Europe, are you ready to party?!
We know that all of you are not going to be in Stockholm for this year’s Eurovision and that many of you will be going to Eurovision Parties. If you’re anything like me you will have been to many Eurovision parties over the years and will have had to bring a dish from your favourite/nominated/designated country. If that’s the case for you this year, then look no further, every Friday we’ve got you covered with some party recipes from across the continent and because you enjoyed my Christmas wine article, some more wine choices too…
This week: The Mediterranean
The first time I ever went to visit my friend Helen who lives just outside Athens, she served us Cheese pie for lunch and it was absolutely delicious. There are loads of different takes on the traditional Greek version, here’s mine, perfect for your Eurovision party…
Mini Cheese Pies
80z/200g Feta Cheese (crumbled)
2oz/50g Full Fat Cream Cheese (low fat splits when cooking!)
2oz/50g Cheddar (grated)
4 eggs (beaten)
Handful of chopped mint (or dill if you prefer)
1 pack filo pastry
Combine all the ingredients, except the pastry and butter, in a large bowl, pop in the fridge until you are ready to make your pies. This is great because you can do this a little ahead of time if you need to. Lay out a sheet of filo pastry and lightly brush it with melted butter. Place a tablesoon of filling onto the pastry and roll or fold it into the shap you want to make. You can do triangles, squares, rounds, cigarellos or just scrunch them up like I do! – whatever takes your fancy! Bake on a floured tray at 180c/350f for about 15 minutes until golden brown. They are really hot in the middle so leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Look out for a Greek white wine made from the Plyto grape variety, it’s a great match for cheese
Pizzettes are a kind of mini pizzas and perfect for a party. Here’s one of my favourites to make with mixed mushroom topping.
1 pack pre-made pizza dough (you can make your own if you’re feeling ambitious!)
12oz/350g mixed mushrooms (washed and sliced)
2 tbsp Italian herb mix
4oz/100g mozzarella (grated or sliced)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Handful of fresh basil
In a skillet with a little oil, fry the shallots and mushrooms until soft and cooked through, add the herbs at the last minute, stir through and remove pan from the heat. Divide the dough into 6-8 small balls and roll out, pushing the edges up to form a rim. Place a spoonful of the mushroom mix on to the dough, top with mozzarella and a little salt and pepper. Bake at 220c/425f for 15-20 minutes until the dough it crispy. Sprinkle with fresh basil before serving.
Italian wine for Italian food – definitely a good match. Look out for the grape variety Primitivo, it’s the same as Californian Zinfandel and will be great with these little mushroom pizzettes.
Would be great if Spain was to win Eurovision, I’ve never been there but I adore Spanish food! Here’s a classic green bean warm salad recipe, great for a party or as a side dish at a barbeque.
Judias verdes con jamon
16oz/450g green beans
1 onion (thinly sliced)
3oz/75g Serrano ham (chopped)
salt & pepper to taste
Blanch the beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, until they are just tender but still with a little crunch to them. Meanwhile heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until they are soft and translucent. Add the ham and cook for a further 2 minutes. Drain the green beans and add to them to the frying pan, continue mixing and cooking for a further 2-3 minutes, season with salt and pepper and serve warm.
So many wines to choose from when it comes to Spain, look for Rosado (rose) wine from the Navarra region, it’s right next to Rioja so you’re getting a wine almost identical to Rioja for quality without paying for the name.
Let us know if you make any of these dishes and share some of your Eurovision party favourites with us in the comments section. Next week, it’s Scandinavia’s turn…
Author (& Chef!): Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source: Eurovision Ireland