Before I had kids, I never really used the phrase ‘there are not enough hours in the day’. Looking back, I had so much time I didn’t really know what to do with it. I certainly wasn’t concerned that one day 24 hours would not be a sufficient amount of time. But now, with 3 little people to take care of, I find myself wishing I had a few extra hours in every day. Another hour so getting out the door in the morning is less chaotic. Another hour so I can get the dishes and washing done and still get to bed at a reasonable time. Most importantly, another hour so I can sit down and play with my kids without worrying that dinner won’t be ready on time.
So after chasing my tail for most of the week, I try to slow it down on the weekends and enjoy every hour without worrying about what awaits me on Monday. For me, visiting the markets, spending time cooking and sitting down to eat with family and friends is the perfect way to let the hours pass. Sharing food is a beautiful way to connect and be in the moment. I can’t say that I do this every weekend but I’m working towards it. After all, isn’t that what life is all about?
So if you’re taking it easy this weekend, grab a cold beer and do some slow cooking. I hope this Greek inspired spread gives you some ideas.
Just adjust the quantities to feed your group!
BBQ Lamb Kofta with Greek salad and other nice things
For the kofta
You’ll need wooden skewers, soaked in water
800g lamb mince
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp of allspice
1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together, form into balls and then shape around the wooden skewers, flattening out as you go. Drizzle with oil and place on a pre-heated BBQ. Keep turning the kofta as they cook and once done, remove from heat and rest in foil for about 10 minutes. This will ensure they are nice and tender. This will make 8 – 10 koftas.
For the salad
I like the idea of serving a ‘deconstructed’ salad if you like. This way, people can choose the ingredients they like and leave out the ones they don’t. Drizzle some olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar over your wrap and the salad is dressed. This is also a good idea if you think you’ll have left overs as the dressing tends to make the salad soggy.
4 tomatoes, diced
2 cucumbers, partially peeled, diced
1 red onion, diced
Small tub of kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Handful of dill, finely chopped
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 lemons, quartered
Olive oil and red wine vinegar to serve
Prepare all ingredients and place on a dish/platter so everyone can help themselves.
For the tortillas/wraps
Of course you can just buy these if you’re short on time
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp pinch of salt
3/4 Water, plus a little more if needed
Mix all ingredients together and then knead for a few minutes until you have a nice dough. You can always add more flour so I tend to make my dough a little on the wet side before turning out onto a floured surface to knead. You can then add more flour as you go until you get the right consistency. Let the dough sit for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to roll out. Divide dough into 8 portions and shape each one into a ball before rolling out so you have a nice round tortilla. Roll each one out to approx 3mm thickness (I find if they are too thin they crack when cooked and you bend them) and cook in a preheated frypan over medium – high heat. It should take about 30 – 40 seconds to cook on each side. Repeat with remaining dough and wrap in foil to keep warm.
Goats cheese or fetta
Place everything on the table and let everyone make their own wrap. Happy eating!
Kofta recipe adapted from a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe.