July 26, 2008
FOOD: Thank You for the Music … ; Recreate That Feel-Good Factor By Creating a Greek Feast for Your Families and Friends to Get Stuck Into
I have just got back from seeing Mamma Mia the movie, and I amtotally buzzing. The music, the energy, the dancing, singing, romancing, great scenery, and beautiful Greece. There's something magical about this country, the Islands are so glorious and home to some of nature's most delicious ingredients.The cuisine of Greece is sometimes misunderstood, and mistaken as being greasy.
On the contrary, dishes are wonderfully flavoursome and at times intense.
From rich and savoury to incredibly sweet, there are dishes to suit all palettes.
I particularly love mezze, and the idea of lots of small plates holding local specialities.
Sharing food with friends and feasting into the small hours after a hard day at the beach is sheer bliss to me.
Weather permitting I will be bringing a little touch of Greece to the vineyard next Sunday when we prepare a massive feast to be shared with friends and family.
Pan-fried haloumi with Metaxa brandy, wild oregano from the mountains of Xios and cherry tomatoes, tzatziki, flat breads, spinach and feta pie, keftedakia (little meat balls), souvlaki (marinated pork kebabs), stuffed vine leaves, Greek salad, skordalia (garlic dip), and calamari. A little ouzo and a touch of the mandolins or maybe Abba to serenade and we'll be there.
Here's a little extract from our Greek party. Enjoy!
Makes about 24 balls
4 slices white bread, crusts removed and soaked in water
1/4teaspoon cumin seeds
250gminced Welsh lamb
100g pork mince
100g, shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and chopped fine
2 mediumsize eggs
150g, fine white breadcrumbs
150g plain white flour
Salt and pepper
500ml groundnut oil
HEAT a small frying pan and roast the cumin seeds until they give up their aroma.
Place in a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder (you can use ground cumin if you wish).
Place the lamb and pork mince in a mixing bowl, squeeze out the water from the bread and add to the bowl.
Add the cumin, shallots, spring onions and eggs.
Mix well with your hands to combine.
Take about a tablespoon of the mixture into your palm and shape into a ball.
Mix the breadcrumbs, flour and seasoning together, then and roll the balls in the breadcrumbs.
Heat some of the groundnut oil in a large frying pan, test if it is hot enough by adding a bread crumb.
If it sizzles, gently add a few meatballs and cook for about 10- 12 minutes, turning half way through cooking.
Discard the oil carefully into a heatproof bowl, add newoil and repeat until all the keftedakia are cooked.
Serve with Greek saladmade up of cucumber, tomatoes, cos lettuce, oregano, black olives and dress it with olive oil.
You could also serve it with flat breads, and tzatziki.
Tomake that, grate a cucumber grated, salt it and drain for 20 minutes (don't use the seeds).
Mix with 250g Greek yoghurt, and a grated clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of chopped mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Trust me, it's simply divine!
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