Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Traditional Greek Recipes from the island of Lesvos

Last October on our Greek Muse Tour we spent a lovely afternoon with Helen, at her outdoor kitchen in the harbor town of Molyvos.  During this fun hands-on cooking class, Helen shared with us the secrets of traditional Greek cooking.  After all was prepared, we feasted on an amazing meal complete with local wine!
Below are recipes for some of the dishes we learned to make. καλή όρεξη (good appetite in Greek)!
We'll be going back to visit Helen this fall, so if you'd like to learn Greek cooking hands-on, please join us!

Lamb of Lesvos
2 legs of lamb  [in our case they weren’t fresh; 20 days after the kill to ensure that they were soft]. 
Marinade for 24 hours in red wine (reserve marinade).
Place ingredients in a pressure cooker:
Lamb and onions
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion chopped and sautée
Next add 1 cinnamon stick
Once onion is translucent add leg of Lamb
Add 1 onion studded with about 20 whole cloves
About 1 tsp. of cumin, paprika & chilli powder
2 bay leaves
Add marinate
500 gr tomato sauce
1 tbsp. tomato paste
3 tbsp. fig syrup (or sugar)
Add enough boiling water to cover
Add 1 cup washed rice
Stuffed Peppers
Cook on stovetop in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes or with normal boiling cook 2 hours.

Peppers stuffed with Feta cheese
Small sweet red and yellow peppers
Cut off the tops (keep for later) 
and remove seeds
Feta mashed with a fork mixing in
One tsp of oregano, thyme sage, and mint
Finally chopped tomato
Finally chopped onion
¼ cup olive oil
Stuff peppers, place in a glass baking dish, and bake ¾ hour at 350-374 F
Stuffed Eggplant Lesbian Style
Cut off the tops and bottoms
Peel down 2 sides
3 or 4  cuts down each unpeeled sides so as to create squares at the top of long pieces but make sure to leave the last couple of centimeters of the narrowest end in tact/uncut.
Filling Eggplant with stuffing mixture


[Looking at from the bottom]

Finely chopped red onions
Finely chopped tomato
Finely chopped zucchini
Parsley, garlic, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, mint

Add stuffing into the cuts and bake covered with water until cooked
Add olive oil towards the end

Stuffed onions- “savanya”
Peel and cut ½ way thru lengthwise
Boil until tender
Onion layers stuffed and ready to cook

Cool while preparing stuffing,

½ beef and  ½ pork 300 gr
Add mint, cumin, salt, and parsley
1/4 cup Raki - you may need to go the Greece for this one!
¼ cup uncooked rice
Once cooled remove hearts and chop up into the stuffing mixture
Before rolling meat into the onion layers, remove film from in between the  layers
With cut at bottom, place in saucepan
Add 1 cup of beef stock
Olive oil
Make sure they’re covered with liquid; add plate to keep them down; add saucepan lid
Boil for ½ hour

Reminder: January 15 is Greek Dinner Around the World Day!  
So, try one or two of these delicious dishes.  I recommend the Savanya (or stuffed onions) . And for a tasty Greek wine try Domaine Gerovassiliou 2012 White Wine from Epanomi, Greece.  καλή όρεξη!