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Our best recipes for grilling like a Greek!

5 min read

Greek Grilling products, dips and spices from zelos authentic greek artisan

Summer is (almost) here and I can’t help but think of all the fun barbecues, cook-outs, picnics and grilling that will happen during the upcoming months. 

One of my fondest memories, when my kids were young, was cracking open the barbecue for Memorial Day, grilling kebabs & lamb chops and enjoying our garden after a long Cincinnati winter. I would always try to mix it up with some grilled vegetables, especially zucchini and eggplant and even peppers, just to keep it healthier.

I can certainly credit my dad for instilling that love for barbecue and grilling in my kids.  When we would visit in Greece for summer vacation, he would always grill for them, not only meats but also fish and even seafood...grilling octopus was their very special moment. He taught them that fish is hard to grill and requires lower heat and patience (and a special grill to hold it) and taught them all about the right spices and marinades for grilling. They were exchanging a lot of grilling ideas, the kids offering their American picnic recipes and my dad teaching them Greek barbecue techniques. I smile while remembering him as Father's Day approaches, and I would like to dedicate this post to him, as so many of the recipes below we learned from him.

We still love a good barbecue at our home even though none of us particularly likes eating meat anymore, but veggies make for great barbecues too. It is more the act of grilling, preparing and being together that counts for us, let alone the many other small dishes that you can use to pair your grilled meats and veggies. I am sharing our family’s favorites and grilling dinner ideas

Grilling Greek souvlaki, kebabs/gyro, chicken or other meats

Best recipes for Greek grilling and barbecues

Greek Souvlaki, those small chunks of meat (and/or vegetables) barbecued on a skewer and often wrapped in pita bread, is the most popular Greek street food. To make some at home, you’ll need meat (pork, beef or chicken in 3 cm chunks), olive oil, fresh lemon juice and Sparoza's Greek Shepherd’s Souvlaki & BBQ Mix. For a marinade combine 1 tbsp mix and 2 tbsp olive oil. Rub the spice mix on the meat just before grilling or barbecuing and enjoy a Greek souvlaki at its best!  

Grilling lamb chops

Make the best lamb chops by mixing 2 tbsp Tragano Greek Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil,2 tsp Sparoza's Cooking Blend with Orange Zest,2 tbsp fresh or dry thyme,1 clove of garlic,2 tsp mustard salt and pepper. Apply the mixture to 2 lbs of lamb chops (about 6 to 8) and let marinate in a plastic bag or container for about an hour.Grill according to taste, in Greece lamb chops are consumed well cooked while in the states many people prefer them medium rare. They are delicious both ways.

Grilling fish and seafood

Our preferred way to grill fish and/or seafood is by brushing the fish or mixing the sea food with some olive oil and then liberally sprinkle with salt and Sparoza’s Greek Fisherman’s fish & seafood mix. If you are grilling fish the Greek way, whole with the skin, it will be delicious to make a ladolemono, the signature Greek pairing for fish. It consists of 2 parts extra virgin olive oil and 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt. Shake everything together in a shaker or mix in a small blender and enjoy over you freshly grilled fish.

Grilling salmon

Salmon has quite a lot of fat which makes it ideal for grilling. It becomes crispy and remains juicy. We love to top ours with Sparoza’s gourmet seasoning with herbs & lemon zest  and then pair it with a simple yogurt sauce.

Grilling vegetables 

There are many ways to grill vegetables but our preferred mix is Sparoza’s handcrafted gourmet cooking blend with herbs & lemon zest that goes with any type of veggie. It is highly aromatic and a little peppery and never disappoints. Just mix in a mixing bowl your cubed veggies with extra virgin olive, salt and sprinkle with the mix. You can make veggie kebabs or just slice your veggies and grill them. Works wonders even with baked veggies.

Barbecue marinades for grilling

My family’s most favorite barbecue marinade is made using Sparoza’s shepherds souvlaki and bbq mix. However, my own best, spicy, marinade is using the Elli & Manos flaming red pepper all natural spread. Use 1-2 tbsp per pound of chicken or meat and let it marinate for at least an hour. The all-natural spread made with Greek Florinis peppers (they are long red aromatic peppers from the north of Greece) and chili flakes will give an amazing kick to your meats.

Greek pairing sauces for grilled meats and veggies

Greek all natural spreads for grilled meats, spicy pepper, spinach and feta, eggplant melitzanosalataWe love all the Elli & Manos all natural spreads and dips to pair with our grilled meats. The famous Greek meze has lots to offer when it comes to bbq, picnics and cookouts. Melitzanosalata,aubergine/eggplant spread, is a must for any Greek summer cooking gathering. We, of course, love the Elli & Manos spicy dip with Florina peppers spread just because it’s peppery and mildly hot, so it’s agreeable to all the pallets and the heat doesn’t compromise the flavor. Looking for meze tips? Click here.

We also love making our own sauces including mixing in a blender Tragano Greek Organics Capia peppers with a couple tbsp Tragano Greek Organics extra virgin olive oil and a small amount of feta. Depending on how salty/cheesy you want the mix you can increase the amount of feta.

Tzatziki Greek pairing sauces for grilled meats and veggies

Of course nothing quite pairs with grilled meats as well as tzatiziki. Tzatziki is a fresh yogurt dip that is traditionally served as part of a Greek meze plate or as a side for meat dishes and barbecue. To prepare an authentic and delicious Greek tzatziki, blend a bowl (200g) of strained yogurt, 1/2 (half) cup of grated and well-strained cucumber, 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, and one tsp of Sparoza's Greek Granny’s Tzatziki Mix. Mix well, refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving and enjoy a Greek tzatziki at its best!

Enjoy some Greek meze while you are grilling

Enjoy a horiatiki with your BBQ

The traditional, real, Greek salad, or as it’s called in Greek, “horiatiki”, is a delicious, fresh and nutritious dish. Zelos's Real Greek Salad set  will help you reproduce the Greek salad from your sunny holidays in a matter of minutes - all you need are ripe tomatoes in wedges, sliced cucumber and feta cheese. Other key ingredients like onion and peppers are already included in Sparoza's Greek Farmer’s Mix! Sprinkle generously, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy a Greek salad at its best. Looking for a real salad recipe, click here

 

 

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