Greece is a meeting place between East and West, its cuisine mixing classical Mediterranean cooking with "oriental" influences from the Middle East. Greek food remains true to its roots, like ancient philosopher Epicurus' dictum to "live well and enjoy the simple things in life."
To top off your Greek Easter Dinner, you must serve some wonderful dessert and coffee.
1 lb. sweet butter
1 lb. filo pastry
1-2 lbs. blanched almonds, chopped
1 lb. shelled walnuts
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
3 dozen whole cloves
Ingredients for the Syrup<,/p>
2 cups honey
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all of the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 min., strain and allow to cool.
Grind or chop the walnuts and almonds, and mix thoroughly with the cinnamon, allspice and sugar. Brush a 9x13x2 inch pan with butter, lay a sheet of filo in the bottom of the pan, brush with butter, and then repeat process until you have used about a dozen sheets.
Then spread one thin layer of the nut mixture on top of the filo, cover with a sheet of filo, brush with butter, cover with another layer of nuts, and repeat this process until all the nuts are used. Then cover with the remaining filo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter.
With a sharp knife, cut the top filo sheet into triangles (cutting diagonally across the pan). Insert a clove in the center of each triangle, and bake at 350F for 1-1/2 hours. When the baklava is browned, remove from the oven, and pour the syrup over it, so that it penetrates into the layers and covers the baklava. Allow the baklava to cool for several hours before serving.
The most delicious food in the world be flat without the "refreshing" feel that wine will give to the taste buds, "cleansing" them so that they are ready to taste again and again the wonderful meal for as long as it may last.
Mandilaria is the most widely disseminated indigenous variety of red wine which is found in Naxos, Paros, Santorini and the other Cyclades, in Crete and in the Dodecanese Islands, where is it called Amorgiano. This wine is deep in color, full-bodied, velvety taste, cultivated bouquet.
Copyright © Judy McCann, 1998-2006