Posts Tagged ‘Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil’

Greek Cookery Class Course – Daytime – Giouvetsi, Dolmades and Spanakopitta!

January 11, 2012

Greek Cookery Class runs another three-week course daytime, this time, on 23 Jan, 30 Jan and 6 Feb 2012 with three full days of cooking and eating.

In these 3 sessions on 3 Mondays in a row you’ll learn how to cook three very popular dishes in Greek cuisine plus a lot of side dishes. Each session will last between 4-4,5 hours and be held between 12 noon – 4pm. We’ll cook together and then have a meal together with the food we’ve made before each participant gets to take a portion home. The course will run on these Mondays: 23 Jan, 30 Jan and 6 February 2012. Each class will feature a main dish: Giouvetsi or kritharaki as it’s also called (the rice shaped pasta cooked in tomato sauce with meat), Dolmades the stuffed vine leaves and finally at the last session you’ll learn how to make Spanakopitta.

Spanakopita

Spanakopita

The classes are hands-on and you’ll get to learn the skills for cooking these classic Greek dishes that so many of you love and what ingredients to use to make each dish a success! Apart from the mains we’ll also be doing a few different Greek sides/meze and salads in every class to pair with every main to create a meal and there will be other goodies to try out during the class as well, and dessert if you behave 🙂 The cost for the full course is £195 per person for all three sessions. All ingredients, 4hr tuition, tastings and meal are included plus a doggy bag to bring some food home after every class. You just bring your drink. To book contact me via email to arrange payment for your space/s. (Email below…)

Giouvetsi

Giouvetsi

The 3 week course can be given as a present as well. If you wish to attend one or two out of the three sessions the price will be £80/class, remember each class lasts for about 4 to 4,5 hours (eating included).

The course is held close to Liverpool Street/Old Street stations. Location details only to paying customers and closer to the date of the event. Pre-payment only. Advise me on any allergies upon booking or food intolerances. The course is informal, good fun and you get to meet people who share the love of food and cooking/eating together. To sign up, email me back with your name and anyone else you’d like to sign up on the email below. But it’s absolutely fine to just book yourself in, as many people do join the events on their own!

greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

First come first served, so please book early to avoid disappointment!! I also offer personalised gift vouchers if you want to give the class/course/supperclub as a present to your loved ones. 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 and check under photos or visit the https://greekcookeryclass.wordpress.com

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

Press and testimonials:

Your chef Elisavet, devoted to Greek food, has received much acclaim for her traditional home-cooking style. Elisavet’s food has been served at Riverside Studios in London for a Greek festival and she has been featured in Red Magazine, 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/ Elle Decoration magazine recommends Greek Cookery Classes as the authentic Greek cuisine experience and Business Traveller US magazine lists both her Greek Supper Club and Greek Cookery Class among London’s top alternative dining places. Elisavet is also the first cook to teach Greek Cooking lessons at Divertimenti Cookery and Leith’s Cookery Schools in London and recently her piece on Greek food in Greece was published in The Guardian. Private events can be arranged as well, for your work, family and/or friends. Get in touch for separate dates and prices for bringing the Greek Supperclub or cooking class experience to your home or bringing your party to us, or hiring the chef for your private dinner party. Catering is another service offered for your special occasions or office meetings and gatherings.

A thank you to Total Greek Yoghurt and Kenwood for sponsoring with their products.

Greek Cookery Class – first session of the Jan course 2012

January 9, 2012

New year and new classes!! After running cookery classes teaching Greek food for almost three years, what started as a simple cooking class, evolved into me hosting and cooking for supperclubs and private dinners and birthday parties, teaching at other cookery schools like Divertimenti and Leith’s and finally starting my own little Greek Cookery Class Course.

Gigantes

On the first class of 2012 we made Gigantes, fasolia – butter beans – from Florina! For the first time we had more boys than girls in the class, it’s pure coincidence I am sure! The cliché that boys prefer to eat rather than cook and that girls want to learn cooking might not be true after all!

Comparing the butter beans you get in most big supermarkets in London/UK with the real deal, Gigantes or giant beans from Greece, the price is the first thing that hits you, they’re more expensive, but they’re worth the price as they taste much better and also look much better.

Gigantes - Butter Beans

Gigantes - Butter Beans

One place to buy the Greek butter beans that we call gigantes is in Bayswater, there’s a small little shop on Moscow Road called Athenian Grocery! So if you plan to cook this dish it’s worth using Greek beans, instead of normal butter beans. And since we’re talking about Florina, we also baked piperies Florinis, red long sweet peppers for one of our salads.

Nothing goes better with beans than some home-baked bread, but being busy with cooking all the dishes for the class, there was no time for the students to get into bread making as well. So I prepared that in advance, and baked bread using white spelt flour, wholemeal spelt flour, sea salt and of course Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Home baked spelt bread

Home baked spelt bread

During a long cooking session we’re all being teased and tempted by all the smells from the food slowly simmering away. So at some point we had a 5 minute break and a tasting with some bread and Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Greece but also some pieces of the vegan banana bread cake I had made the day before.

