In Zakynthos we encountered the Greek hospitality and the very famous Greek kitchen. The most common meats are beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. Fish and seafood are found mainly on the coast and in cities but, with the exception of squid, are often expensive. Olives are grown throughout Greece, and olive oil is used a great deal in cooking. Salads are often eaten with the main meal. Main courses include souvlaki, a shish kebab with cubes of meat—often pork or lamb—and vegetables, and stuffed eggplant or tomatoes. Pasta is also popular. Desserts are usually fruit or sweets such as baklava. At Easter, Greeks enjoy roast lamb or goat, as well as kokoretsi, which is lamb’s liver, lungs, and spleen wrapped in intestines and roasted on a spit. Lunch, served in the early afternoon between noon and 2 pm, is traditionally the main meal of the day. However, because of changing work patterns, many now eat their main meal in the evening, often not until after 9 pm. At restaurants, a group will often order a number of different dishes for everyone to share. It is not unusual for diners to go into the restaurant kitchen and choose their dinner by looking into the different pots of food. Our favourite dish was lamb Kleftiko. Below the recipe and don’t forget to watch the video above…..! Without Panos, Akis, Flamur and Yannis our stay on Zakynthos would not have been as unforgettable as it was now. Thanks guys!!
1 4 lb (1.8 kg). boneless leg of lamb OR
8 shoulder lamb chops
8 slivers garlic
8 small carrots, cut in half
8 small white onions
8 small stalks celery, cut into 20 inch pieces
8 small potatoes, peeled, halved, and buttered with 4 tbsp (60 ml) melted butter
3 tbsp (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp (15 ml) dried oregano
1 tbsp (15 ml) dried mint
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 C.).
If using leg of lamb, cut meat into eight 4 to 5-inch serving pieces.
Make incisions in meat and insert slivers of garlic.
Place each piece of meat on a large square of heavy-duty aluminium foil.
Distribute the vegetables evenly among the eight packets.
Add a few drops of lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, and mint.
Fold the foil in double fold at top and seal like a package.
Arrange packages close together in a baking pan and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Serve each foil package, sealed, on dinner plate and let each guest open his own.
Variation: Other vegetables can be used, such as 4 small courgettes, cut up; 4 ripe tomatoes, quartered; 4 green peppers, cut into eighths; 2 medium aubergines, peeled and cubed; 8 artichoke hearts, or 8 whole large mushrooms.
You could alternatively just cook the whole lot in a casserole with a really tight fitting lid if you cannot be bothered with all this 8 bits of stuff business!
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