Greek Meze

I love doing dinner parties but haven’t done them in such a long time and it’s great to be doing something I love so much. We’re all quite a social bunch but a social bunch regularly meeting is usually difficult to come by. Our friends Maz and Steve, both have busy working lives, one a photographer and the other a builder, so we generally see more of Steve than we do of Maz.

We had mentioned we’d try and meet up on a few occasions, but as always there’s something in our way so a dinner party with friends seemed like the perfect idea one Friday night. I had decided on the cuisine a few weeks prior, what I wanted to cook was decided on a week before, then I researched each recipe I was given, altered some bits, then came the shopping list, which included a lot of double ups, which obviously meant I had too much leftover, but I’d rather too much than too little, you know?

If anyone know Greek people, sharing food with others is important to their culture. Eating isn’t just a means of satisfying hunger, it’s a very social experience. Family and friends brought together to enjoy what’s on offer, what’s not to love about that? I had a little help in the kitchen, as most of what I cooked I cooked in the evening rather than earlier in the day. Jo, Sam’s cousin made the hummus with my instruction, which turned into a huge hit, a lot of laughter and “Jim, I can cook!”

I panicked a lot throughout the day if I would have enough to feed 6 adults and my mini me but actually I was fine, so phew!

I decided to cook:

– chicken souvlaki

– lamb kofta

– Greek potatoes

– halloumi with a lemon juice and capers

– hummus

– tzatziki

with a serving of salad, pitta and flatbreads – I had originally planned to make these too, but the heat that day was unbearable so I chose back ups instead.

Chicken Souvlaki 

This was pretty simple to make. I marinaded the chicken the night before and it was incredibly juicy and so tasty. One of the bigger winners for sure!

  • 2x 900g of chicken breasts
  • 2 large lemons
  • 150ml lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method

Lamb Kofta

I’ve actually made this before, you can see that recipe here.

Sautéed Veg 

Ok so technically this isn’t really a Greek dish but I had a courgette and a pack of mushrooms and thought what the heck! 

In a wok, I added olive oil, salt and pepper, oregano and chopped courgette and mushrooms and sautéed with a little butter for 10 minutes until soft.

There wasn’t any left at the end so I think it was a hit!

Greek Potatoes 

These were delicious. I loved them so much, I’ve made them a few times since and still can’t get enough of them.

  • 1KG Potatoes, peeled, diced (Sam doesn’t like chunky potatoes)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 3 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • Fresh parsley for sprinkling
  • Olive oil

I boiled these for 5 minutes before I put them in the oven to create a slightly fluffy middle but you can skip this step if time is limited.

Grease a large baking dish, I used my lasagne dish with olive oil and preheat the oven to 400F / 200C.

Add the part-boiled potatoes to the dish and add your ingredients. Stir well basting the potatoes.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Stir well, basting in the liquid and continue to bake for another 45 minutes or until nice and crispy.

Serve with fresh parsley and the leftover juice and enjoy.

Halloumi with Capers 

Super Easy, requires little effort. Just need a cast-iron pan, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and a capers.

Slice up the halloumi into medium sized chunks. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper.

To a pan, add oil and throw in the halloumi. Stir often until brown and add to a preheated oven to top up before serving.

Serve with capers sprinkled over the top and lemon slices.

Homemade Hummus

I got this recipe from a friend and I’m so pleased I did. I won’t buy hummus again after making this recipe. I a, also in love with Tahini. Omg that smell is to die for! Just be careful when you open the jar, I managed to spill some over my feet and sandals, it was an odd experience for sure!

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 gloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

These are all base ingredients, add more if you want smoother or a different taste. Can also add chilli flakes, red or green pesto, pine nuts or peppers if you want a more exciting flavour to entertain your guests.

Drain your chickpeas in a sieve, then wash them with cold water and let drain.

To a food processor, add all your ingredients and blend until smooth. Add a little water and taste.

Serve with fresh parsley and a little olive oil.

This can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days if it can last that long!

Greek Tzatzki

This was so easy to make but word to the wise, don’t over do it on portion size, most of the party only had 1-2 spoonfuls per person, so I chucked the rest away, believe me I love the stuff but not that much!

  • 1/4 of full-fat plain Greek yoghurt
  • 4 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cucumber, crated
  • 3 tsp dried dill (I would have used fresh, but Tesco didn’t have it and nor did most of the supermarkets I searched!)
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon
  • 2tbsp bottled lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Stir all the ingredients until, taste and adjust upon taste test.

Serve Immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

It’s safe to say it was a lovely evening and I’d love to do it again. Maz gave me the best compliment and they all said they enjoyed it. Emily even ate a few bits too. Maz wants to cook more Greek food and I’ve asked her to show me more recipes to learn for myself and pass on. Lots of fun!

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