For the past 55 years, our region has benefited each September from the willingness of the folks in Dayton’s Greek Orthodox community to open the doors and the grounds of their beautiful Byzantine-style church and share their Eastern Orthodox religious traditions as well as their culture at the annual Greek Festival.
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SPOTLIGHTING GOOD COOKS THROUGHOUT REGION
In this weekly food feature, Life reporter Meredith Moss chats with cooks throughout southwest Ohio who have a passion for food and are willing to share advice and recipes.
If you know a terrific cook — either amateur or professional — please send your suggestion to Meredith: MMoss@coxohio.com
Please include a daytime phone number.
HOW TO GO:
What: 55th Annual Dayton Greek festival
When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8. Those who wish to avoid longer lines may want to visit during afternoon hours.
Where: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park, North, next to the Dayton Art Institute
Admission: Free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. For the rest of the weekend, admission is $2 per person, free for kids under 12.
Parking and Shuttle Service: Parking is available on the streets surrounding the church as well as the Dayton Art Institute parking lot. A free parking and bus shuttle service begins at 5 p.m. on Friday from the corner of First and Wilkinson Streets.
For information: www.DaytonGreekFestival.com or call church office (937) 224-0601.
THREE GREEK RECIPES
Greek Style Green Beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 pounds fresh green beans, cleaned and cut
1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes with liquid
1-1/2 cups water (slightly more if needed)
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a 4 quart saucepan, saute the onions in olive oil until soft and translucent — 5 minutes or so.
2. Add all the other ingredients, cover, and simmer for one hour or until the beans are tender.
3. Just before serving sprinkle a little feta cheese on top.
Optional: If you want to make it a fuller meal, you can peel potatoes and add to the pot as well as zucchini.
Avgolemono Soupa (Egg-Lemon soup)
2 quarts chicken broth (homemade is best, but canned broth will do fine)
1-1/4 cups rice
Juice of 2 - 3 lemons
1 cup small pieces of cooked chicken (optional)
1. Using a large pot, bring broth a boil and add the rice. Stir and cook until tender per package directions, approximately 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat; add chicken pieces if desired. Set aside.
2.In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until they are frothy. Lower the speed and slowly stir in the lemon juice.
3. Then very slowly and a little at a time begin adding with a ladle some of the hot broth to the egg mixture, stirring constantly to avoid curdling. Repeat adding spoonfuls 4 or 5 times. (Hint: It helps to have one person pour broth and one person to stir.)
Then pour the egg mixture slowly back into the soup pot, always stirring. Allow to sit 2-3 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6 people.
Greek Chicken and Rice in Tomato Sauce
1 whole chicken
1/4 cup diced onions
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Place the entire chicken in a roasting pan with enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan.
2. Sprinkle with the diced onions, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
3. Dilute the tomato sauce with enough water to total 4 cups. Pour over the chicken, cover and continue baking another 20 minutes.
4. Pour the rice around the chicken, stirring into the sauce. Cover and bake additional 30 minutes. Stir the rice once more before it is finished.
Cut the chicken into pieces and serve.
To hear sisters Charrie Tolliver and Kathy McAlpine talk about their Greek heritag and love for Greek cooking, see www.mydaytondailynews.com