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Posts Tagged ‘Greek’

Radish Raita

This makes a nice change from the usual cucumber variety. Good with barbecued lamb or pork and dishes with Greek flavours. We liked it on the side of our giant beans and spinach rice.

Radish Tzatziki – serves 2

  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • ½ tbsp chopped dill, plus extra to serve
  • 8 small radishes, roughly chopped or sliced
  • ½ clove of garlic, crushed
  • juice of ½ lemon

Mix all the ingredients together and season. Garnish with some extra dill.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spinach Rice

This rice is seriously delicious. The spinach is cooked with the rice from the start, rather than stirred through at the end, which makes it really flavoursome. We served with some barbecued lamb, Greek butter bean stew and radish tzatziki.

Spinach rice – serves 6

  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 300g basmati rice
  • juice of a lemon

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook the onion gently until softened but not coloured. Add the spinach and half the dill. Cook over a high heat until the spinach has wilted and any liquid has evaporated.

Stir in the rice and add 600ml of water, then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer, cover the pan with a tight lid (or some tinfoil and a lid) and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the water absorbed. Check and stir after the first 15 minutes and add some more water if needed.

When the rice is cooked, stir in the remaining dill, season well and add the lemon juice to taste.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Moussaka

A rich, show-stopper version of a favourite dish. We remain torn between the richness of this version by Neil Perry and the fresh elegance of this Moussaka by Tamasin Day-Lewis. We love both.

Wine Suggestion: As this is a rich dish we looked for a similarly rich, but not too heavy wine and liked the Insoglio del Cinghiale, a Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot blend from Bolgheri. It was nice and lifted with dark fruit, blackberries, plums and hints of spice. The key was the medium weight with a youthful freshness, fine rounded tannins and a smooth finish. We suspect a nice earthy and voluptuous red Burgundy would also do very or a top quality Chianti.

Moussaka – serves 4 (generously)

  • 2 large aubergines, cut into 5 mm slices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra for brushing the slices of aubergine
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 90g tomato purée
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 40g grated Parmesan cheese

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE

  • 50g butter
  • 50g flour
  • 500ml warmed milk
  • 80g finely grated parmesan

Salt the aubergine slices on both sides and leave aside for an hour. Rinse the slices under running water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Brush lightly with olive oil and cook in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side or until golden. Set the aubergine slices aside and wipe out the pan with some kitchen paper.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the frying pan and cook the onions over a low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions have softened. Add the lamb, then turn up the heat and stir-fry until browned. Season with salt, then add the tomato purée and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, the cinnamon stick and the sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduced the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a few more minutes to thicken slightly if needed. Remove the cinnamon stick and fold through the chopped parsley.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir over a low heat for a few minutes or until the mixture is bubbling.Gradually pour in the warm milk, stirring continuously, and cook until the sauce starts to boil and thicken. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and freshly grated white pepper if you have it.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.

Layer the lamb and fried aubergine slices two or three times in a large ovenproof dish, starting and finishing with a layer of aubergine if you can manage it. Spread the béchamel over the top and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until hot through and golden brown on top. Leave to settle for 5 to 10 minutes before serving with a green salad.

(Original recipe from Neil Perry’s Good Cooking, Murdoch Books, 2016.)

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Greek salad

Perfect with many Greek dishes, but none mores than barbecued lamb cutlets or kebabs/souvlaki. You could also serve it as as starter with some crusty bread. A very popular salad in our house when the days get warmer. In fact, we blogged it here a few years ago and it’s still a firm favourite.

Greek Salad – serves 4

  • 450g ripe tomatoes
  • ½ a cucumber
  • 1 red onion (we only use half an onion)
  • 200g Greek feta cheese
  • 4½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ouzo/Pernod
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 20 small black olives
  • large pinch of dried oregano – Greek if you can find it

Cut the tomatoes into chunky pieces and cut the cucumber in half lengthways and then across into thick slices. Slice the red onion as thinly as possible (a mandolin is good for this if you have one). Crumble the feta into chunky pieces.

