Spanakopita and .......... ?

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Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 16th, 2016, 3:47 pm

A friend is coming to supper at the end of the month - she's almost a vegetarian but does eat fish occasionally.

I thought I'd go for a Greek/Cypriot theme and make one of OH's favourites, Spanakopita ........... any suggestions for accompaniments and pudding please?

I'd like to be able to cook ahead as much as possible as it's going to be a very chatty and probably quite inebriate (she's a journalist) get together :lol:
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Hope » February 16th, 2016, 4:11 pm

Greek salad, plaki gigantes (did I get that right?), roasted veg...
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby hickybank » February 16th, 2016, 4:32 pm

Tiramisu can be made well ahead & never fails to please, might not be Greek or Cypriot but depends how authentic you want to be

Figs in Honey & wine is Greek, I have a recipe if you would like it
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby hickybank » February 16th, 2016, 5:31 pm

I might as well post it anyway

Fresh Figs in Honey & Wine (this serves 6 people)
450ml dry White Wine, 75g Clear Honey, 50g Sugar
1 small orange, 8 whole Cloves
450g fresh Figs, 1 Cinnamon stick
For the Cream
300ml double Cream, 1 vanilla pod, 5ml Sugar
Put the Wine Honey &Sugar in a heavy based saucepan
Use a gentle heat to dissolve sugar
Stud the Orange with the Cloves & add to the syrup with the Figs &Cinnamon,
Simmer gently for 5 – 10 mins till the Figs have softened
Transfer to a serving dish & leave to cool.
Put the 150ml of the Cream in a pan with the Vanilla
Bring to the almost boil then leave to cool & infuse for 30 mins.
Remove Vanilla pod
Whip with the remaining Cream & Sugar
Transfer to a serving dish & serve with the Figs
Last edited by hickybank on February 16th, 2016, 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Kacey » February 16th, 2016, 5:38 pm

When I make spanakopita, I do either giant beans or green beans or okra in a similar tomatoey garlic and herby sauce. Or there's briam or artichokes and potatoes in a lemon sauce. Or simple Greek oven potatoes roasted in olive oil with lemon, parsley and dill. If you want any t&d recipes, let me know.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby StokeySue » February 16th, 2016, 5:39 pm

I tend to think sticky little cakes are Greek, baklava etc.
Or basbousa, if you Google for a recipe it comes up as an Egyptian recipe, but I'm sure I've had it in Greece, possibly called something else, I use Claudia Roden's recipe from Middle Eastern Foo
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Kacey » February 16th, 2016, 5:47 pm

Speaking of Baklava, though I don't have a sweet tooth at all, I do like good quality baklava, OH has been bringing me little packs home from Tesco. made by Persis, you get 12 small pieces in a pack for £4.00, would be nice to serve with a cup of Greek coffee to finish.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Seatallan » February 16th, 2016, 6:07 pm

Kacey wrote:giant beans or green beans or okra in a similar tomatoey garlic and herby sauce.


That sounds perfect to me! :chops:

Not exactly Greek, but how about orange & honey ice cream to finish with?
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Pepper Pig » February 16th, 2016, 6:09 pm

I like a good tomato salad with spanakopita.

My Iraqi friend Lulu has access to a Mediterranean cash and carry which sells amazing baklava. I wish she'd stop buying us swimmers a plateful every festival. I love it but it is so fattening.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 16th, 2016, 6:23 pm

Mmmmmm this is all getting very very lovely :drool:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Kacey » February 16th, 2016, 6:50 pm

Just looking at some of the foodie photo's from our Greek holiday last September, we ate a lot of Horta, which is a greens dish - spinach, wild greens, beetroot tops etc. simply wilted then stirred through with olive oil and lemon juice. Along the tomatey sauce vein, we also loved green peas & potatoes. We ate a lot of fried courgettes, thin slices dipped in a very thin batter then fried till crisp and golden and scattered with a grated cheese similar to Parmesan. We also seemed to eat a frightening amount of skordalia and crusty bread!
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Kacey » February 16th, 2016, 6:55 pm

