Category: Chanur (AB)
Again, we had a fantastic day here in the Pacific NW. These wonderful blue skies and warm temperatures are not the norm for us. They could very easily be the beginning of a major drought...but, today, it just plain felt nice.
This afternoon we went to Greece (well, mentally anyway). For one of our appetizers, we had saganaki. It’s made with a cheese called kefalotiri (can be made from either goat or sheep’s milk) that's been dredged in spelt flour (my O’s cannot have wheat) and then fried in olive oil. It’s served hot with fresh lemon slices to squeeze over it. We also had olive oil mixed with lemon juice and oregano to dip our warm spelt flat bread in.
Why did we need the sagnaki? Because it cooks a lot faster than the grilling oregano/lemon/olive oiled chicken with assorted veggie skewers (for the O’s) and my seasoned lamb skewers for my gyro was cooking and I wanted something to eat.
With the grilled items we also had: tossed salad made with romaine, kalamata olives (these were on the side because the O’s shouldn't have 'em), feta cheese, tomato, and paper thin slices of red onion, a generous handful of oregano, and more lemon-olive oil. I had some cucumber slices in there too, but that was on the side ‘cause it was another “no” for the O’s.
Spanakopita was the side dish. Spanakopita (BTD version) is made with spelt phyllo/filo dough that’s been filled with spinach, onions, dill, feta, eggs, sea salt and a bit of olive oil. If a bit of garlic finds it way in there, it’s not the end of the world. Everything here was O acceptable as well.
The main attraction (as far as I was concerned) was the lamb. Once it was done cooking, it went onto warm spelt flat bread (think pita) where it was topped with some of the tossed salad and a hefty slathering of tzatziki. This was unusual for me as I usually just drink the stuff rather than using it for a sauce (but, it is supposed to be a dip, not a drink. Drinking it is a Chanur thing I think...). BTD style tzatziki is peeled & seeded cucumbers that are pressed and drained and then get chopped up and put in a blender with chopped garlic, sea salt, yogurt, a bit of red wine, and some olive oil...sometimes I also add a bit of cumin for the heck of it. When I drink it, I don't wait to press and drain the cucumbers which makes the consistency much thinner.
All this food can make a person thirsty - so we just had to have some retsina. If you have read my springtime vittles blog, you know that I mentioned that I usually prefer temporarily switching from mainly red wines to whites. The retsina we had was a white Greek (duh) wine.
Restina is a wine that is purposely flavored with a touch of pine resin so that it resembles what wines may have tasted like centuries ago when the bottles were resinated with pine to keep the wine from spoiling. I have also heard that it was actually an accident. A long time ago, wines were sealed in their jugs and sealed with pine. The pine would seep into the wine during shipping. Either way, the result was wine mixed with pine. Some say it’s an acquired taste, but we have all liked it from the very first sip. It, and ouzo, are the two national drinks of Greece.
Next, it was time for dessert: Galaktoboureko. No, I’m not drunk off the retsina; it’s a real dessert. It’s pretty much phyllo sheets (don’t forget to brush it with clarified butter) that are filled with lemon flavored custard. This meant I had the entire batch to myself (a pity that) since the O’s don’t get custards because of the dairy involvement. There was an O dessert available - but they opted out.
In case you are wondering what the A was eating during all this, he wasn’t. He wasn’t with us at the time.
One more thing before I close this blog: A blood type A reader has suggested sardines as a snack idea for those of you out there still needing snack ideas. I think that it is an excellent idea and wanted to both pass the idea along and thank her for the suggestion.
I hope your weekend is going well for you!