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BBQ Parties – Around The World Food And Décor (part 2) Greece - Free Cooking And BBQ Magazine page contents .

BBQ Parties – Around the World Food and Décor (part 2) Greece

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BBQ Parties: As countries and people around the world begin to emerge from lockdown you may be looking forward to hosting your first Barbecue party of the Autumn.

Continuing with our country themes which include not only delicious recipes with the BBQ particularly in mind but tips and ideas for simple but effective décor to tie the whole party together.

We began a few weeks back with the Indian theme (Click on this link) https://pitmasterandthecook.com/?s=indian+bbq  and today it’s the turn of GREECE ! Follow our website posts which will cover country themes such as Hawaiian BBQ, Moroccan BBQ, Americana BBQ, Moroccan BBQ, South African BBQ, Asian BBQ, British Pub BBQ and Argentinian BBQ.

 

Summer traveling plans may have had to be postponed but you can still use your imagination and send your family on an international tour from home. Some close friends who had booked a romantic Island Hopping Greek holiday for a special wedding anniversary, dressed up and hosted an “At home Greek Party “ for their household. A Greek theme is perfect for summer and fall.

 

 

GREEK THEMED BBQ

 

Food has and always will be important for Greek people. Their climate allows for the use of endless agricultural products. Couple that with a bountiful sea harvest then you will understand why Greek food is enjoyed all over the world.

 

Greek people love to share their food offerings and sharing food is a special part of Greek hospitality.

 

As this is primarily a BBQ article we are highlighting those foods that can be cooked on an outside grill along with tips for enticing starters and sweets that can be added to the menu to create a true Greek gastronomic food experience.

 

Appetizers – Mezze Platter

BBQ Parties Greek themed mezze platter

Photo : halfbakedharvest

A well-filled Greek Mezze platter is a little part of sunshine. Mezze means a small selection of dishes that can be served as a starter.

Either fill a platter ( easily prepared at the last moment) and place it on each table or simply display the small dishes on a central area around your BBQ which your guests can help themselves too.

Any of these foods can be loaded onto a Greek Mezze platter.

Olives – ripe black Calamata Olives mixed with green olives drizzled with olive oil and a few sprigs of rosemary. For additional flavor and color scatter a few cubes of feta.

Slice in half some red yellow green bell peppers. On an oiled grill char the peppers basting with olive oil. Serve these on the platter

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Hummus Dip – There are a few versions of Hummus dip with the addition of roasted peppers, caramelized onions and toasted sesame.

Here is a simple recipe below with a few tips for making your hummus:

Ingredients 

  • 1 can ( 15 oz) of chickpeas. ( drain and rinse before using)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Juice of two medium-sized lemons
  • 1 glove of garlic chopped finely
  • ½ cup of Tahini paste
  • 3 Tablespoons iced water ( If the mixture is too thick add a little more water)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

 

Method

Place the drained chickpeas in a saucepan adding the baking soda. Cover these with water.

Bring to the boil and continue cooking until the chickpeas are bloated and soft.

Drain the chickpeas in a strainer allowing cold water to run over them. ( No need to peel)

In a blender mix the garlic, lemon juice, and salt and blend to a fine consistency.

Add the tahini into the blender with the lemon juice mixture and blend.

Drizzle in the 2 tablespoons of ice water ( more if required) until the tahini paste is smooth and creamy.

Add the cumin and well-drained chickpeas. Whilst blending drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until the mixture is super smooth.

Taste your hummus and adjust for your preference with a little more salt or lemon juice.

Hummus

Prep Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 1 can 15 oz of chickpeas. ( drain and rinse before using)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Juice of two medium-sized lemons
  • 1 glove of garlic chopped finely
  • ½ cup of Tahini paste
  • 3 Tablespoons iced water If the mixture is too thick add a little more water
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Method
  • Place the drained chickpeas in a saucepan adding the baking soda. Cover these with water.
  • Bring to the boil and continue cooking until the chickpeas are bloated and soft.
  • Drain the chickpeas in a strainer allowing cold water to run over them. ( No need to peel)
  • In a blender mix the garlic, lemon juice, and salt and blend to a fine consistency.
  • Add the tahini into the blender with the lemon juice mixture and blend.
  • Drizzle in the 2 tablespoons of ice water ( more if required) until the tahini paste is smooth and creamy.
  • Add the cumin and well-drained chickpeas. Whilst blending drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until the mixture is super smooth.
  • Taste your hummus and adjust for your preference with a little more salt or lemon juice.

