Posts Tagged ‘Greek food London’

Tsourekia for Greek Easter in London

April 5, 2012

Our Tsourekia Greek Cookery Class is full on Thursday 12 April but if you still have Tsourekia cravings for this traditional Greek Easter bread, there is a possibility to order some  and collect ahead of the Greek Easter next week!

For more details contact: greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

 

 

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.

Also I’ve been interviewed in The Guardian, for a piece on how to cook the perfect mousaka along with other cooks and chefs in Felicity Cloake’s article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/apr/05/how-to-cook-perfect-moussaka?commentpage=1#start-of-comments

And earlier this week I was on BBC London talking about Tsourekia and Greek Easter food! If you missed it, here’s the link to the Robert Elms show http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00q2psm I’m on after 1hr and 24min for about 12 minutes, after the Gil Scott-Heron song.

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

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Mousaka making at the Greek Cookery Class

February 1, 2012

There is a reason why I rarely teach mousaka in the class, it’s very time-consuming, tiring for the students mainly and it tests your patience. But also the hard work makes it difficult for me to find a second to take pictures of what the students cook and what they achieve.

For this class we used just over 2,5 kilos of aubergines per tray and we made two trays of mousaka.

You can use potatoes as well, it’s making the cooking slightly easier but then you lose some of the taste the aubergines give to the dish. So we started with slicing, salting and draining over five kilos of aubergines, to make the frying process easier.

While the classes started as a fun thing and a way of introducing the real Greek food back into the London scene, they have also taken a slightly more serious approach in that I do talk about how to eat and cook healthier as well. As I said both in the beginning and at the end of this class, mousaka is not something we should eat every month…. With all the cheese and milk and eggs that go in it, and all the fried aubergines, its taste is divine for sure, but it should probably be a treat for maybe once in a while. And though frying is to be avoided generally, if you are going to fry something, do use a really good extra virgin olive oil, as it stands a better chance to avoid giving you too much smoke to inhale or burning your food. Opposite to what a lot of people believe, it is the healthiest oil to use when frying. However, if we are cooking a dish like mousaka, we might as well get it right, with all its glory and forget about the health aspects for just this once.

The other step for the mousaka is to make the mince. This is probably the easiest bit, you just have to be careful to have a mince sauce which is not too runny, or it will ruin your layout of the mousaka and drip through to the bottom of your tray.

We do a sandwich of aubergine slices with the mince in the middle before continuing to the final step, which is the hardest and most feared by many, making the Greek béchamel sauce, which is poured over the last layer of aubergines.

But before the béchamel, we need to refuel. I had baked some bread ahead of the class to offer it with some extra virgin olive oil but I had also made a Greek favourite dessert, mpougatsa, (=μπουγάτσα) a semolina custard like cream between crispy fyllo pastry sheets that is served with icing sugar and cinnamon, or syrup when it’s also known as galaktoboureko.

And here below are the individual portions that were served during the cooking session to keep everyone going for a little while longer.

 

On top of the mpougatsa, one of my students, all the way from Spain, brought some Spanish authentic jamón to share with the class. So I served it with some extra virgin olive oil and the home baked spelt bread with nuts and seeds. Thank you Mauro for the unexpected gift!

Just like it’s important to have a thick mince sauce, it’s crucial to have a thick and smooth béchamel. Thick so it won’t slide through your layers of mince and aubergine and burn at the bottom of tray with your mousaka dish and smooth, well who wants lumps of flour balls in their mouth? Therefore, it’s important to get started with a creamy base of flour and butter before adding the milk and the rest of the ingredients. Also, there’s a lot of whisking going on, for a very long time.

Apart from the mousaka we made two salads as well, one with rocket leaves, orange wedges and extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice plus some sprinkled almond flakes on top and then a fresh beetroot salad with yoghurt, walnuts and fresh garlic.

When you’re so busy cooking a demanding dish, it is nice to make something that requires less effort as side dishes. Besides, serving a rich dish like mousaka requires simple and light and refreshing dishes to go with.

Everyone had two portions of mousaka after the cookery class which lasted a few hours and everyone also got to take home a big portion of the dish. My sponsor Total Greek Yoghurt also offered pots of yoghurt for each participant to take home in a cooling goodie bag.

Thank you Total Greek Yoghurt, Fage and Kenwood for sponsoring the classes with your products.

And a big warm thank you to all the students who joined and join the classes to learn how to cook some of the lovely food Greek cuisine has to offer, both known and unknown dishes.

