Category Archives: Mezedes

Chipotle Lime BBQ Zucchini

2015 07 08 18 58 38 1

I love summer squash, particularly when they are fresh and the size of my thumb. They are crunchy and sweet, in my mind, zucchinis are the perfect summer food. Now what happens when all you have in your fridge is a foot long specimen? Not as sweet and when cooked not as crunchy. Do not fear, this recipe is just for that problem. Grind a few peppers, mix in the rest of the ingredients and get grilling. The results will be a party favourite.

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What you need:

  • 1-2 chipotle pepper (or more if you like heat)
  • 2-3 ancho chillies
  • 2 limes
  • Olive oil (enough to blend)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (If you dislike cilantro you can use parsley)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 med-large zucchini cut in half.

How it’s done:

  • Take your ancho and chipotle peppers and run them through your spice grinder or food chopper until you have a nice even consistency.
  • Finely chop your cilantro
  • Zest and then juice your limes
  • Place in a mixing bowl and add enough olive oil to create a nice thick mixture
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cut hashmarks into the internal flesh of each of the zucchini halves (this allows the mixture to penetrate into the flesh of the zucchini.
  • Using a spoon or pastry brush, evenly distribute the chilli mixture onto the zucchini (reserve some of the mixture to baste)
  • Preheat your BBQ to an even medium heat
  • Place your Zucchinis uncut side down and grill, watching carefully that the skin doesn’t begin to char.
  • This helps open up the cut hash marks and allows the marinade to penetrate even further
  • At the point when the Zucchinis are soft flip them over to grill the cut side.
  • After a few minutes flip them back over and baste them with the reserved mixture.
  • When the flesh is soft remove from the grill and let cool for a minute or so.
  • Cut into slices and serve as a great side dish or as an appetizer
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Ouzeri Mezedes

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The only thing better than a warm spring day in Greece, is enjoying a cold beer and a plateful of ouzeri mezedes by the sea. Growing up in the land locked mountains of Canada I had never had the culture or capacity to enjoy a massive platter of seafood, much less actually get it down. What made this particular day even more special was the fact that it was my anniversary and I could enjoy the day with my wife. If one day I ever had to leave this remarkable country, it would be the small moments like this that I would miss the most. So before I get too nostalgic and make myself cry or something girlie like that, I will explain what is on the platter so you too can salivate like I did.

So from the top left in the the small bowls we have:

  • A really fresh yogurt dip with mint.
  • Marinated octopus.
  • Tirokaftiri. (My favourite spread. A mixture of soft cheese and hot peppers).
  • Skordalia. (A killer garlic and potato spread. Vampires beware)

Next row from the left:

  • Bakaliaros. (Salt cod)
  • Tucked in behind we have a couple of Kolokithokeftedes (Zucchini fritters)
  • In front of the fritters we have a couple of crab croquettes (with the claw as the handle)

In the front row:

  • On the left we have a large pile of fried squid.
  • And to the right we have a collection of small fried sardines and anchovies.
  • And to round it all off, every Ouzeri platter has wedges of juicy tomato and slices of crisp cucumber.

 

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Carrot and Orange Salad

Great as a stand-alone tapas, or as a killer side dish to complement your heavy wintertime meals. This somewhat odd combination is as simple as it gets and is bursting with lively flavours that leave you coming back for more. There is a one month sweet spot during the winter when blood oranges reach their… continue reading

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Tempura Zucchini Flowers

Eating a zucchini flower feels like an exotic treat. At the market I go to, you see stalls with massive piles of zucchinis all the uniform size of your finger. Attached to them are the flowers in question. Vivid orange, they are a real feast for the eyes and for the stomach. For those that… continue reading

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Put Your Purse Down and Pick Up Your Fork! Eating Grilled Octopus

I remember the first time I ate octopus. It was not the taste or the smell that I remember, but the whole process of preparation, the “experience” of octopus. It was 18 years ago and I was on the island of Skopelos. Being from the frozen tundra of Canada, I was soaking up like a… continue reading

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Lahanodolmades with Avgolemono sauce: Stuffed cabbage leaves

I must admit cabbage rolls have never been my favourite dish, but when I first tried these Greek style ones I was hooked. The stars in this dish are the dill in the meat combined with the avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce.) This is pure comfort food to be served on a cold winter day.… continue reading

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Fried Cheese Bread: Tiganopsomo

“Where’s your yeast?” My Greek friend was asking. “I need to show you something.” Then, like a third rate football player I was relegated to the sidelines of my own kitchen. I have become accustomed to my friend’s assertive behaviour, almost welcoming the intrusions just for the wealth of knowledge they contain. “It’s Tiganopsomo…you know, fried… continue reading

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Marinated Olives

If something is good don’t mess with it right? That’s what I thought about Greek olives. That is until I was dining at a local Spanish tapas bar a block from my flat. I ordered a beautiful risotto and as we were waiting the server brought out a plate of bread and olives. Normative behaviour.… continue reading

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Greek Essentials: Fava

Ah Fava… this is not to be confused with fava beans. This is actually a puree of split yellow peas and flavorings. In Greece this is commonly found on the mezedes or appetizer menu. What you need: 500g bag of yellow split peas 1 large sweet onion 1 clove of garlic 2 bay leaves Olive… continue reading

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Culinary Theology on the Road

The time has come for that dreaded time again… a holiday… So armed with my knives, frying pan, and an empty stomach we head to one of my favourite seaside villages in Greece, Pylos. Situated on the western side of the Peloponnesos, the little village commands beautiful views of the Bay of Pylos, the site… continue reading

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