Mezze Board

Creating an appetizer board is our go-to vehicle for feeding mouths as they walk through our door. There is always a little something for everyone and for some reason having more appetizers feels less stressful than having one and hoping it’s a winner. We love Greek food and often make a dinner party menu featuring this type of cuisine. Keeping that in mind, we set out to make a board of Greek appetizers (mezze) that mostly stays away from our traditional meat and cheese boards. If you feel like over-achieving you can make many of these items from scratch, but to save time we have purchased them from Trader Joe’s. Pro Tip: whenever we purchase a pre-made dip from the grocery store, we always give it a little TLC before serving. For this board we used Trader Joe’s labneh and hummus; we transferred each into smaller bowls and drizzled olive oil and red chili flakes on the labneh and olive oil and everything spice on the hummus. It’s a small touch that makes the board look better and less like you just got home from the grocery store. 

Mezze Board 
Makes: 8 servings 
Prep Time: 25 minutes    Total Time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 container small tomatoes on the vine 
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced on a bias
  • 1 block (6-8 oz) feta cheese, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 container dolmas 
  • 1 jar of grilled, marinated artichoke hearts, drained 
  • 1 jar Greek olives, drained 
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Olive & Herbs Mixed Nuts, or similar 
  • 1 package pita, cut into small wedges 
  • 1 container hummus
  • 1 container labneh 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • red pepper flakes 
  • Everything Bagel Spice 

Directions: 

  1. Prep the ingredients that need a little TLC. Slice the cucumber into thick slices on a bias. Cut the feta into large chunks. Drain the dolmas, artichoke hearts, and olives. Cut the pita into wedges. 
  2. Transfer the hummus and labneh (or any other dips) into small ramekins or bowls that will fit on your board. Top each dip with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on the labneh and Everything Bagel Spice on the hummus. 
  3. Arrange the platter. Start by putting the two ramekins of dips onto the platter. From there, layer each of the ingredients in at least two places on a large board. We try and mix and match the ingredients but also make sure that dry ingredients like the pita or mixed nuts stay dry by being placed near a ramekin. Once the board is full and assembled, serve immediately. 

Semi-Homemade Chicken Shawarma Bowls

We have decided to start a new series on the blog for those nights when you want to get a good dinner on the table but are short on time. Even those of us that love to cook and entertain have those days where spending even an hour in the kitchen is too much. “Semi Homemade Mondays” are meals that combine a few pre-made ingredients from the store and a simple homemade addition to reduce your overall cooking time but still have a balanced meal for dinner. For this first Semi-Homemade Monday we have made Chicken Shawarma Bowls by using chicken shawarma, hummus, and pitas from Trader Joe’s. We’ve added cooked quinoa and an easy cucumber tomato salad to complete the meal and have dinner on the table in less than 25 minutes. 

Semi-Homemade Chicken Shawarma Bowls 
Makes: 4 servings 
Total Time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients for Bowl: 

  • 1 package (1.5 lbs) Trader Joe’s Chicken Shawarma 
  • 1 container hummus 
  • 1 package pitas, warmed for a few minutes in the oven 
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa 

Ingredients for Cucumber Tomato Salad 

  • 1 cucumber, ends removed, cut in half horizontally, and sliced 
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2 tbs fresh dill, minced 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 3 tbs olive oil 
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees**. 
  2. Lay the chicken in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the thighs are cooked through and the juices are clear. 
  3. While the chicken is cooking, pour 3 cups of water into a medium pot. Add the quinoa, bring the water to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has popped. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. To make the cucumber salad, combine the remaining ingredients (cucumbers – red wine vinegar) in a small bowl. Gently toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. 
  5. When the chicken has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before slicing. 
  6. Assemble each bowl with a swipe of hummus, about 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup quinoa, the sliced chicken shawarma, and a good helping of tomato cucumber salad. Serve with warm pitas for the ultimate semi-homemade dinner. 

** This chicken is great on the grill too- the char from the grill is addicting! Cook for about 6 minutes per side on a hot grill, or until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through. 


Cheese Board: Winter Edition

It’s no doubt that we love ourselves a good cheese board at Tuck & Tate. When thinking about winter cheese boards, the first thing that came to mind was creating a board that was versatile enough to go to any holiday celebration, including New Year’s Eve. We wanted items that were tasty but felt light so as to not overshadow the decadence that typically comes with holiday menus. For detailed steps on constructing these appetizer dream boards, read through our Cheese Board: Fall Edition post found here.  

Cheese Board: Winter Edition
Serving Size: 8-10 servings 
Prep Time: 20 minutes   Total Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients On This Board (all from Trader Joe’s):

  • 1 wedge of Brie cheese
  • 1 wedge of Creamy Toscana Cheese soaked in Syrah
  • 1 round of Camembert cheese 
  • 1 package assorted charcuterie meats
  • 1 package of asparagus
  • 1 package green beans
  • 1 tub of Everything Bagel Yogurt Dip
  • 1 container raspberries
  • 1 container blueberries
  • 2 cups of 3 seed beet crackers 
  • 2 cups of pistachio & pomegranate crackers 

Directions:  

  1. Start to assemble by placing the cheese on the board. Keep it spread to various corners. Add the dip to a serving dish and place in the center of the board.
  2. Add the ingredients on the board and try to mix types of foods and colors throughout. You can keep the board at room temperature for 2 hours before serving or assemble and serve immediately.