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Cookery Club: June, Here comes the sun... and all things Grecian (and Hairy Bikers)

(70 Posts)
myrtleWilson Thu 31-May-18 13:18:37

Welcome along!

Its June and our chosen regional food this month is Greek and Hairy Bikers for our author (hope thats okay - I picked one from your last post @whatareyoueatingNOW)

For anyone who is new - we have a regional theme and an author and posters cook new dishes, rediscovered dishes, old favourites that fall under the categories.

You can post a photo of your creation (it usually invokes in me a desire to copy that recipe!) and comment on how it turned out, whether the family appreciated it or if the dog ended up having an unexpected treat!.

My experience of Greek cooking is limited so I'm going to do some online searches today -any suggested chefs to look out for?

Looking forward to eating my way through June!

Pantah630 Thu 31-May-18 16:47:20

Signing in, ready to dig out all my Cypriot/Greek cookbooks, there are many blush. I'll be defrosting my vine leaves saved from last year and making koupepia, like dolmades/dolma but with meat and rice as they're Cypriot and a real family favourite here, through many generations.

myrtleWilson Thu 31-May-18 20:24:07

Yes, apologies I didn't add Cypriot into the title - I was struggling with getting a rhyme for Greek/Grecian grin.

But looking forward to seeing and trying some Greek, some Cypriot and some HB recipes this month.

My Greek cooking is limited to Greek salad (!), gigantes plaki, saganaki, spanakopita, I have tried a few more dishes but am complete novice on the cooking front.

Any recommendations for me to start off with pantah ? I suspect from your frozen vine leaves you're several rungs further up this particular cookery ladder!

Amygdalota(almond cake/biscuits) look enticing and am thinking about Avgolemono (chicken and egg/lemon soup) and have seen a couple of recipes for kolokythokeftedes (courgette balls)

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Thu 31-May-18 20:28:39

Gigantes plaki one of my favourite things ever!

Has anybody got a tried and tested recipe for those wonderful custard pastries?

Pantah630 Fri 01-Jun-18 07:33:34

Avgolemono is the food of the Gods. My DSs adore kleftico, DHs favourite is Stifado. I make a lot of my everyday cooking with a Cypriot slant, oregano and lemon in/on almost everything as my DGF was GreekCypriot and I love the flavours.

One of my Aunties made gorgeous food whenever we dropped in, sadly she passed earlier this year. I try and recreate what she made us. Add fresh coriander and dried oregano to your Greek salad and no lettuce, dress with lemon juice and olive oil, shouldn't need salt if you've decent feta. (Lidl's Greek feta is very good).
Dried vermicelli pieces fried in olive oil with bacon lardons, add bulgar wheat, mix well, add chicken stock to cover, stir while the stock soaks in, a couple of minutes at most, turn off heat, cover with tea towel and a lid and sit for quarter of an hour. Check seasoning. Great served with food that got a sauce to soak up. This one is from another Auntie.

Tonia Buxton's books are excellent and Vefas kitchen is the Silver Spoon équivalent for Greek cooking. Tessa Kiros too.

Pantah630 Fri 01-Jun-18 07:34:07

Oh and Maria Elia for Greek/Cypriot inspired vegetarian food.

myrtleWilson Fri 01-Jun-18 13:36:49

ah thanks pantah - I saw Tessa Kiros had a Greek book and have been googling her recipes....

myrtleWilson Fri 01-Jun-18 19:04:10

Am kicking off June with a Cypriot lamb dish from Tessa Kiros' from Falling Cloudberries. One tray bake with lamb, potatoes, onions, cumin seeds, parsley, tomatoes, olive oil and butter - baked in the oven for about 3 hours... Sounds good and photos from the blog posts look great too - it is similar to a Nigella "greek lamb and potatoes" tray bake so hopefully will be similarly delicious!

I'll post a photo later - we normally eat late and for child ferrying logistical reasons tonight we're later still!