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Serve in a colorful bowl and garnish with a swirl of olive oil or parsley or caramelized onions even a few whole chickpeas. Hummus will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 5 days.

Feta Cheese chunks: Break Feta Cheese into chunks and scatter in pockets over the mezze platter.

Dolmades: Vine leaves stuffed with a delicious herb rice mix. You can make your own but most delicatessen with sell these.

Spanakopita: Also available from your closest Mediterranean delicatessen. These crispy filo pastry triangles stuffed with cheese and spinach. They can be cooked from frozen in advance but should be eaten within an hour so the crispness of the phyllo pastry is maintained.

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Place the above small dishes on your tables or a mixed platter. Serve with a basket of toasted pita bread triangles. These can be placed over your BBQ grill to toast before serving.

Don’t forget to have a bottle of Ouzo on hand to serve with your Greek Mezza dishes. Remember to shout out “Yamas” ( like cheers!) it means good health.

 

Greek Main Dishes – off your BBQ

Greek dishes that are commonly served today still have their roots in traditions. Amongst popular Greek main dishes are:

Lamb – very popular on the open fire

Prepared as a slow roasting leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic lemons and olive oil.

Lamb Kebabs on a Souvlaki grilled over an open fire – see recipe below.

Lamb that is prepared on a gyro ( A vertical spit) then thinly shaved and served with pita bread and Greek yogurt sauces.

 

Here is a recipe for Lamb Souvlaki over the BBQ coals

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  • 1 lamb shoulder cut into chunks
  • 3 Tablespoon of oil preferably olive oil.
  • 2 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Black Ground Pepper
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon -to apply after cooking

Souvlaki Method

  1. In a large bowl place the lamb chunks, olive oil, and dry seasoning wine and garlic. Coat the lamb.
  2. Allow the lamb to marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  3. Push the skewer through the lamb chunks.
  4. Try not to crowd the skewer.
  5. Put the skewer over the coals leaving a space of about 12 inches.
  6. Place the skewers over medium heat and grill for 10 to 12 minute
  7. Serve your Souvlaki with pita bread pockets, salad, and tzatziki.

    Lamb Souvlaki

    Prep Time3 hrs
    Cook Time12 mins
    Total Time3 hrs 12 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mediterranean

    Ingredients

    • 1 lamb shoulder cut into chunks
    • 3 Tablespoon of oil preferably olive oil.
    • 2 Tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
    • 1/2 Tablespoon Black Ground Pepper
    • 100 ml red wine
    • 2 crushed garlic cloves
    • 1 lemon -to apply after cooking

    Instructions

    • Souvlaki Method
    • In a large bowl place the lamb chunks, olive oil, and dry seasoning wine and garlic. Coat the lamb.
    • Allow the lamb to marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight.
    • Push the skewer through the lamb chunks.
    • Try not to crowd the skewer.
    • Put the skewer over the coals leaving a space of about 12 inches.
    • Place the skewers over medium heat and grill for 10 to 12 minute

    Notes

    Serve your Souvlaki with pita bread pockets, salad, and tzatziki.

 

Chicken:-( Always using lots of lemons)

Marinated Chicken Breast grilled over coals ( See recipe below).

Chicken pieces baked with lemony potatoes.

Chicken Kebabs on a Souvlaki..

 

Here is a recipe for a delicious Greek Chicken marinade that works well with deboned breasts.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts
  • 1/3 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 x Lemons
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground Black Pepper

 

Method:

Place the chicken into a freezer bag set aside.

In a bowl add the yogurt and olive oil.

