Friday, November 28, 2014

Greek Island Cooking

A month ago, in a post called A Picture Worth a Thousand Words, I wrote about working through my collection of 35,000+ images and videos in an effort to cull them down to a more useable number. Thankfully, that process is now done (more or less), and having reduced the number of files down to a manageable(?) 21,000 or so, I am now looking at ways to use some of those photographs and video clips.

Photographic eBooks
In an attempt to make use of a thousand or so photographs, I have started working on a series of ten eBooks utilising images from ten cities or countries. These include New York City, Paris, London, Tucson, and Savannah. The Greek island, Ikaria, and the South-East Asian country, Cambodia. In addition, I am planning photographic eBooks for the Australian cities; Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. 

Whew! I have got my work cut out for me, I know, but it is either that, or stop taking photographs completely. The eBooks will eventually become available via iTunes for a very nominal fee. 

Cooking Videos
I have been making short videos and posting them to my YouTube Channel for a number of years. In the past couple of days I have made two more videos for my Irene’s Kitchen series. Irene Gevezes, my sister, has been living on the Aegean Island of Ikaria since the mid-1970s, and over the years she has become a formidable cook (among her many other talents and skills). The island has gained a reputation over the past ten years or so as one of just five of the world’s Blue Zones, areas of the world where people live measurably longer lives than most of the world’s population. 

In the two videos, Irene prepares Mayirio and Soufiko, two traditional Greek island dishes that should especially please all vegetarians. Check them out and give them a try.

The first dish is for Mayirio

Mayirio is a mixed vegetable stew containing pretty much any vegetables you care to include. As Irene says in the video, traditionally the main ingredient is string beans, but she also added carrots, zucchini, egg plants/aubergine, spring onions and green peppers.

Irene prefers to use fresh tomatoes in her cooking rather than tomato purée, but had to use purée since she only had one tomato to add to this recipe. Irene also prefers to use coarse salt in her cooking, as she does here, but regular cooking salt can be substituted.

As always, Irene never measures the quantity of her ingredients precisely. Years of cooking for a large family has given her the experience to know the quantity to include in any particular meal she prepares. Having said that, as prepared by Irene in this video, there was more than enough Mayirio to feed four people. Coupled with other side dishes, the quantity prepared would have also been enough for up to six people.

3 Carrots
1 Large Zucchini
3 Aubergine/Egg Plant
6 Green Peppers
1 kg String Beans
Spring Onions
2 tomatoes or tomato purée

3-4 Cloves Garlic
1 cup of water
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
tomato paste/purée

Please watch the video to see Irene demonstrate and discuss the cooking process.


In this second video Irene prepares Soufiko.

3-4 Cloves Garlic (or to taste)
2-3 Onions
3-4 Green Peppers/Capsicums
2 Aubergine/Egg Plant
1 Zucchini
2-3 Potatoes
Tomatoes or Tomato Puree
Condiments to taste
Olive Oil (for frying)
1/2 cup water 

Please watch the video to see Irene demonstrate and discuss the cooking process.

NOTE: Irene cooks on an electric stove. If you are cooking with gas, adjust your heat settings to suit. At the very least, heed Irene’s warning when she says that the dish is prone to sticking and burning if the heat is too high. Hence her warning to keep a close eye on the pot during the cooking process.

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