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Euro 2012 Cooking Challenge – Greece

Wow…what a fabulous food-filled weekend!

I have been up to Birmingham this weekend. I went to university there and had an amazing four years and I get really excited when I get to go back and visit again.

I arrived on Saturday and met my friend Lucie and then we did what is becoming a bit of a tradition for us; we headed straight for Selfridges Food Hall!

I have mentioned it in a previous post but this is my favourite place in the city and I can’t leave without purchasing something! Today, it was a box of cupcakes for us to enjoy with a brew.

I usually insist on going out for an Indian (nowhere beats a proper Brum curry!), but this time we went to Bodega, a lovely South American restaurant in the city centre.

After starting off with a couple of tequila-based cocktails, we shared a selection of delicious tapas-style dishes, which included fully loaded nachos, spicy slaw, Cuban meatballs, rice, chicken quesadillas and my personal favourite, red snapper fish tacos.

All of it was packed full of flavour and the dishes were perfect for sharing whilst catching up with an old friend.

After that, being a bit of a girl about town, my friend took me to the coolest bar – The Jekyll and Hyde – a cool mix of Victorian and Gothic styling with an entire floor dedicated to gin! We opted for some cocktails, inspired by our favourite childhood sweets, served in Victorian sweetie jars.

The Pear Drop:

The Parma Violet:

The Rhubarb and Custard:

The next day, I was off to the Good Food Show, held at Birmingham NEC…but not before a quick stop in one of my favourite shops, Forever 21, where I could not resist these rather cute earrings:

I met my good friend Cat at the show and we spent the next few hours working our way around the various stalls, tasting, buying and drinking what was on offer!

We also had a little star struck moment seeing the beautiful Rachel Khoo, who later did a lovely cookery demonstration making three desserts out of crème patissiere.

The variety of different foods and drinks on offer was amazing and so many of the producers were really passionate about what they were doing which was great to see.

One of my highlights was a short tasting experience that Cat and I took part in which challenged your senses to see what affected taste. We tried a variety of weird and wonderful foods with an emphasis put on what we could smell, see, hear and see while we were eating and how this affected the taste. The psychology behind what we taste, or what we think we taste, was fascinating and really fun to experience.

Here were my favourite buys:

Beautiful jasmine tea pods that open up into flowers while they infuse

Warburton’s new baked pitta chips. I’m not sure if they are in the shops yet but they make a nice change to crisps

My flavoured popcorn obsession continues

Greek Feta Filo Pie

I have a guest cook for this recipe in the form of my friend Lucie, although I did act as photographer/ glamorous assistant throughout!

Filo pastry can be a bit tricky to find but I recommend giving this recipe a go as the results were delicious. We had it both warm from the oven and chilled for breakfast this morning!

Ingredients

6-10 sheets of filo pastry

Melted butter

300g of feta cheese

150g of Greek yogurt

1 egg

A grating of nutmeg

How to make it

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4
  • Begin by laying 4 sheets of filo pastry over the base of your pie dish (we used a springform baking tin), spreading  melted butter over each sheet with a pastry brush as you do so
  • This creates the base of the pie
  • At this stage, it would also be useful to create the top of your pie by cutting out 3-4 sheets of file pastry the same size as your pie dish
  • In a bowl, mix together the feta, Greek yogurt and egg
  • Grate a good amount of nutmeg and mix well
  • Spoon this mixture into the filo-lined dish and fold the overhanging edge in and top with your pre-cut filo pastry lids
  • Give it a final brush of melted butter and then pop in the oven for about 40-50minutes
  • The dish is ready when it is golden brown all around the outside

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About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

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