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    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Farewell Andy- A Greek Feast for You

    You don't need to go to Greece for the food,,, come to our place.
    Our friend Andy is returning to Samos for our winter, their summer... and our family wanted to say Bye Bye.
    I did a bit of research and found some excellent recipes on Food Network. Courtesy of Cat Cora, Michael Symon and for the potato dish I found that on this website Chef in you.
    So the menu was
    Htipto -Feta Spread
    Leg Lamb with Preserved Lemon, Saffron and Olive Vinaigrette
    With Patates sto Furno and Spinach and Mushrooms
    Finished off with Apple Baklava

    It was all very delicious, a bit time consuming but I loved cooking it. Great fun

    Htipto -Feta Spread with Toasted Pita Bread
    Thank you Cat Cora
    * 250 gms feta, crumbled
    * 1 ounce olive oil
    * 2 Calabrian chiles, finely chopped
    * 1 clove garlic, minced
    * 1 teaspoon oregano, finely chopped
    * Freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 lemon, juiced
    * Toasted pita, as an accompaniment

    In a food processor,
    Mix together the feta, olive oil, chiles, garlic, oregano, and black pepper.
    Blend on low speed for about 6 minutes or until the feta is whipped.
    Pour in lemon juice and pulse the mixture until completely combined, about 2 minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to use.
    Serve with toasted pita.
    Quite salty but Yum

    Now the soup.
    The famous Avgolemono, Chicken Soup enriched with Egg and Lemon
    Once again Thanks to Cat Cora and Andy's Mum
    As it turns out Andy's Mum of course made this regularly. Like all cultures, when you are sick your Mother makes you Chicken Soup. My mother made good chicken soup as well.

    There is a trick to adding the egg and lemon mix so he showed me what to do.

    * 1 (3 pound) free range chicken
    * 2 quarts water
    * 2 tablespoons olive oil
    * 1 onion, finely diced
    * 2 bay leaves
    * 1 leek, cleaned and quartered
    * 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
    * handful of long grain rice
    * 2 large eggs
    * 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    * 1 tablespoon salt
    * 1 teaspoon ground pepper

    Place the chicken in a large pot with 2 quarts cold water, enough to cover the chicken.
    Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, skimming when necessary.

    In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions.
    Sweat the onions until clear.
    Set aside.

    When chicken is cooked through, remove from the broth.
    Let the chicken cool and pull the meat from the bones.
    Dice into large cubes. Set aside.

    Add the onion, bay leaves, leek, and carrot to the broth and simmer for 1 hour.
    When finished, remove the carrot and leek from the broth and add the rice.
    Bring to a boil and then turn heat to medium high to simmer
    until the rice is cooked to al dente, about 30 minutes.
    Add the chicken back into the broth. Add more water if needed.
    Bring back to the boil then turn it off
    The stock shouldn’t be too hot or the egg could curdle.
    So for the finishing touches

    In a small bowl beat the eggs with a whisk

    Then slowly add the lemon juice
    Keep whisking all the time
    It will get frothy
    Add 2 cups of hot not boiling stock
    Keep whisking till all blended

    Now pour egg mix into the soup
    Stir to blend

    Test seasoning and adjust if necessary
    Serve immediately

    Now for the Main Course
    Spit Roasted Leg of Lamb with Preserved Lemon, Saffron, Olive, and Vinaigrette
    Cat again
    The Greeks like to cook their lamb long and slow and this was really simple to prepare
    just took about 3 hours to cook.
    Dressed with the wonderful vinaigrette, Will do this again. Good for family dinner.
    The Vinaigrette
    * 1 cup champagne vinegar
    * 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
    * 2 cups pure olive oil
    * 1 tablespoon preserved lemon, small diced
    * 1 cup oil cured olives, finely chopped
    * 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

    In a small saute pan, bring the champagne vinegar and saffron to a boil for 1 minute.
    Pour into a bowl and whisk in the olive oil slowly as to incorporate it.
    Add the chopped preserved lemon and black olives.
    Season with pepper. I do not add salt to this because of the saltiness of the olives.
    This recipe makes a quart and will last for at least a month.

    I prepared the lamb earlier in the day...made studded it with garlic and rosemary and rubbed the marinade in. and just threw in the oven 3 hours before we needed it.
    That lovely smell of roasting Lamb.