I've not got any TK books but if anyone does - would you recommend her? Waterstones don't have her Greek cookbook but I see Amazon have a presumably used version for £9.... so am tempted.

whatareyoueatingNOW Fri 01-Jun-18 19:27:41

Myrtle- thanks for setting up a new thread smile
I have tessa kilos apples for jam and falling cloudberries. The latter I really love, and have used often, the former is a lovely read and unusual but the recipes less appealing. But I'd recommend her because I really enjoy her writing and the books are beautiful.

For Greek food I have Maria Elias smashing plates- and can't recommend it enough! I love it. I recently made the carrot keftedes (as here https://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/carrot-keftedes) recently and they were delightful, though on the sweet , i'd add a bit of chilli to balance that next time.

I've also made many avgolmono and I have found that I most closely follow rick steins recipe from Venice to Istanbul. It's reliable and such a spectacular but simple soup! Recipe here https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amarathonnotasprint.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/rick-steins-avgolemono-soup/amp/

I'll also be cooking from George colombaris Hellenic kitchen which whilst nice is very much more of a coffee table cookbook than a usable book- the recipes are fine but it's clear that the photography and historic detailing were more considered than the actual food.

myrtleWilson Fri 01-Jun-18 22:26:05

My traybake was delicious, ridiculously easy bare minimal prep and then in the oven for three hours! The tomatoes were great - added a layer of sweet roastedness. The potatoes were not as crispy as could have been (I think using lamb chops negates the need for further oil in future) Had some feta to sprinkle over the top and a lambs lettuce salad with lemony dressing.

whatareyoueatingNOW Sat 02-Jun-18 09:50:09

That looks great myrtle. I'll be getting all my books out today to plan.

Looking though my eatyourbooks profile for hairy bikers my favourite most used book is their mums know best - I've made lots but the mince beef pie and scotch eggs which are particularly good. They are hosting Saturday kitchen this week too, so I'll be watching for something new from them today grin

wowfudge Sun 03-Jun-18 09:44:48

They did a Greek inspired chicken tray bake.

whatareyoueatingNOW Sun 03-Jun-18 17:09:35

I've cooked loads this weekend.

Tried rick steins veal, mint and oregano meatballs balls from Venice to Istanbul (it states they are Greek) which I cannot recommend enough. The flavours are beautiful, subtle but wonderful. The texture is a very soft meatball, which some reviews on eatypurbooks disliked, but I really really enjoyed them. Very summery, and the lightest meatball I've ever made.

I also made tessa kilos spanakozizo recipe here http://colreads.blogspot.com/2013/09/food-from-many-greek-kitchens-by-tessa.html?m=1
. It was nice, but actually quite bland for what it was- the spinach overpowered the herbs, oh, and it and took longer than stated. Nothing to write home about.

From Maria Elia I made a Greek inspired prawn cocktail with ouzo mayonnaise which is beautiful, recipe here http://www.sergetheconcierge.com/2014/03/sun-is-out-lets-celebrate-with-ouzo-mayonnaise-shrimp-cocktail-smashing-recipe-from-smashing-plates.html

And I've got a salmon tail curing in lemon and ouzo which will be ready on Wednesday again from Maria Elias smashing plates.

whatareyoueatingNOW Sun 03-Jun-18 17:12:25

Some photos of what I made

whatareyoueatingNOW Mon 04-Jun-18 21:06:46

http://www.foodrepublic.com/recipes/chicken-soup-with-orzo-shredded-grape-leaves-tomatoes-lemon-and-herbs-recipe/

I made this recipe from the book smashing plates today- it was such a hit! The herbs meant it was fresh and light, a soup for summer and winter. My children adored it, my husband even more so. It was so so good. My only alteration would be to add a bit of oregano.

