When I lived in London, Washington DC, and Seattle I often went to Greek restaurants. Greek cuisine has been influenced by Middle Eastern, Turkish, and Italian cultures. Hong Kong doesn’t have many Greek restaurants. Most Hong Kong people prefer Chinese food. When they eat Western food they usually choose French or Italian cuisines or steak restaurants. They should try Greek cuisine or cook Greek dishes themselves! I sometimes cooked Greek dishes when I lived in Washington DC. One of the dishes I used to cook was beef stifado. It is a traditional Greek beef stew. Beef stifado is made with cubed beef, pearl onions or shallots (type of small onion), tomato paste, red wine vinegar, beef broth, garlic, olive oil, bay leaves, and seasonings including oregano, salt, and pepper.
The ingredients are separately stir-fried with olive oil. Tomato paste, red wine vinegar, beef broth, seasonings, and the beef are then all put into a skillet and cooked for about an hour in low heat. The beef becomes so soft it melts in your mouth! If food melts in your mouth it means it is soft, tender and delicious. This dish can be served with rice, pasta, or potatoes. One of the most popular Greek dishes is souvlaki. This dish is usually made with pork but beef or lamb can be used. The small pieces of meat are put in a marinade, then grilled on a skewer.
The word “marinade”, as I explained before, means a sauce usually made with olive oil, vinegar, spices and herbs. A skewer is a long and thin stick of metal or wood used for holding pieces of food. Souvlaki can be eaten with vegetables or in a pita bread. Tzatziki is a classic Greek dip eaten as an appetizer with bread or pita bread. It is made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, and fresh dill, which is a kind of herb. I can’t get enough of tzatziki. If you can’t get enough of something it means you like it a lot and want more.
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我在倫敦、華盛頓特區和西雅圖居住的時候，常去希臘餐廳用餐。希臘菜受到中東、土耳其及意大利文化影響。香港並不多希臘餐廳，香港人大多愛吃中菜，而當他們吃西餐時，往往選法國菜、意大利菜或扒房。他們好應試試希臘菜，又或自己煮希臘菜！我住在華盛頓特區時，有時也會煮希臘菜式。其中一款我以前常煮的菜式就是番茄紅酒燉牛肉（beef stifado）。那是一樣傳統的希臘式燉牛肉。Beef stifado是以牛肉粒、珍珠洋蔥或紅蔥頭（shallots）、番茄醬、紅酒醋、牛肉湯、蒜頭、橄欖油、月桂葉，以及包括牛至、鹽和黑胡椒粉等的調味料所製成。
這些食材會分別用橄欖油炒起。及後，番茄醬、紅酒醋、牛肉湯、調味料和牛肉會統統放進長柄平底煎鍋內，用細火煮一小時。牛肉就會變得非常軟腍，簡直會在你口中融化掉（melts in your mouth）！當食物 melts in your mouth，意即它非常軟熟、柔腍和美味。這道菜可以配飯、意大利粉食又或薯仔來吃。其中一款最受歡迎的希臘菜是souvlaki，這道菜通常是用豬肉，但也可以用牛肉或羊肉。小塊小塊的肉會用 marinade醃泡，再以串肉扦（skewer）烤炙。
正如我之前所解釋的，marinade是指醃泡汁，通常用橄欖油、醋、香料和香草混合而成。A skewer就是金屬或木製、又長又幼的扦，用來串起食物。這種希臘烤肉卷（souvlaki）可以伴着蔬菜吃，又或捲在比得包裏吃。Tzatziki是經典的希臘蘸醬，伴麵包或比得包可以作前菜。它是用希臘乳酪、青瓜、橄欖油和新鮮蒔蘿草（dill）製成，蒔蘿草又稱刁草，是一種香草。對於這個希臘青瓜乳酪醬，我真是欲求不滿（can’t get enough of tzatziki）啊。若你 can’t get enough of something，意即你非常喜歡某事物，再多也不夠，總想要更多。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