A Pair Of Gourmands

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When in doubt, go Greek.

He says:

Greek food for the summer is an excellent choice for the hot climate of the Okanagan. Once a week, I cook something Mediterranean, from a simple 10-minute salad to a full 5-hour leg of lamb cooked on a campfire. That region of the world offers amazing tastes that the whole family can enjoy.

I just came back from Vancouver, and while staying in the big city, Kristin and I went to the Ouzeri restaurant on Broadway. The food was great, the service was friendly and efficient and the bill was very fair for the quality of the meal we ate. I like Greek food, and it is great family food because most kids love garlic, oregano, sage, lemon, red wine vinegar, tzatziki sauce, and of course food on a sticky. I wanted to give you a simple kebab recipe that is sure to please the kids and the adults for your next dinner.


Chicken breast, pork loin and/or lamb leg in cubes, placed in large plastic ZipLoc bag.
In a bowl, mix together lots of fresh garlic, fresh and dry oregano, fresh or dry sage, fresh lemon juice (not Realemon, please…), a touch of red wine vinegar, garlic powder, salt, cracked pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
Put your marinade with the meat in the bag and let it work for 24 hours. Skewer your meat the next day, and grill quickly at extreme high heat to seal the flavors inside the meat. DO NOT OVERCOOK your red meats.

Serve with oven roasted rosemary potato wedges, Greek salad, tzatziki sauce (preferably homemade), and fresh grilled pita bread… and yes, all on the same plate.

Keep in mind that you can use your kids to help build your dinner feast, by letting them squeeze the lemon juice, or skewer the meat. Either way, kids will most of time enjoy it and be less critical of a meal they made themselves.

She says:

It’s all Greek to me!

Summertime is a great time to enjoy Greek food, especially when you are looking over the lake and basking in the sun. If you haven’t been to Greece, you imagine that it must be a wonderfully lethargic experience where you can sip on retsina and nibble on olives and feta cheese as the sun sets over the water. And if you have been there, you get to sip on retsina and nibble on olives and feta as the sun sets over the water! Here in the Okanagan we have the heat and the water, and a Mediterranean market or two where you can purchase olives and feta cheese. The only part that is sometimes hard to duplicate is the lethargic ambiance.

So, that is your homework this week: Practice taking the extra few minutes to enjoy the sunshine, or smell the flowers, or feel the sand between your toes. Pull out of traffic and take a short walk on the beach, or take the dog for a leisurely walk before dinner. Then when you bite into that first olive you will almost see those whitewashed buildings against the water and hear the gypsy music. You can even try this in the morning – just a few minutes in the morning air and some yogurt with almonds and honey, or a good espresso while watching the world go by a sidewalk patio. Take deep breaths and enjoy just not rushing. And if you have an extra minute before you jump back into the fast lane, buy a lottery ticket – just in case!

Chef Martin’s Tip 20 - Potato world!

I love potatoes: served cold or hot, they are good when done right, and hard to mess up!

Roasted garlic mashed potatoes, unbelievably good! Mashed, roasted, fried, crushed, baked or boiled, all good!

Use the right potato for the right dish. Russet rules the mash world, but they are also great baked in foiled paper.

Red and/or purple potatoes are perfect for roasted in the oven.

Baby Yukon Gold boiled and cut open with butter inside, wow!

Blue potatoes make really nice gratin with Swiss cheese on top.

Mashed sweet potato with nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper is still a favorite in America.

The best thing is to try them all - you will soon find out your favorite, and then you can experiment with different flavours. Wasabi, Dijon mustard, horseradish, sun dried tomato or any cheese you can come up with!

“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.”
(Julia Child, 1912-2004)

The Chef in Stead - Website For Previous Chef Tips For comments or questions, you can reach Martin at 250-712-4440 or Email.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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