Greek Cooking for the Gods, Indeed

We’ve been a little distracted by Hannukah around here, but not too distracted to cook and eat, and oh-my-god, what delectables we’ve been devouring. Really.  And you, my lucky readers, will be able to benefit from all this feasting because I am now going to share a couple of recipes from Greece with you:  Sfougato, a baked omelette from the island of Rhodes (my husband, Beto, cooked this)  and Baked Fish A La Kalamata.  Tomorrow,  tune in for that famous Greek dish: “Mousaka” which I’ll be cooking tonight.

The following recipe is another delicious one adapted from Clifford A. Wright’s Mediterranean Feast:

Sfougata, baked omelette from Rhodes

  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 lb. ground veal, beef, or lamb
  • 1 lb. zucchini, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 c. hot water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • Dried (gluten free) bread crumbs for sprinkling
  • Feta cheese for garnish

1) In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then cook the onion until soft and yellow, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the meat, breaking it up with a fork and cook until it loses its raw color, about 10 minutes.  Add the zuchini, parsley, dill and hot water and season with salt and pepper.  Stir to blend, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the zucchini is soft and the sauce flavorful, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2) Transfer the contents of the skillet to a large bowl to cool, using a slotted ladle to drain of excess liquid.  Beat the eggs into the bowl.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3) Sprinkle the bread crumbs lightly on the bottom of a buttered casserole (about 8x11x2 inches), then pour in the egg and meat mixture.  Bake until the eggs set, about 25 minutes.  Serve warm with feta cheese crumbled on top.

Makes 4-6 servings.

The next recipe is from a cookbook that Helen Fisher loaned me, called Greek Cooking for the Gods, by Eva Zane and it is full of wonderful recipes. I will have to get back to it after this week, because there are too many things to cook in one brief two-week period.

Baked Fish A La Kalamata

  • 4 halibut fillets or a whole white fish(I used cod fillets cuz that’s what we had in the freezer)
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of one lemon
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 can whole tomatoes (12 oz)
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 cup olive oil (I didn’t use this much)

Wipe fillets; sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Marinate raisins in wine.  Place sliced onions in skillet with 1/2 cup of water; cover and steam until the onions are soft (about 10 minutes).  Add tomatoes, olive oil, cloves, raisins, and wine to onions and cook over low fire until well blended.  Cover a baking pan with a light layer of the onion mixture; arrange the fillets, side by side, on top of this, and cover with the remaining onion mixture.  Place one lemon slice on each fillet and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

I served this with white rice and green salad and everyone loved it.  Eva Zane recommends white retsina wine with it.

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About tamisrenteria

Tamis Renteria, author and anthropologist, writes novels and short stories about people struggling with different religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions. She lives with her husband and youngest son in Tucson, Arizona where she types on a Mac, cooks ethnic food, and gardens among the sahuaros.
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