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Greek food is part of summer! Hearty meat skewers, grilled vegetables and tzatziki taste wonderful from the grill – but our Greek evening also includes an original dessert! DThis theme of our cooking challenge is easy to prepare and visually an eye-catcher at every summer party. Because this time there is a real, divine building as dessert at our Greek evening!.
The highlight of cooking with friends is the Cooking Challenge. One team challenges the other cooking team with a motto for the cooking challenge and waits eagerly for the culinary realisation. But also the team that does not swing the wooden spoon is challenged: it is responsible for a drink matching the motto!
Now summer has finally arrived in our kitchen. Because the motto Pillar & Greek Gods of our cooking challenge just screams for a Greek evening with grilled. For the cooking team it is quickly clear that a Greek evening without meat is only something for vegetarians 😉.
Because even in the Greek restaurant, we all rave about the hearty grilled dishes. Afor the main course we prepare hearty marinated meat skewers, in Greek Souvlaki, and grilled vegetables with tomato spice rice. To ensure that the main course of our Greek evening is not too dry, a generous portion of tzatziki is part of the meal as a dip.
12 gods reside in Olympus according to Greek mythology: Zeus, Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Hephaistos, Ares and Aphrodite. In our implementation of the motto of this cooking challenge, one meat skewer each embodies one of these 12 deities. The main Olympic gods are enthroned on a cloudy bed of tomato spice rice with flavourful creamy tzatziki. The gods rule over earthly life – symbolised in our main course by the mixed grilled vegetables. First we prepare the marinade for souvlaki skewers and courgettes as well as aubergines, the tomato seasoned rice and the tzatziki.
The quantities are good for 4 people.
We start preparing the souvlaki the day before our Greek evening so that the marinade soaks in well. First, cut the lean mixed lamb, beef and pork into cubes of about 2 cm. Now we put the 2 cloves of garlic, the oil, thyme, oregano, freshly ground pepper, salt, lemon juice and a dash of red wine into the mortar and pound everything into a fine marinade.
You can also prepare the marinade without a mortar, but the aromas of the herbs develop excellently through the mortar. Now spread the marinade over the meat and cover it and put it in the fridge to infuse. Then cut the vegetables into slices approx. 0.5 cm thick and add the ingredients pounded to a fine marinade in the mortar.
Working time: approx. 15 minutes.
First, add the rice to the vegetable broth along with the quartered tomatoes and diced carrots and turn on the cooker top. Meanwhile, dice the onion and chop the garlic and add. Simmer on a low heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is almost cooked through. Now add paprika powder, gyros spice, salt, sugar and ground pepper. If liquid is missing, add a little milk – it makes the rice nice and creamy.
Working time: approx. 25 minutes.
As all the participants in our cooking challenge are real garlic fans, our Greek evening was all about the healthy and flavourful bulb. Attention: The traditional Greek curd dip is only a treat for garlic lovers! If you are not a big fan of garlic, it is best to replace the tzaziki with garlic-free herb curd.
For our tzaziki, we first mix curd and yoghurt with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, vinegar (no vinegar essence!) and fresh dill. Then we crush the garlic cloves in a mortar, mix them with oil and add them to the curd and yoghurt mixture. Finally, peel the cucumber and grate it with a coarse grater. Now add a little salt to the cucumber grating and let it sit for a few minutes. The salt causes water to escape, you squeeze out the cucumber and mix it in.
Finally, you season the tzaziki with pepper and salt, according to your taste. We prepared the tzaziki 3 hours before our barbecue so that it would soak through – but this is not a must!
Working time: approx. 15 minutes
As the saying goes, “The eye eats with you!” The second part of the motto of our cooking challenge lends itself wonderfully to a beautiful dessert that makes a visual impact. If you visit Greece today, you can’t help but marvel at the architecture of ancient Greece. Today, only ruins remain of many of these once mighty temples, stadiums and theatres – mostly only individual stelae and columns tower as the last witnesses of this cultural wedding. So we decided to take the second part of the motto, the column literally and build a Greek temple to snack on. You can see the result in the photo above! 🙂
While the chocolate is melting, I put a piece of aluminium foil on a cake grid: it is especially important that you use a grid with dimensions that fit into the fridge so that your temple quickly solidifies and doesn’t collapse! Now, using a silicone brush, spread a thin layer of chocolate on the aluminium foil and make a rectangle with 2 rows of 6 biscuits each. Coat the biscuits again with a thin layer of chocolate that also fills the spaces between the biscuits and press two rows of 5 biscuits each indented onto the chocolate as the base of the temple.
Then I use a round microwave grid as a support (but it also works without) and place it over the temple base and the pillars of 2 chocolate-glued waffle rolls fixed with a dab of chocolate in the middle of a biscuit. Now I carefully put the grid in the fridge so that the chocolate sets quickly.
For the roof, I again place a rectangle with 12 biscuits, brush it with chocolate and place a second biscuit layer with 10 biscuits on top. Now I spread chocolate over the middle of the roof truss and press a row of 5 wafer rolls on top. Another layer of chocolate on the top of the wafer rolls, as well as on the narrow side of the 10 biscuits facing downwards, gives the slanted roof support.
Next I decorate the gable and roof of Aphrodite’s temple with a flower frieze. The roof also goes into the fridge to cool. After about 1 hour, I fix the roof to the pillars with the remaining chocolate and put the whole thing back in the fridge. We had temple fragments with ice cream for dessert on our Greek evening.
Working time: approx. 40 minutes
In keeping with the theme of the meal, we serve the sweet cocktail “Aphrodite’s Kiss”‘, which tastes delicious with or without alcohol.
And now raise your glasses! Cheers and bon appétit at the Olympic feast of the gods!
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