why would you when homemade is so easy), store-bought Greek dressing (acceptable, but this is a great dressing recipe), and store-bought pita chips (more expensive per ounce than making your own, tend to be fried and fatty), you can. But taking the 30 minutes or so to make this yourself is worth it. You can even make the hummus and chips the night before if you want to save time.
You will need:
Baked Pita Chips
1-2 tablespoons olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
1 teaspoon or so of dried oregano
salt to taste
2-3 teaspoons of lemon zest (optional)
1 15-16 ounce can chickpeas
2-3 cloves of garlic
1-2 tablespoons of tahini (tahini sauce or peanut butter thinned with sesame oil can be substituted)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Salt and ground pepper to taste, (About 1/2 teaspoon each should be more than enough.)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
1 cucumber, preferably a hot house English varietal so you don’t have to worry about removing the seeds
2-3 fresh tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup kalamata olives
3-4 ounces crumbled feta, divided
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Slice the pita bread pieces in half and then cut into triangles.
Line a cookie sheet with either parchment paper or foil. Brush the pita chips with olive oil, or put in a giant plastic bag with the oil and shake until coated, or just give a quick spray with olive oil kitchen spray, then place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with dried oregano, lemon zest and salt.
Bake until golden brown, approximately 4-6 minutes.
Don’t worry if they are a little too brown. Means they’re even crispier.
In either a food processor, bowl with a stick blender, or a traditional blender; chop the roasted garlic. Then add the drained chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, paprika, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth.
The hummus will be very thick, so using either the reserved water from the can or plain water, slowly add a tablespoon of liquid at a time while blending to thin to desired consistency.
In medium bowl, mixed together all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette.
Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and cucumbers. Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and red onions and toss in the vinaigrette. Set aside to marinate.
Layer the pita chips, hummus and most of the feta on an ovenproof platter and bake for about 7-10 minutes. The feta will not melt, but will soften in the oven.
Drain the excess vinaigrette off of the chopped vegetable mix and put over the baked nachos.
Top with the remaining feta and serve.
So what are you guys making for football this weekend? And should I start Reggie Bush or Cedric Benson as my third string running back? You’d think Benson because Cincy’s playing the Cleve and Bush is facing New England, but at the same time, Cincy could be so bad they don’t even have the ball long enough to hand it off to their star running back.
- Baked Pita Chips
- 5-6 Pita
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon or so of dried oregano
- salt to taste
- 2-3 teaspoons of lemon zest (optional)
- 1 15-16 ounce can chickpeas
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons of tahini (tahini sauce or peanut butter with sesame oil can be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoons of smoked paprika
- Salt and ground pepper to taste, (About ½ teaspoon each should be more than enough.)
- Greek Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil (optional)
- ¼ salt
- 1 cucumber
- 2-3 fresh tomatoes
- ½ red onion
- ¼ cup kalamata olives
- 3-4 ounces crumbled feta
(Greek vinaigrette adapted from All-Recipes.)