I have eaten a lot of Greek food over the years. I like it. The second time I was in college the major was Greek, so that I could read the Greek plays and the Bible in the original. Also, being Russian Orthodox, I am completely at home with the Greek Orthodox. Same beliefs and services – different language and Saints calendar.
These two dishes are quintessentially Greek and also very easy to prepare.
Manitaria – Greek Mushrooms
2/3 cup olive oil – Greek or Cretan preferred
½ cup dry white wine – Greek preferred, but any decent wine will do
1 tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh chopped
3 good sized cloves garlic chopped fine
4 Tbs chopped parsley
juice of 1 lemon
1-12 oz. pack Whole mushrooms – button preferred
salt and pepper to taste
Combine everything except the mushrooms and half of the lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the mushroom and stir to coat. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Set aside in a non-reactive bowl and let cool to room temperature. Just before serving sprinkle the other half of the lemon juice and some fresh chopped parsley over it. We like it with Tzaziki sauce.
Tzaziki Sauce – Greek flavored yoghurt
16 oz. Plain yoghurt
Herself Sez: Plain Cabot’s Greek-Style Yogurt is an excellent choice!
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped fine
kosher salt to taste
4 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 Tbs olive oil – Greek is preferred
2 Tbs red wine, Greek Retsina preferred
Put the yoghurt into a tea towel in a strainer and set over a pot for 2 to 3 hours to drain. Scrape the yoghurt into a mixing bowl. Put the cucumber into another tea towel and wring all possible water out. Mix everything together and let it rest for an hour or so to meld the flavors.
Variations have mint, oregano, or whatever else you like added to them. (The mint is particularly nice).
Garides Tourkolimano – Greek Shrimp
3 lb. Raw shrimp
1 lb. Feta cheese, crumbled
1 tsp Oregano
3 tomatoes cut into wedges
1 cup chopped green onion tops
½ cup lemon juice
¾ cup cream sherry or Retsina, depending on your taste buds
Clean, peel, devein shrimp, set aside with a bit of the lemon juice drizzled over them. Coat a good skillet with olive oil and sauté the tomatoes, garlic, and green onion tops. When the tomatoes are soft, add the shrimp and oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. Sauté the shrimp until nicely pink, turning frequently. Add the feta and wine and boil for 3 minutes or until the feta melts a bit.
Serve with a nice Greek salad and you have a good meal. Greek salad? Easy, just combine any salad greens and veggies that you like, sprinkle it with some crumbled Feta cheese. Oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper for a dressing.