Mezze for the meat eaters!

And we keep on going with our greek mezze challenge. A few days ago I placed the spotlight on the delicious veggie possibilities that mezze have to offer. For my herbivore friends I served grilled halloumi and falafel together with some wonderful spreads and dips. Today I want to go the carnivore way and share with you some typical Greek fish and meat platters that I served at my mezze party.
Greece always brings back sweet memories of vacations in the years past. Lunch at a little tavern by the beach where the fisherman brought the squids from the sea straight to the kitchen. I remember them throwing the fishes against the rocks to tenderize the meat. 10 minutes later that same fish played the head part in our delicious salad!
Or should I tell you about the long walks we made in the medieval town of rhodos where the aroma of charcoal, grilled meats and exquisite herb bouquets filled our noses and made our tummies grumble.

Yes, they sure know how to use spices and herbs around the Mediterranean. As good as on those hot, southern night my ribs will never taste, but they come pretty damn close!
   
INGREDIENTS CALAMARI
350 grams squid (I used fresh clean squid from the fishshop, but you can also use frozen squid.)
150 grams all-purpose flour
Seasalt
2 tablespoons of black pepper
2 tablespoons of paprika powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
vegetable oil for frying (You can also use your deep fryer but your oil will get heavy polluted.)

INGREDIENTS GREEK RIBS
2 racks op ribs
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of lime zeste
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of grouned bay
1 teaspoon of dry oregano
1 teaspoon of dry thyme
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of paprika powder
2 tablespons of Greek honey

INGREDIENTS ARAB STYLE SHRIMPS
Large cleaned shrimps ( 4à 5 shrimps p.p)
2 tablespoon of Raz El Hanout
1 teaspoon harissa herbs (This is not the shop bought ready to use Harissa. That is Harissa paste. These are dried herbs to make the paste yourself. I bought mine in Tunisia, but I also found them at my local Moroccan grocery store. If you cant find any replace them by some hot paprika powder.)
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of dried mint
pepper and salt
fresh chopped cilantro
a hint of lemon zest
olive oil

INGREDIENTS KEFTEDES
500 grams minced lamb meat
fresh chopped cilantro
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of raz el hanout
1 teaspoon of dried mint
1 teaspoon of dried cloves
a hint of cinnamon powder
Peper and salt
Olive oil

Calamari

I bought fresh squid at my local fish shop. Ask the fisherman to clean the squid for you! It saves you a lot of time and the quest to find the ink inside of the fish!
Cut the tubes into rings and cut the tentacles into little pieces. If you don’t like to use the tentacles, just throw them out and only use the tubes! Pat the squid dry with a kitchen towel

Now mix in a bowl the flour, the pepper, the paprika powder and the garlic powder.
Heat the oil on the fire.
When the oil is hot (This is the secret of a good calamari fritti, the oil needs to be searing hot!) you dip your squid into the flour mixture and fry it in about 3 minutes golden brown.
Now season the calamari with some sea salt and serve with some lemon wedges.

Greek Ribs

Mix in a small bowl (or do as I did and use one of those very handy zip lock bags. It saves you a lot of dishes and its easy to shake the marinated around.)  the garlic powder, de lemon zest, de pepper, the grounded bay, the oregano, the thyme, the salt, the paprika powder and the honey. Mix this all together till you get a sticky marinade. Now toss the ribs into the marinade and shake until the ribs are fully covered with your wonderful rub.
Place the ribs into the refrigerator for 4 hours at least, but the best is to keep them there for about 12 hours.
Take the ribs out 30 minutes in advance so they can come back to room temperature before cooking them. Preheat the oven at 175°.
Now put the ribs on some aluminum foil or use a trow away baking tray and cover the ribs with some aluminum foil.
Cook for about 30 minutes in an oven at 175°, then lower the head to 150° and cook for another 30 minutes, but now without the foil on top.
Keep an eye on the ribs so they don’t get scourged.

Arab Shrimps

Mix in a bowl (or use a zip lock bag again.) the raz el hanout, the harissa spices, the cumin, the dried mint, the pepper, the salt, the lemon zest and the finely chopped cilantro.
Now pop in the scampi and shake so that the marinade is all around the shrimps.
Toss this into the refrigerator overnight so the shrimps can soak in all those lovely flavours.
The next day you put the shrimps on wooden pins and grill them in the pan or on the BBQ.

Keftedes

A very simple dish but a true flavour bomb! I serve it very regularly at home with some seven vegetables couscous and in summer they are a very regular guest at bbq-parties.
Just mix the minced lamb meat with the herbs and the fresh cilantro.
Roll little balls of them and put them on wooden pins.
Drizzle with some good quality olive oil and just put them in de refrigerator overnight.
The next they you only need to grill them in the pan or on the bbq!

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