Imagine the picture-postcard views of the Greek coastline with the glisteningly white houses and the incredible Santorini blue of the sea. Then picture yourself visiting one of the numerous Greek tavernas nestled on those same coastlines and enjoying some of the robust seafood dishes that they feature.
The following Greek-themed recipes brings the picture to life.
I have used a combination of green prawns, scallops, squid and/or octopus in this recipe, but really any combination or feature seafood will suit, especially squid as the main.
This dish can be served with crusty bread or steamed orzo (small rice like pasta) or as a pasta sauce.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon shredded basil leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
Pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes
500g green prawns, peeled and deveined
250g scallops, roe on
200g baby octopus or squid rings and tentacles
125g feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
(1) Preheat your oven to 400F/ 200C.
(2) Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frypan. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to caramelise. Now add the garlic to the pan and continue to cook, stirring, for a further minute.
(3) Add the wine to the pan with the onion/garlic mixture. Simmer until the liquid in the pan reduces by half. Pour in the chopped tomatoes (including the juice), the basil, oregano and chilli flakes. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens. This could take up to 20 minutes.
(4) Add the seafood to the tomato-based sauce and stir well. Transfer the contents of the frypan to a shallow casserole dish.
(5) Crumble the feta over the top of the seafood mixture and then sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the feta. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with the remaining olive oil.
(6) Pop the casserole into the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes to toast the breadcrumbs.
In this recipe you can substitute cuttlefish or baby octopus for the squid. The baby octopus can be left whole as long as the beak is cut out. The cuttlefish should be cleaned and then cut into rings. The squid can be cut into tentacles and rings.
1kg squid, cleaned, retaining the tentacles
2 red onions, roughly chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups dry red wine (good quality)
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
(1) Cut the cleaned squid into rings. In a large saucepan place the squid rings and tentacles, add the onion, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon stick. Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for about 10 minutes; the squid will release liquid,.
(2) Uncover the saucepan and continue to simmer until nearly all the liquid in the saucepan has evaporated.
(3) Remove the bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon from the saucepan and discard. Pour the red wine into the pan along with the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and pepper. Cover the saucepan and simmer over a low heat until the squid is tender.
(4) If you are cooking cuttlefish or baby octopus, the cooking times may vary. Test the seafood with the tip of a knife for tenderness.
(5) Serve the squid (or alternative) in a bowl with heaps of crusty bread for the juices.
As an alternative to the crusty bread, used sliced bread with a savoury butter. Combine a teaspoon of dried oregano with a quarter of a cup of butter spread generously on one side and grill until until golden and bubbling. Serve with your squid in red wine.Reads: 1850