To make the dressing whisk the olive oil, ½ tsp salt, the red wine vinegar, ouzo/Pernod and some black pepper in a large salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and onions and toss gently. Add the feta, dill and olives and mix briefly.

Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with the dried oregano and some coarsely ground black pepper.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes, BBC Books, 2007.)

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Pork Souvlaki with oregano

Have you got your barbecue out yet? We’ve had a few sunny days in Dublin and the cold breeze is gradually starting to ease; the clocks have gone forward and we’re looking forward to much more time spent outside. We have to confess to using the barbecue all year round and have been caught out in the snow or rain grilling up a feast and this is one of our favourite ideas. Nothing beats some good chips with your souvlaki.

Wine Suggestion: to celebrate the Spring sunshine we broke out a Provence rosé from Chateau Vignelaure, a lovely and serious wine that delivers a great texture and structure as well as summer fruit flavours to inspire us.

Pork Souvlaki with Oregano – serves 4

  • 400g pork shoulder, cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • ½ tsp salt

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the meat. Marinate for an hour or so, then thread onto skewers. Cook on a preheated barbecue for about 10-12 minutes.

(Original recipe from Venice to Istanbul by Rick Stein, BBC Books, 2015.)

 

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Steak & Mushrooms

What could be better than steak, mushrooms & chips? Nothing too groundbreaking here but we do recommend taking some inspiration from the Greeks when cooking your mushrooms.

Wine Suggestion: We always fall for a big red when having steak and this dish caused us to try one of our 2009 Bordeaux’s lying waiting in the cellar; this time the Ch Capbern Gasquetton. Full of flavour and still very youthful but the seven years from vintage has brought it all together and made it a great match.

Grilled steak with village mushrooms – serves 4

  • 4 rib-eye or sirloin steaks (rib-eye would be our preference), about 250g each
  • 50ml olive oil, plus a bit extra for brushing on the steaks
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ a lemon
  • 200g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 25ml balsamic vinegar

Brush the steaks with oil, season with salt, pepper and half the oregano, then grill on a hot barbecue until cooked the way you like.

Sauté the mushrooms in the 50ml of olive oil with the garlic, balsamic vinegar, ½ tsp salt, 20 turns of the black pepper mill and the rest of the oregano. Serve with the steak (and some chips if you like).

(Original recipe from Venice to Istanbul by Rick Stein, BBC Books, 2015.)

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Greek Lemon roast chicken

Sooo delicious! We never tire of variations on a roast chicken dinner and the potatoes are the best bit here which doesn’t take away from the delicious chicken! This variation has been made multiple times in our kitchen which says something as we’re always trying something new.

You need to roast chicken for 20 minutes at 190C/375F/gas 5 for each 500g, plus an extra 10 minutes.

Wine Suggestion: a rich white is the business with chicken, and Chardonnay is the usual go-to variety. For this dish, however, we’ve successfully opened oaked Godello from Spain, the Dominio de Tares Bierzo; and an oaked Alvarinho from Portugal, the Soalheiro Alvarinho Reserva. Both brought delicious nuances to the chicken and are really worth seeking out.

Greek lemon roast chicken with potatoes & oregano

  • 2.2kg chicken
  • 4 lemons
  • bay leaves
  • 2 large red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1kg small waxy potatoes, halved
  • 2 heads of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.

Season the outside and the cavity of the chicken. Put half a lemon and a few bay leaves inside and place in a very large roasting tin.

Drizzle some olive oil over the skin, squeeze over the other lemon half and roast for about 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Cut 2 of the lemons into wedges and put in a bowl with the onions, potatoes and garlic cloves. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper, ½ tbsp dried oregano and the juice of half a lemon. Toss everything together until well coated.

45 minutes before the roasting time is up, put the vegetables around the chicken, sprinkle another 2 tsps of oregano over the top and return to the oven.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

 

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