Opa! Bison's Gone Greek - New Horizons in the Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 310494

New Horizons in the Kitchen

Opa! Bison's Gone Greek 
Sep. 9, 2013 1:08 pm 
Updated: Oct. 3, 2013 1:49 pm

Have you ever walked into a restaurant and been greeted with Opa?  Perhaps you’ve heard it at a restaurant where they have live Greek dancing. Or maybe it happens as your food at your favorite Greek restaurant is being brought to the table, and your server says Opa!  Always makes me smile, but have you ever wondered what it means?

Well, I did a little bit of digging, and explanations for this term are basically up for interpretation.  So I’ve settled on Opa being a single word, meaning a lifestyle or workstyle.  It conveys the Greek spirit, the independent spirit, the celebration, the joy, that give us the feeling it’s great to be alive.

I live about 35 minutes from Tarpon Springs (known for its sponge diving), a Greek community located on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and have had an opportunity to become familiar with and thoroughly embrace Greek food.   And this area (actually the Tampa Bay area in general) has some Greek traditions of its own.  For example, most of us are familiar with Greek salads.  Well, a traditional Greek salad here is served with a mound of potato salad in the center of the plate topped with the standard salad greens and Greek dressing. 

This month brought a new adventure into my house with the introduction of bison meat.  I’ve seen bison burgers on menus at restaurants, but had never ordered one.  I selected the Bison Council’s recipe for Greek Stuffed Bison Steak which uses bison flank steak.  I invited a couple friends over for dinner and prepared this menu for a Greek meal.

Started with an appetizer of Super Easy Hummus served with Garlic Pita Bread Bites.

Super Easy Hummus

Then came a salad, Greek Salad V to be specific.  Following the recipe, so not served with potato salad (at least not this time).

Main course and a side dish followed with Greek Stuffed Bison Steak and Laura’s Lemon Roasted Potatoes.

I fully intended to make Baklava for dessert, but just ran out of time (and energy), so the baklava came from the bakery (and it was good).

I know there already have been a number of blogs posted here on the Bison Council, so I won’t duplicate any of those facts about the benefits of bison versus other meats.  I will say that it is incredibly lean (you’ll be surprised), a little sweet, and just flat-out tasty.  I’m looking forward to trying a couple more bison flank steak recipes before the end of this month.

We had a fun Sunday themed dinner with our friends, and as we all sat down to the table to enjoy our first bison meal, I yelled Opa!, and we all raised our glass of wine for a good laugh.  I know it’s corny, but I was trying to convey the Greek spirit (right?).

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blog are purely the sole opinions of

lutzflcat in her New Horizons in the Kitchen blog.

