by Kate Collins
In the Goddess of Greene Street mystery series, you’ll find a lot of fun characters populating the stories, such as the main character Athena, named after the Greek goddess of war and wisdom, and her three sisters, also named after Greek deities. A few of the characters in the stories don’t actually get proper first names however, so I want to highlight them here. They are the Greek dishes that are mentioned throughout the books. In STATUE OF LIMITATIONS, you’ll find a mention of Pastitsio, or what I call Greek lasagna. In the second book, A BIG FAT GREEK MURDER (Nov 2020) the butter cookie known as Kourabiedes gets prominent attention.
To celebrate the release of A BIG FAT GREEK MURDER’s book cover, I’m sharing these recipes with you today. Have your children help you and make it a project. All you need is a salad of tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and Feta cheese, and hunks of thick bread to have a full-blown Greek meal.
- 1 – 8 oz package elbow macaroni
- I egg, beaten
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 – 16 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ¼ cup chopped onions
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 tbs chili powder
- ½ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbs butter
- 3 tbs all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups milk or oat milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Combine pasta, 1 beaten egg, and 1/4 cup Parmesan and set aside.
- For meat sauce: Brown ground beef, onion and garlic together in a skillet until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, vinegar, chili powder, allspice, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until thick.
- For white sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in flour and pepper. Add the milk all at once. Cook and stir until smooth, thick and bubbly. In a bowl, combine half of the mixture with 1 beaten egg. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan with the remaining white sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- In a square glass 9×9 baking dish, add 1/2 the pasta mixture followed by the meat sauce. Add the remainder of the pasta and top with white sauce.
- Bake in preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. The white sauce will firm when cooked.
Kourabiedes, aka Greek Butter Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and egg until smooth.
- Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Blend in the flour to form a dough.
- When dough becomes thick, you may have to knead by hand.
- Using one teaspoon of dough at a time, roll into balls.
- Place cookies 1 to 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven or until lightly browned and firm.
- Allow cookies to cool completely before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.
Catch up on the series and grab the first book, STATUE OF LIMITATIONS, today!
In this delightful new series by the New York Times bestselling author of the Flower Shop Mysteries, Athena Spencer comes back home to work with her crazy big Greek family at their garden center. But she never expected a return to her roots would mean protecting her family from murder . . .
After her divorce, Athena has returned to coastal Michigan to work in her family’s garden center and raise her son, while also caring for a mischievous wild raccoon and fending off her family’s annoying talent for nagging. Working alone at the garden center one night, Athena is startled by a handsome stranger who claims to be the rightful owner of a valuable statue her grandfather purchased at a recent estate sale.
But she has even bigger problems on her plate. The powerful Talbot family from whom her pappoús bought the statue is threatening to raze the shops on Greene Street’s “Little Greece” to make way for a condo. The recent death of the family’s patriarch already seemed suspicious, but now it’s clear that a murderer is in their midst. Athena will have to live up to her warrior goddess namesake to protect her family from a killer and save their community from ruin . . .