    * 1 (5 to 6 pound) leg of lamb
    * 8 small sprigs rosemary
    * 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
    * 1/4 cup olive oil
    * 1 tablespoon dry oregano, crumbled
    * 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
    * 1 lemon, juiced
    * 2 teaspoon salt
    * 1 teaspoon black pepper

    When you are ready to cook heat oven to 250C

    Make sure the lamb leg is cleaned well and any hard fat is trimmed off.
    Make 8 slits in the leg and stuff them with the rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves.
    Rub the leg with the olive oil, dry and fresh oregano, lemon, salt, and pepper.
    I always roast my meat on a 'trivet' of vege
    Roast at 250 degrees C for about 30 minutes.
    Lower heat to 170 degrees C Add water to the pan if needed.
    Cook for about 3 1/2 hours.

    Remove the lamb from the pan and let rest covered with foil about 30 minutes.
    This is the good time to cook the potatoes, just crank up the heat.

    Skim the fat from the pan juices and pour the juice onto the bottom of a platter.
    Slice the lamb into thin slices and serve topped with the preserved lemon sauce.

    Patates sto Fourno (Garlic Lemon Potatoes)

    Apparently my research told me, Potatoes are huge in Greece and this a favourite way of cooking them
    They were great and I will definitely do them again.
    In fact could be the preferred way of roasting potatoes

    It seems that I have got lemon in every aspect of this menu... but hey think of all that Vitamin C.

    You can do art of this earlier in the day as well in fact I was really well prepared not a lot to do at the last moment.
    I peeled and chopped the potatoes into chip shapes.
    Brought them to boil in salted water and cooked them about 8 minutes
    Drain and put aside until you need them
    This stops them from turning brown and of course they don't take so long to cook when you need them

    4 medium gold potatoes, peeled and chopped as above
    * 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    * 1/2 tbsp butter(skip and add more oil to make it vegan)
    * 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon zest
    * 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves (or halve it if using dried)
    I used both I really like dried oregano.
    * 4 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 4 tsp)
    * salt and pepper to taste
    * 1-2 tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves

    Put oil and butter into roasting pan and put into 205C oven for about 3 minutes
    Add potatoes
    Toss well
    Cook about 20 -30 minutes till golden and tender

    Meanwhile mix together oil, lemon juice, zest, oregano, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl

    Add the garlic-lemon mixture to the potatoes and stir very gently.
    The potatoes could break otherwise.
    The aroma when you add this dressing is fabulous
    Back into the oven another 3-4 minutes
    Into serving dish sprinkle with parsley and serve.

    For greens what better vege than spinach
    I wilted the spinach and then chopped it

    Meanwhile in a hot pan saute a pile of chopped mushrooms
    in olive oil
    Season with S &P
    Add spinach, toss around
    Test for seasoning, adjust if necessary, then serve.

    Happy Customers

    Finally the Pudding
    This time it was thanks to Michael Symon
    This needs to be made the day before so that's good for a dinner party.
    Andy hadn't ever had this with Apple and I also threw in some Craisins (dried cranberries)
    It was excellent.
    The top layer all cracks up when you add the syrup but I'm told by Andy, that's normal

    Apple Baklava


    * 1 pound thawed filo dough
    * 1 cup melted butter
    * 2 lemons juiced and zested
    * 4 tablespoons honey
    * 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    * 3 cups diced Granny Smith apples
    * 2 cups chopped toasted walnuts
    * 2 cups chopped toasted pistachios
    * 1 1/2 cups sugar
    * 1/2 cup honey
    * 1 pint water
    * 1 lemon rind

    On a sheetpan lined with parchment paper,
    Lay down 1 sheet of filo and brush with butter.
    Repeat process with 3 more sheets.
    Cover remaining sheets with damp towel and set aside.
    To make filling place the lemon juice and zest, honey, cinnamon, apples, and chopped nuts and gently heat for 3 minutes set aside to cool.
    Spread 1/3 of mixture onto buttered filo stack. 

    Top apple mixture with another stack of buttered filo.
    Repeat process until mixture and filo is gone (there should be 3 layers).
    Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

    Mix sugar, honey, water and lemon and bring to simmer.
    Remove lemon rind and pour over Baklava. 
    See how it cracks.

    Let soak overnight, cut into squares and serve.

    So a superb evening was had by all
    As it turns out the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull (pronounce that if you can)...has disrupted
    Andy's travel plans. so he is not leaving for a couple of weeks. We may have to do this night all over  again.
    Different Menu though.


    Peter M said...

    Bravo to your Greek feast and your guests were lucky to be invited. The lamb looks super!

    So Simple said...

    Thanks Peter going to change the Lamb remains into Greek style Shepherds pie. Love leftovers