Showing posts with label Greek Cuisine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek Cuisine. Show all posts

Friday, 18 May 2018

A Greek Feast at Olea Villas Crete


On our recent trip to Crete we had the opportunity to stay at the Olea villas, which are set amongst olive groves facing Loutraki Bay, near Chania Crete The villas are fully equipped with a modern kitchen with all mod cons, crockery and cooking utensils if you want to do self catering. However for those who go on holiday and want total relaxation you can even arrange for a private chef to come and cook a Greek feast for you.

We were very lucky to experience this service. On our second night while we relaxed with a glass of wine, our own personal chef Stefanos Bourdakis and his partner came fully prepared to cook some amazing Greek dishes for us



It was really interesting to watch him create some regional Cretan dishes made from scratch. Being a vegetarian I was amazed that almost every dish he made was meat free and I was able to sample them all.


For starters we had butternut squash soup - Kolokythósoupa. I had a hands on cookery lesson from Stefanos. He sauted onions in olive oil, once the onions were translucent he added the butternut squash, carrots, potatoes in white wine. Once the vegetables were cooked he seasoned it with salt and pepper and added Mytzitahra cheese to it and blended it to a smooth puree. A finishing garnish of Greek yoghurt and cream were added before serving.


We really enjoyed our candle light dinner on the terrace overlooking Loutraki Bay.



The soup followed with a plate of Kolokithakia Tiganita or Deep Fried Zucchini (courgettes). Wafer thin slices of zucchini are soaked in water for half an hour after which they are towel dried. The zucchini slices are then tossed in a seasoned flour to coat them before deep frying them until they are crisp and golden brown. These are so delicious with a squeeze of fresh handpicked lemons straight from the lemon groves.


After enjoying these two wonderful starters there was more to come. Stephanos made us these delectable spinach parcels called Kaltsounia. Greek phyllo pastry filled with spinach and Mytzitahra cheese and herb filling and then shallow fried till until they are golden brown. They are finished with a coating of sesame seeds.  These were served with mini pastry tartlets filled with an avocado salsa.




When we thought that we had finished, how wrong we were there was more to come!!! For the main course we had Simbetherio (συμπεθεριό).This is a type is the Cretan vegetable stew cooked with a medley of seasonal vegetables on the stove top. The meaning of 'simbetherio' comes from the relationship of the parents-in-law of the two members of a marriage; the families become related to each other through marriage (they are 'simbetheroi' to each other). 

The simbetherio dish uses the extended family members of various similar species, cooked in the same pot. This dish had potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines and had a garnish of Mytzitahra cheese. Simplicity at its best!!


To accompany the Simbetherio, we had Melintzanes Stolismenes these are thin slices of eggplant shallow fried and rolled with feta. The eggplant rolls are layered in an ovenproof dish and topped with a spicy tomato sauce and Keseri cheese. The dish is baked in the oven until the cheese is golden brown and crisp.


After this incredible Greek gastronomical feast, our stomachs were aching from the fullness and ready to explode, but there is always room for dessert!!!


So for dessert Stephanos made us these delectable little deep fried Greek honey and sesame coated balls call Loukoumades. They were really delicious and the perfect end to this Greek Feast.

I would like to Thank Stefanos and his wife for spoiling us rotten by creating such a wonderful banquet for us. We were totally transformed into a food journey through Greece with all the flavours and dishes.


In the picture Heidi Roberts, Katilena , myself, with Stefanos and his wife.

If you ever visit Crete and would like Stefanos to cook for you you can contact him via email s.bourdakis@hotmail.com

To read more about my trip to Crete do check the posts below:

Monday, 31 March 2014

Greek Feta and Potato Balls.


Crispy crunchy coating with delicious cheesy potato inner makes these Feta cheese and potato balls simply delectable.

Ingredients:

240 g Kataifi  Pastry (shredded Greek Pastry)
4 medium boiled potatoes
60 g feta cheese
1 tablespoon plain flour mixed with 3 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon white pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
1 small carrot finely grated
6 mint leaves finely chopped
600 ml sunflower oil for frying.



Method:

1.       In a bowl add the boiled potatoes and mash them with a potato masher. Add the grated carrot,
2.       Crumble the feta into the potatoes, add the salt, nutmeg, pepper and mint leaves and mix well.
3.       Make walnut sized balls from the mixture and keep them to one side.
4.       Separate some strands of the kataifi pastry, dip the potato ball in the flour water mixture and wrap it with the strands of kataifi pastry. Repeat for all the balls.
5.       Heat the oil in a deep pan, once it is moderately hot, deep fry the potato balls on medium heat until golden brown.
6.       Remove the golden brown potato balls from the oil and fry the remaining balls in small batches.

Serve the Feta potato balls with yoghurt and mint dip.
To make the yoghurt and mint dip- 4 tablespoons Greek yoghurt, pinch of salt, pinch of white pepper, 1 teaspoon of mint sauce and 1 clove garlic finely minced. Mix all the ingredients together and serve as a dip. 



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