Archive for the ‘Greek Cookery Class’ Category

Greek Cookery Class – Lahanodolmades and special treat with vine leaves from Drama!

May 23, 2011

There is a lot of preparation that goes into making lahanodolmades, or sarmadakia as we call them in my family. This is a dish you rarely find in a restaurant and this is a dish that I love so much that I wouldn’t want anyone else to cook it for me, in case they got it wrong.

So when my amazing students who had never done this Greek dish ever before made these cabbage leaf dolmades, I was so impressed!

We had to remove the stem carefully to free up the leaves from our six cabbages. This step is quite time consuming along with softening the leaves in simmering water, so the cabbages where prepared and only one was left for everyone to practice on. The hardest thing and most technical bit is rolling the leaves and making them just about right in terms of how tight and loose they’ve got to be. But not only do we have to prepare the cabbage leaves, we also have to make the filling with rice, mince and herbs and spices.

Chopping the herbs finely always causes students to ask how finely, but the question that most of the Greek Cookery Class participants were asking was how to chop without bruising the herbs?

Some might notice here that even though I’m talking about cabbages, you can spot some vine leaves in the cabbage crowd. You’re right! Because we had some extra filling we got out some vine dolma from the freezer. Those little vine leaves originate from Drama, where my grandma picked them last year from her garden and prepared them for me. So without any more cabbage, these came to our rescue as a special extra treat so not to waste the remaining filling.

We also made the famous augolemono sauce based on lots of lemons and eggs, augolemono is found in soups like giouvarlakia and magiritsa but also in frikasse.

And bread and a few more sides.

Sitting down around the table to eat is the most appreciated and fun bit of each Greek Cookery Class. Everyone is getting ready to taste the foods they’ve been cooking and after all the hard work – satisfaction and a full stomach! What is better than that? One thing actually, the class might be over but as everyone leaves they get to bring home a generous doggy bag of the food!

Next class is on 1 June, it will be an all vegan class! That means no animal products! But that does not mean we’re going to be making salads only and eating raw food!

Bookings are as usual via greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

For those of you too lazy to cook and only interested in eating the food, then join our Mousaka special Greek Supper Club this Sunday 29 May.

Full menu and further details here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113154532102938

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Greek Cookery Class and Supper Club and Breakfast events for May and June

May 5, 2011

Below is a list of  the upcoming dates for May’s and June’s Greek food events. These include Greek Cookery Class, Greek Foodlovers’ Supper Club and Breakfast/Brunch Club with respective links next to each date, to give more details.

15 May – Greek Cookery Class 2:30pm-6:30pm:

http://on.fb.me/kmjbj5

22 May – Greek Brunch Club 11am-1pm:

http://wp.me/pwUd3-45

29 May – Greek Supper Club 5pm-9pm:

http://on.fb.me/khvbSA

1 June – Greek Cookery Class more details nearer the time, but it’s an all vegan class open to vegetarians and meaters as well!

30 June – Greek Cookery Class at Leith’s Cookery School

http://www.leiths.com/enthusiasts-courses/greek-cookery/

Book via greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com for all events, except the Leith’s Cookery Session, for that you go via their website and the link is provided above.

Advanced payment only.

First come first served, so please book early to avoid disappointment!!
As usual, most events and cooking classes cater for alternative diets, ask well in advance and we’ll be happy to make the food according to your needs, wether it’s vegetarian or vegan etc. Just ask and we’ll tell you what alternatives we can offer!

Looking forward to enjoying more authentic Greek food together in London!



Tsourekia in London!

April 18, 2011

Greek Cookery Class is back on Wednesday 20 April 6:00pm-10:30pm with an Easter special but if you’re in London and unable to join the class there is a solution for how to get your Tsoureki in time for Easter, just go towards the end of this post.

On Wednesday’s session you’ll learn to make a traditional Greek Tsoureki, an Easter speciality which is like brioche, but a braided style bread which is sweet. A light meal is included in this class as the baking will take long time and lots of effort.

The class is held close to Liverpool Street/Old Street stations.

We’ll bake together and our teacher is a well experienced cook who’s been making Tsourekia for nearly 40 years. Expect the class to last for 4-4,5 hours. The cost is £40 per person, pre-payment only. The fee includes all ingredients, your meal (which for this occasion will be prepared in advance) and Tsoureki to take home with you for your Easter feast.