What’s really exciting is this email I received a couple of days ago from one of my students saying he had invited his family over and cooked the dishes he learnt at the course and chose to make the mousaka as the main! I was very proud and happy at the same time, because the classes are about cooking together and eating together, but also about taking home the skills you’ve learnt and making the dishes again to your loved ones!

For more pictures, updates and info on classes join the mailing list on greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com and keep an eye out on www.facebook.com/GreekCookery

Wine & Food Tasting event – Greek organic wine and Greek meze with deserts — 23 February at 7pm

January 24, 2012

Welcome to an evening of Greek food and wine tasting!

Elisavet has put together a tasting of Greek traditional food, cheeses, Greek Extra Virgin Olive oil and home-made Greek mezedes and organic wine from the Cycladic island of Paros.

Each person gets to try two Paros Wines, one red and one white, both organic and the type of wine that gives you no hangover afterwards!

The dishes (full menu is listed below) include a variety of Greek dishes, meat, vegan and vegetarian, you get 3 dips, 3 mezedes, 2 cheeses, 2 desserts, breads and olives and as usual all food is home-made by Elisavet. This is an introduction to Greek meze and Greek organic wine, where you also get to meet Elisavet who runs the famous Greek Cookery Classes and Greekfoodlovers’ Supperclub and Michael who will present and bring the fantastic Paros Wines. But it’s an opportunity to have a taste of Greek food and wine and socialize!


All food provided is home-made!

Ticket per person is £25 including 2 glasses of wine and tastings of the food. During the wine/food tasting it will also be possible to buy wine from Michael. Remember to bring extra cash for buying any bottles/cases of this wonderful wine, I can’t stress how great these Paros Wines are.
Time: Thursday 23 February, 7-9pm

Where:
We’re meeting in a bar’s private function room area in Hoxton/Shoreditch, reserved just for our party. Come along alone or bring your partner, friend, colleague. After the event, you can continue mingling in the bar’s main area with Elisavet and Michael who’re organising the event. Further drinks can be bought at the bar at your own cost.

Prepayment only, email:
greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com to book and pay for your space.

Meze/food details for the 23 February:

Breads and olives and extra virgin olive oil tastings:
Lagana breads (vegan)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (vegan and gluten free)
Kalamata olives (vegan and gluten free)

3 Greek dips:
melitzanosalata/aubergine dip (vegan and gluten free)
tzatziki (vegetarian and gluten free)
piperies Florinis sauce/red pepper paté (vegan and gluten free)

3 Greek meze:
keftedakia/meatballs
pereski – phyllo pastry parcels filled with potato/onion/herbs (vegetarian)
tyropittakia Feta cheese pies as seen in Red Magazine feature (vegetarian)

2 Greek authentic cheeses:
aubergine rolls with feta cheese Dodoni (vegetarian and gluten free)
graviera cheese with fig sauce (vegetarian and gluten free)

2 Greek desserts:
baklava (vegan)
pasteli (vegan and gluten free)

Plus vegetable sticks (carrots and celery to try dips)

and 2 Greek Organic wines (one red one white, from the Cycladic island of Paros):
Paros Wine white
Paros Wine red


Press and testimonials:

Your chef Elisavet, devoted to Greek food, has received much acclaim for her traditional home-cooking style. Her 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

Elle Decoration magazine (September 2011) recommends Greek Cookery Classes as the authentic Greek cuisine experience and Business Traveller US magazine lists both Elisavet’s 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 her piece on Greek food was published in The Guardian.

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

Greek Cookery Class course – learn to make dolmades, imam baildi/papoutsaki and bake bread!

January 24, 2012

Each Greek Cookery Class is more than just a class and you’re more than just a student. Well, the classes are held in a friendly and warm atmosphere, I work you very hard, sometimes without a break, but if there is a break that we manage to sneak in there are extra tastings and treats of things that are off the menu!

Mousaka made by Greek Cookery Class students!

Mousaka made by Greek Cookery Class students!

This year started with a small course of three sessions where we made Gigantes, Kleftiko and Mousaka! But apart from that the participants made crispy fried courgettes, tzatziki, bulgur, lemon roasted and garlic potatoes, beetroot and yoghurt salad, various traditional seasonal salads and got to try home made kourabiedes, home baked bread, extra olive oil tastings, mpougatsa, baklava and other treats all made by me.

But the joy of each class has been to sit down after 4 hours of cooking or so to eat and taste a meal around the table without the rush to eat fast and leave!

The classes are a bit about bringing back the culture of eating, without stressing around all the time.

