Monday, 25 October 2010

Food from Many Greek Kitchens

I've been doing a spot of Greek island hopping, not in the actual sense, but from the comfort of my armchair, courtesy of Tessa Kiros. Her new book, Food from Many Greek Kitchens has had me relaxing on a sun drenched harbour side, watching the fishing boats bobbing on a pure clear turquoise sea while I enjoy the aromas of hillside herbs and summer soaked lemons.

I didn't know a huge amount about Greece, I've never even been there, but I found Tessa's writing to be enlightening, both in the culinary traditions as well as the idiosyncrasies of the Greek people.
The book revealed, that my knowledge of Greek food is fairly limited, there is so much more than Moussaka, Baklava, Dolmades, Hummus and Taramasalata and the like.

The climate, geology and terrain of Greece make it ideal for an abundance of olives, the rocky hillsides are grazed by tottering sheep and its vast Mediterranean coastline is rich in fish. This would explain the copiousness of olive oil, lamb and seafood used in the recipes.
Covering traditional dishes, as well as foods for fasting and feasting, Tessa Kiros totally encapsulates the atmosphere of the country, steeped in ancient history and folklore.
The photography further reinforces the feeling of the place providing evocative imagery.

Psari Vrasto Ladolemono
Poached Fish with Lemon Oil

Choosing not settle for what I already knew, I decided to make the Poached Fish with Lemon Oil (p.193) This is included in the soup section, but it really is more than that. Chunks of carrot, courgette, potatoes, celery and onions are cooked in water until they create a flavoursome clear broth, the fish is then poached in it towards the end. What really lifts the dish, though, is the final addition of extra virgin olive oil mixed with lemon juice. Everything was so light and fragrant.

Honey Cakes

I always fall for a sticky Mediterranean treat. I don't really have an exceptionally sweet tooth, but there's something very enticing about the fragrance of honey and spices that I cannot resist.
The very easy to make Honey Cakes (p.42) were divine. I was initially surprised at the amount of olive oil used in them but it is obviously there for a reason. The cakes are perfumed with orange zest, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and when baked they are soaked in a warm honey syrup and then sprinkled with crushed walnuts.
For some reason, mine spread on baking, so looked slightly flatter than the photograph in the book, but this didn't affect the texture or taste.

The recipes are clear to understand, but impaired by the poor colour choice for the body text. Light turquoise on white is difficult to read at the best of times, but that said, the overall quality of the book is very good.

Food from Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros is published by Murdoch Books
Hardback RRP £25
Order yours now

Food photos: ©childsdesign 2010
Book kindly supplied by Murdoch Books


Related Posts with Thumbnails