Supper Club - Greece. The gang of chefs (some professional, some just love cooking) got together again around the theme of Greek cuisine. This gourmet supper club has been getting together for some time now, and it's a joy to learn and taste with them. There was a lot of celebrating going on with several coming back from various European travel adventures and marriage celebrations. The stories flowed with the Greek wine and encouragement from those who went and those left behind this time. Follow the crumbs of our Greek dining adventure last night.
Revithia Yahni - a braised lemony chickpea appetizer which Caren, one half of the honeymoon couple, prepared for us.
Fassolakia Ladera - a caponata-like chunky vegetable dish, with hunks of bread and feta, which Isadora made.
Skordalia - A very garlicky dip served with pita that Bob made, who was the only one who could pronounce the Greek names correctly!
This is a shot of the dip and the pita, which includes the other dish Bob brought, described in detail further down the page.
Lamb Gyros - Tom M researched the making of gyros and told us all about the ideal way to cook, and the way to make these tasty morsels at home.
Tom M presented the gyros he made with a smile!
Moussaka - Janis made the most luscious, moist and flavorful moussaka you can imagine. She recounted the horror she felt when she looked up the old recipe she had and saw that it was lacking for today's tastes, so went on a journey of research to find the best moussaka recipe created with the freshest ingredients.
Keftedes - these Greek meatballs were amazing. Glenn is one of our professional chefs who never ceases to amaze us with his depth of knowledge of various cuisines and food combinations. I'm sure he could make rubber bands taste like haute cuisine, and when having the run of ingredients and kitchen, he simply stuns us every time. Since we had a little late start, he was worried about overcooking these, but they were amazing when they reached your lips!
Fish Croquettes in Walnut Sauce - Emil brings his engineering background to bear on crafting food with delicious precision. He re-engineered a couple of Greek recipes from the Sephardic Jewish community molding carp, matzo meal and walnuts into fluffy balls of succulence. We were all after his recipe. Emil is the other half of the honeymooners.
Greek Salad - We've teased Bill for months now about actually creating one of the dishes himself, and this time he showed up with one he made with his own hands. And it was good! Crisp and fresh and a nice foil to all the mains we'd just completed. Bill is from New England, and we've just not come to the kind of cuisine yet that he excels at - let him at a steak, lobster or clam and we understand he's unmatched. He and Janis are soon celebrating their 39th Wedding anniversary.
Spanikopita - Karen carefully combined spinach, feta, pine nuts, parsley and mint, and stuffed it in equal measure into whole wheat filo for this spectacular showing. Served piping hot out of the oven, and perfectly browned people were asking after this recipe as well. Karen & Tom M are soon celebrating their 12th Wedding anniversary. We had so many opportunties to toast last night!
Prasopita and Tzaziki - Bob brought this lovely leek pie - Prasopita - as he though we were a bit short on the veggies, as well as some smooth tzaziki - yoghurt and cucumber sauce. Bob has connections to the Ionic Islands, so we got a lot of insider information from him. Tidbits such as that the original inhabitants of Greece were blond and blue-eyed, which the island natives remained, not being overrun by the Ottoman empire as the mainland was.
Kourabiedes - Our talented Scottish lady Gillian, a professional food critic who was carried off from the highland hills (via a cruise ship meeting) by our Richie and now graces us with her insights, made these shortbread-like cookies with powdered sugar.
Karythopitta - Gillian also brought this syrup-soaked walnut cake, and informed us as we were eating that we were certainly combining several meals into one as the Greeks eat sweets in the afternoon with tea, not after dinner as we were. She said that she halved the syrup for this rendition as she was sure we wouldn't enjoy eating it in its full deadly-sweet splendor. And by the time we got to this part of the meal, we could appreciate that sentiment.
Yaouti me Meli & Karidi - Our ever-patient organizer, Tom H hand carried a bottle of authentic Greek walnuts immersed in honey from Corfu for this dish paired with thick Greek yogurt. Tom just returned from leading a gastronomic tour - Ten Days to Tuscany, where the lucky participants cooked with Italian chefs, ate and meandered their way through Florence Vinci Siena San Gimignano Arezzo! Next, he will be organizing a trip on a river barge in France were the dining is something to look forward to coming back from the shore excursions to enjoy.
Sykomaitha - Spiced figs with Masitha liqueur. A drum roll is needed here. These amazing confections were made and presented by Stephanie. Figs were mashed with several ingredients, not only the Masitha but Ouzo was added as well, and the resulting mixture was baked in waxed wraps then tied with cord for this presentation which was even more delicious than beautiful.
Yours truly almost didn't make this one as she couldn't make the dish she had planned - a rabbit stew from Corfu, but her friends insisted she come after class anyway and bring something simple instead. So I brought some Ouzo and Greek white wine. One of which I learned had pine needles in it as a tradition dating to when the Greeks were anticipating the Ottomans to raid and steal their wine cache, so they wanted it to be an acquired taste. After tasting it, I can confirm it is indeed an acquired taste, which I didn't, but all in the fun of chef's adventures! I've made a slide show of the Greeks Spirits which accompanied the meal, as well as the socializing aspect in my previous posts today. Oh, and if you want to turn off the music, you can find the on/off on the slide show of chefs socializing.