Monday, March 29, 2010

All Over the World

Okay, not all over the world--just Greece. What am I talking about? Well, if you must know, Friday was the annual bake sale at the Greek Orthodox Church around the corner from my church and you know that Ken was there with plenty of cash reasonably early in the morning (not at 7, when it opened, but soon thereafter). I was under strict orders from Mother and Father of Ken to purchase plenty of food for them to enjoy when they come to visit in a few weeks.

So, what did I get? Spanakopita, of course:

Also plenty of baklava:

And they talked me into a tiropita (cheese pie), which I ate for lunch with one of the spanakopita:

Everything else I wrapped carefully and put into the freezer. I'm really trying not to think about the fact that there is baklava in my freezer...

The story doesn't end there, though. I somehow ended up being responsible for preparing the lamb for the reenactment of the Seder that we do at church every Palm Sunday. A friend offered to help me with this process, so I made lunch for us to eat before we tackled the lamb preparation. We had spinach and clementine salad with clementine vinaigrette and ham and cheese quiche.

Okay, so the lamb. This just happens to be a Greek recipe for leg of lamb that we use every year. I lost my copy of the recipe, so I'll try to remember all of the details here. We had to prep three five pound legs of lamb (boned and rolled) for our dinner--each leg feeds about ten people with fairly generous portions. I'm giving you the recipe for one 3-5 lb. leg.

First, you have to cut cloves of garlic into slivers (for one leg, you'll probably need 3/4 to a whole head of garlic). Then, you have to poke holes in the lamb about an inch apart and put a sliver of garlic into each hole. The original recipe says to use skewers, but that was not working for us, so we used my smallest paring knives and that was much better.

Once the lamb is stuffed with garlic, you rub it all over with two tablespoons of dried oregano (Greek if you can find it) and one teaspoon of dried thyme. The recipe calls for "salt and pepper" with no measurement, so I would just mix about two teaspoons of salt and one teaspoon of black pepper into the herbs and rub all of it onto the lamb at the same time.

The next step is to put the lamb into a container or plastic bag to marinate. The marinade is four tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 c. olive oil, and 1 c. dry white wine. Marinate the meat for several hours (ours got about 18), turning the meat several times.

Finally, roast the meat at 350 degrees for about 2 hours (depending on how "done" you like the meat and how thick it is--I would go by temperature, probably 160-170 degrees).

Here is our lamb after 18 hours, ready to be transported to the church:

This is such a good recipe for lamb, I can't even tell you--there is so much flavor, but you don't taste the marinade or the herbs or the garlic specifically, those ingredients just enhance the flavor of the meat. I don't always love lamb, but I could eat this every day. Try this--you won't be disappointed. You could also adapt the recipe for use with other cuts of lamb.

Also, I was able to put the electric knife that Grambi sent me to good use. After watching our priest hack at the lamb last year, I decided to take control of the carving and use my electric knife for the sake of speed since we had thirty hungry people waiting to eat.

We also had baked potatoes and green beans, but the lamb was the best part of the meal.

I love Greek food...

1 comment:

Leah said...

I want to go to there.