I need some advice. i'm preparing skordalia for a party tomorrow. I've read several recipes with the thickening agent varying between potatos, almonds or moistened bread or a combination of two or all of those.
I'm no expert on skordalia, or greek food generally, i also tend to prefer to hem as close to tradition in cooking as possible, but can happily modify a recipe if there is a compelling reason to. I also love potatos, but my Grandmother is from County Cork, so that's a love built into my dna.
I'd so appreciate some advice on the best way to proceed. Any skordalia fanatics out there who wish to bestow some wisdom would be a saint in my books.
I honeymooned in Greece years ago. My wife and I loved skordalia once we got a taste of it. Every place we ate, we always ordered it if it didn't already come with. It rarely had the same texture and garlic intensity. Some was like just like eating raw garlic but most either way was very strong. We then started asking at each restaurant how theirs were made. All had potatoes as a base and most included soaked bread (milk or water) that was then squeezed. Olive oil and S&P. None of them said anything about using nuts however. So in the end, it all boils down to a matter of your taste preferences. I can say, we never had one we didn't like!
I've eaten (and made) a lot of skordalia, but I don't think I've ever had it made with bread. When I lived in Greece, everyone I knew made it with potatoes. I suspect there are a lot of recipes on the web. BUT... When it comes to "exotic" foods, most people prefer the version they had the first time they tasted it, so if you've had it before, here's hoping you know what it was made with.
For the potato versions, instant potatoes aren't truly great. Boiled or baked potatoes work best.
Is 1964 traditional enough? If so, from Cooking the Greek Way (Spring Books, London):
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 t salt
6 oz. shelled walnuts
5 fl. oz. olive oil
2-3 T vinegar
2 thick slices bread (WITH TASTE, my addition. Good psomi, not white crap.)
1-2 T water
DIRECTIONS PARAPHRASED: Puree garlic with salt and walnuts until creamy. Soak bread in (additional) water, squeeze dry, and add to the other ingredients. Mix thoroughly and add slowly to oil and vinegar. finally add the water.
I'm not a fan of using bread in this preparation. I use both potatoes and almonds. Never seen a recipe for Skordalia that required only almonds and no potatoes. I puree the potatoes, run the garlic and almonds and some olive oil through the food processor and add the lemon and S&P to taste. If it need thinning I use a splash of milk, instead of water.
I appreciate the versatility of Skordalia as both a dip/spread and I sometimes lightly mash potatoes, add an almond/garlic/butter puree and serve them as "garlic/almond mashed potatoes" as a side with a good steak.