Posts Tagged ‘mousaka’

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

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 – three sessions in January for Gigantes beans, Kleftiko and Mousaka

January 5, 2012

Craving good authentic Greek food in London and want to learn how to make it? Join Greek Cookery Class for hands-on cooking classes and a generous meal to follow after each session! Details and bookings via greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com or read below for more info!

Greek Cookery Class has created a three-week course in January 2012 with three full days of cooking and eating: 

In these 3 sessions on 3 Sundays in a row you’ll learn how to cook three of the most popular dishes in Greek cuisine. Each session will last between 4-5 hours, and be held between 1-6pm. We’ll cook together and then have a dinner with the food we’ve made before each participant gets to take a portion home. The course will run on these Sundays: 8, 15 and 22 of January 2012.

Gigantes, baked butter beans

Each class will feature a main dish: gigantes (the baked giant butter beans) which almost is the national dish of Greece, Kleftiko the famous slow roasted lamb and for the finale we’ll do mousaka. The classes are hands-on and you’ll get to learn the skills for the 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 Greek sides/meze and salads to pair with every main to create a meal. 

Kleftiko - roast lamb

The cost for the full course is £195 per person for all three January sessions. All ingredients, 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 and more courses will follow with other dishes later in 2012 to expand your Greek chef’s repertoire.

If you wish to attend to two out of the three sessions or only one, the price will be £80/class, remember each class lasts for about 5 hours as the three above main dishes take longer time to cook/prepare!!

The course is held close to Liverpool Street/Old Street stations. Please advise on booking whether there are any food allergies.

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, friend/colleague/partner on email:

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 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.

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

Frying crispy courgette slices - Kolokythakia

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 School 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 – 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

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!