Tsourekia

You need to bring 1 clean tea towel to roll the Tsoureki into and take home with you and your drink. That’s it!

It’s very informal, good fun and you get to meet people who share the love of food and cooking together. To sign up, email me back with your name and anyone else you’d like to sign up, friend/colleague/partner on email:

greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

First come first served, limited space only, so please book early to avoid disappointment!! I also offer personalised gift vouchers if you want to give the class as a present.

For pictures and info and to get a feel of what we’re up to visit us to see our previous 50++ classes and Greek Supper Clubs on:
www.facebook.com/GreekCookery under photos.

Looking forward to cooking together some of the best Greek food in London.

How to get Tsourekia without baking them myself?

This option is for Londoners!

We’ve got home-made Tsourekia available, get in touch with us to get your own. Limited availability but place your order soon and we’ll do our best to bake some Tsourekia for you. Delivery or pick up options, for further details contact us via greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

The Greek Cookery Class Easter Special is sponsored by Total Greek Yoghurt http://www.totalgreekyoghurt.com/

Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and The City loves Greek food and Greece!

December 17, 2010

Could this be true? Well according to the interview she did recently on promoting the new Sex and The City movie 2 for this year, the character playing Carrie simply adores Greece and its food. Watch her say which her favourite Greek dishes are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xvMk8CyEw0&feature=player_embedded

All the dishes she mentions in her interview, we’ve either cooked in a Greek Cookery Class or I’ve cooked and served them in a Greek Supper Club.

But what surprised me the most is that she notices the difference between the authentic Greek food and the fact that she is knowledgeable about dishes that even Greeks don’t know about, like fava.

Fava at Greek Cookery Class

Fava at Greek Cookery Class

I personally tasted fava early this year for the first time in London, when a Greek chef from Crete – Tonya Karandinou – visited the UK to showcase some real Greek food from her region. And I’ve been hooked since. I went to Thessaloniki on a couple of occasions and was ordering fava and then back in London I thought let’s introduce this dish to the Greek Cookery Class. So we’ve cooked it once in a class, it takes about 2 hours of stirring and giving all the attention to the fava. But it’s worth it. I also made it as one of the 5-6 starters at my last Greek Supper Club, where the guests loved it.

For those who have not tried fava, it’s like houmous, but much tastier. The fava bean in itself, apart from being tasty when prepared and cooked the right way, has a lot of nutritients and benefits as well for our body and health.

 

Horta, is greens, those things Greek ladies in Greece pick up in their gardens and boil gently and add some lemon juice and Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil to. We made this as a starter once in a Greek Cookery Class as well and some students thought it looked like a Japanese dish. Others were less impressed with the looks of the dish. None of the fava or horta have the perfect look, but their taste is way superior compared to their humble appearance.

And as for Sarah Jessica Parker’s love for the real Greek salad, that’s becoming hard to get back anywhere outside Greece, and even in Greece where the feta cheese is sometimes sprinkled over as if it were oregano…

Greek Salad at the first Greek Supper Club ever!

As the year’s coming to an end, I hope more of you will find time to spend the last days of 2010 to cook those dishes you love for yourselves and those around you. The best spice and herb you can add to any dish, is to eat it in company!

I’ll be cooking both at Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Christmas is a smaller party for family and dear ones, but New Year’s Eve will be the final Greek Supper Club for 2010. The menu includes a lot of Greek dishes and desserts and somewhere in there we also have added a Swedish surprise, renskav, reindeer with roasted parsnips…

The full menu is in my blog NYE Supper Club and also on Total Greek Yoghurt’s website as they’ve been a regular sponsor of my Greek Cookery Class and Greek Supper Club events with their yoghurt.

To book a space for the supper club on New Year’s Eve here in London, get in touch on greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

And a Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all the Greek and other food lovers out there!

 

Roast pork with apricots, prunes and quince

December 7, 2010

For years now I find it difficult to follow recipes, I can read and I understand them, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered. Especially when I cook for myself that is, I just try to remember. So when I was composing the menu and trying to find what courses I would include for my NYE Supper Club I was thinking of two things.

