I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Prawn Kalamaki with Tzatziki and Herb Salad with Greek Style Lamb and Vegetable Pilaf

With last night's meal we had a little Greek theme going.  I was inspired by last week's Master Class and George's Tzatziki.

I got myself all sorted out on Thursday - went to the fabric shop, bought the muslin and the yoghurt and started my prep for the Friday evening Greek feast!  I also decided while I was at it I would give making labne a go - that needs to "hang" for 3 days - so it's still in the pipeline!!  Stay tuned for the results.

Now if you saw the Master Class you would have seen that the yogurt and the cucumbers need to drain overnight - I did mine for 24 hours.  Following these procedures will give you the most beautiful, creamy tzatziki you have ever tasted!!  Heaven on a Greek Plate!!

So onto the actual recipe.

Prawn Kalamaki with Tzatziki and Herb Salad

You decide how many this serves - we had it as an entree - can you stop at 2 prawns each???

12 green prawns, peeled and deveined
2 tbs olive oil
several springs of thyme
1 clove crushed garlic


handful of small salad mix leaves
2tbs sage leaves
2 tbs dill fronds
2 tbs mint leaves
2 tbs chive batons
1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise
1/2 lemon to serve


4 lebanese cucumbers, peeled and grated
2 cups Greek yoghurt
1/2 clove garlic finely grated
1 small french eschalot, finely grated
1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped
1 lemon, zest only, finely grated
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbs Greek honey (I could not find any so I used Organic Orange Blossom Honey)
4-5 tbs olive oil

What you want to do is to take approximately 2 cups of Greek yoghurt and place it in the middle of a square of muslin.  Drawn the corners together and tie string just above where the ball of yoghurt is.  Suspend this over a bowl at least overnight.  You will be amazed at the amount of liquid that comes out.

For the cucumbers place a rack over a dish.  Place a clean chux over the rack and lay out the grated cucumber, season with a little salt.  Fold the chux over the top of the cucumber and leave in the fridge along with the yoghurt until needed.

At this stage you can also soak your bamboo skewers in water.

Next Day.....

Place the drained yoghurt in a bowl add the grated garlic, eschalot, dill, lemon zest, honey and cayenne pepper.  

Add the drained cucumbers and stir to combine.  Add the olive oil and stir well.  Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt.  Place in a serving bowl and top with a little more olive oil.

For the prawns, mix the olive oil and garlic together and add the prawns.  Leave to marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Gently insert the skewer into the prawn, starting at the tail end - you want the prawn to be straightened onto the skewer.

Mix all the salad leaves and herbs, gently bind the leaves together with the mayonnaise.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place the lemon half onto the barbecue to caramelise.

You want the barbecue to be on a low gentle heat.  Throw the thyme leaves onto the heat source, and then place the prawn skewers onto the bbq rack.  The smoke of the thyme leaves will impart a lovely subtle flavour to the prawns. Very gently cook the prawns for around 4 -5 minutes, or until cooked through.

Place the kalamaki on a plate along with the salad, lemon half and a bowl of tzatziki.

For main course we had ...

Greek Style Lamb with Vegetable Pilaf

Serves 4

2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves crushed garlic
3 tbs chopped oregano leaves
600g lamb steaks 

Vegetable Pilaf

1 tbs oliv oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 lemon zested
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed into 2cm pieces
150g Persian Feta, crumbled
2 tbs chopped mint

** slice the zested lemon into thick slices and cook on the barbeque with the lamb - use as a garnish.

Marinate the lamb in the olive oil, garlic and oregano for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make the pilaf.  Heat the oli in a large, heavy based saucepan over low-medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened.  Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Ad the stock and the lemon zest, and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat to low.  Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in the peas and broccolini and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the remaining liquid and steam are absorbed by the rice.

Meanwhile cook the lamb steaks on the barbeque for approximately 3 minutes each side, depending on thickness and to your liking.

Fold the persian feta cheese through the pilaf and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the pilaf among the plates, top with lamb steaks.  Garnish with the caramelised lemon slices and serve with any remaining tzatziki.

With a little ouzo, and some plate smashing (and a little imagination) you can pretend you are on a Greek holiday!!

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