Posts Tagged ‘Greek’
Now that is a fun word to say: spanakopitakia, spanakopitakia, SPANAOPITAKIA!!!These are wonderful little treats to have around the house or to make for a party, just grab and go! They are just a little more work than making a big spanakopita, but the extra step of folding each one individually makes for a nice change (and sometimes of a less mess when eating too).You will follow the same recipe as Spanakopita but instead of layering in a dish, you will roll into individual triangles. Easy Peasy.
I am sure you are wondering what the heck soutzoukakia is if you aren’t Greek, and the first time I heard someone mention it I replied, “Gazoontight” (Gesundheit)!
Although this dish has a ridiculously funny name, it has a seriously delicious taste. This particular version of the recipe comes from a part of Turkey called, Smyrni. This used to be a heavily inhabited by Greeks before the population exchange in 1922. It is basically a Greek meatball but instead of round it is egg shaped or like a sausage link.
aka “Giouvarlakia” in Greek, pronounced yiou-var-LAkia
I remember tasting this soup last Easter for the first time. It is not the typical Easter soup, that would be called “mageiritsa”. But once this American girl found out what the ingredients of THAT soup were, she politely maybe snobbishly refused to eat it. There is just something about using the inner parts of an animal to make a soup. But the tradition of this soup does make sense, it is supposed to help gently break the fast of no meats or dairy for the previous 40 days. Parts like the liver and intestines are apparently more easily digested.
Something I don’t like or understand in Greece are strikes. Today is a big striking day. Almost all public services (including schools, all means of transportation, military, church officials, government offices, ect) are closed because the people want a change and striking is a desperate attempt to get some change. Unfortunately, at least from where I am standing, this is just a lose – lose situation. You see, the government has AGAIN made salary decreases. For us this means about 300 euros less each month, basically a whole month’s rent to put it into perspective. But it doesn’t stop there. We are also awaiting an emergency property “tax” that will be around 200 euros each and the worst thing of all, it makes no sense, it is simply the government reaching into our pockets yet again. And on top of that, the government is suspending 30,000 public servants, some of which may be teachers. So, people are striking, not show up for work. And if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Unfortunately though, the actual chances of the government changing its mind because you missed work are slim to none. A total lose – lose situation!
Greek food is very memorable. Whether it is the first time you taste your first gyro sandwich or maybe you are just a sucker for homemade baklava, but regardless of which recipe exactly it is, you definitely remember its origins! The first time I tasted keftedes (Greek for meatballs) or keftedakia (Greek for small meatballs) was kind of an unusual experience. We had just been visiting the in-laws for a couple of weeks and were leaving that morning to drive to Athens, about a 5-6 hour drive from north Greece. Being the wonderful mother-in-law that she is, she made us a picnic for the road.
Greek Souvlaki with a Lemon Oregano Marinade Recipe:
4 T. Fresh lemon juice
3 – 4 T. EVOO Oil
1 T. red wine vinegar (or just wine)
1 tsp. Greek oregano
1 tsp. Greek thyme, optional
2 – 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 onion, sliced or cubed
salt and pepper
Dear readers and faithful followers of Seemingly Greek,
I need to ask for a little grace in the coming weeks. I have many new recipes to share and I had this perfect “plan” of having all of the images uploaded with the typed out recipes – but, that dream isn’t a reality. It is actually furtherest from the truth… I should be uploading a picture of my living room in an utter mess as I try to get ready to leave tomorrow for the States.
In addition to a recipe (below), you must also know how to order a frappe when coming to Greece. Whether you take a lot or a little sugar with your coffee or even prefer it plain, it is all said in one simple word:
Well, summer weather here in Lesvos was in full force this weekend and instead of being home and writing the updated blog post that I needed to be, I was swimming in the sea and eating ice cream with my husband. The sea was cold, really cold, at first but after a few minutes my body adjusted and it was spectacular!!! Summer is really one of the best times to be in Greece, and I only have 10 more days of my Greek summer because I am heading to the USA in exactly 10 days! I will (unfortunately) be flying solo, my hubby will still have school and will not be able to join until (maybe) July – I am NOT too excited about that part though. Thank God for skype!!!
