Greek food has always held a great fascination for us. In one sense, it's the genesis of "Western" cuisine. In another, Greek food represents a complex fusion of Mediterranean, Mid-Eastern, and Central European cooking. Rustic and simple, unpretentious, Greek cuisine is "real food." We like that.
So... It's "Greek Week" around here. Reading about it, writing about it, eating it, thinking and talking about it.
One, quite enjoyable, activity undertaken: Delving back into The Glorious Foods of Greece by Diane Kochilas. Diane is quite active on television, as a teacher and culinary tour guide, as well as on facebook. Re-reading this seminal work was an immense pleasure.
The Glorious Foods of Greece is a wonderful read for one thing, as are all her books, and Diane's talent as an author is no less obvious than her passion for the subject of Greek food. She tells the story of traditional Greek fare--the kind enjoyed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years--in an epic way. The story, and the food, is both fascinating and quite unforgettable. She keeps pulling you back for more. You won't regret it if you can find a copy.
Some of the foods in The Glorious Foods of Greece reminded us of an awesome Greek culinary experience... Actually one of our top ten food experiences of all time. It occurred in a very small, unpretentious cafe tucked away in the old Oak Cliff / Bishop Arts District area of Dallas, TX and involved multiple courses of authentic and supremely well prepared savory and sweet treats. We still dream about this place.
It's called, simply enough, Greek Cafe and Bakery and the quality, depth, and breadth of the talent here is world class: Phenomenal. Find them on facebook, look them up on Yelp, and, if you're ever in the area, don't hesitate to find them for real. You won't regret it. Really.
There's a Greek cafe not far from us in Canyon, TX, too. Ashamed to admit it but we haven't eaten there... Yet. Maybe later today. Reviews for Helios Greek Grill from locals are quite good and they're on facebook. We're looking forward to trying them out. It would be a fitting way to round out Greek Week.
One reason, as if we really needed one, for "Greek Week" here is the newest addition to our Mediterranean blends with a new herb/spice blend: Nóstimo! Greek Blend. It took a while but it's worth the wait.
Nóstimo! means "delicious" and this blend dances with the lively herbal exuberance of a Greek festival while keeping just a hint of spicy mystery. It's versatile and can serve as an "all purpose" blend, becoming either simple and rustic or elegant and sophisticated depending on your mood.
We've been using it for grilled or roast poultry, lamb, or beef, in soups, stews, and braises, with fresh young cheeses or feta, and in dishes featuring potatoes, greens, green beans, or spinach. Oh! And, of course, with anything Greek.
Greek Week: A wonderful thing!
Kaly Orexi, y'all.