Dinner And A Movie Ep. 14: 8/7/10 Berkeley, CA

This Tuesday’s Dinner And A Movie features Phish’s August 7, 2010 show from The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA. The full show will play this Tuesday at 8:30PM ET at or Phish’s Facebook page. We have selected Music Health Alliance as our beneficiary for this webcast. This week, through the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project, Spotify will match all donations to Music Health Alliance (via Waterwheel), dollar for dollar, up to a collective total of $10 million. Donate now at

Music Health Alliance provides access to healthcare with services that protect, direct and connect music professionals with medical and financial solutions. MHA’s vision is to create a safe and confidential place for the music community to gain the very best healthcare and health insurance solutions through defined and transparent advocacy services with an emphasis on the prevention of illness and overall wellness. For more information, visit

If you’ve ever sent a missive to Phish HQ, there’s a good chance you received a reply from the intrepid Betty Frost, who has  worked for the band for over 25 years. Betty’s career with Phish began when she delivered a muffin basket to Mike Gordon’s accountant, and the rest is history. An avid amateur cook, Betty once handily won a pie-baking competition at Vermont’s Champlain Valley Fair. This week, Betty turns to some family recipes for a special ‘Greek Night’: Spanakopita, Lamb Meatballs and a Watermelon Salad.

Spanakopita (Spinach and Feta pie)
(Serves 4)

1/2 bunch scallions
1 yellow onion, diced
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (squeeze water out) (or 1lb fresh spinach de-stemmed, chopped and steamed)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 egg
zest from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
pinch of grated nutmeg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 box phyllo sheets (buy frozen, remove from freezer 1 hour before using) – you’ll use less than the full box
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Unroll phyllo if it’s in a roll (must be fully thawed to avoid breaking).  Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap to avoid drying out while you prepare the rest.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté onions and scallions for 3 minutes, then add spinach. Cook for 3-4 minutes until spinach is wilted.

Put mixture in a bowl, add lemon zest and parsley and set aside to cool.

Beat egg, feta, nutmeg and a pinch of pepper in a separate bowl. When the spinach mixture is cool, add to the egg mixture and mix well.

Brush the bottom of an 8”x8” baking dish with butter. (If you use a 9”x13” baking dish, double the recipe). Lay 7 phyllo sheets in the pan, brushing butter in between each sheet. (You may need to cut the sheets to fit the pan.

Spread half of the filling over the phyllo and gently press down with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Lay another 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing butter in between each layer, and then top with the remaining filling, and another 7 sheets of phyllo (brushing butter between each layer).  Brush butter over the top too.

You can score the top layer in rectangles with a knife before taking to make cutting easier later.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown and crispy.

(You can also wrap and freeze the assembled pie in advance, and then bake for 45 minutes when you’re ready).


Lamb Meatballs with Minted Yogurt dip
(Serves 4)

For the meatballs:
1 12 tsp olive oil
½ medium onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ tsp lemon zest
¾ tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
¼ tsp allspice
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
A pinch of cinnamon
1 lb ground lamb (10% fat)
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten

For the dip:
2 cups full fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
½ tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
1 small cucumber (e.g. Persian cucumber) (or ¼ regular cucumber, deseeded), grated or finely sliced/chopped

Combine all of the dip ingredients and mix well. Season with salt to taste. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator as you prepare other things to let the flavors develop.

Preheat over to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchement paper if you have it.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté onions and garlic until just softened.

Transfer to a large bowl and add mint, parsley, salt, lemon zestand spices and stir to combine. Add lamb, breadcrumbs, egg and combine well.

One tablespoon at a time, form into a 1 ¼ inch meatballs, and arrange them on the tray, being careful that they don’t touch.

(You can prepare ahead and refrigerate meatballs, covered, up to 1 day ahead.  Set out for about an hour in advance to bring to room temperature before cooking).

Bake meatballs in upper third of the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Serve with the minted yogurt dip.


Watermelon and Feta Salad
(Best prepared just before serving)

4 lb whole seedless watermelon, chilled and cubed into bite sized chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large lime, juiced (1 ½ if small limes, or to taste)
3/4 tsbp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (sheep’s milk feta preferred)

Whisk together olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt, and black pepper to create a dressing.

Put watermelon in a large bowl, pour dressing and mint over watermelon and toss gently to coat.

Sprinkle feta over, and stir gently to mix into the salad.

Keep chilled until serving, ideally less than an hour after it’s made.