Go for a Greek feast - recipes

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Copy of ss Baklava cigars INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Baklava cigars. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

GREEK LAMB KEBABS (SOUVLAKIA) WITH TZATZAKI

MARINADE

80ml olive oil

15ml coriander seeds, crushed

10ml lemon rind

80ml lemon juice

10ml dried oregano

125ml dry white wine

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 fresh bay leaves

salt and black pepper

1kg boned leg of lamb, cut into 2cm cubes

10-12 wooden skewers, soaked pita breads, to serve

TZATZIKI

Half a cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated

10ml white wine vinegar

175ml Greek yoghurt

5ml crushed garlic

15ml chopped fresh mint

salt and pepper

MARINADE: Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Add the lamb cubes and marinate in the fridge overnight. When ready to cook, drain the lamb from the marinade and thread on to skewers. Cook over hot coals for about 10 minutes or under a preheated grill, turning and basting occasionally. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve in pita with tzatziki.

TZATZIKI: Sprinkle the cucumber with vinegar and place in a clean tea towel. Turn both ends to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Mix cucumber with remaining ingredients and season.

 

OLIVE AND MINT SPREAD

Serves 4-6

150g black olives, pitted

250ml picked mint leaves

10ml chopped garlic

80ml olive oil

15ml lemon juice

salt and pepper

feta cheese for sprinkling

crackers for serving

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Spoon into a dish and sprinkle with feta.

Drizzle with extra olive oil.

Serve with crackers, melba toast or pita bread.

 

BAKLAVA CIGARS

Makes 30

SYRUP

250ml sugar

250ml water

3 whole cloves

1 stick of cinnamon

125ml honey

juice of half a lemon

FILLING

300g whole almonds, chopped

10ml ground cinnamon

3ml ground cloves

250g butter, melted

10 sheets of phyllo pastry

SYRUP: Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

The sugar and water must be completely dissolved before boiling point is reached. Brush any sugar crystals off the sides with a pastry brush and water.

Add the cloves, cinnamon stick and honey, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Allow to cool.

FILLING: Combine almonds, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside. Unfold all the pastry sheets, divide into three sections equally and cut. There should be about 30 strips.

Pile each one on top of the other. Cover with a damp tea towel to prevent drying out.

Take one sheet, brush with butter and spoon a thin strip of the nut filling along the bottom edge, leaving a 3cm border on each side.

Fold in sides, brush with butter and roll up tightly to form a cigar shape. Repeat with remaining filling and pastry sheets. Arrange cigars in a well-buttered oven tray, then brush with any remaining butter.

Bake at 180ºC for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, pour over the syrup and sprinkle with any extra nuts.

 

GREEK CUSTARD TART

Serves 8

SYRUP

375ml sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

15ml fresh lemon juice

375ml water

CUSTARD FILLING

1.5 litres milk

180ml sugar

250g butter

peel of 1 orange, cut into strips

250ml semolina

6 egg yolks, beaten

12 sheets of phyllo pastry

125g melted butter

15ml cinnamon sugar

SYRUP: Place sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and water in a saucepan over low heat. Dissolve sugar. Increase the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes until thick and syrupy. Cool and remove the cinnamon sticks. Set aside.

CUSTARD: Heat the milk, sugar, butter and orange peel in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the semolina just before the milk starts boiling.

Cook, while stirring, until the filling is thick and creamy. Cool before adding the beaten egg yolks. Mix well. Remove the orange peel from the custard.

Place a sheet of phyllo pastry in a 22cm x 30cm ovenproof dish. Brush with melted butter.

Repeat the process with four phyllo sheets. Pour custard filling into the baking dish and top with five phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Fold ends inside to enclose filling.Cut two phyllo sheets into thin strips. Mix with a little melted butter and place the strips on top of the phyllo sheets in the dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 180ºC for 45 to 50 minutes until golden and custard is set. Remove from the oven and pour over the syrup.

Cut into squares and serve lukewarm.

Makes 6-8

Saturday Star

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