FoodLife & Style

Greek cooking class

Overlooking the breathtaking view of the Nile at Windows on the World restaurant, Ramses Hilton Hotel held an interesting Greek event on Wednesday attended by a number of female socialists and delegations from the Greek Embassy including Costantina Gedeon, the financial manager, and Antoinette Lazaris, wife of Greek Ambassador.

The event began with a light breakfast buffet of delicious pastries and fresh fruits. Then, Marilena Griva, Greek cultural counselor, gave a brief presentation on the best ways to keep healthy through following a Greek nutrition plan and using natural ingredients in cooking such as olive oil, a basic component of Greek food.  

Three-course Greek recipes were unveiled by Chef Dimitrios. Step-by-step instructions how to prepare four delicious appetizers were given to the attendees followed by the main course, lamb ragout with artichokes and a yummy semolina cake to end the meal with a sweet sensation.

The event was wrapped up by a Greek folk dance show during which the attendees were taught the steps of Zorba and other traditional dances of the country.

Here are the distinct recipes you should try out to experience a unique taste of Greece’s most luscious plates.

Taramokeftedes  or Grey Mullet Roe
100 g tarama (grey mullet roe)
300 g white bread soaked in water (squeezed)
1 piece onion copped fine
2 pieces medium boiled potatoes (grated)
chopped parsley
chopped dill
olive oil
1)   Soak the white bread in water fro two minutes.
2)   Squeeze the water and place it in a bowl with the grey mullet roe and grated boiled potatoes.
3)   Add chopped onions, parsley and dill. Then, mix all the ingredients together.
4)   Make small patties and pan fried in olive oil.

Fava or Yellow Lentils:
500 g fava
2 small onions
Olive oil
For Garnish:
Olive oil
Chopped onions
1)   Wash and place the fava in a casserole to boil with plenty of water then cover the fava.
2)   Skim off the foam frequently, and be careful that it is not over cooked.
3)   Add olive oil and two small onions and cook till it becomes ready.
4)   Remove the onions and place the fava in blender to blend it.
5)   Place the fava in a small bowl and garnish with olive oil, chopped onions, lemon and capers.

Tzatziki (Yogurt and Cucumber Salad with Garlic)
350 g cucumber
250 g yogurt
3 cloves garlic (clopped)
1 lemon
60 g olive oil
Salt and pepper
Dill for garnish
1)   Peel the cucumbers and shred finely.
2)   Add salt and leave aside for 10 minutes.
3)   Squeeze the water and mix with yogurt.
4)   Add the garlic and lemon juice. Pour in the olive oil slowly, stirring constantly.
5)   Season with salt and pepper, and garnish it with dill.

Gigandes Plaki (Large White Beans)
500 g large white beans (boiled)
100 g olive oil
75 g onions (chopped)
250 gr tomato concasse
20 gr tomato paste
20 parsley (chopped)
1 piece garlic (chopped)
2 bay leaves
300 ml water
salt and pepper
1)   Heat the olive oil in a casserole.
2)   Add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves and sauté lightly.
3)   Add tomato concasse and tomato paste, then simmer for five minutes.
4)   Place the boiled beans into the baking tray, add the tomato sauce and the water and place it in the oven for 35 minutes.
Note: the beans should be tender but not over cooked, and the liquid partially evaporated.

Main course:
Arni Me Aginares (Lamb Ragout with Artichokes)
1 kg boneless, cubed and blanched lamb shoulder
3 pc cleaned and peeled artichokes
20 g chopped dill
50 g spring onions
50 g clopped onions
20 g flour
½ ltr chicken stock
100 g butter
1)   Sauté the onions with butter, add the blanched lamb and sauté slowly.
2)   Sprinkle with flour and fill up with chicken stock.
3)   Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the meat is nearly tender.
4)   Clean and boil the fresh artichokes and cut in ¼.
5)   Add the artichokes in the casserole with the lamb ragout and simmer for 15 minutes.
6)   Sprinkle with dill and serve.

Halva (Semolina cake)
150 g olive oil
400 g semolina
80 g raisins
20 g almonds whole or grated
Pinch of cinnamon powder
½ ltr water
350 g sugar
¼ cinnamon stick
Half a lemon
1)   Heat the oil in a casserole, add the semolina and stir continuously over low heat until lightly browned.
2)   Add the raisins and the almonds, then stir constantly.
3)   Pour the syrup over the semolina and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for five to seven minutes.
4)   Place the semolina paste in an mould and press the top smooth.
5)   Remove the mould. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cut into slices.

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