Monday, February 1, 2016

January Supper Club - Greek Food

In January, Rebecca challenged us to make Greek food.  It was a new experience for most of us and we had a lot of fun.  Everything was very tasty!

Katharina started us out with an appetizer of homemade bread and Tatziki sauce.

For my standard homemade loaf, I use the following recipe:
1 1/2 cups water
3 Tbsp honey
3 cups bread flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
Use bread machine to prepare dough. Turn out finished dough and shape two loaves. Put on paper-lined baking sheet, cover with clean tea towel and let rise for 20 minutes. Put one oven rack at the centre, and one at the bottom with a metal baking pan on it. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Put about 2 cups water to the boil. When the loaves have risen, score the tops three times, then put the sheet in the oven. Pour the hot water into the pan on the bottom rack to make steam in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes.

Tzatziki (from a Greek cookbook that Paul brought back from a vacation there)
500g / 1lb of Greek yogurt
1 cucumber
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
Peel and seed the cucumber. Grate on the fine side of a box grater. Put in a colander to drain.
Place the yogurt in a bowl. Peel and crush the garlic and add to the yogurt. Add the cucumber, pepper and salt and stir to combine. Stir in the vinegar and oil. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Lauren made Avgolemono soup.

From Epicurious:

Avgolemono Soup (Egg-Lemon Soup)
I doubled the recipe to make 8 servings the doubled amounts are shown here:
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo (or rice or pastina)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
1. In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.

2. Add the orzo, rice, or pastina and cook until tender but still al dente, about 7 minutes (20, if using rice). Season with the salt and pepper and reduce heat to low; simmer.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice until smooth.

4. Ladle about 1 cup of the hot broth into the egg-and-lemon mixture, then whisk to combine.

5. Add the mixture back to the simmering saucepan. Stir just until the soup becomes opaque and thickens as the eggs cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Add more salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.
Rebecca made the main dish of Moussaka.  It was not the most photogenic dish, but very tasty! 

Lamb and Eggplant Moussaka from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe by Cook's Illustrated.

  • 4 lbs eggplant, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs gorund lamb
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 28 ounces tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 ouces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
 Preheat the oven to 450F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with greased aluminum foil.  Toss the eggplant with the oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp.  pepper.  Spread on the baking sheets and roast until lightly browned 40 to 60 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.

Meanwhile, cook the lamb in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces, until the meat is no longer pink.  Drain, reserving 2 Tbsp. of the oil.

Set the meat aside and return the saved oil to the pan.  Cook the onion and 1 tsp. of salt over medium heat until the onion is softened and lightly brown.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir inthe drained lamb, tomato puree, wine, oregano and sugar.  Simmer, reduce the heat to low and partially cover.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices have evaporated and the sauce has thickened.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the sauce simmers, melt the butter in a medium suacepan over medium high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the milk.  Bring it to a simmer and cook, whisking often, until the sauce thickens.  Remove from the heat and add the Parmesan and nutmeg.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

To assemble the casserole, spread the roasted eggplant in the bottom of a 9"x13" pan.  Top with the meat sauce.  Spread the the white sauce evenly over the top.

To store:  Wrap the dish tightly in plastic wrap that has been sprayed with oil.  Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To bake after refrigerating:  Preheat the oven to 400F.  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position.  Cover the dish tightly with greased aluminum foil.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is lightly golden brown, 15-20 minutes more.  If baking without refrigerating, simply bake the casserole for 25-35 minutes, until the top is lightly golden.

Kim made a side dish of gigantic beans.

Dani made a semolina custard with phyllo and a delicious mint tea.