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Joey's Big Fat Greek Dinner Party

Joey meets the Markouris family, a loud and proud Greek family from West Orange, New Jersey. They love nothing more than to get together and celebrate with family and friends over a feast of homemade Greek cuisine, good drinks and lots of laughter. Watch as they share their recipes for Greek meatballs, Greek Pastitsio and Greek Salad.
"The greatest thing about Greeks is that we're so much fun to be around," says eldest daughter Kathy Markouris. "We love to eat. We love to drink. We love to party."

Joey says he feels at home already because Greek and Italian families are very similar in how boisterous and fun they can be. They toast each other and get cooking, starting off with traditional Greek appetizers like tiropita and dolmathakia. The whole gang is on the way, including father Jimmy Markouris, who has owned a restaurant, Essex House, since 1979.

The tiropita is a popular Greek puffed pastry eaten for breakfast or as a snack. It usually consists of feta cheese, egg, butter and yogurt, stuffed inside phyllo dough and baked to a perfect crisp. The family is also sharing their Greek moonshine, made from grape preserves, which Joey takes a shot of while sharing the only Greek he knows, which means "I have three testicles."

The family shares their recipe for Greek meatballs, a fun appetizer that Oursola says are like mini-meatloaves. Joey's confused as to why there's no sauce to go to these meatballs, but after downing several of them, he agrees it's not needed!

Next, Papa Markouris, Jimmy, joins them in the kitchen to show Joey how to make Pastitsio, a layered casserole with noodles, meat and a bechamel sauce that Oursola says is like a Greek lasagna. After seeing all the delicious layers, Joey can't wait to taste it!

After the casserole, Oursola shows Joey how to make a simple but traditional Greek leg of lamb with potatoes. It will cook at the family's restaurant while they prepare more food at home.

Meanwhile, Kathy explains why it's great to be Greek.

"Greeks are just fun to be around. Everybody dies to have a Greek friend. We're wonderful cooks, we're wonderful dancers, we're great lovers," she says with a laugh.

Next, the youngest of the family and life-of-the-party, Tony, shows up to teach Joey how to make a traditional Greek salad.This fresh mix of veggies, topped with fresh cheese and olive oil is the perfect addition to any Greek meal. But Joey has one question: where's the lettuce?

"There's no lettuce in a Greek salad," says Tony. "It's just we never used it. We survive on the cucumbers and the tomatoes."

Tony explains how they have been going to the family home on the Greek island of Andros every summer since they were children. He and his sisters have had some wild times on the island, including a time where they decided to shoot a bus with a BB gun and then ran away. As a result of their shenanigans, they're well known on the island.

"Every time we're back, it's 'Oh, the Americans are back. The Americans are back,'" says Tony.

For another fun surprise, Kathy brings her friend Sophia to dinner, who's a big N'Sync and Joey Fatone fan. Sophia had no idea that Joey would be there, so meeting him brought her to tears and left her speechless.

Then, it's time to tackle dessert, and of course, for this many people, one dessert just won't do. Their spread includes Ravani cake with a citrus syrup and baklava. Finally, it's time for the taste test. Joey laughs, because in reality, he's been eating all day!

"There is so much food. This is by far one of the ones that I have not stopped eating! So, let's do this while I still have room," says Joey.

Everything is delicious, and Joey enjoys plate after plate of food, and plenty of fun with the family, including cigars and an impromptu Greek dance party. He thanks the Markouris family for a great time and great food.

"I cannot breathe, but I may have some room for dessert!" he says.
Segment 1
Mouthwatering Greek Meatballs
Mouthwatering Greek Meatballs
These mini-meatloaf meatballs are the perfect Greek appetizer.
See Recipe
Segment 2
 Greek Pastitsio Casserole
Greek Pastitsio Casserole
This layered dish is like a Greek lasagna with delicious noodles, meat, creamy sauce and cheese.
See Recipe
Segment 3
Greek Leg of Lamb
Greek Leg of Lamb
This salty garlicky leg of lamb is the center of any Greek feast.
See Recipe
Segment 4
Traditional Greek Salad
Traditional Greek Salad
A delicious Mediterranean salad, filled with veggies and fresh feta and topped with dressing and capers.
See Recipe
Segment 5
Greek Dolmades
Greek Dolmades
Stuffed grape leaves are a traditional and delectable Greek food.
See Recipe
Segment 6
Greek Tiropita - Cheese Pies
Greek Tiropita - Cheese Pies
This Greek appetizer is a tangy cheese mixture wrapped in phyllo dough and baked.
See Recipe
Segment 7
Greek Ravani Cake
Greek Ravani Cake
This pound-cake like dessert is drizzled with citrus-flavored syrup.
See Recipe
Photo Gallery
Enjoying the feast.
Photos: Big Fat Greek Dinner Party
Go behind the scenes as Joey Fatone makes a Greek feast with the Markouris family.
See Photo Gallery

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