Sep. 9, 2013 2:40 pm
You haven't lived until you have eaten in a NY/NJ area Greek diner. Your feast would fit right in. Loved the blog!
Sep. 9, 2013 2:48 pm
Big Shots Mom, I would love to do that one day...will put that on my bucket list! Thanks for stopping by.
Sep. 9, 2013 3:30 pm
Totally concur with BSM!!! There is a Greek church near me...their annual fair has the most amazing food!!!!
Sep. 9, 2013 4:29 pm
You knocked this one out of the park with the great photos and a great read.
Sep. 9, 2013 7:17 pm
Love all the Greek dishes. Great photos
Sep. 10, 2013 8:28 am
Heather, we have a Greek church here that has a big annual festival, as well, and I really need to try to get down there to check out the food one time. I'll bet it's great.
Sep. 10, 2013 8:29 am
Brian, thanks for the compliment and stopping by.
Sep. 10, 2013 8:33 am
Lela, I like having friends over for themed meals, and this was a fun day, since none of us ever had eaten bison before. Just wish I'd had time to make the baklava which is the traditional Greek dessert we all think of. I doubt mine could have been any better than the bakery's. Thanks for reading.
Sep. 10, 2013 9:56 am
Wonderful photos, everything looks so good.
Sep. 10, 2013 11:41 am
Thanks, Manella. This menu worked for all of us!
Sep. 10, 2013 12:30 pm
I am not a big Greek fan though I do eat at a Greek Diner here in NYC about twice a week, your flank steak photo may have just changed my mind. Great pictures.
Sep. 10, 2013 3:09 pm
Doug, I'm not convinced that a flank steak is the right cut of meat for that recipe (just my opinion). There was no oven temp specified in the recipe, and although this dish had great flavor, it was chewy. If you decide to give it a try, just take a minute to read the review. Maybe you can figure it out. Thanks for stopping by.
Sep. 11, 2013 4:22 am
lutzflcat, you made me want to try this, which is a compliment to your blog and your photos!
Sep. 11, 2013 6:03 am
Thanks, Bibi. Looking forward to trying bison in a few more recipes, and I sure hope to see it in our stores soon.
Sep. 12, 2013 7:18 am
I have just recently begun to appreciate Greek Cuisine! Your recipes sound great and your photos are beautiful! Thanks for reinforcing my palate journey into international dining. Great blog!
Sep. 13, 2013 11:55 am
Thanks for reading Candice. There are many Greek recipes on this site (I have a number in my recipe box waiting to be made), so enjoy your international journey. I have many cuisines left to explore.
Sep. 15, 2013 7:17 pm
Alrighty lutzflcat. I'm sold. Last month you introduced me to Cuban, this month I guess I'm picking a Greek recipe! Or maybe even bison. Another great blog.
Sep. 17, 2013 8:38 am
Hi Volleyballmom, glad to know you're ready to take the next leap into another cuisine. Hope you like it as much as we do!
Sep. 28, 2013 11:26 pm
Funny.... In Dutch Opa means Grandfather
Oct. 3, 2013 1:49 pm
pattyp that's interesting. I know in Greek it can mean many DIFFERENT things.
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About Me
Retired from a high-stress sales career which involved lots of travel. I now have the time to relax, turn off the alarm clock and sleep in, read a book, magazine or the newspaper (every day, not just Sunday) and, most importantly, take in everything that the Florida lifestyle offers, and that's a lot! And, finally, I have the luxury to really pursue a lifetime passion, cooking.
My favorite things to cook
Enjoy all kinds of food and cuisines, and I literally can't think of one food that I would refuse to eat. And that even includes liver (don't like cooking it, but sure like eating it). I love good food, but you won't find me making a recipe that has 40 ingredients. I just don't have the attention span for that.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband's grandmother was from Bavaria, and his mother learned to cook many of her old-country recipes which she then passed on to me. Our traditional Christmas dinner is sauerbraten (which marinates for at least five days) with gravy, homemade egg noodles sauteed in butter, potato balls (which float to the top of the boiling water if prepared correctly), sweet and sour red cabbage, and freshly cooked apples (gotta have something healthy). It's an exhausting meal that literally takes all day to prepare, but it's worth the effort. Yeah, I know it's also a carbohydrate nightmare, but what the heck, we only have it once a year.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering the Christmas sauerbraten meal was a victory. Also, making homemade goetta, a breakfast meat from Cincinnati. My version is made with all pork, equal portions of boston butt and loin. Today's goetta in Cincy has beef in it, as does the recipe on this site, but I'm sticking with ALL pork. It is totally unhealthy for you, but it's a treat, and I don't make it often.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a number over the years like the potato balls mentioned above just disintegrating into a puddle of potato shreds. There's no recipe, it's just a matter of "feeling right" when you're mixing. Not long ago, I made a peach pie and got so caught up in trying to make the pie crust work that I forgot to add the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, etc.) to the peaches that were sitting in a bowl on the counter. Cooked it anyway, it was ghastly, and then threw it away. My ongoing tragedy is making pie crust. There must a black cloud hanging over my head when I'm making pie crust because I ALWAYS have problems. But I'm not giving up, one day this tragedy will turn into a triumph and be listed above!
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