Banana bread cake - vegan

Banana bread cake - vegan

There was no plan to make this class vegan, but realising we’re so soon after Christmas and New Year’s when most people have been stuffing themselves with all sorts of goodies, meats, cheeses and chocolates, I thought it’d be a good idea to introduce an all vegan meal, where the olive oil plays a very important role.

I prefer the olive oil (extra virgin always) to any margarines or spreads containing some small amount of olive oil, not only is the pure olive oil healthier it also tastes so much better. In my opinion, most spreads (not including the real 100% butter) leave an aftertaste which is not very pleasant.

Aside from the beans, the class also made pereski, this is a pontic dish that my mother and her mother always made as a starter or light snack for meals including soups or beans. Pereski is usually made with a dough that you then use to make little pies that you stuff with a mix of potato, onions and herbs, before you deep fry them in olive oil! But we used phyllo pastry for the pereski and we baked them in the oven instead of frying them in loads of olive oil.

Preparing the filling for pereski - onions, boiled and mashed potato and spices.

Preparing the filling for pereski - onions, boiled and mashed potato and spices.

As I told the class, this is hardly an item you’ll find on the menu in a restaurant. Usually, only a grandmother – the Greek giagia – will be making those and offering to her guests and mainly family. Having said that there is a small little restaurant in Thessaloniki, serving Pontic and Cretan dishes!! So they might still have it on their menu.

Pereski

Pereski

Finally, we made a simple salad of winter vegetables, Politiki Salata, it’s a salad whose name refers to the big city Poli, Constantinople or Istanbul as it’s now called. The salad from the Town, Poli, consists of cabbage, carrots and celery and a dressing of olive oil and vinegar.

Chopping, slicing and grating the ingredients for the Politiki Salad

Chopping, slicing and grating the ingredients for the Politiki Salad

And here it is ready, garnished with some piperies florinis:

Politiki salata

Politiki salata

Next week we’re doing Kleftiko!

A thank you goes out to Kenwood, whose blender was used to grind the nuts used in the banana bread cake.

If you are interested in booking yourself in for a course or joining a supperclub, contact me to be put on the mailing list for future events.

Or read more details on the classes for January and how to join here: https://greekcookeryclass.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/greek-cookery-class-three-sessions-in-january-for-gigantes-beans-kleftiko-and-mousaka/

 

Pizza, vegan and with a spelt flour base

June 30, 2010

Vegan pizza, no way! And with a base made of wholemeal spelt flour? Will it taste like cardboard? Of course not. It tastes really good, I even surprised myself. For someone who’s not keen on any cheese unless it’s melted to a complete lava-hot mass I’ve now started to try out things without my much loved cheeses in baked, toasted, grilled or cooked forms. But to give up pizza is harder than giving up on cheese. So I decided to make an all vegan pizza as a trial last week. It tasted amazingly well, but as I made the pizza base super thin, it meant that it got stuck to the baking tray. Usually the white flour doesn’t make the dough as dense as wholemeal, so when I made the pizza dough with mainly wholemeal spelt it was bound to get stuck to the tray, only that I didn’t think of it.

Pizzabase with wholemeal spelt and homemade tomatosauce

Pizzabase with wholemeal spelt and homemade tomatosauce

I usually say in my Greek Cookery Class www.facebook.com/GreekCookery I teach, sometimes a mistake is good so that we learn why we do things the way we do them, or even better, what not to do next time. So the second time my pizza craving set in really badly I decided to go for a pan pizza, the thicker version of the base.

I went to my local store and bought some fresh and happy looking vegetables for my topping and started with making the base. I used wholemeal spelt flour but also added a little white spelt flour to make the dough less dense. About 1/3 was white and 2/3 was wholemeal.

While I left the dough to prove, I grilled sliced aubergines, sliced up tomatoes and green peppers

Fresh tomatos and peppers

Fresh tomatos and peppers

gently softened red onions and button and chestnut mushrooms in some Greek extra virgin olive oil and made my own tomato sauce for the base.

Aubergines before grilling

Aubergines before grilling

The best part is assembling the pizza! It’s the most creative part and the easiest too.

My square vegan pizza in the oven

My square vegan pizza in the oven

As the pizza came out and I cut it, it was still getting stuck despite the thicker base and more added olive oil on the tray. So I realised, the problem is the tray, it’s not flat, all olive oil pools on the sides leaving the middle part dry. Next time I’m using parchment paper, or baking paper, so that I can stick to my thin base which I prefer. Καλή όρεξη! Enjoy your meal!

Pizza time

Pizza time

My next Greek Cookery Class on 1 July is not as much experimentation and we don’t make  pizzas! If you want to be on the mailing list please get in touch on greekcookeryclassATgmailDOTcom and for pictures of what we get up to visit www.facebook.com/GreekCookery

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