Sunday, 22 January 2012

Flavours of Cyprus

I often find at this time of year that I struggle to get passionate about food and cooking; I think it must after the cooking and baking fest that ensues on the approach to Christmas and through the festive season...I think I just feel all cooked out.

But yesterday as I was doing the weekly shop I was inspired to make a dish that I haven't attempted for several years.  In fact as I began to think about when I'd last tasted it I was taken back over 5 years to a fantastic holiday in Cyprus.  The Handyman and I have a preference for isolated, self catering accommodation.  This enables him to completely relax and me to search out local markets and local produce and spend time slowly assembling our meals - we both have our kind of fun.

idyllic isolation
Anyway, back to Cyprus...I found a local shop for fresh vegetables, this was the easy bit as I just selected what I wanted and paid the amount requested.  The butcher on the other hand was a different matter; just try acquiring about a pound of minced lamb when you don't speak any Greek and the butcher has no English.  After some fun with hand signs and mime and some pointing and laughing I managed to leave the shop with the requisite minced lamb, though with about twice as much as I needed.  This was either due to our communication challenge or the butcher saw an opportunity to increase his sales that day; either way the lamb was delicious and made for several meals over a few days of our holiday.

sunset from the balcony
So can you guess what the recipe was?  Lamb kofta, meatballs with feta, stuffed pitta breads, kebabs?  None of the above but rather the most traditional moussaka...here's a recipe from the BBC Food website; there are a number of versions on the site just search for moussaka.

piping hot

served with salad
Although I made a very traditional version in Cyprus I substituted potatoes for the aubergines this time around.  Served with a simple green salad this really hit the spot with my January taste buds and took me back to sunshine and summer holidays on this grey and wet Shropshire day.

6 comments:

Sylvie said...

I love moussake, but I have never made any myself. That's something I gotta chnage! I hope all is well at Holly Grove, Susan! x

Susan@Holly Grove said...

Hi Slyvie, All's well here. Just waiting impatiently for the springtime and getting back out in the garden - are you planning on continuing your veg growing experiment this year? x

Sylvie said...

Susan, I am indeed. After some successes and some misses last year the veg growing will definitely continue. I'm just trying to find some good organic compost at the moment to start digging under.

Susan@Holly Grove said...

Sylvie, I look forward to seeing the results of your labours later in the year.

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Susan@Holly Grove said...

Thank you Camelia for your kind comments.

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