Welcome to our blog! This is the first of a series of posts that will introduce you to Greek cuisine and help you to discover how healthy, delicious, tasty and exciting it is! But there’s going to be more! In our posts we’ll take a good look not only at Greek gastronomy on the whole but also at the elements that define it, the most prominent of which is the olive oil.
So, let’s see what’s cooking for today, a very special day indeed for us Greeks!
One of Greece’s two National Holidays is held
on the 25th of March. It is the day on which we celebrate the beginning of the revolution in 1821 against the Turkish oppression, a revolution that led to the independence of our country some years later.
Coincidentally the 25th of March is the same date with the religious feast of the Annunciation, meaning that on this day there are two celebrations going on in the country. Religious feasts in Greece are always connected to specific dishes, and it happens that this day calls for fish. But not any fish! It calls for cod. Salted cod! And it gets to be accompanied with our very special ”aioli” the so called ”scordaliá” (scordo meaning garlic in Greek).
Fried cod and scordaliá (greek aioli)
2 fillets salted cod (must be purchased at least 48 hours before being used)
1 glass lager beer
1 cup self-raising flour + extra for dusting
3-4 medium potatoes
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
‘’esti’’ extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tablespoons vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
Wash the cod fillets, cut them in the middle and put them in a large bowl filled with water. Place the bowl in the fridge and refresh the water every eight hours. This process is done in order to reduce as much as possible the saltiness of the fish. It will take about two days. If done in one day, water should be refreshed more frequently.
When the fish has been desalted , take it from the bowl, dry the fillets with some kitchen paper and cut them in the middle or in smaller parts – depends on how big we want our pieces of fish.
In the meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Clean and peel the potatoes, add them to the boiling water and cook until tender. Drain them.
Smash up the garlic in a pestle and mortar (a food processor can always be used). Add the potatoes one by one and keep smashing. Add slowly the olive oil –about 5 tablespoons or more depends on the texture you want to gain- and then the vinegar, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust if more salt or vinegar is needed.To make the batter, sift the flour in a bowl and pour in the beer while whisking. If the batter seems over-thick pour in some more beer. Dust the fish lightly with flour. Heat 4-5 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat . Once the oil is hot you can start frying the fish. Thickly coat the fish with batter and place it in the pan and cook for as long as it takes to become golden and crispy on both surfaces. When removed from the pan , let it dry on kitchen paper.
Tip: It’s better not to use all the vinegar from the beginning. Some vinegars are strong, some less. Add first half of the amount required and then adjust according to your taste.
Info: In some parts of Greece scordaliá is made from bread instead of potatoes!