Just found my favourite Horta recipe online: http://greekvegetarian.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... lemon.html
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Zosherooney » February 16th, 2016, 7:07 pm

I do have a sort of spinach in my garden but was surprised to see the dish served cold, I think it is better warm, maybe not hot. Might give that a go when all my fridge veg have been used up. Thanks Kacey, I do love greek food. I am hoping that Croatian food will be similar later in the year, seeing the greeks had a fare amount of influence there a while back.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Hope » February 16th, 2016, 7:15 pm

Oh good blog Kacey. I've bookmarked that one for exploring later!
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Catherine » February 16th, 2016, 7:22 pm

A Greek salad seems likes an obvious choice to me, but I like the gigantes beans option too and Rick Stein has a lovely recipe for that
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gigan ... toes_47546

Fig ice cream for pud with a small piece of baklava
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby karadekoolaid » February 16th, 2016, 7:47 pm

I thoroughly agree with Pepper Pig; a delicious tomato salad, slathered with greek olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
I`d also make sure I have some Tsatsikis and some Taramasalata available, as well as some Kalamata olives.
Sweet course? Sod it! Who needs sweets when you can have Ouzo? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 16th, 2016, 8:31 pm

If last time is anything to go by, vast quantities of French rosé will be sunk :oops: :plink:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby scullion » February 16th, 2016, 8:33 pm

Catherine wrote:A Greek salad seems likes an obvious choice to me, but I like the gigantes beans option too and Rick Stein has a lovely recipe for that
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gigan ... toes_47546


gigantes are usually served as a main on their own in greece rather than as an accompaniment. i think that's the recipe i posted on the chard thread last summer. it's very good but the sort of thing i would serve with good bread rather than spanakopita.

i, too, would go with the tomato salad and olives, followed by baklava (it's actually quite easy to make with frozen filo - and you can cut them bigger than the 'sample sized' ones you can get in the supermarket.
i would also do a simple starter of some good olive oil and bread. the 'casolare'olive oil (really lovely flavour) is reduced at the moment in tesco - five pounds for a litre instead of seven fifty. real bargain.
Last edited by scullion on February 16th, 2016, 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Kacey » February 16th, 2016, 8:44 pm

We tend to eat mezze style like the Greeks when we're in Greece and will usually forget starters and order 2 or 3 (vegetarian) main dishes and a Greek salad to share. With an ouzo each whilst we choose and a jug of wine with the meal, our dinners last most of the evening and are the highlight of our day. I must add, for those that think we're a bit piggy, we don't eat lunch on holiday, we'll just have a decent breakfast with some fresh fruit late afternoon if we're peckish.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Catherine » February 16th, 2016, 10:10 pm

scullion wrote:the 'casolare'olive oil (really lovely flavour) is reduced at the moment in tesco - five pounds for a litre instead of seven fifty. real bargain.


Ooh thanks for that. My Brother in Law always buys this olive oil so I will let him know
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 17th, 2016, 6:39 am

Oooh yes ...... I shall pop in tomorrow as I go past ....... :tu:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby cyprusmoira » February 17th, 2016, 2:55 pm

Suffs: I agree with Kacey, try meze style. You could add Mushroom Afelia, any of the bean dishes, courgette with eggs, all the usual Greek/Cypriot starters, small cheese ravioli. For the record most tavernas around here serve Tiramisu.

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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby scullion » February 17th, 2016, 4:12 pm

that seems a lot of work, to me, if the meal is going to fade in a haze of alcohol. i'd keep it simple - just enough to impress - and to soak up all the pink.

ps, maybe with added baba ganoush and hummus. they can be made very quickly the day before (especially if you use tinned chickpeas).
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Kacey » February 17th, 2016, 4:44 pm

Not really Scullion, potatoes could be thrown in the oven whilst the Spanakopita was baking, spinach wilts down in minutes (you could even use the ready-washed bodge a hole in the bag and microwave stuff, even quicker) While the pie and potatoes are baking, stew the giant beans/green beans/okra or whatever in the tomato and onion sauce, throw a salad together and Kalí óreksi!
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 17th, 2016, 4:44 pm