Presvitera’s Dolmades Recipe:
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
2-3 T. EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 medium white onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 large lemons, juiced
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock, heated
30 grape leaves, rinsed and drained (from jar or use fresh but boil until tender)
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, saute the onion in 2 T. EVOO for a few minutes, then add the rice and herbs and continue stirring until the onion has softened. Slowly, pour in half the heated stock and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until rice is almost cooked but still very al dente. You do not want to overcook your rice, but you do want it started! Stir in half the lemon juice and remove from heat, cool until easy enough to handle.
Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, and although Greeks don’t really celebrate birthdays, THIS American girl surely does!!! V requested strawberry cake but there were no strawberries to be found yet on the island, maybe in a couple of weeks. Instead, I made a double layer walnut cake and filled it with his favorite vanilla creme (instant and hassle free)!
There is a (mostly) wonderful custom here in Greece that anytime you visit someone’s house, you should “arrive with your hands full and leave with your hands empty”! Basically, you should always bring something when visiting anyone, even if they are family. The exception to this is rule is only if you have already been to visit before in the previous days and took something with you then. Typical gifts are a box of delicious sweets, a bottle of wine, some flowers, or maybe even something you have prepared yourself.
Vegetarian Pastitsio “Greek Lasagna” Recipe: Serves 6-81/2 kilo (~1 lbs.) variety of brown and white mushrooms*1-2 medium zucchini, chopped*1-2 medium white onions, chopped1/8 cup EVOO2-3 cloves of garlic, minced1 large bay leaf1 tsp. Greek oreganosalt and pepper1/2 T. tomato paste1/2 – 1 can crushed tomatoesa little less than a 1/4 cup dry white wine1 all-spice berry1/2 tsp. cinnamon3/4 – 1 pkg. pastitsio or bucantini noodles (substitute just penne would work too)1/2 – 3/4 cup Kefalotyri (Ramano or another hard cheese)Saute onions and zucchini in the olive oil on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, add the garlic and bay leaves and cook another 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Add the chopped mushrooms and clove(s) and raise the heat to medium high, add the wine and tomato paste. Cook until almost all the wine has cooked off, then add the can of tomatoes, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and oregano, lower to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest.*You can easily replace your veggies with anything of your choice: mixed spinach greens, eggplant, or anything you’d like, don’t hesitate to make it your own!Cook your noodles in a large pot of salted water until al dente, with a slight bite or firmness remaining (about 10-12 minutes).Béchamel Sauce Recipe:1/2 stick butter (~50-75g.)1/2 cup AP flour5 cups warm whole milk4 eggs, room temperature1/2 – 1 cup grated hard cheese (vlahotyri, romano, parmesan, ect)salt and pepper1/2 – 3/4 tsp. nutmegMore hard cheese to grate on topAdd butter to a medium large saucepan and melt on medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until turns a warm golden brown, about 5-7 minutes depending on your heat. Continue whisking briskly while you steadily stream in your warm milk making a nice roux. Make sure you do not have any lumps, if you start to see them forming, simply whisk faster (you can use a mixer if you have a whisking beater). Now, bring to a slight boil while stirring with a wooden spoon. You want your roux to thicken but not turn into a batter. Remove from heat and cool slightly for 5 minutes. Whisk all of your eggs together and slowly stream them into your roux, mixing quickly to avoid scrambling. Now, add your cheese and seasonings.Once everything is ready, you can preheat your oven to 190°/375° and assemble your dish. Lightly oil your small – medium baking dish and mix 1 ladle of your béchamel sauce into your veggie mix and 2 ladles into your drained pasta. Lightly oil and add enough veggie/tomato sauce (not béchamel) to coat the bottom of your dish. Then, add 1/2 of your noodles. Follow with your veggie sauce and then repeat with remaining noodles. Top with the remaining béchamel sauce and grated cheese. Bake in a hot oven for 30-45 minutes. You want your edges to be bubbly and the cheese to be golden brown. Rest at least 30 minutes before serving to help set-up and make easier to dish out and hold form!
Although this dish takes a little effort and a lot of cleaning pots and pans, it is totally worth it. Make it once or twice and you will get the hang of it in no time!