Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Greek Ribs with Tzatziki

dried bay leaves in a coffee grinder

Another day, another recipe from Peter of Kalofagas. ;)

We've made several of Peter's recipes and all of them have turned out excellently.

We've discovered Peter's blog more than 6 months ago and we have never looked back since. As most of you know Peter, I'm sure you will agree that Peter is one of the nicest, most gracious bloggers around. He has been very generous with his time, very encouraging of new and veteran bloggers alike.

What I find absolutely amazing about Peter is how much he does! He reads our blogs, leaves pithy and witty comments, he cooks, he posts, he takes pictures. . . all at an incredibly high-powered pace!

How do you do it, Peter? What's the secret, Peter?

Peter probably does the work of 4 people combined, and the only explanation we can come up with is all that Greek food!

Hence, methinks we'll be making more of Peter's Greek food and see if that transforms us from lazy slowpokes into Energizer bunnies. ;)

We had some ribs the other day and I didn't want to do yet another BBQ version. JS said she recalled a Greek version on Peter's site so off I went to look for it.

From what I've gathered, bay leaf powder is crucial to this recipe. But of course, since we thought to cook this just then and didn't have time to go out and look for bay leaf powder, I simply placed some bay leaves in a coffee grinder and ground them up.


Well, some pieces were still biggish, but this still worked. Now onto the rest of the recipe!

The recipe called for making a dry rub using onion powder and garlic powder, among other things. Lemon pepper too. We didn't have any of those three items on hand: onion and garlic powders we never have in our pantry, and I didn't know what lemon pepper was! I can only assume that it had something to do with black pepper and lemons.

So, I made a wet rub instead. I used actual onion and garlic in place of the powders and added a generous amount of black pepper and some lemon zest in place of the lemon pepper.

wet rub ingredients

The rest of the rub ingredients were ground bay leaves, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt and sweet paprika. I added a little bit of olive oil as well.

I rubbed them all over the ribs. I don't know how long we let it marinade for... probably not a long time because we had to make sure it was ready by dinner time.

To cook it, we did our standard method for oven ribs: I covered the pan with aluminum foil and baked the ribs in a slow oven (325F-350F) and forgot about them for a while. After about 2 hours, I uncovered the pan and raised the heat to 375/400F and cooked until the ribs browned. You can also broil them as an alternative method after the slow-cooking.

Look at that Greek rib goodness!

We ate ours with some spaghetti and greens. Oh, these Greek ribs were served with tzatziki, of course.

These Greek ribs were fantastic!

In the beginning, we were debating whether to use 2 slabs of the side ribs or 1. We ended up being prudent and used only 1 (cut up into 2 racks) because we didn't want to have too much food leftover.

Wrong decision! Should have used 2 slabs.

The bay leaves gave the ribs a wonderful woodsy deep flavour and the smoked paprika gave them that hint of smoke, so essential to my carnivorous enjoyment of meat, meat, meat!

I've had Greek ribs in restaurants before and these evoke those quite authentically. In fact, these are probably better than those. Lipsmackingly delicious!

The only thing I was missing were lemon-roasted potatoes. Maybe next time.

Peter's recipe here: Baby Back Ribs from the Greek Side

eatingclub vancouver Greek
"Greek" Calamari
Simple Greek Meal
Caper Salad
Greek Meatball Soup (Giouvarlakia)
Marinated Feta
Greek Shrimp with Feta
Greek Ribs with Tzatziki
Mushroom Ragu Pastitsio
Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach Rice)
Zucchini Ribbons Salad with Anchovy Dressing
Souvlaki (Pork and Chicken)
Tomato Bread Salad, Greek-style
Grilled Fish Fillet on Oregano
Pastéli (Greek Sesame Snaps)

We're submitting this post to Weekend Herb Blogging, a world-wide food blogging event (created by Kalyn's Kitchen, now maintained by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once) with the goal of helping each other learn about cooking with herbs and plant ingredients.

If you'd like to participate, see
who's hosting next week. WHB is hosted this week by Ivy of Kopiaste.


  1. YOu make me miss all kinds of ribs :O

  2. Another bookmarked recipe! I have lots of to-do recipes from you two! The Fried Green Tomatoes is still pending... You're keeping me busy with these delicious dishes to copy ;)

  3. I've only been reading Peter's blog for about a month, but I can already tell what you mean! These ribs look fantastic, and if you'd believe it, I have a rack of lamb ribs in my freezer that I bet would be awesome prepared this way!

  4. Yes, it is clear that only cooking one slab of ribs was not the wisest decision that you have made in the kitchen. You can never have enough ribs and these look outstanding. Thanks for showing us the hows of Greek rib making. Awesome!

  5. Add me to the list of 'those-in-awe-of-Peter'! But you two do a great job too. These ribs look delicious and I'm thinking tsastiki is a great accompaniment.

    The only thing I don't get is spaghetti on the plate...? I definitely would gone with lemon potatoes or rice.

  6. What a fabulous way to infuse Greek flavors into ribs!

  7. Oh, so yum. love the combo with pasta.

  8. JS & TS, you really dug deep into the Kalofagas vault for this one, eh?

    The result here looks freakin' awesome and I'm blush-red from the kind words and all the dishes you've tried from my blog.

    Ain't the ground bay awesome? If you have any Portuguese or Spanish stores in the Vancouver area, you should find it ground bay there.

    I've made these ribs for family in Greece and they loved them!

    Again, thank you have a dinner invite if ever in TO.

  9. Peter's food is always so good! I need to try my hand at these ribs too

  10. Looks delicious, and what a perfect recipe when Ivy is hosting!

  11. I saw your post title and thought maybe you'd cooked my father in law.... this looks great. I too have had good luck with Peter's recipes, and I really enjoy his writing style.

  12. Hi JS and TS I was quite sure your blog sounded familiar when I got your entry. I've seen you at Peter's. I am glad we finally meet. You made a great choice from Peter's blog and I'm excited that I've got a few entries having a Greek touch in them. Thank you for participating.

  13. Very clever of you to turn the dry rub into a wet rub!

  14. tigerfish:
    Don't miss them, make them! =D

    Haha, thanks. Although, it's not really *our* recipes. ;)

    I know. We should've known better. Especially since we are not of small appetites!

    In the Greek restuarants here, at least, they do serve spaghetti (Greek-style) with their mains!

    Oh, but better believe it, we ate this with rice too. ;D

    Peter M:
    We should be thanking you and your recipes! As long as there are delicious recipe on your blog, we'll keep making 'em!

    Thanks! At first I didn't think right away that it would suit WHB... but then, I relaized the ground bay is probably not something everybody would know about. We certainly didn't.

    Thanks for hosting. We can't wait for the round-up.

  15. Yay, *pork* ribs! ;) Looks fantastic-- there'll be no end to Peter's blushing now!

  16. Peter is a sweetie and yes he can turn out recipes like a well-oiled machine!!! The ribs look simply stunning!!!

  17. Oh man, those ribs look pretty darn delectable. I like all the spices used! And tzatziki is just over the top yummy.

  18. It's only 10 AM and I'm getting hungry. This looks delicious!

  19. Those are really beautiful ribs.

    I wonder if they would translate well to my smoker.

  20. I had bookmarked those ribs as well. They look reaaly good!

  21. We like all kinds of ribs here, happy to discover another way to serve them.

  22. Manggy:
    We almost never cook BEEF ribs, actually.

    Wandering Chopsticks:
    Sweet Bird:
    We just made this again a couple of nights ago! =)

    What a great idea!


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