Think I'm going to get OH to read through this thread and see what he thinks .......... after all, he's got to help eat it :D
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby earthmaiden » February 17th, 2016, 5:57 pm

Is your Spanakopita going to be eaten hot? I have only tried it cold or faintly warm.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 17th, 2016, 6:22 pm

We usually have it at room temperature. :)
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby scullion » February 17th, 2016, 9:47 pm

Kacey wrote:Not really Scullion,

i was thinking of the extended version suggested by moira.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby cyprusmoira » February 18th, 2016, 11:13 am

Most of the items in a meze can be made in advance, pots of beans can simmer on the hob. The only thing that needs immediate cooking are grills.

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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby spotteddick » February 18th, 2016, 4:15 pm

I have found that as in Greece, Turkey and most other mediterranean countries, when saying hot food, they actually mean luke warm :lol: :hungry:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby earthmaiden » February 18th, 2016, 8:29 pm

suffolk wrote:We usually have it at room temperature. :)


:tu: :tu: :hungry: :hungry: :chops: :chops:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby miss mouse » February 19th, 2016, 9:06 pm

Is the Hot Food and Heated Plates a UK obsession?
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby hickybank » February 19th, 2016, 9:28 pm

miss mouse wrote:Is the Hot Food and Heated Plates a UK obsession?

Absolutely, If I eat anywhere & I am served hot food on a cold plate it will be the last time I eat there, the food on the plate also has to be piping hot

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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 20th, 2016, 7:55 am

Even in the Mediterranean??? :? Think you'd go hungry :lol:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby scullion » February 20th, 2016, 8:27 am

i won't invite you then.
as we usually have salad with our meals i don't warm plates. the only time i might consider it is possibly christmas.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby hickybank » February 20th, 2016, 8:41 am

Salad with a hot meal, not for me thank you, when dining out I always request no salad thank you.
I always pop our plates in the microwave for 2 mins before serving dinner
Hot & cold food in the same meal just seems alien to me, but some will agree & others not, thats what makes this board interesting

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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 20th, 2016, 8:50 am

I'm sure all sorts of things seemed alien at one time Hicky - I remember my first ever real Chinese meal - something my family had never ever eaten before, but an aunt took me out to a Chinese restaurant when I was about 11 years old. What a fabulous experience!!! :luv: Ever since that day, if there was something on the menu I'd never eaten before, that was the dish I was likely to choose - I've rarely been disappointed :D

Rare rib-eye steak, green peppercorn sauce and a salad of Lamb's lettuce - probably one of my most favourite meals. Ditto grilled lobster and lamb's lettuce :drool: Cheese soufflé and salad, crab soufflé and salad ........ I could go on and on - loads of hot dishes we eat with salad. :chops:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby hickybank » February 20th, 2016, 9:08 am

I am sure you are right Suffs but the Salad thing I dont think will ever change
As for Chinese I had a period when I could not get enough of them but for some reason they have fallen out of favour with me although I would never turn down a Thai meal.
As has been said many times on here our tastes are many & varied, I am not a fan of sauces, Steak on its own every time, but Chicken I find a little bland so a sauce helps impart some flavour in to it, Horseradish with Beef every time but very little & Lamb as it comes thank you.
But always Please,please, please, serve it on a Salad free hot plate :tu: :tu:

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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby hickybank » February 20th, 2016, 10:11 am

Regarding the Med, yes you are right, nearly always cold plates although we now ask for warm plates when ordering, the other thing that seems to have grown in popularity out there is to serve red wine ice cold, another thing we ask to be warmed prior to serving,
Yes I know some reds are served chilled but not a nice Rioja or Merlot.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby scullion » February 21st, 2016, 1:47 am

salad dodger.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby hickybank » February 21st, 2016, 9:08 am

scullion wrote:coming

That`s me :tu: :tu:

If I am reincarnated, I sincerely hope I do not come back as a Rabbit :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby LinzerTorte » February 21st, 2016, 9:44 am

