Gordon and Julie Greek (Beta)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Gordon and Julie Greek (Beta)

We are very happy to present to you some excellent Greek, and Greek Themed Foods that we believe you will love to eat and hopefully become a favorite in your own home.  We spent a lovely week out at the beach condo in Indian Shores, Florida, and between lots of sunning on the beach,

and fishing off the condo’s backdocks,

along the Intracoastal Waterway,

and doing a bit of picnicking on the beach,

we also did some excellent cooking in the condo.

No need to go out to dinner when you can cook something so much better yourself.  🙂

My Greek Set

I found it at a thrift store for just a few dollars.  Hand painted from Greece.

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Tarpon Springs Salad (Greek)

It all Started with a Postcard….

We spent some time in Tarpon Springs, Florida, home of the Greek Sponge Divers.  Tarpon Springs is reminiscent of an old Greek Fishing Village.  It is also home to the largest Greek-American population in the United States.

It was while we were there and I was doing my souvenir shopping that I was stocking up on postcards.

  I adore postcards!  Well, I came across a postcard with a recipe for a Tarpon Springs Salad (Greek) and I knew that I wanted to make it.

So, I bought the postcard with the recipe and it was from there that our menu expanded.  After all, you can’t just make a salad and call it a day, can you?  The postcard of the salad was the start of the inspiration, that along with beautiful Tarpon Springs, and from there is grew and evolved.  Our menu, that is.

We do hope you will enjoy,

YAMAS!

Julie and Gordon

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Gordon Fishing

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Gordon Spraying Water to Clean up

Tim, one of the nicest people we know.  🙂

The Backdocks of Quiet Waters

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If you would like to learn more about Tarpon Springs…….

Click Here for our:  Tarpon Springs Greek Sponge Diving

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Our “Greek Week” at the Beach Condo

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I do love setting the stage…..

Flowers, Wine, and Fruits

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On the Menu is…….

Our Greek Artisan Bread

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(The very casual no make up ME.)

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Our Greek Pasta Salad with Vinaigrette

Tarpon Springs Salad (Greek)

and our Greek Potato Salad

(Not Pictured)

And….

Gordon’s Greek, Feta, and Herb Shrimp

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First Up:

Greek Potato Salad

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Tarpon Springs Salad (Greek)

As I said, it all started with this postcard so I will read off to you everything that it says:

1 Large Head Lettuce

3 Cups Potato Salad

Roka Leaves or Watercress

2 Tomatoes cut into 6 wedges each

1 Cucumber cut lengthwise into 8 fingers

1 Avocado, cut into wedges

4 Portions of Feta Cheese

1 Green Bell Pepper cut into thin rings

4 Slices of Cooked Beets

4 Boiled and peeled Shrimp

4 Anchovy Fillets

12 Black Olives

4 Spring Onions

1/2 Cup White Vinegar

1/4 Cup each Olive and Salad Oil blended

Oregano

Line a large bowl with outside lettuce leaves.  Place 3 cups of potato salad in the center.  Shred remaining lettuce and make a bed around potato salad.  Arrange roka leaves or watercress on top of this.  Place the tomato wedges around the outer edges of the bowl.  Put the cucumber fingers between the tomatoes. 

Now put the avocado wedges around the potato salad.  Arrange Feta pieces over salad.  Now add pepper rings over top.  Add the spring onions at right angles to each other around the center.  Place a slice of beet between each of these.  Top each beet with one of the shrimp, then the anchovy on each shrimp.  Add black olives all over the bowl.  Sprinkle with vinegar and then with the blended oil.  Sprinkle the oregano over all and serve at once.  Serves 4 hungry people.  Serve with Italian or French bread.

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So, you’ve read the recipe above.  Well, I wanted to make it more authentic so when it called for 3 cups potato salad I wasn’t about to use my southern potato salad that I grew up on, so I did some research in a few of my Greek cookbooks that I had purchased in Tarpon Springs and found a Greek Potato Salad recipe. 

And that is the one that I used here:

Unfortunately, I can’t find it.  So, I will have to use my memory and the ingredients in the photos below.  We’ll get through it!  🙂

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Greek Potato Salad

I used Red Potatoe’s as they are more waxy and not as sugary as our Idaho Potatoes.  I am a borderline diabetic and red potatoes are what I can safely eat.

I peeled them, poked holes in them, and boiled them until tender.  You have to be able to insert a fork easily to know they are done.  I’d say that I boiled about 10 red potatoes here.

Next, I left them to cool and I sprinkled some sea salt onto them.

Now that my potatoes are ready, It’s time to put together the Greek Potato Salad.

So, I chopped all the potatoes into bite sized chunks and then added them to a bowl.

I then chopped up about 3-4 garlic cloves and added them to the bowl.

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Next I’m adding a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar.

Next I’m adding some olive oil, just to coat.

Next, I’m stirring the bowl and adding some freshly ground black pepper.

And now a bit of sea salt, just to taste.

Stir Together

Next I am adding some Fresh Dill!