Which dishes are most popular and the yummiest when it comes to Greek food and secondly but more importantly, what do my Greek relatives and Greek family have for dinner on New Year’s Eve. I know in some parts of Greece, turkey is on the menu! I’m not talking politics, but food, the big bird turkey! My family, however, has not had the turkey tradition at all, it’s mostly been pork, lamb and other creations my mum would cook, always with a free mind. So no New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day lunches and dinners have ever been the same!

So I digged out this idea of roast pork with prunes and discussed the recipe with my mum and a cousin. They both liked it and my cousin added that apricots and prunes and pork are kolasi…. hell! But Hell meaning a good thing, it’s so tasty in other words we call it hell. It doesn’t make sense in English but in Greek it does.

I bought my pork, apricots and prunes and found a couple of quince fruits in my fruit basked at home so I decided to add them as well. A few years ago some friends from Thessaloniki cooked pork with quince and I thought the pork with three types of fruit appealed to me as an idea. Would it work as a complete dish?

What better way than to try it. So I put some salt and pepper on the leg of pork, just a small part of the leg. Poured some olive oil over, (Greek Extra Virgin) and oregano and scattered the dried apricots and prunes around. I cut the quince in wedges and added that too, a tiny splash of water in the tray, some mustard and lemon mixed with some olive oil to baste the pork while baking and then I kept myself busy making a karydopitta (Greek walnut cake) so I would not be staring at the oven all the time.

As the piece of meat was only just about 1 kilo, it took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to roast.

Once it came out of the oven, I left it to cool and settle for 15 minutes and cut thin thin slices of the pork and added some prunes, apricots and quince to the plate with a small dollop of mustard.

Kali orexi!

That’s the part of the cooking process, thinking about what I want to do, discussing the recipe idea from my head with those around me and then execution and as I look around what’s more in the kitchen, I add it in the dish.

We’ve got pork on the menu for the NYE Supper Club in London http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=180439125306114&index=1 and now having tested my idea, this will be what I’ll be cooking for my guests on the last day of the year, together with a big selection of salads and mezedes for starters.

I hope you can join us and if not what will you be eating for New Year’s?

Three people to thank for your food!

December 2, 2010

In Sweden after finishing a meal, the most polite thing to do is to say Tack för maten! Thanks for the food! In Greek I don’t think we use any  particular expression like that but we show our gratitude to the meal, the lunch or dinner by emptying our plates and going for seconds, or even thirds for us with a big appetite!

Stuffed tomato - gemista with stuffed onions

Stuffed tomato - gemista and stuffed onions

Of course we say thank you in Greece as well, don’t get me wrong, but just not so explicitly.

As a kid, I remember my grandfather would always carry groceries home, but he’d never cook any food. I never asked him if he could cook, but even if he did, the kitchen was and is my grandmother’s kingdom. Granddad would carry the ingredients home and grandma would cook, as simple as that. And she wouldn’t want anyone in her kitchen really.

And so after a big meal, or a small meal, when everyone was full and satisfied, my grandfather would say the most wonderful and all inclusive thank you there is:

Table is set, mussles saganaki and garlic bread on the sides and spanakotyropitta in the middle

Table is set, mussles saganaki and garlic bread on the sides and spanakotyropitta in the middle

I thank the person who brought home the ingredients, the person who cooked the meal and I also thank those who ate the food!

©Elisavet Sotiriadou 2010

Healthy eating – Greek Cookery Class Vegan session – and NYE Greek Supper Club

November 28, 2010

What’s healthy eating usually varies from cook to cook and person to person. Some use no fat or low fat, some use light products, some eat only from the organic shops. All in all we all have a vague idea of what we ought to cut out on and how to make healthier meals. But some of us have no clue!

There are some simple ways to try to eat healthy every day, for example by having fruit and vegetables as snacks and in our meals. Most of us who love our meat, find it hard to compose a meal without it, we think and even feel that there is no way we’re going to get full without meat on the table. It’s probably a psychological thing. I’m not trying to turn anyone into a vegetarian, or vegan, but now that Christmas and New Year’s are around the corner a lot of us will get so full and stuffed on all the delicacies on the table that even the thought of a fresh salad will be a pleasant meal to look forward to after the season’s lunches and dinners.

