Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

22.1.07

Greek barbecue.

First, obtain fresh local calamari. Frozen calamari or calamari imported from China or wherever they're importing it from might be just fine, but fresh and local is always better.

If not already sliced, slice calamari into rings and marinate for a few hours in a glass container in lemon juice, plenty of chopped garlic and chopped oregano.

Meanwhile, get your barbecue as hot as an iron foundry. Keep children well away. Heat oil in a heavy pan for deep-frying.

Now, drain excess marinade from the calamari and quickly dredge the rings in seasoned flour. Place the pieces progressively in the oil and cook for no more than two minutes. (Or you can just throw the calamari onto a well-oiled hotplate.) Remove to serving platter. If deep-frying, remove to paper towels first. Pile the rings up high and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and salt.

Serve with home made tzatziki, a bowl of fat black olives, some barbecue-grilled potato slices brushed with olive oil and flecked with dried oregano and a Greek salad (I eat Greek salad with everything in summer, even Greek cuisine!).

To make the tzatziki, peel a cucumber, scrape out the seeds and dice the flesh. Add this to a mixture of a cup of Greek yogurt, two minced garlic cloves, a teaspoon each of finely chopped mint and dill, two teaspoons of lemon juice and a tablespoon of olive oil and combine well.

Eat at sundown overlooking the Mediterranean on a hillside overgrown with thousand-year-old olive trees.

Or in my case, at the outdoor setting in my back garden overlooking a lawn edged with geraniums, viburnums, climbing roses and a fence beyond covered with flowering jasmine casting a honeyed scent.

2 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You write such beautiful pictures and dinners. Unfortunately my backyard does not look out onto the Mediterranean, it's raining and the only thing local in Dallas might be catfish.

kitchen hand said...

Any fish is good on the barbecue, HalfCups.

Incidentally, a type of catfish is one of the biggest selling fishes in the supermarket chains here, except for some reason, it is called Basa.