October 29, 2007

Paying homage to Greek food

I just LOVE Greek food. Really I do.

Serve me up a plate of chicken souvlaki (skewers of grilled and seasoned chicken) and greek roasted potatoes with all the extra lemon and tzatziki sauce I could ever want, and I’m a happy, happy girl. Add some feta cheese too and you’ve got yourself a fan for life.

Well, it’s no wonder that when I went to Champaign again this past weekend and decided to hit up the new Greek restaurant again for dinner Saturday night, that that is just what I ordered (well minus the feta cheese.)

But the part of the meal that really made my Greek food experience “light on fire” was actually the appetizer.

I ordered saganaki, a favorite of mine since my grandparents started consistently yelling “opa!” at every restaurant that served it (even when we weren’t the table ordering it.) Intrigued by a dish that literally lights up your table, I just had to have it.

Papa George’s (the Champaign restaurant) did a magnificent job with their saganaki. Served with a lemon, the flavor was magnificently tasty. I was, once again, a happy girl.

At the beginning of the meal (I know, I’m going backward – just trying to keep you on your toes), my friend and I were feeling adventurous and decided to order shots of ouzo since they were on special that night. Neither of us were really sure what ouzo was but $2 was a small enough price to pay to find out.

They served the shot with a small glass of water (that you can see behind it). Flavored with anise (a flowering plant from the Mediterranean region), I actually thought the shot tasted like liquid black liquorice. I wasn’t such a fan but my friend, however, was.

At any rate, the meal was delicious and was just what I needed to remind me just how great Greek food really is.

So go home and make some of these recipes. You’ll thank me later.

Greek Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
Greek Style Burgers with Tzatziki
Tomato with Feta and Herbs

-Hillary, reminding everyone they have 2 days left to enter the Halloween Recipe Contest!
Editor, Recipe4Living

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