Good cooking is based on excellent ingredients. Fresh organic vegetables and meat, fish coming straight from the fishing boat, hand-picked aromatic herbs and some of the exquisite Greek olive oil will easily produce the pure taste of the Mediterranean. Don't worry if you are not a chef, give it a try and you'll be amazed.
1 ½ cup of Greek yoghurt (strained)
2 medium-sized cucumbers
4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
a little vinegar
Skin the cucumbers and cut into thin strips with a vegetables grater; and then cut into small pieces. Drain and squeeze well and then salt. Add the crushed garlic, the vinegar, the yogurt and mix, finally adding the oil. If you wish, you can sprinkle the tzatziki with paprika and garnish with olives. Variation: You can, if you wish, add more garlic for a more garlicky tase, or, instead, add a mixture of finely chopped almonds and other nuts.
100 grams of fish roe 4 slices of bread 1 very small onion, finely chopped ½ cup of oil 2 juicy lemons
Soak the bread well and remove crust. Mash well and add the fish roe. Taking care to work the mixture until it becomes smooth. Then, add the oil and lemon juice alternately drop by drop. If you want, add a little pepper. Pace on small plates and garnish to your particular taste with olives or capers or pickles.
Variation: Instead of bread, you can, if you wish, use 4-5 medium-sized potatoes (boiled and mashed), or, if you prefer, instead of onion, 2 cloves of garlic, crushed.
300 grams of lean meat (pork shoulder)
8 pitta breads
8 small skewers
2 firm tomatoes
pepper (black and red)
1/4 cup of olive oil
Wash the meat well, dice it and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Divide the pieces of meat into eight and put them on to the skewers individually. Put them to cook on the grill. Chop the onions and parsley. Wash the tomatoes and cut up them into thin slices. Cook the pittas one by one on the grill, coating them with olive oil. When the pieces of meat are tender, put them on to the pitta (one skewer for each pitta bread) and slowly draw out the skewer leaving the pieces of meat in the pitta. Add the onion, the parsley, the tomato, sprinkle with red pepper and roll up the pitta having first laid it on greaseproof paper, so that when you roll them up, you roll the paper with them. Only half of the pittas is to be exposed above the grease proofpaper.
Variation: Tzatziki can be added to the contents of the pitta.
2 kilos of large round aubergines
1 kilo of mince
½ cup of oil
2 large onions
5 ripe tomatoes
½ cup of dry white wine
grated kefalotiri cheese
oil for frying
2-3 portions of white sauce (bechamel)
Peel, wash and cut the aubergines into large thin slices. Salt and leave them to drain. Prepare the mince by browning it with the oil and onion, which should be finely chopped. Stop the browning process by pouring in the wine. Add the tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped, the salt and the pepper and allow to boil till all the moisture has been absorbed. Pour the oil into a frying pan and fry the aubergines. Then spread them in large roasting tin and sprinkle with grated cheese. After the first layer, spread the mince on top and then add another layer of fried aubergines. Then sprinkle again with the grated cheese and pour on the white sauce, so that the surface of the moussaka is covered with a thick layer of sauce. Finally, sprinkle some more cheese over this so that the surface becomes crisp.
1. For easier serving and firmer portions, a layer of potatoes can be used. These should have been cut into slices like the aubergines and fried in the same manner.
2. Moussaka with courgettes: This is made by keeping the same quantities as above and using the same ingredients, but replacing the aubergines with courgettes cut into slices and fried to be spread in the same manner in the roasting tin.
1½ kilos of aubergines, medium-sized and round
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup of oil
½ kilo of mince
½ cup of dry white wine
parsley, finely chopped
thick white sauce (bechamel)
2 tablespoonfuls of grated cheese
Remove the stems of the aubergines and wash them well. Cut them in half lengthwise and nick the insides. Coat them with oil, put them in a greased baking tin and allow to bake in the oven until quite soft. Put the oil in a pan and heat. Add the onion and allow to soften, then add the mince, the salt,the pepper, the wine and the finely chopped parsley. Allow this mixture to cook on a low heat for 30 minutes. Spread the aubergines with this mixture and cover it with 1 tablespoonful of white sauce for each half aubergine. Finally, sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes in a moderate oven. One cup of tomato juice and 4 tablespoonfuls of oil may be added to the baking tin if it is wished to ceake a sauce for the dish.
Variation: The aubergines can be fried instead of baked (before filling) if wished. In this case, there is no need to put oil in the tomato sauce.
6 firm ripe tomatoes
6 large green peppers
2 onions, finely chopped
1 cup of tomato juice
1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
12 soupspoonfuls of rice
1½ cups of olive oil
Wash the tomatoes and peppers very well. From one end of each tomato cut a slice (from the top end, usually), but be sure not to detach it completely as it must act as a lid. Then with a spoon empty the tomato of all the pulp, ensuring that you do not puncture the skin. From the pulp the seeds must be removed and disposed of. Then do the same of the peppers (operating from the end where the stem was). The seeds from the peppers are also to be disposed of. Then arrange the hollowed tomatoes and peppers in a baking tin. Place the onion and one coup of oil in a frying pan. Before the onions have quite softened, add the rice and fry till transparent. Chop up the pulp of the tomatoes, add this to the juice and to the rice. Add salt and pepper and the finely chopped parsley, adding to the frying pan half of cup of water. Allow the ingredients to cook till most of the water has been absorbed. Reduce the heat and put each hollowed out tomato and pepper half a teaspoonful of sugar. Then fill (each tomato and pepper) to half way with the rice mixture. Some room must be left for the swelling of the rice. Add one soupspoonful of water and a teaspoonful of sugar and close the lids. Pour the tomato juice in the baking tin with the other half cup of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 1 hour.
Variation: You can, if wished, add potatoes sliced lengthwise to the baking tin, placed between each tomato and pepper.
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