Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Greek To Me!

During fall and winter, one thing I enjoy most is teaching Cooking Classes at life+style.

Friends Jim and Cynthia opened the store just over 2 years ago and I visit at least once per week the weeks I'm not teaching class.

Last week was my much awaited "My Big Fat Greek Dinner" class . . .
The Ouzo was not to cook with!    But it did serve a purpose!!!!

I've been cooking Greek for over 40 years.    I'm not Greek.    I have no Greek childhood friend.   I've never been to Greece.     But Husband Jim has and early on in our married life, he extolled the virtues of the Greek National Dish -- Moussaka.  

Being a new bride, I was eager to please my husband and one day in the mail, in a cookbook offer, was a recipe for moussaka.

I made it -- he pronounced it really really good and . . . .

I've made it over and over and over again.    I've served it for dinner parties, a Jaycee's International Night Party, and even once at a Tacky Tourist Party.     It's a good recipe and elegant enough for a dinner party!

I demonstrated how easy it was to make this Greek National Dish.     The finished dish, ready for class tasting.

I also made (although did not demonstrate since the techniques were so similar) Pastitsio.

Topped with Bechamel sauce and sprinklings of Parmesan cheese.

We even served a dessert.    Not baklava (for  when I first started cooking Greek, there was no easy source for phyllo dough and I was also baklava challenged).   But a cake that I found long ago in a Greek cookbook -- one that I always serve when I fix a Greek dinner.


It's a lemon walnut cue with a wonderful lemon syrup poured over.    And I think it makes a better dessert than the much better known baklava!

For those in my class, the recipe as promised . . .


8 egg yolks
3/4 t. ground cinnamon
2 c. ground walnuts
thin lemon slices, halved
1/2 c. water
2 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. sugar
8 egg whites
1 c. crushed zwieback
1/3 c. sugar

In small mixing bowl, beat together egg yolks and 1 cup sugar at high speed 5 minutes or till very thick and lemon colored.     Stir in baking powder and cinnamon.   Wash beaters.    In large mixing bowl beat egg whites till stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).    Fold in egg yolk mixture, walnuts and zwieback crumbs.   Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan.    Bake in 350 oven 30 to 35 minutes.    Cool in pan on wire rack.    Score cake into diamonds.    Top each diamond with a halved lemon slice.     In small saucepan combine water, remaining sugar, and lemon juice.    Bring to a boil.    Simmer, uncovered 5 minutes.    Pour hot syrup over cooled cake.    Cut cake into diamonds.

NOTE:   I can no longer find zwieback in the grocery store so I used Biscof crumbs.    It worked!


Bernideen said...

This store reminds me a little of our Williams Sonoma (smaller version). Looks very sleek and contempory.

Pondside said...

Mmmm that sounds wonderful.
Of all the things about which my US friends write, and all the things that are unavailable up here, I'm amused that we can find zweibeck and you can't. Who knew?

podso said...

I/we love Greek food. Sometimes I forget about a recipe I haven't made in awhile...and should make moussaka soon. I have a quick recipe and a more authentic one that takes a long time to make. You can guess which one tastes better!