Another plus of the recipe is that I have half a poached chicken and stock to go towards rick steins version later this week (in the interests of comparison of course! Not greed. Oh nogrinblush)

Buggered Mon 04-Jun-18 21:12:28

Would anyone notice if quietly bookmark......?

Dragontrainer Mon 04-Jun-18 21:18:17

We had the Hairy Bikers’ Hake in Romescu Sauce from a copy of the Sainsbury’s magazine. Except, we didn’t- we had Cod in Romescu sauce as we don’t have a fishmonger anywhere near and the supermarkets don’t seem to stock hake. The sauce was absolutely lovely with lots of depth of flavour - definitely gave some oomph to the fish.

No picture (because the kids were too busy deploying their medieval taster skills to try and detect if it was - shock, horror - a vegetable that made the sauce orange for any attempt at photography!)

myrtleWilson Mon 04-Jun-18 22:15:13

ooh what your prawns looks luscious and the veal meatballs sound lovely. I do like veal and am pleased you can get rose veal in supermarkets now - I tend to use veal and beef now when I'm making a ragu....

I wish I'd seen your post earlier - I've just used up the carcass and stock from Nigella's praised chicken to make a risotto tonight when I cold have done a greek soup!

Dragon I love love love Romesco sauce - I could eat it out of the bowl _ no doubt have done I find Hake in Sainsbury's (I think) but any white fish is good with romesco...

Welcome buggered

myrtleWilson Mon 04-Jun-18 22:18:31

could not cold... although that may be subliminal word error ... I have health anxiety and am catastophizing that I have all sorts of horrendous diseases when I think its just more likely to be the start of a cold...

whatareyoueatingNOW Wed 06-Jun-18 10:52:33

The salmon I cured in ouzo and lemon on Saturday was ready for breakfast this morning- I heartily recommend it. Only I ate it due to fussy dh, but I'll make it again for a great dinner party starter / canapé or fancy breakfast for guests. It's deceptively easy and (in my humble opinion) seems really impressive to cure your owngrin

I served it as per one of the suggested ways - on toast with cucumber and the ouzo mayonnaise (Which I also made on the weekend)

Pantah630 Wed 06-Jun-18 11:59:28

Salmon looks lovely, I can't eat smoked salmon but love gravadlax and have cured my own the traditional way. Must get some ouzo or arak in to have a go.

myrtleWilson Wed 06-Jun-18 22:08:48

That salmon looks lush what

Tonight I did homemade pita (felicity cloake's "perfect" series in the Guardian, our standard Greek salad and Santorini tomatoes (can't remember their proper name - sorry!) with Greek yoghurt and dill dip. All worked really well, tomato fritters were visual and taste burst of summer, pitas were blowsy and excellent for stuffing Greek salad into. Only bettered if eaten under a blue sky and with sound of waves lapping around!

Pantah630 Wed 06-Jun-18 22:43:02

Myrtle those tomato fritters look interesting, do you have recipe? We had Greek chicken tray bake for tea, chicken, potatoes (normally Cyprus ones wedges but couldn't get today so Charlotte's instead) and courgettes, costed in a lemon, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil mix and a dowsing of white wine. Served with asparagus, peas and a gravy made with the cooking juices wine
I have the makings for stifado but probably won't make until the weekend.

myrtleWilson Wed 06-Jun-18 23:12:07

Hi pantah - this was the recipe I used (I have the book which I'm beginning to use a bit more....) www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/santorini-tomato-fritters-with-yogurt-dip/
Am sure I have seen a blogpost with Tessa Kiros' version of the fritters but can't find it now - if I do I'll post it!

They were super easy and even with tomatoes in Britain in June were definitely a good addition to dinner..

Pantah630 Thu 07-Jun-18 16:33:44

Thanks Myrtle I've bookmarked it and popped in paprika file. Found five minutes to get some beef in the stifado marinade so we can have it Friday or Saturday. Using the recipe from Vefa's Kitchen, it's a standard stifado recipe so should taste delicious.

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