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Now to give it a good stir.  Perhaps, if needed, then add some lemon juice to taste.

All Done!

Now let’s refrigerate in order to let the flavors blend together.

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Greek Pasta Salad w/ Vinaigrette

The Pasta!

Look at this beautiful floral pasta that I found!  I just knew that it would go very well with this salad.  I used a Greek Pasta Salad recipe and I thought it would make a grand addition to our Greek dinner.

Ready to make my Greek Pasta Salad

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Greek Pasta Salad

(You will probably hate me but when I make salads I do tend to just eyeball the ingredients and I cannot give you specifics because I think salads are up to interpretation and personal taste.  Some people may like a little more of this, while another person may want a little more of that.  I do taste as I go.  I did look up the makings of a Greek Pasta Salad and I am incorporating some of those ingredients here, and eliminating what I didn’t want from the recipes that I came across.  If you are a seasoned cook then you can easily follow along. 

If you are a novice…..then buy a Greek cookbook.)  🙂

First I boiled the pasta flowers as per package instructions, about 1 pound. 

So while they are boiling…..

I chopped up my 3 Roma Tomatoes into bite sized pieces.

Two Garlic Cloves, Minced

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By now my pasta flowers are al dente and ready to drain into a colander.  Some people like to withhold some of the pasta water to add later on to the salad, I don’t for pasta salads but you can do whatever you like.

The Flowers are So Pretty!

So, while the water drains out of the pasta in the colander, It’s time to cut up the Feta Cheese into small pieces.

Now add your Pasta to a large bowl.

Add your other ingredients as well.

I decided to add about half of a cucumber as well, chopped into bite sized pieces.

It’s starting to come together now.

Here I’m chopping some Kalamata Olives into small pieces.  Make sure they are pitted.

Ingredients for my Vinaigrette

Olive Oil, 4 T.

Sea Salt, 1/4 t.

Red Wine Vinegar, 2 T.

Lemon Juice, 1 t.

Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Adding the Chopped Kalamata Olives….

Also adding some oregano, a few sprigs.

Basil Leaves, Chopped.

About 5 of them.

Having added all the ingredients it’s time to give it a stir.

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Ready to make the Greek Pasta Salad Vinaigrette

Ingredients for my Vinaigrette

Olive Oil, 4 T.

Sea Salt, 1/4 t.

Red Wine Vinegar, 2 T.

Lemon Juice, 1 t.

Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Pouring in the Red Wine Vinegar

Adding the Lemon Juice

Vinaigrette All Ready

Now Pour over your Pasta Salad

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Tarpon Springs Greek Salad

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The Messy Condo Beach Kitchen

Ingredients for our Greek Salad

Gordon in the Beach Condo Kitchen

Just as I posted the recipe for this Tarpon Springs Greek Salad above, now comes the easy part of putting it all together.

Our Pretty Fish Bowl

It’s just a matter of putting the salad together.

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Ice Burg Lettuce

You will need an entire head of lettuce for this salad.

Here Gordon is removing the lettuce core by crushing the bottom of it onto the counter.  You can see how he is doing it in these photos.

Then he removes and core and discards.

Now it’s a matter of shredding the lettuce with your bare hands.  🙂 

This is a pretty rustic looking salad.

We didn’t follow the recipe to the letter and we made it look how we wanted to.  But the theme is to arrange the ingredients all around the bowl however you like.

We did keep the Feta Cheese in a bowl instead of sprinkling it all around the salad.

Everything is Looking Very Pretty

We also kept the Sugar Beets in a bowl as well.

When slicing the Avocado to prevent it from turning brown Gordon is pouring a little Lemon Juice over the tops.

Putting the Salad Together

Adding Some Lemon Juice to the Bottom

Now Gordon is placing several olives in the salad.  Green as well as Black.

Now for the Watercress

Gordon placing the Watercress around the Sugar Beets

Almost Ready!

And next comes the Vinaigrette

(We did omit the Anchovy’s and the Shrimp.)

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Making the Vinaigrette for our Greek Salad

Making a vinaigrette dressing is very easy and can work in a number of varieties of ingredients.

Here we used 3 parts extra virgin olive oil to one part red wine vinegar.

Then we used 1 Tbsp. of grainy mustard to help emulsify the mixture.  That means, the mustard helps to keep the oil and vinegar combined and not separate.  If this happens to yours over time, simply whisk them together.

Now, add 1/4 tsp salt and some granulated garlic powder….

then some fresh cracked pepper.

The herbs we chose were oregano and…

and a few Thai Basil leaves chopped fine!

You can see the pretty Basil Flower.

Nice Knife work Julie!!!

Finish with a Tbsp. of lemon juice and a Tbsp. of honey.

Now whisk all the ingredients together and you are done!

Let it sit together for an hour or so, but overnight is best as the flavors will mix even more.

Right before you use it, simply shake or whisk it together!

Olive oil is one of the most common oils for a vinaigrette, but you could have used a little sesame seed oil with the olive oil to make it more Asian, or you could have used some sunflower, palm seed, or walnut oil.

