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COOKING GREEK RECIPES RECIPE BY TALLYRAND

Greece is the way we are feeling . . . . .

Well okay, you might be puffed out from all those athletics but let us not forget Greece is the home to some of the best cuisine and foods in the world. I for one have spent many a leisurely hour (well okay hours) in a Taverna enjoying the foods and the odd glass of Ouzo and Retsina, a rather harsh local red wine. I think they should call it Retinas . . . becasue it can sure make you blind after a bottle or two!

But you just get up in the morning, sink a few kafes varys glykos, a double strength espresso served in a flytsanaki (demi tasse) with honey, and you are pepped up ready for the day. Forget the sports drinks, try a couple of kafes varys glykos, with iced water chasers and you are good to go.

But Greece, the Olympics and food have much more in common than you may think. The first ever event at the very first ancient Olympic Games (Olympia 776 BC) was the stadion race, a foot race of just six hundred feet long and that it was won by a Chef! One Koroibos, a cook from the nearby city of Elis.

Ever fancied a cooking holiday? Ever fancied learning
to make bread - www.cookingholidays.co.uk

So this month I thought I would share with you the recipes for some of my favourite Greek dishes. These dishes are what I will be serving in my training restaurant on 11th September, when we have an Open Day for the public, the kitchen as in the best Greek tradition will be open for guests to wander in and see my trainees at work, ask questions and choose their foods.

I hope you will enjoy them, as much as I do and as much as I am sure my guests will in a couple of weeks.

Greek recipes for you to enjoy:

SPANAKOPITA

The classic Greek pie with filo pastry, filled with fetta cheese, spinach and three types of onion.

Ingredients

filo pastry
1
pkt
spinach
1
kg
onions - spring
3
pc
onions - red
1
pc
onions - white
1
pc
parsley bunch
1/2
pc
dill
sq
fetta
250
gm
eggs
3
pc

Method

  • Wash and clean the spinach, discarding the stems and cut into chiffonade

  • Combine the spinach, finely sliced onions, shredded parsley and chopped dill in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little sea salt

  • Let stand for 30 minutes, and press out all of the liquid by hand

  • Add a little olive oil, crumble in the feta cheese crumbled and the beaten eggs

  • Brush a deep sided roasting tray well with olive oil and line with 6 - 8 pastry sheets, brushing each sheet with oil

  • Spread the spinach filling evenly and cover with 6 - 8 more pastry sheets, brushing each with oil

  • Brush the top with oil and score the top three sheets into 3 inch strips from one end of the pan to the other

  • Sprinkle the top with water, to prevent the pastry sheets from curling upwards

  • Bake at 170°C for 40 - 45 minutes

  • Allow to cool slightly prior to cutting into wedges

DOLMATHAKIA ME RIZI

Vine leaves stuffed with a blend of rice, pine nuts, sultanas and dill. Served chilled with Maidanosalata.

Ingredients

light chicken stock - approximately
1
cup
long grain rice
1
cup
butter
25
gm
onion - small
1
pc
salt
sq
pine nuts
sq
sultanas
sq
dill
sq
vine leaves (pre-cooked)
sq

Method

  • In a large heavy based saucepan melt the butter and over a medium heat sweat off the onion

  • Tip in the well washed rice and continue to sweat for two minutes to allow the rice to absorb the butter

  • Add the stock and cover with a well buttered cartouche and bring to the boil

  • Cover with a lid, remove from the heat and allow to sit for approximately 15 minutes
    This is called via the absorption method, the rice will cook with the latent heat retained in the pan, rice and stock. All the liquid will be absorbed, the rice will be fully cooked and there is no way it can over cook

  • Remove the lid and fluff up with a fork

  • When cooked, place in a large bowl and add pine nuts, sultanas and chopped dill to taste

  • Taste and season

  • Place the vine leaves, shiny side down on a work surface

  • Place some of the filling in the centre of each leaf, fold the sides of the leaf over the filling then roll up

  • Place the vine leaf parcels on a tray seam side down and sprinkle liberally with lemon juice and olive oil

  • Best serve chilled but may be gently heated in the microwave

Chef's Tip:

Vine leaves are quite readily available these days, and if kept covered, in the refrigerator they last for months

MAIDANOSALATA

Ingredients

bread slices
6
pc
onion
2
pc
parsley bunch
1
pc
garlic cloves
6
pc
chilli
2
pc
egg yolks
3
pc
lemon juice
sq
olive oil
sq

Method

  • Remove the crusts from the bread slices and sprinkle liberally with water

  • Squeeze the bread to remove excess water

  • Place half the bread in a food processor and blend to a paste with olive oil

  • Place into a large bowl and add the finely chopped parsley and onion

  • Add the crushed garlic and chopped chilli to taste

  • Add olive oil and lemon juice to taste and season; the spread should be very flavourful

PIROSKI

The Greek version of calzone; bread pasties with seasoned ground beef & cheddar, deep fried until golden brown served with Tzatziki.

