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Welcome to the Blend blog! We're a small communtiy food organisation based in Sheffield, England. On our blog we'll try and keep you upto date with the stuff we're doing, share recipes and talk about anything to do with food. Please write on the blog, tell us what you think and what you eat.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Greek Cook Along

We had about 45 people to our Greek Cook Along night last week to make some fantastic tasting dishes. On the menu we had Spanakopita which is a delicious spinach and feta pie with a crisp filo pastry topping. We also had dolmades or stuffed vine leaves, moussaka and a fresh and tasty Greek salad.

These are the recipes that we used, they are all really simple, affordable great tasting dishes that take a little planning but are easy to prepare. I bought all of the ingredients in shops around Sharrow, you can get the vine leaves from Osmans on London Road and they come in a jar.

Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves)

Ingredients
30 Vine leaves
1 onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped.
200g short grain rice.
75g sultana’s
75g pine nuts
2 handfuls of chopped fresh herbs (parsley, mint, oregano, basil).
200g water.

Method
  1. Heat a little oil and cook the onion and garlic till they soften.
  2. Add the rice, sultana’s and pine nuts and stir through the onion and garlic.
  3. Add the water and boil to till the rice is cooked and liquid absorbed. Add the chopped herbs and leave the mixture to cool.
  4. Place 1 tbsp of the rice mixture in the middle of each vine leaf and roll into a tight parcel.
  5. Serve the dolmades either cold or heated in a steamer or microwave.

Moussaka

Ingredients (6 portions)
Minced lamb, 900g
3 aubergines
1 large onion, diced.
3 Garlic cloves, diced.
1 can of tomatoes
A pinch of dried oregano
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 glass of wine (optional)
Salt and Pepper

Topping
75 g flour
75g butter or margarine
600ml milk
Cheese, 50g
2 egg yolks.

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and soften the garlic and onion. Add the mince, oregano and cinnamon and cook till the lamb is brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes and the wine if you’re using, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Finish with some salt and pepper.
  3. Heat some more oil in a pan, slice the aubergine and soften them in the oil.
  4. To make the topping, melt the butter in a pan and add the flour. Mix them together and cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
  5. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring continuously so there are no lumps.
  6. Once all the milk is added, add the cheese and melt.
  7.  Take off the heat and stir in the egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. To assemble the moussaka, lay the softened aubergines in the bottom of a deep baking tray. Place the cooked mince on top and finish with the cheese sauce.
  9. Place the moussaka in a pre-heated oven (gas 6 / 200c) for 20 to 30 minutes or the top is golden brown.
Spanakopita – Spinach and feta filo pie.

Ingredients (6 – 8 portions)
1.5kg fresh spinach
280g feta cheese
250g cream cheese
Handful chopped fresh parsley and dill
Bunch of spring onions, chopped.
Pinch of nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten.
1 pack filo pastry.
Salt and pepper.
Vegetable or olive  oil.

Method
  1. Wash and cook the spinach till it has wilted (no more than 1 minute), then drain out all of the liquid.
  2. Mix the cooked spinach with the herbs, nutmeg, the cheese, the eggs and salt and pepper.
  3. Layer five sheets of the filo pastry into the bottom of deep oven dish. Brush each layer with olive oil.
  4. Next place the cheese and spinach mixture into the dish. Top with the remaining filo pastry, brushing each layer with oil.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at gas 4 / 180c till the pie is golden brown. Serve warm.
Greek Salad

Ingredients (4 to 6 portions)
Black olives 14, cut in half.
Tomatoes 3 or 4, cut into 8.
Feta cheese 200g, cut into half inch pieces
Cucumber, half. 
Red onion, 2. diced
Gem lettuce 1
Fresh basil, 6 leaves
Olive oil. 2 tbsp.
Lemon juice, 1.
White wine vinegar, 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper

Method.
  1. Cut the cucumber in half down the middle and scoop all the seeds out. Dice into half inch size pieces.
  2. Mix the cucumber with the tomato, olives, feta, red onion, the leaves of the gem lettuce and the basil.
  3. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and some salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and serve straight away.

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