I love a good theme night. I've hosted many over the years. Pool and pizza, table tennis and tequila, go in green, chips and champagne, and the best of British are just a few that I have fond memories of. Somewhat hazy memories, I'll admit, but definitely fond, too. Since the boys have come along though, combined with hangovers seemingly lasting forever nowadays, evenings spent entertaining have been few and far between. And I really miss them. So when Expedia challenged me to cook up a Greek storm as part of their 'world on a plate' campaign, it was the ideal opportunity to open our doors once more and get everyone around the dining table. Yamas!
Putting the menu together, I decided to attempt some of our favourite dishes from our recent trip to Kos. We adored the food out there, the boys even forgoing chicken nuggets for the occasional stuffed pepper. It was all so simple, so fresh and so flavoursome. And the type of food that you can prepare with relative ease so no hiding away in the kitchen for hours on end ignoring your guests.
I opted for a very traditional starter of Greek delicacies and dips: stuffed olives, roasted peppers, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, jalapenos, tzatziki, houmous and flatbreads. Basically, all things that you can decant from jars in to ramekins and then sit down with your guests and enjoy. There's nothing nicer than passing around little plates to share, eyes widening and heads nodding ... the unspoken acknowledgement of 'this tastes good'.
I followed the sharing platter with a cucumber and halloumi salad, the recipe for which, bizarrely, I stumbled across in an old magazine in the doctor's a couple of weeks ago but subsequently managed to track down online. It was so easy to prepare. You can do most of it in advance and then simply fry the halloumi and mix it all together right before bringing it to the table.
I kept the main course, again, quite simple. I coated chicken breasts in gorgeous Latzimas Gold extra virgin olive oil from Crete, lemon juice, oregano, dried mint, and garlic and then threaded the pieces on to skewers with chunks of red onion and fresh mint leaves. Ten minutes under the grill and they were done ... and smelling delicious. I popped them on a plate with a lettuce and tomato salad and pitta bread, and served them with feta and couscous-stuffed roasted red peppers on the side. Oh, and with the one of the most deliciously fruity and crisp white wines that I've ever come across, Moi Je M'En Fous Malagouzia. It was divine! Greek wines have never been on my radar in the past. Times have changed.
And then we moved on to pudding!
Troufakia is a rich, dark truffle, normally featuring a healthy dose of Cognac. Delicious but not exactly child-friendly. So I amended the recipe and made a version with my two little dudes in mind. A fitting reward for sitting through a dinner with very (very!) chatty grown ups.
Because they don't take a great deal of time or effort to make, and because they're mini mouthfuls of chocolatey delight, I though it would be wrong not to share the recipe with you.
Here's what you need to make around 30 delicious truffles:
200g milk chocolate
200g plain biscuits (I used Bahlsen animal biscuits because my boys like them)
35g chopped walnuts
40ml single cream
And here's what you do:
1. Melt 150g of the milk chocolate. For ease, I do this in a microwave in 25 second spurts.
2. In a large bowl, crush the biscuits until they are reduced to very fine crumbs.
3. Pour the melted chocolate over the crumbs and blend (by hand is more than sufficient).
4. Chop the walnuts as finely as possible, add them to the mixture and blend again.
5. Stir in the milk and cream and then place the bowl in the fridge to cool for two hours.
6. Grate the remainder of the milk chocolate on to a plate.
7. Remove the truffle mixture from the fridge, shape in to small balls (it helps if you wet your hands first) and then roll them in the grated chocolate until they're fully coated.
You can either eat them straight away or put them back in the fridge until your guests arrive.
Simple, right? And extremely yummy.
If you fancy sampling an authentic Greek menu in authentic Greek surroundings under the very warm Greek sun, Expedia has an amazing selection of holidays and hotels. Santorini is high up on my 'must visit' list. The hotels looks amazing and the views? Out of this world!
But in the meantime, you're very welcome to steal The Ordinary Lovely's authentic Greek feast menu. Happy cooking!
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Expedia.