There are also many types of vinegar on the market as well, so be creative with your choice.

Just be sure to keep it 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  The other ingredients need to be kept to small amounts as we did.

The most common emulsifier is mustard, but you could also use an egg yolk, chopped herbs, or mayonnaise.

You can season your vinaigrette with just about anything as we did.

The acid from a lemon or lime is always a nice touch to any vinaigrette.

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Beautiful Greek Bread

What a great way to transform a ball of dough!

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Our Greek Artisan Bread

Ingredients: For 2 Loaves of Bread

2 Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Balls

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 lg. can of Green Olives – sliced

1 Block Feta Cheese – crumbled

8-10 Sprigs of Dill – chopped

1/2 Cup Flour

3 tsp. Lemon Pepper

Pour, then brush some olive oil on a sheet pan.

Now, start prepping your ingredients, crumble your Feta cheese

Slice your dill finely.

Then slice your olives.

Throw about a Tbsp. of your flour to spread it over your table top.

Place your dough on the flour, flatten it just a little with your finger tips, then top it with half of your lemon pepper.

 

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Then half of your Feta cheese

Now, add some of your olives and dill to the top of the dough ball.

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Finish with some fresh ground pepper.

Begin to fold the sides of the ball over the top of the ball to incorporate the ingredients.

Continue to fold the dough over the ingredients.

You may have to make about 5 or 6 folds to incorporate all the ingredients.

Lastly, make the dough into a ball again keeping the folded sides down.

Place the folded side down onto the sheet pan.

Top the ball with a little more lemon pepper.

Repeat with the other ball.

This is Julie’s Whole Wheat Loaf

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This time when I folded the dough, a good portion of toppings ended up just below the surface of the dough.

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Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil …

and bake the dough at 400’F for about 20 min. or until they are golden brown.

Into the Oven they go

Here is what they should look like when fully cooked.

This is how the ingredients look after you slice into it.

See how your folds can incorporate the olive mixture into the bread.

This bread is so good!

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Gordon’s Greek, Feta and Herb Shrimp

A truly great way to eat shrimp!

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Making Gordon’s Greek Shrimp

Ingredients:

3 lbs. peeled and deveined shrimp – keep the tails on

4 Tbsp. Butter

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

8-10 Garlic Cloves – minced

1/2 Cup Parsley – chopped

4 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp. Chili Powder

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tbsp. Red Pepper Flakes

2 Cups Feta Cheese – crumbled

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Place half of your butter slices in your Dutch Oven pot.

These shrimp need to be peeled and deveined.

Slice your garlic into somewhat fine slices and add half of it to the pot.

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On the left we have shrimp from Argentina and on the right we have some from the U.S.

No, the shrimp on the left hasn’t been cooked yet!

The shrimp from Argentina are some of the best we have ever had.

Their shells are thicker than a regular shrimps.

To peel your shrimp, grab the legs and with a pulling motion, pull the legs over the top of the shrimp to remove the rest of the shell.  Leave the tail end shell on the shrimp.  If it does come off, don’t worry about it.

To de-vein the shrimp, place the shrimp on its side on your cutting board.

Using a sharp knife, slice down the back of the shrimp right down the center about 1/8 of an inch deep.

This will expose the shrimps digestive track, which is usually gritty with sand.

Simply pull the vein out of the shrimp and then rinse the shrimp under water.

The shrimp from Argentina were already de-veined.

Add half of your shrimp to the dutch oven pot.

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Our Ingredients Waiting Their Turn  🙂

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Slice your parsley and add it to the pot

Now, add half of your seasonings to the pot

and half of your olive oil.

Here, I am still de-veining and rinsing the shrimp.

Start again from the beginning adding the other half of the ingredients to the pot.

Your Feta Cheese and Lemon Juice will be added later.

This is a Layering process.

Add your fresh cracked pepper then drizzle your olive oil over the entire mixture.

Cover the pot and turn it on to medium high heat.  Cook the shrimp for ~8 min. or until they have just started to turn pink in color.  This is easier to see with the shrimp Not from Argentina.

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Me, waiting patiently for the sunset and the shrimp.  🙂

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Turn the heat down to Med. Low, the stir the shrimp.

Then add your Lemon Juice and Feta Cheese.

 Cover the pot and cook the shrimp for another 5 min. or until the Feta Cheese has just started to melt.

Remove the Dutch Oven from the heat, stir the shrimp, and eat them with your freshly baked Greek Bread!

YUMMY!!

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Our Sunset Picnic on the Lanai Balcony

With Greek Wine

Our (Greek) Sunset

Kalinikta (Goodnight)

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Click Here for our:  Tarpon Springs Greek Sponge Diving

And,

Click Here for:  Gordon and Julie Greek

And,

Click Here for our:  Picnic and Travel Foods

And,

Julie’s Octopussy Cocktail

And,

Greek Octopus

Click Here for:  Tasso’s Bubbles

And,

Click Here for our:  Gordon and Julie Greek, Beta

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