Take one lemon zest and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Slice the other lemons and set aside.

Into the bowl add the garlic, oregano, pepper, and salt. Stir well.

Pour half of the marinade into the freezer bag with the chicken

Keep the other half of the marinade for basting.

Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes but an hour is better . Keep in the fridge.

Grill the chicken on an oiled grill over medium heat.

Baste the chicken turning often for 15-20 minutes.

During the last 5 minutes place the slices of lemon briefly on the grill.

Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes and then slice and serve with the grilled lemons.

Greek Lemon Chicken Marinade

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts
  • 1/3 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 x Lemons
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Method:
  • Place the chicken into a freezer bag set aside.
  • In a bowl add the yogurt and olive oil.
  • Take one lemon zest and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Slice the other lemons and set aside.
  • Into the bowl add the garlic, oregano, pepper, and salt. Stir well.
  • Pour half of the marinade into the freezer bag with the chicken
  • Keep the other half of the marinade for basting.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes but an hour is better . Keep in the fridge.
  • Grill the chicken on an oiled grill over medium heat.
  • Baste the chicken turning often for 15-20 minutes.
  • During the last 5 minutes place the slices of lemon briefly on the grill.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes and then slice and serve with the grilled lemons.

Fish:

Understandably seafood is widely cooked in Greece with a coastline over 13000 km! It is popular to cook whole fish over the coals. Types of Fish commonly available are Sardines, Mackrel, Anchovies and Brouge ( A type of sea bream).

Octopus is also very popular and can be served in a vinegar marinade or direct from the barbecue grill. ( See recipe below)

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Tender BBQ Grilled Octopus

  • 2 Lbs of fresh Octopus
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic chopped
  • 1 Lemon
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • A little olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Method
  • Cook the octopus in a large pot just covered with water. Boil for 40 minutes.
  • Remove rinse and place in a bowl.
  • Drizzle over the olive oil and chopped garlic.
  • Allow to rest and cool at room temperature for an hour.
  • Slice the octopus tentacles
  • Grill over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until charred.
  • Place on a serving platter, add the lemon juice sprinkle the oregano and fresh parsley.
  • Serve immediately

    Tender BBQ Grilled Octopus

    Prep Time45 mins
    Cook Time5 mins
    Course: Main Course, Side Dish
    Cuisine: Mediterranean

    Ingredients

    • 2 Lbs of fresh Octopus
    • 2 Cloves of Garlic chopped
    • 1 Lemon
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • A little olive Oil
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 2 Teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

    Instructions

    • Method
    • Cook the octopus in a large pot just covered with water. Boil for 40 minutes.
    • Remove rinse and place in a bowl.
    • Drizzle over the olive oil and chopped garlic.
    • Allow to rest and cool at room temperature for an hour.
    • Slice the octopus tentacles
    • Grill over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until charred.
    • Place on a serving platter, add the lemon juice sprinkle the oregano and fresh parsley.
    • Serve immediately

 

Side Dishes:

An essential side dish with Greek food is Tzatziki Sauce. This is served alongside or over Greek Meats.

Commonly served with stuffed Pita Pockets and a crispy salad.

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Recipe for Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

  • 150g Yogurt ( Greek)
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled deseeded and grated
  • 3 whole crushed garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1Teaspoon fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

Sprinkle salt over the cucumber and place in a sieve. This will allow the cucumber to drain.

Combine the drained cucumber with the other ingredients and mix.

The sauce benefits from allowing the flavors to develop over a few hours.

Tzatziki Sauce

Prep Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • 150 g Yogurt Greek
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled deseeded and grated
  • 3 whole crushed garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • prinkle salt over the cucumber and place in a sieve. This will allow the cucumber to drain.
  • Combine the drained cucumber with the other ingredients and mix.
  • The sauce benefits from allowing the flavors to develop over a few hours.

 

Greek Salad

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This fresh salad always works with Greek food as is served in restaurants worldwide.

