So our dining experience around the world, is now down to just three of us, as Alastair and Emily have moved out to their own flat and Will is at Uni. However, we will still give it our best and hopefully share with you some fab recipes and a little history of the area.
Greece, one place I really need to visit as I am told it is very beautiful and a must place to go…One day hopefully! On the dream board….
Greece is officially known as the Hellenic Republic and from ancient times has been referred to as Hellas. Greece is a country situated in South Eastern Europe. The capital is Athens and Thessaloniki is often referred to as the co capital.
Greece is cleverly situated at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe and shares its land borders with Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania and the Republic of Macedonia. Greece comprises of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands. We can find to the West the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea to the East and the Med to the South. Allegedly it is the 11th longest coastline in the world at approximately 8,500 miles and including a numerous amounts of islands of which around 230 are lived on. Mount Olympus is the highest peak at 2,917 metres (9,570 ft).
The history of Greece can be traced back to its roots to the civilisation of Ancient Greece, which is seen to be the beginning of western civilisation; and after many years of independence in the 4th century BCE, was unified by Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great conquered quite a large amount of the ancient world distributing Greek science and culture from the Eastern Med to the Indus River. Greece became a very important part of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century BCE and created the heart of its successor, the Byzantine Empire…More historic info can be found here
The food of Greece is very much Mediterranean and modern day cooking makes use of all the indigenous foods, such as olive oil, vegetables, lemon juice, herbs, grains – the most common grain being wheat – wine, fish and various meats. Also very very important are olives – which I adore and could quite frankly could live off!! – eggplant, which here in the UK we know as aubergine, cheese, courgette and yoghurt. Nuts and honey form the basis of Greek desserts and often contain filo pastry. Mezés is a shared name for an assortment of small dishes, typically served with wines or Ouzo
Because we are trying to be good and shed some “lbs” for our summer family wedding we wanted something that all three of us liked, tasty, easy for a Monday evening and obviously Greek. We could have gone for Moussaka or Kleftiko with a Greek salad. However looking through our books we came across a recipe by “The Hairy Bikers” which is a favourite version of many – Lamb Kebabs. We have the recipe in a book but here is a link if you haven’t got the book. We are serving this with a traditional Greek Salad
Kebab in Greek is A Gyro or Gyros and is a dish that is made of meat, normally beef, chicken, mutton,pork or veal cooked on a vertical rotisserie. A vegetarian option can be prepared which would probably be Haloumi or Feta cheese and either option would be served in a Pita bread with tomato, onion and a tzatziki sauce.
The recipe we are about to use combines lamb leg steaks with lean lamb.The lamb is chopped, any visible fat removed and added to a processor with the lamb mince and onion, blitzed, then shaped into round balls.
The prepared balls are then placed in cling film with a small amount of flour and rolled to create flat pieces, therefore trying to resemble what would be cut off the rotisserie.
The flat pieces are placed in a non stick hot frying pan ( We used Fry Light) and cooked on both sides until both sides are brown and cooked through. Mmmm can smell the aroma, making our mouths water and ready to eat….
When happy place on a warm serving plate and warm the Pita breads through and assemble your “Gyro” – Kebab adding the fresh leaves, tomato, onion, cabbage and cucumber. Add the garlic sauce and if you wish hot chilli sauce…
As already mentioned we served this with a fab Greek salad and the usual Olive oil was added after to taste for those that wanted it…
Family Verdict: A very tasty dinner with all the flavours of a kebab. Not too heavy for a Monday evening and something that we would definitely have again. Chef Minter says easy to prepare easy to cook…. The Greek salad was delicious and an added extra.
The Hairy Bikers claim that this dinner is around 361 Kcal and if you are following weight watchers, I have worked it out to be 10 points. This seems a little high on points for a dinner but if you have managed on low point food through the day – its OK. If you didn’t its still OK….
Next time we are off to Sumatra…. See you there. 🙂