Greek Easter Dinner

I thought it appropriate, in light of the name of this site, to try to add information about Greek foods when ever I can. I wanted to put something on for Easter dinner and decided to go with the typical Greek Easter Meal. In Greek Orthodox, Easter is a sacred day. Listed below are some foods served in a traditional Greek easter meal with a bit of reason behind the food they serve.

Before the meal

serving marinated almond stuffed olives, Greek couscous salad, and cheese and wine are great appetizers before the feast begins. And if wine is not your forte then you’ll be pleased to know that there is a Greek beer And for me, this is great because I like beer!

Magirista

served at many Greek easter meals. Magirista is a hearty stew made up of chopped lamb liver, wild greens, and seasoned with egg and lemon sauce. This is known as Easter Soup or Easter Sunday Soup. After the meat is cleaned it is let to boil for up to 2 hours then cut into small bite size pieces. It is then seasoned with dill butter, onions, and other vegetables then simmered. Rice is added at the end of the boiling process, then the stock is thickened with avgolemono or Egg-lemon sauce. Avgolemono is in a family of sauces and soups made with egg yolk and lemon juice mixed with broth heated until thickened. They are found in Greek, Turkish, Italian, Jewish, and Arab cuisine.

Tsoureki

is a sweet holiday bread, often called Easter Bread, made with flour, sweet yeast, milk, butter, sugar, and dyed red easter eggs pressed into the dough. It’s seasoned with orange zest and masitc. Mastic is a resin from the masitc tree which is usually produced on the island of Chios. In natural vitamin and herb shops it is known as Arab or Yemen gum and in Greece it is known as tears of Chios. Other flavorings sometimes used are extract of almond and golden raisins. Tsoureki is a symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus, The flour rises and takes on a new form or new life. The red easter eggs symbolize the blood of Jesus and Gods promise.

Flaouna

A cheese filled pastry with raisins and garnished with sesame seeds. Flaounas are typically served as a celebratory food at the end of a lent fast and served on easter Sunday. But the main attraction for a traditional Greek Easter Meal starts at dawn when the spits and grills are fire up.

Roasted Lamb or Goat

the main course for an Easter dinner. Cooks who prepare this traditional meal usually do it on an open pit and cook a whole lamb or goat. When cooking on an open fire pit try to use wood from a nut or fruit tree. Apple or cherry are good woods to use, the lamb really takes on the aroma of the wood and makes a great flavor in the meat. And of course roasting a whole lamb or goat takes a rotisserie style spit. Use your wood of choice and prepare a large bed of coals to cook over, making sure not to let direct flame touch the meat. It is the heat and smoke of the pit that will cook and flavor the meat. The meat shouldn’t be scorched and burnt on the outside and should be cooked slowly. After cleaning the meat thoroughly seasons with thyme, basil, pepper, oregano and garlic inside and out. Basting continuously and assuring the meat is slowly and constantly rotating is a must. The origin of eating lamb is a symbol of not only the exodus from Egypt but later Christians adopted the lamb as a symbol of Jesus, the lamb of God who would take the sins of the world as his sacrifice.

Easter

No matter what you decide to cook, don’t forget the reason for the celebration; This is Easter! The day our good Lord arose from the dead. He came here to bear the sins of the world so we may have an ever lasting life. Those who believe on him will be saved. Saved from a falling world. Let’s be thankful for what ever it is we decide to eat. In these times of trouble let’s be thankful for the ones we have around us right now. Let us not be blinded to the signs and gifts we have offered to us. Happy Easter everyone. May God be with you and yours.

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