Cyprus has the most delicious food in the world, when I talk of Cyprus I refer to the Islands Greek heritage however there have been so many cultural influences the food and dishes would be recognised in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and throughout the nations of the world.
In the early sixties many of its young people, including my father, left their villages in Cyprus to find their fortune and travel the world. My father travelled to London in England, his brother travelled to Toronto in Canada. These young people took with them their food and customs, and their new countries embraced them enthusiastically. This means we are familiar with many Greek dishes, indeed my father actually opened the first Kebab House in South London. We ran out of food after 2 hours.. but that is another story.
So let me name some of the foods you may know, tzatziki, mezes, hummus, kebabs ( or kebobs as they are known in Canada). Perhaps the most famous cheese is Feta which is goats cheese. In the villages these dishes were all made by my grandmother including village bread made in the old stone ovens outside, fuelled by olive wood which gave it a unique taste.
Here is a recipe for Tzatziki
To 1 small natural yogurt add mint, add half a cucumber peeled and diced, stir !. Thats it!
Perfect Tzatziki and, unlike shop bought, you know exactly what is in it.
Here is a recipe for the perfect Chicken Kebob
You can also use Lamb which I prefer, you need to buy a leg of lamb and then dice the meat.
2 breast of chicken
2 green peppers cut into big strips about 8 from each pepper
2 large onions cut into 8 wedges each
4 large tomatos cut into 4 wedges each
Olive oil, salt cilantro, pitta bread, fresh lemon, extra virgin olive oil
Dice the chicken breast into large chunks. Then mix in about 4 teaspoons of Extra virgin Olive oil,( enough to really cover the chicken well) make sure it is really green and thick that is the best one with the most delicious taste.Then put a chunk of chicken on a skewer, then a green pepper slice, then a wedge of tomato, then a wedge of onion, then another chicken. You can either repeat this or if you have small skewers make another one until all the ingredients are on the skewers.
Place the skewers on your barbeque, and cook!
Open the pack of pitta when the chicken is cooked and warm the pittas on top of the skewers, this makes it easier to cut when they are warm. Cut the pitta following the line of it along the top then place one or two skewers inside, fold the pitta over the skewers and use the pitta to hold the food inside whilst you remove the skewers.
Hint Add lots of fresh lemon and plenty of chopped cilantro on top and there you have the perfect kebab, don't forget the cilantro it adds so much to the taste, and don't forget the lemon either , I can hardly think of one Greek dish which does'nt have generous amounts of fresh lemon squeezed all over!