Ingredients

butter (room temperature)
200
gm
milk
300
ml
water
300
ml
dried yeast
8
tsp
castor sugar
120
gm
egg
4
pc
bakers flour
1
kg
 
 
minced beef
1
kg
onion
1
pc
tomato purée
100
gm
grated cheddar
sq
parsley
sq

Method

For the filling:

  • Heat a large saucepan over moderate heat

  • Add the minced beef and cook gently, the fat within the meat should render down and prevent it sticking

  • Add the finely chopped onion and cook gently for 15 minutes

  • Add the tomato puree and cook for another 15 minutes or until cooked and tender

  • Remove from the heat and add chopped parsley to taste

  • Add sufficient grated cheddar, until it melts and binds the meat

  • Season to taste

For the dough:

  • Melt butter in the water and milk to blood temperature

  • Add in yeast and stir until dissolved

  • Add the sugar and egg

  • Add enough flour to form a soft dough

  • Place in prover until double in size

  • Knock back and re-prove

  • Break into small even pieces and roll dough into 10 cm circles (or size to suit)

Piroski production:

  • Place filling onto one side of dough, cut as preferred

  • Brush edges with water, fold dough in half and seal edges

  • Place on a lightly oiled tray, allowing room for dough to rise and re -prove

  • Place in oven at 180°C for 5 minutes

  • Remove from oven and brush with egg wash and until golden brown

  • Brush with egg wash if preferred again

TZATZIKI

Ingredients

plain yoghurt
500
ml
cucumber
1
pc
garlic cloves
6
pc
chives
sq
olive oil
sq

Method

  • Peel and grate the cucumber, set the cucumber aside in a colander or strainer, to allow excess liquid to drain away

  • In a bowl place the yoghurt and add the finely chop garlic and chives to taste

  • Add the drained cucumber and whisk in olive oil to taste

  • Season as required

  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chef's Tip:

Tzatziki can be bought pre-made in most supermarkets these days, normally found amongst all the chilled dips and spreads, but making your own is so easy. It is also a great dip to serve with a selection of breads, potato or corn chips, etc.

KTAPOTHI

A plate of squid rings bound with a rich tomato sauce. Served hot or cold with salad.

Ingredients

tomatoes
500
gm
garlic cloves
5
pc
onion
100
gm
butter
25
gm
virgin olive oil
50
ml
squid tubes
sq

Method

To make tomato concassé:

  • Remove core and score the skin

  • Plunge into boiling water for 10 seconds and refresh

  • Peel, cut in half and remove seeds

  • Finely chop

To make sauce:

  • Melt the butter and the olive oil

  • Add the crushed garlic cloves, the finely chopped onion and sweat

  • Add the concassé and simmer for approximately 30 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and a thick, flavourful sauce remains

  • Correct the colour with tomato purée (not paste) if required

Squid rings:

  • Cut the squid tubes into rings and briefly deep fry for approximately 20 seconds

  • Drain and lightly season with garlic salt while still warm

  • Bind in the tomato sauce and chill

  • Serve chilled or re-heat over a gentle heat or in the microwave

Chef's Tip:

Tinned, whole peeled, plum tomatoes may be used in place of the fresh tomatoes.

BAKLAVA

The most famous of all Greek desserts - sweet and rich layers of phyllo pastry and assorted nuts bound with a rosewater and orange sugar syrup. Amounts are approximate, as it will depend on the size of the tray used and filo pastry sheets, but a rough guideline for the nuts would be a cup of each.

Ingredients

filo pastry
1
pkt
melted butter
1/2 - 1
cup
chopped peanuts
sq
chopped walnuts
sq
chopped pistachios
sq
breadcrumbs
sq
sugar
3
cups
water
3
cups
oranges
6
pc
rose water
100
ml

Method

  • Lightly butter a deep sided tray

  • Layer with two sheets of pastry and brush with melted butter

  • Sprinkle with the various chopped nuts and some breadcrumbs

  • Add two more sheets of pastry that are brushed with melted butter and more nuts and breadcrumbs

  • Repeat until the tray is full

  • Brush the final layer of pastry with melted butter

  • Carefully pre cut into portions

  • Place into a pre-heated oven (170ºC) on the middle shelf until a light golden brown

While it is baking make the syrup:

  • Remove some of the orange zest and finely chop, set aside

  • Juice the oranges and place in a thick bottom saucepan with the sugar, water and rose water - this syrup will require equal amounts of sugar and water

  • Simmer gently until a light syrup consistency is achieved

  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes

  • Stir in the chopped orange zest

Finishing:

  • When the baklava is cooked, remove from the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack

  • Brush generously with the orange syrup until all the syrup has been used, or alternatively gently pour it all over and allow to sit at room temperature to steep for at least two hours

Chef's Tip:

For something a little different try rolling the pastry sheets up like a cigar and cutting it into fine shreds; called chiffonade. Layer and use these the same way as above.

Filo or phyllo pastry will dry out very quickly when exposed to the air. When using it one should have all other mise en place (preparation) ready and at hand. If the temperature of your kitchen is really hot, place a clean, damp tea towel over the pastry when not in use.

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

  lt
=
litres   tsp = teaspoon
  ml
=
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
  kg
=
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
  gm
=
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Tallyrand
Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com