Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#21 Sun 10 Feb 13 11:07pm

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Greek food, with love

We had a large Greek migrations here after the war and by the time I was out of the family home Greek food was changing the culture. Garlic, eggplant, zucchini and red peppers I first tried through the Greek owned greengrocers.

And then came souvlaki! Being vegetarian then I would confuse shopkeepers outside Melbourne by asking for vegetarian souvlaki, but they always managed to give me the toasted flat bread filled with salad and drizzled with the tzatziki sauce. In Melbourne city they knew!

Late at night we went to Stalactites Greek Restaurant, it is still there!  http://www.stalactites.com.au/ and ate dips and dolmades. (PS Note vegetarian souvlaki on the menu!). It used to have a roof made to look like a crystal cave with polystyrene sculpting and a bit of fluorescent paint! lol, It was great though!

And then there were the wonders of filo pastry and spanakopita! I made a lovely vegetarian moussaka (still haven't tried a meat one!).

I have more Greek recipes in my repertoire, but that was my introduction! smile

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#22 Mon 11 Feb 13 12:36am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Greek food, with love

Joy, didn't Melbourne at one stage have the world's largest Greek population outside Greece? I know that quite a few of my in-laws' relatives migrated to Melbourne. Quite a lot to Newcastle, too, where they opened cafes, mainly.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#23 Mon 11 Feb 13 4:16am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Greek food, with love

That is true Maree, for quite a while we were the worlds second largest Greek population (by city): Athens being the largest!

My suburb was one with a high Greek population and it is still obvious in the local shopping centre: cafe's where all the cakes are Greek, and the tailor! And I think my favourite small supermarket in the area is Diana's which still caters for the Greek population. cool

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#24 Mon 11 Feb 13 12:34pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: Greek food, with love

I believe Australia has the largest greek immigrant population in the world.  In fact, there are about 11million Greeks in Greece.  But there are 40million Greeks living abroad. 

Hold on world, there is a mass exodus from Greece now due to the terrible economic crisis.  Just like after WWII Greeks are leaving in mass numbers.  I think most are heading to Australia  shocked

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#25 Mon 11 Feb 13 12:46pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: Greek food, with love

Greeks tend to eat a lot of vegetarian and vegan food due to numerous religious fasting days.  We have a 40-50 day period of Lent leading up to Easter, a 2-week lent in the beginning of August, and various scattered days during the rest of the year.  It seems like people are always fasting. 

Fasting in orthodoxy means not eating meat or fish, sometimes not eating dairy and occasionally not eating oil.  For very religious people they will not eating meat on any Friday. 

For this reason we have lots of vegan dishes like stuffed tomatoes and peppers, legumes, and vegetable stews.  Surprisingly, some seafood is considered ok to eat while fasting because it does not have blood running through its veins.  This includes octopus, squid, clams, mussels, etc. 

Here is a review and interview with the author of lovely new book about Greek cooking by a greek woman who grew up in S. Africa http://www.cheftalk.com/products/food-f … ns/reviews

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#26 Mon 11 Feb 13 11:47pm

falconcy

Forum champ
Occupation Project Manager
From Limassol, Cyprus
Member since Tue 19 Dec 06

Re: Greek food, with love

Living in Cyprus I can lay my hands on most things necessary to make good Greek home cooking. I love an Octopus stew in red wine, or a moussaka - cuttlefish straight of the barbie - so many good things to eat. We also eat a lot of Middle Eastern food and particularly like the way they marinate their meat.

For a Greek style treat, sprinkle some dried oregano on your chips.

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#27 Tue 12 Feb 13 1:26pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: Greek food, with love

falcony, care to share some Cypriot recipes?  I usually buy sheftalies (raw) from a local cypriot restaurant that make them oh so good.  Never tried making them myself.

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#28 Tue 12 Feb 13 1:49pm

falconcy

Forum champ
Occupation Project Manager
From Limassol, Cyprus
Member since Tue 19 Dec 06

Re: Greek food, with love

koukouvagia wrote:

falcony, care to share some Cypriot recipes?  I usually buy sheftalies (raw) from a local cypriot restaurant that make them oh so good.  Never tried making them myself.

I'll dig out some local Cypriot recipes for the thread. Sheftalies are not that hard to make as long as you can get your hands on caul fat. Some people make them a bit bigger - I like them that way.

You can make them with pork, chicken, or lamb mince.

Ingredient wise, you need:

500g minced pork, chicken or lamb
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
6 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 slice of bread, remove crust and soak in 2 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 piece of Caul fat
Juice of a lemon

Wash the caul fat well under running cold water and place it in a bowl, add the lemon juice and leave for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and let it drain.

In a medium sized bowl add the meat, onions, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, cinnamon. Squeeze any excess water from the bread and add this to the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Lay out the caul fat flat and cut it into square pieces about 7x7cm. Put about a tablespoon of the meat mixture in every piece of caul fat, fold in the outside edges and roll.

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#29 Wed 13 Feb 13 11:56am

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: Greek food, with love

That doesn't sound too hard.  I can get caul fat easily here.  In fact, I buy caul fat at Easter and we wrap the lamb in it as it spins on the spit.  We also make frigadelia which are lamb livers wrapped in caulfat and then grilled.  I'm not a big fan of those but our guests are.

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#30 Fri 15 Feb 13 1:13pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: Greek food, with love

Tzatziki - if you use low-fat greek yogurt, tzatziki can be a lovely and healthy accompaniment to almost any meal.  Greeks love mixing tzatziki with rice, using it as a dip for bread or pita, and served along with meat dishes.  You can top baked potatoes, use it as a salad dressing, or even spread it on a sandwich instead of mayo.  I usually have a bit of it in my fridge for these purposes.

- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 english cucumber, skin on, grated
- 2Tbsp olive oil
- 1Tbsp red wine vinegar
- pinch salt
- 1, 2, or 3 cloves of garlic depending on side and your affinity for it

1. After you grate the cucumber put it in a small sieve and toss in some salt.  Allow the cucumber juice to drain as much as possible, occassionally pressing it to allow more liquid to drain. 
2. To the cucumber add finely minced garlic and combine all the ingredients together.  Taste for seasoning.

Sometimes herbs are added.  If I'm serving it with lamb or pork I add chopped fresh mint or parsley.  Sometimes I add dill and/or scallion.  A little squeeze of lemon brightens it up.  Using greek yogurt and draining the cucumber really helps make it a thick consistency and not too thinned out.

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