Both Ms. B and I have a sweet spot for foods Greek in nature or spirit. This pairs well with an inclination for anything popular on either side of the Mediterranean, such as the north African couscous, which I’ve posted here before.
That in mind we made plans for a dinner on the balcony using our trusty and simple charcoal grill to impart that unique flavor. It’s never simple to pull off an arrangement like this off the cuff, because scratch takes time, but, after getting home at 6 p.m. after going shopping for ingredients, I managed to get everything on the table by 8 p.m. We then enjoyed our dinner on the balcony with perfect weather for more than an hour. The picture with the raw Cevapcici was convincing enough for me to return the meat to the barbeque. When it was finally done a few minutes later, it was juicy and hot. The feta cheese didn’t melt, but I didn’t expect it to.
In short: Couscous
1 Zucchini, diced
1 Eggplant, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
1 tomato, diced
Dice everything, heat a few tbsp of Olive oil, add the vegetables one after another- red pepper, zucchini, scallions,garlic, eggplant, tomato, and cook till tender. Set aside.
Bring water to a boil with olive oil for couscous, 2 parts water to 1 part couscous. Add couscous, put lid on, turn off heat, turn on timer to 5 minutes, add knob of butter, juice from 1/2 a lemon, stir to loosen, add vegetable mixture, season, cover with lid to keep warm.
The Ajvar I made by taking 3 red peppers, dicing them and sautéeing the dice with two cloves of garlic a hot pepper (peperoni) and a red onion.
Once the mix was tender, I added 2 tbs of sugar, salt, pepper and paprika powder. This mixure was puréed and transferred to a serving bowl.
The cevapcici were made of a 50/50 mix ground beef and ground pork. I added salt, peper, and oregano, a very typical greek herb. Ms. B and I had discussed the specialty the night before and so I went about wrapping thin strips about .7 cm x .7 cm x 12 cm of feta cheese with the ground meat. The idea was to somehow combine the tastes of the meat and the cheese. It was good, but, because the cheese doesn’t melt, not that good. But it’s a little bit like the traditional greek burger named Suzuki, except it looks like a cevapcici. weird, huh?
These were taken off the grill, cut, and returned tout de suite to the grill for a fulminant finish!
The end was a very harmonious duet at the balcony table.