So I’ve decided to run a Greek Cookery Class with only vegan dishes just before the holidays kick in. It’s no substitutes nor using chemical things instead of eggs and cheese and it’s not just plain salads either. It’s Greek traditional food and some sides that will make you realize that vegan food is tasty and yummy.

Also, in Greece, there is a fasting before the holidays when religious and non-religious people follow a strict diet where they have no meat, dairy or eggs for 40 days before Christmas, as a way to cleanse their body ahead of the big feast.

Another way of healthy eating, is to cook the food ourselves so we know what’s going in the pans and pots and the dishes we’re creating! Also, while we’re cooking our food, our body prepares for digesting it a nutritionist recently told me, something that won’t happen when opening a plastic tray of ready made meals that go for seconds in the microwave.

So do join us for the last Greek Cookery Class this year and for details http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=177633412248541 or email greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com to sign up.

If you’re still the busy or lazy type who prefers to be cooked for, then we’ve got the Greek Supper Club coming up in a week’s time on Sun 5 Dec and the details for menu and how to book are on http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=173111016039309 or email the above address.

And for the last dinner of the year, there’s going to be a New Year’s Eve Greek Supper Club as well on 31 Dec with a menu full of Greek delicacies and some Swedish surprises as well! Get in touch to book your space, it’s limited to 12 people only, and for those who want to have a great dinner with lovely company and conversation and food.

Whether alone or in company everyone is welcome, because food tastes better when you eat in the company of others!

Greek Supper Club London

 

 

Greekfoodlovers’ Supper Club – Sunday 5 December

November 15, 2010

I’ve been running Greek Cookery Class for 1,5 years and I never really thought this adventure of introducing and teaching how to make Greek food to non-Greeks would come this far. But it has! And I’m proud of all the students of all ages, and from all over the world who find such interest in cooking, are so excited about learning and so focussed in achieving to create all the Greek dishes I make them cook. It’s a pleasure to watch them work hard, but it’s also a wonderful experience to see and to taste the food they make, especially when it tastes as if I’ve made it myself!

Making the Pontic soup Tanomenon Sorva

Making the Pontic soup Tanomenon Sorva

Food and eating is such a big part of Greek culture, to eat together and gather around food and spend time around the table with family, friends and acquaintances is one of the most important things we ought to do every day.

Making spanakotyropitta

Making spanakotyropitta

A few months ago, I started my Greekfoodlovers’ Supper Club, where I cook and my guests come and eat, as opposed to the Greek Cookery Class where we all cook and eat together, sometimes wash the dishes together and always get a generous doggy bag to take home for lunch or dinner the day after.

Greekfoodlovers' Supper Club October

Greekfoodlovers' Supper Club October

We’re approaching the end of the year and so my last Greek Supper Club will be held on Sunday 5 December, with some of the best Greek food London has to offer. Do you want to join? If so don’t miss out to book as there are only limited spaces available and the details are below:

Menu (yes you get all of these dishes):

Starters: Lagana bread, olives, fava, tzatziki and sweet red peppers with feta cheese.

Main: Pastitsio (Greek lasagna with the hose-looking pasta) served with a cauliflower and caper salad on the side.

Desserts: Secret selection of Greek home-made desserts.

All of this at the price of £35 per person and the portions are Greek i.e. generous!

For veg option or other dietary needs, request on booking.

Advanced payment only.

First come first served, so please book early to avoid disappointment!! I had to turn down 3 people last time so book in time as space is limited.

Book via: greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

I also offer personalised gift vouchers if you want to give the supperclub as a present to your loved ones.

For pictures and info and to get a feel of what we’re up to visit:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=183923&id=99478232600 to see our previous 40 classes and Greekfoodlovers’ Supper Clubs

Press and testimonials:

Your chef Elisavet, devoted to Greek food, has received much acclaim for her traditional home-cooking style. Elisavet has been featured in Red Magazine (June 2010), Foodepedia and ITV’s Britain’s Best Dish where Michelin starred chef John Burton Race said her lagana bread is “absolutely first class” and the prawn dish she cooked live on ITV was “cooked to perfection!” Also Eating East has given her food and supper club 4**** stars out of 5 in their review: http://www.eatingeast.co.uk/2010/09/22/greek-foodlovers-supper-club-2/ and Business Traveller US magazine lists both her Greek Supper Club and Greek Cookery Class among London’s top alternative dining places. Finally, Elisavet is the first cook to teach Greek Cooking lessons at Divertimenti Cookery School in London.

