cookbook stash: the complete book of greek cooking
I love Greek food. There is so much flavor, warmth, and spice. But it's often also refreshing and light. While I love a good moussaka, I also love sliced cucumbers and tomatoes topped with tzatziki. In my town, unfortunately, there is no Greek restaurant. There's a Greek pizza place, which isn't bad, but no restaurant serving authentic dishes.
I decided I would make my own Greek food and picked up The Complete Book of Greek Cooking. This great cookbook was compiled and written by the Recipe Club of Saint Paul's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Hempstead, NY. It's over 300 pages long with a yellow and blue soft cover. It's arranged into 11 chapters by the type of dish (i.e. meats, desserts, breads) and very easy to navigate.
The book not only has some delicious recipes, but some great features as well. There's a map of Greece along with information on religious customs in the Orthodox church. The Orthodox fast during Lent, giving up fish, meat, alcohol, oils, and dairy until Easter. The recipes appropriate for a Lenten fast are marked, which is convenient for my family since my brother is Orthodox.
There is a really great appendix in the back of the cookbook listing helpful information and history on Greek cooking. You'll find pages on Greek tea and coffee. There are tips for working with common ingredients, like phyllo. A glossary with ingredients and terms is included. Best of all, there is a section about Greek cheese and wine.
This is a great primer for those eager to dive into the world of Greek cooking. One thing I like is that each recipe has both the Greek name for the dish and the English translation. The recipes are authentic and family-oriented. It's a church cookbook, but in a more professional format.
A lot of the recipes are simple, but I would probably recommend this for someone who knows their way around the kitchen. A novice cook might have a little trouble. I like having cookbooks on my favorite cuisine, so this is the perfect addition to my stash.
Best features: appendix, Lenten dishes
Recipes worth trying: Marinated Cocktail Meatballs, Eggplant Spread, Meatless Stuffed Grape Leaves, Chicken Souvlakia, Moussaka, Hot Potato Salad, Spinach Phyllo Pie, Almond Cookies, Baklava
Yay or Nay? Yay! Great overview on Greek cooking for those interested in trying the cuisine.
Purchase here: I recommend purchasing from the cathedral directly, but you can also find it on Amazon: The Complete Book of Greek Cooking