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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Greek feast

I've not felt like cooking big meals recently. I'm sure it had something to do with my new job. I was working late, long and hard and by the time I got home I was too tired to even think about cooking something more complex than pasta, pizza or a microwave curry. The best thing I could do to take care of myself over those few months was to let it be ok that I was not in the mood to cook (remember those needs I mentioned? My need for rest and relaxation went up and to meet that I relaxed on the kitchen work). 

Now I've completely turned a corner at work - a new member of our team joined, and my workload halved overnight. The relief of this was incredible, and a lovely result of that is now I have more energy to do more of the things I love in the evenings and weekends. Last night this meant cooking. It's like everything since January finally spilled out into a Monday night Greek feast. 
With music blasting from Spotify I whipped up marinades, butterflied chicken thighs, juiced lemons, chopped fresh herbs, crushed and smeared garlic bulbs, made my own tzatziki, Greek salad and toasted halloumi cheese. 
Cooking I have missed you! Tomasz was especially pleased as well I think...

For the chicken marinade: 

Take 1 lemon, a good few glugs of olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh chopped herbs (I used parsley, mint and a bit of dill), some dried oregano (fresh is fine I just only had dried), then put in a bit of the olive oil from a jar of olives - it gives it a bit of that briney salty taste and more body. 
Whip it all up and leave your chicken for as long as possible to marinate. Overnight is great if you have time - the proteins in the chicken will become broken down for a more tender texture. 
Once done, pop it into a pan and let it sizzle! You could also grill, BBQ or oven bake - whatever you like. 

For the cous cous, fry a handful per person in a bit of butter until it's all coated. Add in boiling water until it just covers the dried grains. Next add the squeezed out lemon halves from your marinade, some garlic cloves and let it steam with the lid on for about 5 minutes.
Fluff up the cous cous and add in salt, pepper, olives and a touch of the oil they sit in. Cous cous can be bland, so don't be afraid to really jazz it up with lots of big flavours. 

Tzatziki is really simple - take some natural yogurt (I think full fat tastes better, but whatever you prefer is fine), chop up cucumber, fresh mint and add some salt, pepper, lemon juice and crushed garlic. Some recipes call for olive oil as well - I don't add it in, but experiment and see what you like. 

Slice up a block of halloumi cheese and pop it under the grill until it's nice and crispy and catching on the ends.


Serve it all with a cool Greek salad and some dressing. Enjoy! 

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