One of the things I enjoy most about being a food and travel writer is that I am able to experience various traditions from various cultures. Also, I think it is a privilege and also an incredible opportunity to to celebrate various festivals from across the world. As an added benefit I have had the good fortune of meeting the wonderful people on my journey into exploring various beautiful cuisines and destinations.
I have cooked alongside some very talented trained Michelin-starred Chefs, home cooks, and cookbook authors too.
I am so glad that I had a chance to cook with someone as passionate as Tonia Buxton who taught us how to make a 3-course Greek feast and took us through a journey of how Easter is celebrated back in Greece, relating in a very animated manner the rituals, prayer, and festivity surrounding the occasion. Total Yogurt the makers of the deliciously thick and creamy yogurt put together this cooking fest at a Cookery School called La Cucina Caldesi located in the heart of Central London.
Tonia Buxton a Greek Cypriot is the Total Greek Yogurt Brand Ambassador and a presenter of the award-winning T.V series on Discovery Channel called ‘My Greek Kitchen’ and has also authored a book titled ‘Tonia’s Greek Kitchen’. Soon to star in a new T.V series called ‘Pauls Family Feast’ a TV show by well, Paul Hollywood 🙂
After a quick ice breaker session, we got into groups and started preparing the main dish of the meal – Greek Lamb Pattie Tray Bake. I love cooking lamb and am delighted with the similarities in Greek and Indian cuisines. We too love our spices and cumin does add a very deep flavour to lamb. If I was to make it at home though I would tweak it and amp up the spices especially the cumin and just because I love heat crushed or paper-thin slices of green chillies with seeds ummm!
Here is the recipe:
Greek Lamb Pattie Tray Bake
100g TOTAL Greek Yoghurt
100g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
400g lamb mince
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp ground cumin
4 red onions (2 finely chopped, 2 cut into wedges)
Large handful mint, chopped
4 waxy new potatoes, i.e. the Charlottes cut into wedges
4 courgettes, halved & quartered lengthways
250g pack juicy cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 unwaxed lemons cut into 6 wedges each
4 tbsp olive oil
100g feta cheese, crumbled
- Heat the oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6.
- Put the breadcrumbs, the lamb mince, egg, plenty of seasoning, and cumin in a bowl.
- Add the chopped onion and sprinkle in half the chopped mint. Give everything a good mix and shape into 8 patties.
- Lightly oil a large, shallow roasting tray and add the patties.
- Place the onion wedges on the tray around the lamb patties with the potatoes, courgettes, and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Bake for around 40 minutes, turning & basting everything once halfway until the lamb is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the feta and remaining mint. (We used up most of the mint and our minty lamb patties were very juicy and yum)
- Serve with a large dollop of Total Greek yoghurt and tahini sauce.
While our lamb patties were cooking we played a fun Greek easter egg game with eggs painted a cheerful bright red. We had to go about smashing our egg onto everyone else and in the end, I was up against Tonia- of course, she won! Years of experience laster she has mastered the technique 🙂
We then made a Greek dessert called Anarocrema using Anari Cheese, which I flavoured with orange blossom extract, fresh fruits, and generous bits of freshly made filo pastry crispy bits. This creamy dessert is made using goats cheese and marries well with fruits, pistachios, almonds, and honey too is very filling and moreish dessert.
While our desserts were sent for chilling we got cracking on with the starter a light and superbly flavoured starter – Greek Sea Bream fillets with olives, capers, lemon, and yoghurt Tahini Sauce.
Thanks to @satureyes for the brilliant photos.
It was a very well organised event and I got an opportunity to meet so many more bloggers.Cooking up in a team with Fiona (London Unattached) and Heidi was good fun and it great to be working with familiar faces. Many thanks to @TotalGreek yogurt for the lovely event & @ToniaBuxton for her lively, warm, and friendly way of conducting the cookery workshop and sharing so many beautiful experiences.
I hope all of you had a brilliant Easter Weekend and are looking forward to another long weekend coming up!
Disclaimer: With many thanks to Total Uk and Tonia Buxton.I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post. Like all my previous posts about events and reviews, ALL opinions expressed here are entirely my own.