Sunday, 29 July 2012

Olympic Food Challenge - Greece - Souvlaki, Tabbouleh, Flatbreads and Tzatziki

Having the Olympics in London is a once in a lifetime event, but I won't be going because I'm too tight to pay for the tickets.

Having the Olympic Torch pass my street was something not to be missed, but I did because the crowds put me off and I was tired after work.

And although I watched and enjoyed the opening ceremony, I doubt I'll watch many, if any, of the sporting events.

I am told that my grandkids will ask me where I was throughout this exciting time, and I'm counting on not breeding in order to avoid this awkward question.

It's not that I'm boring (honest), it's just that I have no interest in sport and although I love London it may as well be a million miles away from where I am in Sheffield.

So when I heard about the Olympic Food Challenge my ears pricked up. Created by food blogger Ewan Mitchell, the Olympic Food Challenge lets me join in with the fun without any of the sport. Perfect.

You can read more about it here, but essentially Ewan wanted to cook a dish from every country participating in the Olympics. Realising that he couldn't do this alone, he enlisted the help of his food loving (and blogging) Twitter friends.

Although excited by the challenge and eager to take part, I realised that there was no way in hell I could commit to cooking and blogging every day for a straight 19 days. Thankfully Ewan was understanding and he devised a plan allowing me to have just 7 countries. Fabulous; my social life (and sanity) will remain intact.

And now, if those grandkids do magically appear I can tell them that I spent my Olympics researching, shopping for, cooking and eating some of the most unusual and exciting recipes I've ever encountered. There, that doesn't sound too bad does it?

After 3 days of reading how other bloggers were getting on with their food challenges, I was glad to finally get cooking today. As the weather has been quite good recently I fancied something light and fresh and, having already picked my dishes for each of my 7 countries, I decided that I'd kick off with Greece (and given that the Greeks had given us the Olympics all those thousands of years ago, it seemed apt to let them go first).

I must admit to never really being bothered about Greek food. I think Greece and I think tacky holidays in Kos, crap toilets and, more recently, mass unemployment. Having said this, it didn't take me long to find a few recipes that I fancied and in the end I went for Souvlaki, Tabbouleh, Flatbreads and Tzatziki (click for the recipes I used). 

Each of the recipes were easy to follow, although I assume there is a typo in the tabbouleh recipe as I think 250g of bulgar wheat was needed, not 25g! I was especially impressed with the flatbread recipe, not just because I managed to pull it off and make bead on my chargrill pan, but because there's yoghurt in there. Bizarre, but it worked really well and I know that I will make these again, but I might throw in some chilli and coriander into the dough when mixing it up.

The rest of the meal was pretty good too. Tabbouleh was fresh and tasty, tzatziki was slightly zingy thanks to the lemon and garlic and souvlaki was flavoursome thanks to the long marinade.

A good start me thinks, bring on Vietnam tomorrow....!

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