We’ll be continuing to cook more authentic Greek food and sitting down eating and discussing together after each cooking session.

This time the course will feature three different dishes and meals:

29 Jan Dolmades

5 Feb Imam Baildi or pappoutsaki

19 Feb Bread baking

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. I’ll show what ingredients to use to make each dish a success, we also talk about how to make our meals healthier! And apart from the mains we’ll also be doing 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, 4,5hr tuition, tastings and meal are included plus a doggy bag to bring some food home after every class. To book contact me via email to arrange payment for your space/s. The 3 week course can be given as a present as well. Advise on booking whether there are any allergies/intolerances. All sessions are open to vegetarians, just let me know on booking whether you eat meat or not.

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 4,5 hours (eating included).
Book via: greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

The course is held close to Liverpool Street/Old Street stations. Location details only to paying customers and closer to the date of each event.

Pre-payment only.

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 these 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 (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/

Elle Decoration magazine (September 2011) 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.

More details are here: https://www.facebook.com/events/163990180377164/?context=create

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.

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!

 

Okra, home made bread, half fried half baked and pasta bake with garides saganaki

May 21, 2010

I love cooking for friends, so despite the workload I’ve been facing recently, I took a little time off and started cooking a meal consisting of a starter dish and bread, I’d never made before and just started creating in my mind as I went along with it. As the weather was warm and reminded me of summers in Greece, I decided to go for okra.

Okra us a superhealth food, but hardly a dish you easily find in restaurants in Greece

Okra is a superhealth food, but hardly a dish you easily find in restaurants in Greece

I was a bit unsure of the success okra would have at my small dinner party, in Greece you’d hardly serve this dish for dinner nor find it in restaurants, but only during lunch time and especially at places serving more home-cooked food than fine dining. But the nutritients in this dish and the medicinal properties okra has really makes this simple dish deserve a wider acceptance than it gets.

It’s made usually in a stew with herbs and tomato sauce, with meat or chicken or vegetarian. I remember last time I cooked bamies, the Greek word for okra. It was at my Greek Cookery Class a year ago, when I for the first time had one vegan person attending the class. And as I try to cater for all, I was put on the spot! What to cook for a class this time? No milk, no goat’s milk, no cheese etc. And then I remembered, one of the vegetables so few people know how to cook, so I introduced okra to the class. We made two versions of the dish, one with chicken and one without. I was surprised to see what success this dish was, who would’ve imagined?

So yesterday, I had that in mind, hoping my guests would like the stew with okra. But just in case, I made a hearty and rich starter with aubergines, pasta and garides saganaki baked in the oven!

Garides saganaki - prawn saganaki is a starter eaten on its won with bread. But I finished cooking it in the oven with the pasta and aubergines, in order to make it a more filling starter.

The bottom of the dish has some pre-baked aubergine slices, then pasta, prawns and topped with the sauce of the garides (=prawn) saganaki to keep both pasta and prawns moist after baking it in the oven.

On top of that, I made some dough for bread, but lacking time to bake it in the oven, I thought it’d be quicker to fry the bread in the pan first and finish off baking it for a few minutes in the oven.

It looks like halloumi grande... but it's actually bread fried in the pan from dough to this

The bread turned out so delicious that I ended up eating one whole piece just off the pan. Fairly easy to make, but so easy to burn, so at times the whole kitchen was flooded with smoke…

Garides saganaki with pasta bake, fried and baked home-made bread and salad

Three fairly simple dishes, which took some time to cook. The trick with most Greek cooking is that it is not so difficult to make, you just need the patience for it!

Kali orexi – Enjoy your meal! And if you’re inspired to try some of the authentic home-cooked Greek cuisine, I look forward to cooking for you at my Greekfoodlovers’ Supper Club on the 5th June https://greekcookeryclass.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/greekfoodlovers-supper-club-saturday-5-june-2010/

Email to sign up: greekcookeryclass(at)gmail.com

Credits: My garides saganaki is usually a dish I prepare on it’s own or serve as a main with pasta, which is not a Greek way to eat it. But this time I was inspired to make a pasta bake with aubergines inspired from kalofagas’ blog where he used mince, pasta and aubergines for his baked dish. I took the idea of baking the food and added my pasta, aubergines and garides saganaki to create the garides saganaki pasta bake. If you want to check out a great Greek food blog visit kalofagas on http://kalofagas.ca/lang/el/2010/05/19/makaronopita-with-eggplant-μακαρονόπιτα-με-μελιτζανες/

All pictures and text ©Greekfoodlover 2010