Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Greek inspired meze

Sometimes I cannot decide on what I want for tea at home or what meal to have in a restaurant, which is why I am a big fan of tapas and mezes. Last night was one of those nights were I had taken some lamb chops out of the freezer but hadn't really thought of what to do with them. So, I looked in the fridge and cupboards to see what I could find and decided to make a few bits and bobs with a greek theme. When we were last in Greece,Mr Giannasi fell in love with the courgette and feta fritters that we had at our favourite restaurant, so I have been making my own version ever since. Along with the fritters and lamb I made Greek style butter beans and Tzatziki and warmed up a few Kalamata and Halkidiki olives.  I served all of this up on a plate, just for ease on a monday night, but these are great dishes to put out on the table, along with haloumi, hummus , souvlaki etc, and let everybody help themselves if you have friends around.

Courgette and Feta Fritters

Ingredients ( Makes 8 fritters)

1 courgette
1 large potato, preferably a dry potato such as Maris Piper or King Edward
100g feta cheese
30g cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp dried oregano
small bunch fresh mint, chopped
salt and pepper to season
1 egg
small cup of flour
olive oil for frying


1. Grate the courgette into a large bowl and add a little salt, to dehydrate it. Leave for half an hour then drain the water from bowl. I always give an extra squeeze with hands to take out any excess water.
2. Boil the potato, allow to cool and add to the bowl along with all of the other ingredients and combine
3. Divide the mixture into 8 balls and put on a plate in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up slightly
4. Beat the egg in one bowl and add flour to another bowl. Heat the oil in a frying pan then fry then dip the courgettes into the flour, then the egg and finally back into the flour before putting in the pan and cooking until golden brown. Be careful not to cook for too long as they will go a little sloppy but they will still taste great!

Lemon and Cumin Lamb Chops


4 lamb chops
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp parprika
Juice of half a lemon


Simply mix the spices together in a cup along with the a little of the olive oil and lemon juice and coat the chops in the mixture. Leave for an hour or so and fry the lamb in olive oil for 4-5 minutes on each side. Allow to rest a little before serving.

' Giant ' Butter Beans in Tomato sauce


1 can of butter beans
1 can of tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 chopped onion
50ml white wine
salt and pepper to season
olive oil for frying


1. Fry the chopped onion in a little olive oil, until soft, then add in the garlic and fry for another 20 seconds or so, be careful not to let the garlic burn.
2. Add in the tomatoes, herbs and wine and simmer for 30 minutes
3. Add in the drained butter beans and season. Cook for a further 15 minutes then serve.



Small pot of natural greek yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cucumber
pinch of salt


Grate the cucumber and use hands to squeeze out excess as much water as possible. Add the lemon juice, salt then garlic to the yoghurt then stir and combine with the cucumber. I always put in the fridge before serving to keep it cold and allow it to thicken a little.

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