A big and warm thank you to everyone who’s joined either the Greek Cookery Classes and/or the Supper Club so far and also a big thank you to Total Greek Yoghurt for sponsoring me with yoghurt each time for the cooking and for gifts to my students!

Thank you and hope to see you soon!

PS The next Greek Cookery Class is scheduled for the 23 November and you can book via the same address.

Greek Supper Club 24 Oct

October 10, 2010

It’s been a busy time since my last blog, cooking on ITV, out-selling baklava and my feta cheese pies at Marylebone High Street’s Saturday market and bringing the first ever Greek cookery at Divertimenti’s Cookery School! At the same time my own Greek Cookery Class has been continuing as have my Supper Club!

 

My stall at Marylebone High Street market

My stall at Marylebone High Street market

 

 

Happy customer of mine eating home made dolmades

Happy customer eating my home made dolmades

 

 

Making loukoumades at Divertimenti Cookery School

Making loukoumades at Divertimenti Cookery School

 

 

Preparing for Greek Cookery Class at Divertimenti

Preparing for Greek Cookery Class at Divertimenti

 

Competing and cooking live on ITV’s Britain’s Best Dish was an amazing experience! And I’ll never forget Michelin starred chef John Burton Race saying my lagana bread is “absolutely first class” and the prawn dish I cooked  was “cooked to perfection!” Both of those dishes were included in my last Greek Foodlovers’ Supper Club last month.

 

John Burton Race and Greekfoodlover

 

Also Eating East has given my Greek supper club 4**** stars out of 5 in their review: http://www.eatingeast.co.uk/2010/09/22/greek-foodlovers-supper-club-2/ and Business Traveller US magazine lists both my Greek Supper Club and Greek Cookery Class among London’s top alternative dining places.

Next week I’ve got another Greek Cookery Class coming up and on 24th Oct another Greek Supper Club:

Menu:

Starters: Lagana bread, tyrokauteri (spicy feta cheese dip), spanakopitta, cabbage leaf dolma with the legendary augolemono.

Main: Stifado with Greek mashed potatoes and salad.

Desserts: Baklava, mpougatsa with sweet flavour and a surprise.

All of this at the price of £35 per person and the portions are Greek i.e. generous!

For veg option or other dietary needs, request on booking.

Advanced payment only.

First come first served, so please book early to avoid disappointment!!

Book via: greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

I also offer personalised gift vouchers if you want to give the supperclub as a present to your loved ones.

For pictures and info and to get a feel of what we’re up to visit:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=183923&id=99478232600 to see our previous 38 classes and Greekfoodlovers’ Supper Clubs

So hoping to see you enjoy my Greek food on Oct 24th!

Tahini and Buckwheat

June 22, 2010

I’m venturing into super healthy food this week. So today I decided to make my own tahini! I had no recipe, but took three cups of sesame seeds and one cup of extra virgin Greek olive oil, blended it in the food processor and there it was. My homemade tahini. I added a pinch of honey, as it tends to go to the bitter side of things and then I wondered, what do with it?

I found buckwheat in my cupboard and decided to have it for lunch with the tahini added as extra flavour on top. So I made my buckwheat with coriander, ginger, spring onions, spinach and added some herbs and spices and olive oil with lemon juice towards the end. A few thick drops of tahini over it and I had a warm buckwheat dish which is great on its own, or served as a side. I added some pine nuts and cardamom on top as well and was fairly surprised at how filling, delicious and nutritious this easy to make dish is.

Healthy and nutritious meal to be served on its own or as a side!

Buckwheat, spring onions and spinach with herbs, spices and lemon and olive oil

Most of all, this is a dairy and gluten free dish, great for vegans as well!

Afterwards, I diced some kiwi and put it in a small ramekin dressed in tahini and some nuts and seeds and lemon juice and put in the freezer to cool, for a quick small late afternoon snack.

Kiwi with nuts and tahini

My next Greek Cookery Class is on 1 July where we do the more traditional Greek dishes. For more details and info on booking for the class and also for pictures from our previous classes please visit: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=123712634334991&ref=mf

©E Sotiriadou 2010