I really like the contrast between savoury & sweet or hot & cold, or even both.
A cold chicken or ham salad with a handful of fresh hot chips, or hot apple crumble or pie with ice cream …. Yum :chops:
Must admit I was most disconcerted when I first went to the Med over 30 years ago to find that, what I considered, “hot” dishes were served either at room temperature or lukewarm but soon got used to it and now enjoy it that way in warm climates.
Don’t the Greeks consider food that is served piping hot to be bad for the digestion?
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby StokeySue » February 21st, 2016, 10:24 am

I've never quite understood the British obsession with hot food and hot crockery
There are things that lose their texture if they cool down too far, (my cheeseburger congealed while I was busy on Monday, not very nice) but on the whole i prefer food not too hot, I just don't see that heat adds anything to the experience, unless it's a small burn; I'm notorious for preferring my coffee at bath water temperature
Each to their own way of eating
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby scullion » February 21st, 2016, 11:40 am

hickybank wrote:scullion wrote:
coming


?
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby hickybank » February 21st, 2016, 12:44 pm

scullion wrote:
hickybank wrote:scullion wrote:
coming


?


Don`t know what happened there :? :? :? :?

Obviously should have read
Salad dodger.

That`s me :tu: :tu:
If I am reincarnated, I sincerely hope I do not come back as a Rabbit :lol: :lol: :lol:

Makes mental note proof read before posting :(
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 23rd, 2016, 10:51 am

Right, I think we're getting somewhere with our plans

Spanokopita, Big Beans, tomato and feta salad, possibly a courgette frittata, lots of olives, baba ganoush and hummus and some pitta breads and either figs and honey with yoghurt or tiramisu for pud.

There'll be loads too much, but we'll eat some on Saturday evening - then if the weather's good on Sunday we'll head off to the coast and have lunch there. When we get back there'll be lots of leftovers for supper.

Thanks for all the suggestions :tu: :hungry:
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby scullion » February 23rd, 2016, 12:38 pm

the tinned butter beans from lidl make an excellent substitute for dried butter beans (if you're not using proper gigantes). the latter break up with the long cooking whereas if you put the tinned beans in last they stay intact.
this is basically the recipe i use although the method differs in the fact that i make it in a wide pan on the hob and with the tinned beans in with the herbs at the end


Gigantes plaki

Ingredients
SERVINGS 8-12

1 
lb dried butter beans (soaked overnight) or 1 lb dried lima beans (soaked overnight) – or gigantes beans
1 
large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1
(16 ounce) tin chopped tomatoes
3⁄4 
cup olive oil
1 
red pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4 -5 
garlic cloves, minced
3 
large carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 
stalks celery & leaves, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1⁄2 
teaspoon ground black pepper
2 
vegetable bouillon cubes
2 
tablespoons fresh dill (or parsley) chopped

enough hot water, to cover beans by 1 inch (unless you cheat)


Method
Cook the pre-soaked beans in a pressure cooker, with enough water to cover by one inch, for 20 minutes and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 2-3 hours before proceeding with recipe. (check this earlier – they overcook).
Tip the beans into a large baking pan.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the dill, and stir well to distribute.
Pour over enough hot water to cover beans by 1".
Place pan in oven and set oven to 200°C.
Bake for 2 hours. Check, if you like your beans more tender, cook them for half an hour longer.
Stir dill in for last 15 minutes of baking.
There will still be plenty of juices in the pan, but these will be absorbed by the beans and thicken as the beans cool.
Like nearly all bean recipes, these only improve the next day, and the day after next.

To cheat – sweat veg in saucepan, add tomatoes and rest of ingredients, simmer for half an hour or more. Add tinned butter beans and cook a couple of minutes more then turn off and leave until the next day for flavour to infuse the beans.

ps. i also make the version with chard - equally scrummy.
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby hickybank » February 23rd, 2016, 12:40 pm

We look forward to hearing how it goes, with pictures perhaps :tu:

I am sure it will go well
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby suffolk » February 23rd, 2016, 7:20 pm

Thanks Scully - that looks good - I've got some dried and tinned beans, so which I use will depend on how organised I am ;)
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Re: Spanakopita and .......... ?

Postby Catherine » February 25th, 2016, 11:27 pm

Gosh it all sounds lovely
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