Whenever my daughter Brianna and I get a chance to spend time together we really enjoy cooking. (As I have mentioned in a lot of my blogs, she lives in England.) One of our favourite themes for cooking is anything Mediterranean. One weekend during one of her visits here, we made Moroccan food the first night and Greek food the next. Then on the following day we made Mediterranean pizzas with the leftovers. We sourced most of the recipes from Jamie Oliver; both Brianna and I really like Jamie Oliver recipes.
Friday Night – Moroccan
For the first night we pretty much followed the Jamie Oliver recipe for Grilled Moroccan Lamb Chops with harissa-spiked humus and coleslaw. We even stole his plating idea and used wood boards.
Here’s the link to the recipe on Jamie Oliver’s website.
The coleslaw was very fresh with the celeriac, lime juice and coriander (cilantro), perhaps a little too fresh for our tastes, so we added a little mayo to tone it down a bit. We also found using a mandoline made the pieces of celeriac and carrot to large, so we ended up just using a vegetable peeler instead.
We added Roasted Vegetable Couscous to the menu the first night. It was pretty simple to put together. We just tossed some vegetables in Greek seasonings and olive oil, the popped them in a hot oven. Once they were all lovely and roasted, we diced them up and mixed with cooked couscous. Worked really nicely.
Saturday Night – Greek
For the Greek night, we made a Greek-style roasted chicken. We stuffed it with a bunch of peeled whole garlic cloves, a par-boiled lemon and some fresh rosemary sprigs. I started things off on the BBQ to get some nice grill marks and flavour. After marking the chicken directly on the grill and letting it cook for a bit, we transferred it to a baking sheet and popped it in the oven in the house. We also draped a few strips of raw thick-cut bacon across the top to keep things moist.
Moving the chicken into the house, gave us room on the BBQ for casserole dish with potatoes and squash tossed in some oil and seasonings and some roasted vegetable skewers with halloumi cheese.
Then, on the third night we took all the left-overs and made Mediterranean-themed pizzas with coleslaw, humus and a Greek salad on the side.
Condado de Haza
Ribera Del Duero, Spain
Grape Variety: Tempranillo
One of my favourite reasonably-priced wines is Condado de Haza from Ribera Del Duero. Although this is not one of the regions of Spain that border the Mediterranean, the wines from this region are some of my favourite and I think they go really well with Mediterranean style foods. It is a Crianza, which is the Spanish designation for red wines aged for two years with at least six months in oak. I enjoy that is it a full-bodied wine with nice tannins and lovely peppery notes.
Boutari Cambas Retsina
White Table Wine
For Greek night I just had to include Retsina. Although most people I know won’t share it with me, I really enjoy this traditional crisp Greek wine with strong pine flavours. Did you know they have been making retsina for more than 2,000 years? Its unique flavor is said to have originated from the practice of sealing wine vessels with pine resin which helped keep air out so the wine would keep longer. As far as I am concerned, you can’t have a Greek night without a bottle of Retsina.
Well, I have to say, I don’t have much Moroccan or Greek music so we didn’t stick with the Mediterranean theme for the music. Both Brianna and I enjoy a lot of current British artists, some she has introduced me to. I am so jealous that she gets to attend – and work at – a lot of British music festivals and she has seen some of my favourite artists. Since we have lots of music by current British artists we had plenty for the whole weekend. Here are a few we both really enjoy.
Matt Corby (Although he is not British, I like to include Matt Corby’s songs with this group.)
THE CHEESE JOKES
As part of our visit we got into a few cheese jokes – at first inspired by her introducing me to halloumi cheese, which was just super grilled on the BBQ. So, I’ll finish with a few Cheese Jokes…
What does cheese say to itself in the mirror?
What cheese do you use to encourage a bear?
What cheese can you disguise a horse with?
Hi – My name is David Middleton. I work at Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton, Alberta and I’m passionate about sharing good food, wine and music. My Friday afternoon ritual is the highlight of my week! Here’s how it goes: • pick out a cool recipe • pair with a nice bottle of wine • mix some new music – I make a lot of playlists in iTunes! • set out my mise en place and start cookin’ Hope you enjoy!