My mind is wandering again to Greek mountain hikes and small friendly villages..... Perhaps that is because one of the ladies 5 ladies that was on our 2 week sojourn in Greece is arriving here today!!! She has been driving slowly north from Arizona for the past few weeks. I will get to be a tourist in my own town once again and show her around my neck of the woods. I love having company as well because then I can also make desserts. Wink..wink...
Meteora in Thessaly is the home of amazing medieval monasteries on top of needles of rock. The monasteries extraordinary geological setting is a vivid contrast to the rest of Thessaly, a huge plain in Central Greece. It is almost entirely surrounded by mountains. On my sojourn in Greece last Spring I spent some time in the small hamlet of Kastraki at the starting point of of the drive or hike through this amazing area.
Our guide Thordis Simonsen from Astra Tours told the 5 of us that the souvlakia here was the best she had had in Greece. She lives in the Peloponnese, so, she should know!!! It did not disappoint!
Usually the souvlakia is simply grilled meat, but, this recipe calls for vegetables on the skewers as well. So maybe that makes it a kebab. I am unsure. I had more than my share of souvlakia for dinner that's for sure. In Greece dessert is for a special occasion so we always had fresh fruit brought to the table...whatever was in season! Or perhaps a spoon sweet!! The Greek people are very warm and generous!!! We were given flowers everywhere we went especially when I was with my daughter for the 8 days prior to this two week stretch of my sojourn.
Photo taken in Meteora on mainland Greece.
**Souvlakia with Tzatziki Sauce**
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 32 bitesize pieces
- 1/2 red onion, cut into 8 pieces (1-inch)
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces (1-inch)
- 8 button mushrooms
- 8 large cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- cooking spray
1. To prepare marinade, combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 3 hours, turning occasionally. prepare grill. Remove chicken from bag, discard marinade. Thread 4 pieces of chicken, 1 piece red onion and bell pepper, 1 mushroom and 1 tomato alternately onto each of 8 (10-inch) skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 12 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once.Serve with Tzatziki Sauce.
- 1 cup finely chopped, seeded, peeled cucumber
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (8-oz) carton plain low-fat yogurt
- 1-1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
1. Place cucumber in a colander over a bowl; sprinkle with salt. Toss gently to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour.
2. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Squeeze until barely moist. Spoon yogurt onto several layers of heavy duty paper towels; spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 5 minutes. Scrape into bowl using a rubber spatula. Combine cucumber, yogurt, parsley and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Serve with souvlakia.