I had a Greek night at the start of the Olympics. All of the suggestions here are excellent ones. The only thing that you must remember and is very very very important: Ouzo is not a good idea. After consuming quantities of red wine with dinner we had some ouzo before dessert. None of us liked it but someone kept pouring it..... I don't remember what happened after that.
WE do Greek meals with some frequency as my husband is from Greece and friends love the food. For appetizers ("meze") we serve tsatziki and taramasalata with crusty french or Italian bread. I have never ever seen pita served in Greece (more than 16 visits to Greece) either in restaurants or private homes. Another favorite is gigantes- large giant beans cooked in an olive oil, parsley, tomato sauce. If we are not making greek salad, we put out bowls of various Greek olives and cheese- kasseri and feta. For a main course we serve stuffed grape leaves (stuffed with lamb and rice) with egg- leomon sauce. Other options are pastitsio, stuffed vegetables or moussaka. For dessert our favorite is galactoboureko- phyllo with a semolina custard filling. If you want anyof these recipes I will be glad to send.
I will try to send these today. I have them on my computer but do not know how to attach them here. Could someone tell me how. If not, I will type in as much as I can. Also, I will check my previous posts as I have posted some of these before.
I sometimes make fried zucchini. I especially like it with skordalia- a Greek garlic sauce made with potatoes, olive oil and garlic.
My recipe for pastitio is below. You can find the others by searching my previous posts as follows: Galactoboureko-p.12 of my posts, October 8,2008; Moussaka-p.14 of my posts, January 3, 2009; stuffed vegetables [and baked gigantes]-p 56, September 7, 2006.
If you can't find them let me know.
3 tbsp butter
2 large onions, coarsely grated
2 pounds lean ground lamb (can substitute beef)
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp oil
1 lb elbow macaroni
FOR WHITE SAUCE
6 cups milk
1 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
generous pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
3 cups grated kefalotyrie (can substitute parmesan)
3 tbsp buttr
In a large skillet, melt butter and add onions and cook until soft but not brown- 10 minutes.
Add meat, stirring until it browns
Add tomato paste, wine, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Turn down heat and cook uncovered for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add oil and cook 6-8 minutes until tender but al dente
Drain in a colander
Heat the milk until scalding. Remove from heat. Melt the butter. Sift the flour into the butter, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.Add a pinch of nutmeg and slowly whisk in hot milk. Add more nutmeg and stir until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and cool.
Heat Oven to 350.
Butter a large baking dish- 9x13 is not big enough.I use a large corningware baking dish.]
Stir 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 11/2 cups of grated cheese into the meat.
Sprinkle the bottom of the baking dish with 2 tbsp crumbs. Spread 1/2 of the macaroni on the bottom of the dish. Cover with 1/2 cup cheese and then all the meat filling.
Beat 1/2 cup of the sauce into the eggs. Stir this back into the white sauce. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese.
Pour 1/2 the sauce over the meat , smooth with a rubber spatula, sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs and cheese. Dot with butter.
Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown.Remove from oven, cut into squares and serve.
My recipe is almost the same but I add a beaten egg to my macaroni. This helps it all stick together so it scoops out of the pan in nice pieces. I also add a ton of garlic to the meat sauce (though I'm not sure that was in the original recipe or just my preference).
Oh and i sprinkle the top with feta about 15 minutes before it is done cooking
This is a great dish and always very popular with kids and adults.
In August 2008 Diane Kochilas' cookbook, "The Glorious Foods of Greece," was the Cookbook of the Month. Many of us cooked quite a few of her wonderfully authentic recipes. Here is the main thread where the links to the various reporting threads will be found. There are also links to on-line recipes from the book.
I'm sure you'll find more than enough inspiration for your Greek dinner.
For an appetiser you could have pita breads toasted and cut into strips with a tzatziki dip?
I don't have a recipe for pita breads I'm afraid but the dips really easy to make. I use 1 cup yoghurt, 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped and 1/4 cucumbur grated then squeezed gently through a tea towel to remove some of the moisture then mix it all together. Add 2 tsp each of good olive oil and white wine vinegar and mix again. You may want to add a little more of either of olive oil or vinegar depending on the variety you have and your tastes but adjust a little at a time until you're happy with it. You can add some freshly chopped mint or chives too if you like.