Christos Anesti! I threw my very first Greek Easter dinner yesterday. Not only have I never cooked Greek food for anyone else, I've never really cooked much of it in general. I'm more of an eater really. I gave it a shot this year and I am willing to call it a success. I think it's mostly because I invited people over that have never celebrated Greek Easter so they have nothing to compare it to.
Turns out cooking for Greek Easter is quite the labor of love. To prep I pretty much was doing something everyday last week. After a big shopping trip with both girls in tow I started with a crowd favorite, tiropetes. My family has always used the recipe from the Eva Zane cook book. In my opinion, it's the best. Like I said, I'm an eater so you should take my word for it.
I have made tiropetes a few times before so I was confident that these would be good. It is such a long process but well worth it. If it wasn't for that pesky bechamel sauce. I can never seem to get it thick enough and Brian always has to come in and take over. Every time. Apparently I have no patience.
Since I did the tiropetes a few days early I put them in the freezer and you can pop them in the oven straight from the freezer.
The next thing on my list was dessert. Now in my mind I felt like a Greek dessert was too labor intensive (and I am a terrible baker) so I thought I would do something easier. I decided I would decorate sugar cookies. Well it turns out those take FOREVER. Make the dough, roll the dough, cut the cookies, bake the cookies, make the icing, decorate. This was a mess and took forever but....they turned out really cute. I'm happy I did it. Maybe next year I will just make baklava.
To top it off they actually tasted really good. I tried a new recipe:
Cream together: 1 C sugar, 2 sticks softened butter
Add: 2 Eggs, 4 Tblsp Cream and a little vanilla
Then add: 3 C flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda
Refigerate: 2 hours (at least)
Roll, cut, & bake at 350 for 6-7 minutes
Icing: I actually just made this up as I went. I wanted icing that would harden so I could stack the cookies. I used a couple tablespoons melted butter, a couple tablespoons whole milk, light Karo syrup, vanilla, and powdered sugar. I put probably a cup of powdered sugar. I just mixed until I got the desired taste and consistency.
The day before I did most of my cooking and prep. I made pastitsio (barefoot contessa recipe), cut & marinated the chicken, peeled and cut potatoes, made tsatziki, and cooked & dyed the eggs.About a half and hour before everyone came over I started to put things in the oven. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the food or our activities because I was either eating or watching Amelia out the window. We lucked out with perfect weather. Next year if we have good weather again I would love to make it a big back yard party. We do live in Maine though so we'll see.
Here are a couple of pictures I did get:
Excuse the blurry picture.
We had a great time celebrating our heritage and I look forward to improving my Greek cooking every year. Kalo Pascha!