If there is a hint of Greek blood in your family then you’ll recognise the aromas of rigani, garlic and tomato wafting through the kitchen for most of the afternoon. That is, after a luxurious breakfast of black coffee, honey, yogurt and pastries.
The following two recipes mark the start of series of traditional Greek recipes. This week, my grandfather’s aunt’s and my grandmother’s recipes will hopefully be filling your kitchen with Grecian culinary delights.
Auntie’s Samos Rouletta (like a meatloaf)
(This dish was cooked for a large family so the recipe can serve 6 people)
2 pounds (900g) minced lamb
2 large onions, chopped into thick rings
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon (You will need the juice and the rind)
big handful fresh chopped mint
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried Marjoram
2 bay leaves
1 large jar of passata ( or 2 tins chopped tomatoes)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
a pinch of salt/pepper
1.Add the onions to a frying pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Once the butter has melted and mixed with the onions, add the garlic and slowly cook until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
2.In a large bowl, mix together the minced lamb, mint, marjoram, oregano, salt, pepper and egg. Mix thoroughly and then flatten out the mince into a rectangular shape with a width of around 2 inches.
3.Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
4.Now place the mix of cooled onions in the centre of the flattened mince and seal up to form a “loaf” shape. Both ends should also be sealed.
5.Place it in a rectangular baking dish with the sealed side down.
6.To make the sauce, mix passata or tomatoes with the juice of the lemon, plus the rind, the bay leaves and a little pepper. Cover the rouletta with this sauce.
7.Now lightly cover the rouletta with foil and roast it for approximately 40 minutes. Remove the foil to allow the rouletta to brown for the last 10 minutes.
8.Serve with either roasted potatoes or plain boiled rice alongside a crisp green salad with a lemon dressing.
Paula’s Rizogalo (Greek Rice Pudding)
1.25 litres full fat milk
100g short grain pudding rice
2 tbsp of sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.Heat the milk very slowly in a saucepan and stir until warm.
2.Then add the rice and stir until it simmers. Simmer for 30 minutes and stir occasionally.
3.Then add the sugar and vanilla extract; stir in the ingredients for 1 minute.
4.Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp of water until it dissolves.
5.Now add the cornflour to the rice, stirring it in as it thickens the rizogalo for 1 minute.
6.Finally, spoon the rizogalo onto small plates or in saucers before refrigerating.
7.Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve!