Greek food worth breaking your plate for!
Summer is fast upon us and the warm, balmy weather gives us every excuse to invite friends over or head out with them for a great foodie experience around the table. Angelo Haitas, founder and owner of the recently refreshed Greek restaurant brand, Plaka, shares some of his top menu picks for summer which you can enjoy from both his restaurant or as a recreation from home…
Pronounced yero, which literally means “turn” in Greek, this dish is about as hand-held as Greece can get. The meat is cooked on a vertical rotisserie before being wrapped in flatbread… Plaka shares some of their tricks to make the yummiest yiro.
Tips to make it: Traditional Greek pita bread basted with virgin olive oil and heated on a hot flat plate or pan, freshly sliced ripe tomatoes, red onion and flat leaf parsley, tangy tzatziki made with homemade Greek yogurt, grated cucumber and garlic and season with origanum, salt and pepper.
Laden with fresh seafood and bathed in tomato sauce, you can almost smell the sea and feel the sunshine on your face. This pan of deliciousness will have everyone fighting over the last prawn. Plaka shares their special formula for this pan of goodness.
Tips to make it: Gently steamed mussels and clams in the shell, sautéed prawns and calamari, imported Greek spaghetti – always al dente, Virgin Olive Oil, flat leaf parsley and hints of fresh chilli to bring all the flavours together. Best enjoyed with a glass of white wine.
“You don’t eat meat? Don’t worry, I make lamb.” Lamb chops, or in Greek, Paidakia. Delicious when served with roasted potatoes, pita and fresh salad. Or without. Plaka makes sure you know how to grill your chops perfectly.
Tips to make it: “Choose your lamb carefully”. Go for thin- cut loin or rib chops, season with salt, black pepper and origanum, a mandatory squeeze of fresh lemon, grilled on an open flame
Classic Greek comfort food for all ages. Basically, the Greek version of lasagne. “Every Yiayia (granny) has her own secret recipe, but your Yiayia’s recipe will always be the best.”
Tips to make it: The traditional Greek version is baked in the oven, choose large tubular pasta and fill with hearty beef mince, smother with creamy béchamel, top it off with parmesan and graviera cheese.
Is it a meal? Is it a course? Both. It’s a mouth-watering combination of small plates – hot and cold, spicy, savoury and salty. Plaka serves up advice for the best combos and eating experience.
A real showstopper… and as good as it would be on an idyllic Greek island fresh off the fisherman’s boat. Even Poseidon, the Olympian God of the Sea, would have loved this one.
Tips to make it: The freshest fish, grilled whole on an open flame, Virgin Olive oil, coarsely ground salt and island herbs. Mediterranean simplicity at its best.
So, if you are thinking of what to cook for your next themed dinner party or looking for something different for your next meal out; think no further. Think Greek.
Plaka has stores in Eastgate and Cresta and recently opened its newest store in Menlyn Park.