Cook Greek Classes at Get Cooking

Kathryn Joel From Our Classes

A lot of Kathryn’s classes come about as a result client requests. This one was made by a couple, who asked if we did any Mediterranean or Greek cooking at Get Cooking.

Do you know anyone who would rather not be lounging around on a  sun soaked, oregano scented isle, sipping small glasses of ouzo, while nibbling on myriad mezze? We thought not.  So Kathryn’s first Greek class was developed, and we pretended for a short while, that we were on the Mediterranean.

For her first Greek class, Kathryn decided to take a traditional approach. Taking inspiration from summer, she decided to make a selection of mezze. So we started with taramosalata, a delicious dip made with tarama (fish roe) This is a classic Greek dip, and is served as part of almost every mezze platter.  We then made a simple Melitzanosalata, a light, summery mezze with local eggplants and roasted tomato. Our third mezze was Saganaki, or fried halloumi cheese, that we seared, then flambéed with ouzo. I can only say that it was quite a spectacular display of pyrotechnics, as you can see from the picture below.

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Our next dish, Shrimp Baked with Feta Cheese, Tomatoes and Dill, was a little more fusion, a dish that is made in Greek for tourists, yet incorporating all those Greek flavours that we love. This was well loved by all our clients for its fresh, zingy flavours, as well as its simplicity. The Greeks use a lot of goat meat in their cuisine, and so, for our meat course, we braised goat with oregano, rosemary and thyme, and served it with a bulgur pilaf.

And then, of course, we had to make a Moussaka.  After all, we cannot possibly have a Greek class without this classic, now, can we? And Kathryn used her mother’s own recipe for moussaka, based on Claudia Roden’s classic.  Our moussaka was, again, made with local eggplants and lamb from Kathryn’s favourite lamb suppliers, Tangle Ridge Ranch. Safe to say it was the hit of the afternoon. After all that food, we kept dessert easy and light. We served spoon sweets, Kathryn’s own preserved Evans Cherries with fresh Greek yogurt and honey. Spoon sweets are usually served when people visit Greek households, along with a tall, cold glass of water, and we thought that it was a beautiful tradition that encompassed the warmth and hospitality of Greek people.

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Our first Greek class was a great success, and we had a lot of people on waiting lists, who wanted to learn how to cook more Greek food. This time around, we thought that it would be a nice idea to mimic a Greek kitchen and we made the class an all day one, so we would have a lot more time to play.

By this time, Kathryn had already worked several classes with our cheese making maestro, Addie Raghavan. So she decided that for an authentic Greek experience,  we would make our own feta cheese in class. As making feta is a long process, Addie also brought some of his own feta that he had made a couple days before. Kathryn  decided to change up the menu too, and she added some new items to our menu. As part of our mezze platter, she added Ina Garten’s brilliant take on Tzatziki and a roasted red pepper and feta spread. To keep our menu a little lighter for the summer, we made a chicken and leek pie, encased in crisp, light layers of filo pastry. We also drew inspiration from the Greek coast, famed for its seafood, and made our own Swordfish Souvlaki, that we grilled on the barbeque for an authentic, smoky flavour.

Since this was an all day class, Kathryn also decided to make another classic Greek dish, Dolmades. Dolmades are made with preserved vine leaves, that are rinsed and stuffed with a delicate mixture of herby ground lamb, tomatoes and short grain rice. Our clients loved making these little parcels, and Kathryn had everyone up and participating in this totally hands on experience. Some of them likened the process to making Ukrainian cabbage rolls. Once all the rolls were made and stuffed, we placed them on a bed of tomatoes and more vine leaves, then let them gently simmer away in a homemade stock, until the rice was cooked and the dolmades were tender.

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Kathryn also decided to hit up Jamie Oliver for inspiration, and our dessert was a gorgeous syrup soaked honey and pistachio cake. Beautifully nutty, it was the perfect end to a lovely day filled with the flavours of Mediterranean food and wine.

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Are you starving yet? Missing the sunshine and warmth of the Mediterranean, err, Edmonton, perhaps?

If you are, then you’re in luck. We may not be able to bring the Med to you, but we can certainly give you a taste of her food. We have a few spaces left in our Cook Greek All Day class on Sunday, September 22, 2013, starting at 11 AM. Don’t miss out.
[hr] [pictureframe image=”×300.jpg” align=”left” lightbox=”true” title=”Michelle Peters-Jones” link=”” width=”120″ height=””] Michelle Peters-Jones
You can also find Michelle online at her own food blog, The Tiffin Box.