Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Pork Souvlaki and Baked Feta

As regular readers will know I adore Greek food but struggle to find many decent, authentic restaurants serving Greek food around so when I get a craving for this type of food there are a few recipes I turn to for an instant mood boost. 

Prawn saganaki or youvetsi, stifado, briam, moussaka and beautiful gemistes or stuffed tomatoes or peppers are favourites but take a little effort. For mid-week Greek, my go-to is always souvlaki - fantastically flavoured skewers of pork or chicken that transport me immediately to the beautiful islands. 

Marinated overnight, the accompaniments can be flung together while the meat cooks. Here I've served with Greek Salad, pitta and homemade tzatziki as well as baked feta or as my Greek friends call it, 'feta in the oven.' 

This recipe makes a meal for two or three and some delicious leftovers for lunch the next day.

For the souvlaki:
350g pork loin steaks
150ml extra virgin olive oil (you can just use olive oil but I prefer the pepperiness from the extra virgin)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 large tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp dried thyme

I use pork loin steaks but almost any cut could be used here. Chop the pork into equal cubes and place into a bowl or a food bag and cover with the olive oil.

Add the remaining marinade ingredients, stir and cover and place in the fridge either overnight or for at least 2-3 hours..

Remove from the fridge and allow the pork to come back down to room temperature while you assemble the simple Baked Feta dish for which you will need the following:

1/4 block of feta
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green or yellow pepper
1 1/2 tsp runny honey - preferably Greek
1 heaped tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Slice the peppers longways and place into a small, oven-proof dish. 

Slice the small block of feta into similar size and shape as the peppers and pop into the dish. Season with black pepper and if you wish, a small pinch of salt - I omit from using the salt as feta is quite a salty cheese. 

Sprinkle over the paprika and then drizzle over the runny honey and place into the oven for 30 minutes.

Getting back to the souvlaki - if you have some, place the meat on skewers. You can easily make without the skewers though so don't worry. If cooking inside, the grill is preferable. I tend to cover the grill with a sheet of tin foil and then place the souvlaki on top and cook for about ten minutes on the medium setting, watching and turning as needed.

While the souvlaki is cooking you can throw together your Greek Salad and Tzatziki and either place your pitta into the grill too or gently toast.

I do hope these recipes are useful to some readers - they certainly bring me comfort when I'm craving Greek food and on that note if anybody knows of any good Greek restaurants, please do share - enjoy!

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