Greek food or Mediterranean cuisine has a lot of flavors. Such as olives and olive oil with its three primary flavors: bitterness, pungency (or pepperiness), and fruitiness. There is also lemon juice, cheese, eggplant, zucchini, yogurt, herbs, wine, fish, lamb, poultry, rabbit and pork.
Greek desserts also are known for their use of nuts and honey. Some of the desserts are Baklava, Greek Rice Pudding, and a Quick and Easy Greek Yogurt Dessert, that consists of only 4 ingredients, strained Greek yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest and juice.
Greece has a culinary tradition of some 4,000 years. Yes, 4,000 years to perfect their flavorful culinary meals and desserts.
Ancient Greek cuisine rarely included meat in their food preparations as it was not readily available.
But fish was always available, as well as today, their more common source of animal protein.
Their favorite beverages are Portokalada (orangeade) and Lemonada (lemonade). These beverages have been popular in Greece since 1971. These refreshing beverages are served everywhere, in Greek homes, cafes, taverns, and restaurants. They are made with fresh strained orange juice or lemon juice, and mixed with the choice of carbonated water or flat mineral water, and sugar is added to taste.
Greek Marinated Chicken with Butter Leaf Lettuce Salad
First prepare the marinade for the chicken, then set it aside to prepare the salad dressing. Here is what you will need.
Greek Marinated Chicken
1 cup Greek strained yogurt, plain
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tablespoon dried oregano
1 medium lemon
½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
Freshly cracked pepper corns
¼ bunch fresh cilantro
3½ to 4 pounds chicken (mix of drumsticks and thighs)
For the marinade, mix together in a large bowl the yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and freshly crushed pepper corns. After mixng ingredients thoroughly, add lemon zest and lemon juice, and mix in.
Chop a big handful of cilantro, or about ¼ bunch, and stir it into the marinade. You can use parsley, if cilantro doesn’t agree with your palate. We could not find any history of the use of cilantro in Greek food, though cilantro is cultivated in Southern Europe where Greece is found.
Add the chicken pieces and marinade to a large glass bowl, making sure all chicken parts are covered with marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place in refrigerator for a least 30 minutes.
While the chicken is marinading, make the Herbed Goat Cheese and Pear Dressing for the salad. Here is what you will need.
Herbed Goat Cheese and Pear Dressing
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pear nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sweet garlic Dijon mustard
One half of a 6-ounce ripe red Bartlett pear, cored and diced, do not peel
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese, with herbs
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly crushed pepper corns
Blend together in a blender, or food processor the oil, pear nectar, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, diced pear, cheese, salt and pepper until smooth.
Pour into your favorite dressing server, or a jar and set aside in the refrigerator.
Bake chicken for 45 to 60 minutes or until chicken is cooked (about 165 degrees internal temperature) and golden brown on top. Set aside to cool about 5 minutes, meantime prepare the Butter Leaf Lettuce Salad.
Here is what you will need.
1 head butter leaf lettuce, cut into 4 wedges
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
1/2 half of a 6 ounce ripe red Bartlett pear, quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/3 cup dried fruit mix, such as blueberries, cherries, cranberries, and raisins
Place the Butter leaf lettuce wedges on 4 salad plates or one side of a dinner plate. Arrange the avocado slices, pear slices, pecan pieces, and dried fruit over the lettuce. Drizzle with the dressing.
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