THE AUGUST 2020 CHALLENGE IS . . . . . GREECE

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After enjoying some lamb souvlaki with pita points and Skordalia I think I'd like to keep the Mediterranean thing going since it is summer and gardens are coming in and it's healthy. Even if you don't have a garden markets are starting to see fresh, local produce rolling in. So this months challenge is GREECE - the mother to a lot of Western cuisine. Do a little history search and you'll see what I mean. So on that note - grill it, chill it, bake it, roasted, or raw - cook to your hearts content.

And now for the Bla, Bla, Bla:


  • The challenge begins on the 1st of every month. The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
  • You may post multiple entries.
  • All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
  • If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
  • Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
  • The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge, and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
  • Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
  • The winner’s bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month’s challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE

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Nice choice! I mentioned egg and lemon soup in the Italian challenge, maybe I'll do a Greek version. And I did home made pita in the past, guess it is time to do it again.

mjb.
 
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So inspired by this challenge I stopped by a place I've driven past a few hundred times, but never stopped to check it out.

http://www.blackcherrymarket.com/

So I went inside to give it a once over. I will be back, they have some pretty good stuff there. I just picked up a few things.

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The sumac and aseppo are something I've wanted to try out for a while, they won't be part of this challenge. The Greek olives, though, will make an appearance within a few days.

mjb.
 
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So inspired by this challenge I stopped by a place I've driven past a few hundred times, but never stopped to check it out.

http://www.blackcherrymarket.com/

So I went inside to give it a once over. I will be back, they have some pretty good stuff there. I just picked up a few things.

View attachment 68376

The sumac and aseppo are something I've wanted to try out for a while, they won't be part of this challenge. The Greek olives, though, will make an appearance within a few days.

mjb.
Love sumac! Easy to use too. The easiest is to toss them with sliced onions and call it a condiment.
 

nicko

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Ok. Grilled Octopus.

  1. Braise it
I was able to get some fresh/frozen large octopus at the fish market. About 4.5 pounds.
Fresh octopus on cutting board ready to go into the oven

Braise it in red wine vinegar, lemon peel, herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano) white peppercorns (toasted), Coriander seed (toasted).

red wine vinegar, lemon peel, herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano) white peppercorns (toasted), Coriander seed (toasted).


Octopus with spices and vinegar in pot ready to braise.

Braise at 275 - 300 (my oven runs hot). About 45 minutes - 2 hours. Check if it is tender after 45 min.
Front of oven set at 275 F and 45 min

Step 2 Marinate it

White wine, white wine vinegar, sugar, white peppercorns, thyme, oregano, bay leaf

Cooked octopus in glass jar

Cooked octopus in glass jar with radish, mushroom, onion, vinegar


Step 3. Grill It! (Here served with Pickled red onions, capers, green and black kalamata olives.
 Grilled octopus served with Pickled red onions, capers, green and black kalamata olives.

Or serve it pickled. (Garlic confit served with it).

pickled octopus served in white bowl with garlic confit and bay leaf
 
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nicko

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Thanks guys it may not be fair for me to compete since I cook Greek food all the time and have a HUGE collection of Greek cookbooks.
 
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Thanks guys it may not be fair for me to compete since I cook Greek food all the time and have a HUGE collection of Greek cookbooks.
Doesn't matter at all.
We like to see what you cook and come up with ;)
After all, it's fun to see, inspirational and so on
 

nicko

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GIGANTES PLAKI (Large white beans in tomato sauce)
Finished with dill
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Greek white beans soaked over night
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Cook the beans with onion, bay leaf and carrot. Note never salt your beans while they are cooking always after they cook. Be sure to save the cooking water it is the best vegetable stock you will use.

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Made a simple tomato sauce (tomato, onion, garlic with bay leaf. Gets finished with olive oil and Greek oregano)

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Greek Oregano
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Saute a little more onion and garlic then add the tomato sauce and beans.
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The finished product.
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GIGANTES PLAKI
Oh - goin' all Greek Fu on us now huh???

Just kidding - both dishes look great nicko nicko . I would never thought of braising octopus in red wine vinegar. I usually cook it dry in a heavy pot on low heat for an hour depending on the weight. I'm always amazed at how much liquid they give up.
 

nicko

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mike9 mike9 I have tried both methods and this is the latest one. Previously I put nothing in the pot but now liquid (vinegar, wine) and spices. You can definitely taste the difference.
 

nicko

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A part of any Greek table is the spreads here are four I made for a gathering with friends this weekend.

Spicy Roasted red pepper with feta (the favorite of the evening)
Tzatziki - Classic yogurt. cucumber and dill
Skordalia - Classic potato and garlic (LOTS OF GARLIC) with white wine vinegar. ( A family favorite).
Melitzanosalata - Roasted eggplant spread.

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nicko

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Hoping to see some entries soon right now I feel like I am competing with myself. :D
 
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The other dip I love is Taramsalata. We have so many cucumbers this year I'm making Tsatziki every week - it really is refreshing. I made Skordalia the week before last after my garlic dried.

Come on people - it's not Rocket Science!!!
 
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