There is a lot of “pretend” Greek food going around and there are also a lot of “authentic” Greek recipes. I’m a bit fed up, to tell you the truth. So I’ve enlisted the help of my mum Despina (who is a bit of a rock n roll gal) to make some videos with proper Greek nomz. We are not claiming these are authentic, ancient Greek or anything like that. This is the type of food we, as Greeks, make and enjoy.
Today, it’s tzatziki, a super yummy and garlicky yoghurt based dip. It goes down a treat with barbecue but do try not to kiss anyone after you’ve eaten it (it’s the garlic).
Do drop us a line if you have any more ideas for Greek food videos.
Lots of love to the bands below for allowing me to use their pod safe and brilliant songs.
I don’t know if you’ve watched old films with vine harvests and wine juice making or wine making but they always seem to contain plucky villagers without shoes stepping on the grapes. That’s all very well and dandy but apparently it hardly ever happens any more.
The team in Atalanti, Greece, went about finding out what actually does happen nowadays to get wine juice. This is effectively the process before one starts wine making. A lot of people in Greece with their own grapes will just take them to a patitiri (the place where the grapes are literally ‘stepped on’) to get wine juice. They then take the wine juice and make their own wine at home.
So this might seem a bit weird. Why would a Greek go to see The Real Greek chef make moussaka? “Isn’t it like your national dish?”, “Don’t you know how to make it from birth?” Yes, thank you I get the point, even though I learned how to make it when I was 23.
When I got the e-mail for a moussaka making experience from the lovely Megan I thought exactly that. However, I’m always learning so I really wanted to see this staple of the Greek family table done from a professional chef. Secondly, I had completely stopped going to The Real Greek three years ago so I was super curious.
These days my sister and I are at my mum’s and my stepdad’s house in Atalanti Greece. You can imagine the mayhem.
On Friday we had amazing weather so we went out in the garden to gather wild greens. They are called χόρτα (chorta – wild greens) in Greek and we gather them from gardens and fields. I imagine that in an English garden some of those yummy wonders are killed off as weeds. They are boiled and then served hot or cold with olive oil and lemon. They go amazingly well with fish, but I love them any old way.
Let’s get the scary stuff out of the way first. This is a post about soup with INTESTINES. (Wait! Come back!)
So, now that we are left with the brave folks here goes the story.
Mama Despoina (also my mum – she simply rocks) blogged the recipe for Magiritsa the other day, the Greek traditional soup eaten after the Resurrection. It’s incredibly yummy even though I know it sounds weird.
Since we started getting an organic fruit and veg box delivery each week I have been trying out all sorts of new things. It’s so exciting to be getting vegetables every week that you’ve never tried. It makes you look for information, learn and do new stuff. Sort of brilliant.
Especially since we are going through Lent (and the Greek version is a bit weird as I was saying the other day) it’s great to be doing different things with veggies.
Lent for the Greek Orhodox people starts on a Monday. Much neater that way, don’t you think?
I already posted the other day on Tsiknopempti, our BBQ Thursday. Then there is the Sunday of Apokreo – very similar to Halloween, but probably a bit more Dionysian in nature – when we dress up, eat, drink, dance and generally go a bit crazy.
The next day is Clean Monday, the start of the Great Lent, 40 days of no animal products whatsoever. Supposedly. Most Greeks don’t fast during Lent anymore. However, I’ve heard it’s quite good for detox to abstain from animal products now and again.
If you ever happen to be walking around a Greek town or village and it seems that there are BBQ smells everywhere chances are it’s probably Tsiknopempti. (It could also be Easter Sunday but in that case the smell is the roasting lamb on a spit so you’ll know quite quickly which is which).
Tsiknopempti comes from the words tsikna (the characteristic bbq meat smell) and Pempti (Thursday). It comes about once a year, about two weeks before Lent starts.
I’ve been watching Nigel Slater‘s (he really needs a new website) Simple Cooking on BBC lately. What actually made me watch it in the first place was the amazing title sequence. I want to bake something for the people who thought of having episode and recipe titles on food packages. So cute!
What kept me watching are the really interesting recipes. Even though in every single episode I marvel at the miles he has to walk in his kitchen to get from the cupboard to the fridge or from the oven to the garden. Seriously, this must be the biggest kitchen ever.
There is something about London in November that just makes me ache for hearty soups and curling up on the sofa with thick socks. It’s not so much the cold – it gets worse over December and January. It is all about the sharp smell of the cold to come in the air. Sort of like the promise of winter right around the corner.
I was looking for something seasonal to do this week and I stumbled upon some lovely ambercup squash the other day. They look so lovely, don’t they? Small, round, tough, they are like a toy vegetable I think. In the past I never cooked with squash and pumpkin, for some reason my family is not very big on them. My mum has now started growing them in her garden, too late for me as I have flown the nest and my memories of what we eat “at home” are pretty much set. So using squash and pumpkin is very much a London thing for me.
I uploaded a pic of our dinner today on Google+ and Stratos asked for the recipe. That is to say he actually threatened that he would have a heart attack if I didn’t share it. Fine. You know me, I’m here for my friends.
What you need to know about this recipe is that roasted chicken with potatoes is one of the most frequent things we have in Greece. It is considered ideal for a family Sunday lunch so after a few years you are sick and tired of it. So I just gave the recipe a little twist to make it more interesting.
Here I am with the first ever Digital Scullery video in English. Cheers to all the friends of the Greek blog for the idea, by the way if people hate the video I’m blaming you 😉
I honestly thought about doing the Greek accent but I sound so fake that I just stuck to my own. So no funnies there I think. Anyway.
In this first ever Digital Scullery video in English the only classic recipe from modern Greece I could think of was the Frappé coffee – beloved in Greece. The actual phrase “drinking Frappé ” in Greek has become sort of like a cultural symbol. Depending on the context it could mean that you’re just chilling or – in some cases – that you are just lazying about.
Roxakia are a Greek type of sweet dough. I hope it’s mainly Greek but you never know. Anyway. They are bite sized cocoa and vanilla and cinnamon goodies that look lovely and taste like heaven. Avoid if syrupy stuff is not your cup of tea, but you will love them if you like any of the syrupy Greek, Turkish and Arabian goodies.
So. Friends of the Greek blogLOVE this dessert and have been asking me to do a video for absolute ages. I got around to it over the weekend (you can watch the video here – it’s in Greek obviously but you’ll see the technique I am describing below) and I managed to take some pics for the English side too.
It seems that the Dukan diet is sweeping the whole world , not just the nation (please get the media to stop with Carole Middleton and how she got her figure!). It does have some weird and interesting recipes (mainly with oat bran admittedly) and I mentioned that I wanted to make the muffins on our Facebook page. However, the Greek friends on there shouted out in despair about the galette. It seems people find it impossible!
All the chums on facebook (and twitter) are saying that this galette comes out horrible, gets stuck, it’s really hard. So, did my research and here I am with my photos.