Put together an attractive salad in a large bowl or platter consisting of :

  • Crisp Lettuce Leaves
  • Ripe red baby tomatoes
  • Cubes of feta cheese
  • Sliced or cubed fresh cucumber
  • Thinly sliced Red Onions
  • Black Calamata Olives

Serve with a vinegarette, olive oil lemon dressing on the side.

 

Greek Sweet Surprises

For ease of serving and to avoid last-minute stress, I would suggest that you plate up a selection of Greek pastries and biscuits.

These are available through specialty Greek stores and indeed Amazon has a great selection to order in. Popular sweets are :

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Baklava – Nut Filled Filo Pastries

Kourabiethes – Almond Shortbread with icing sugar

Kataifi – Almond and walnut pastries

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Loukoumades – Greek syrup donuts

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/slp/greek-desserts/p4d6u8d3eofx3d9

 

If you decide to stick to homemade Greek desserts then here is a simple delicious Watermelon for those hot summer days.

Honeyed Watermelon with Cinnamon Yogurt

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Slice a quarter of watermelon into pieces removing the seeds.

In a separate bowl add together ½ cup of honey syrup with 100 ml of warm water.

Stir until dissolved.

Pour over the watermelon and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.

Serve with some Greek yogurt that has been spiced up with a little cinnamon.

Easy and Delicious after a large Greek meal!

Honeyed Watermelon with cinnamon yogurt

Prep Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • Slice a quarter of watermelon into pieces removing the seeds.

Instructions

  • In a separate bowl add together ½ cup of honey syrup with 100 ml of warm water.
  • Stir until dissolved.
  • Pour over the watermelon and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.

 

Blue Sky Jello

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Layer Blue set Jello in clear glass with whipped cream. ( Make your own thick whipped cream or use Cool Whip )

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Drinks

Popular Greek alcoholic drinks include:

Ouzo

Metaxa Brandy

Retsina

Espresso Fredo – a nonalcoholic mixture of espresso and ice

 

Remember Greek food is simple fresh ingredients harvested from the land and sea.

Greek Party Decor

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Now that you have your menu sorted for your Greek get together its time to create the perfect Greek décor and ambiance that will make you feel like you are on a private Greek patio in the Mediterranean.

Here are a few easy décor tips :

 

Blue and White: – Greek national Flag colors

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The blue and white color scheme is synonymous with Greek culture. Utilize it.

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Blue and white table settings.

White or blue table cloths with contrasting plates.

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White and blue serviettes. Place a white serviette flat with a blue one inside. Fold up together and place them in each wine glass. Even just stand a blue serviette on a white plate.

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Use see-through blue water glasses at each setting.

Place blue wrapped sweets i.e Lindor Chocolate Balls in a tall display glass.

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Blue and White Candles on display on the table around the BBQ area.

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Purchase a packet of blue and white Greek flags and place them on your table or around the patio.

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Other Décor Tips

Use a bowl of lemons on your tables. Intersperse these with small pots of fresh rosemary

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Colorful Bouganvillia is found through Greece. Cut some flower sprigs and place them in small bowls around your table.

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Go all out and get in some Greek party décor. Have a look at party shops. Amazon offers various backdrops and even “Marble” columns to make you feel that you are in Greece. Wrap some ivy around the columns.

https://www.amazon.com/slp/greece-party-decor/3y6mz7o6zbo96fy

bbq parties,greek themed party,greek decorations, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

 

Finally to complete the mood consider dressing the part. Either request your guests dress in blue and white colors or even hire Greek Traditional Costumes.

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Any old sheeting can be transformed into a Greek toga add a little gold leaf for a headband and you will be perfect for that summer Greek barbecue.

 

Whether you are planning for a future party event or just wanting to encourage your household to see the world go for a Greek theme!

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About the Author:

Hi, I am a writer based outside Cape Town in South Africa. I come from a Barbecue obsessed family. With the great weather we have in Cape Town ( most of the year) we enjoy Cooking Outside in our Backyard as often as possible. South African's love to "Braai" anything! The trick to continuing to enjoy Barbecuing is loving the old favorites but experimenting with new foods and methods often.

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