Last month I did a cooking demo for a Food Safari Tour, called A Greek Odyssey. This is a tour run by Maeve O’Meara from the television show of the same name in Australia. This is one choice in a feast of tours you can join when in Sydney. This tour lets small groups of people look behind the scenes of where Greek food artisans and providores, live, cook and work. I am not Greek but, I wanted to demonstrate some traditional Greek food with a modern twist
I needed to make a dish that was very quick , interesting, that was pretty obviously Greek in nature. I came up with this skewer. It has Quail breast and haloumi marinated in olive oil, lemon and oregano. Almond Skordalia gives it a crunchy base and a punch of garlic and a Greek salad “salsa” completes the picture.
After speaking to Karl Fraser from Game Farm, I decided to use some of their fabulous Quail breasts. There are about 14 or so boned skin on Quail breast fillets in a pack, perfect for skewering or pan frying
Game Farm is owned and run by Australians and has been in business now for well over 15 years. What I like about Game Farm is that they continually strive to provide new and interesting products to restaurants and for us in retail, and I have known Karl since he delivered the products himself (enough said) . Check out their website for recipes and products . What about this cute idea the”Quail Tulip”( right) . Legs frenched and prepared skin on. I love quail and the boneless breasts are a very special way to eat it. Karl says , with a laugh that Australians, it seems, would rather peel a prawn than peel a Quail. So they are finding lots of ways to appeal to our lazy nature. You can find lots of their products in Woolworths and speciality poultry stores. We sometimes buy the boned duck Breast fillets to pan sear with five spice and salt and even my teenager likes them!!
So to the Greek dish…… did they like it, did the tiny Greek Salsa work?
Yes I think they liked it.
Grilled, ready to serve Karl Frazer Game Farm’s Quail recipe book
For the Marinade you will need;
- 1 x 400gm pkt (Game Farm ) Quail Breasts ( if unavailable use chicken thigh fillets)
- 2 lemons
- 1 bunch Oregano picked
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1/2 to 1 cup olive oil (or Lemon oil, I used Alto)
Put all the Quail into a container Roughly chop oregano. Half and slice 1 lemon and juice the other mix with oil, crushed garlic and add to the Quail. Marinate 1 hour to overnight.
Skordalia- or Greek Garlic Dip
- 50 gm crustless bread (1-2 slices)
- 50 ml milk (3 1/2 tbsp)
- 50 gm almonds ( blanched)(3 1/2 tablsp)
- 1 x clove garlic
- 200 ml Australian olive oil ( or lemon oil)(1 cup)
- juice of 1 lemon or approx 50-60 ml. (4 tblsp)
Put the bread in the milk till soaked, squeeze and set aside. Put the almonds into the food processor and pulse until evenly broken down. Add the bread, garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and puree, adding olive oil in a steady stream until nearly all of it is incorporated. Stop the machine and clean down the sides. Check for seasoning and the consistency of the mix. It should be loose and dippable yet not too runny. The sauce will need to be stirred to reincorporate the oil if it is left for too long. The dip will retain it’s crunchy texture and nutty taste.
Greek Salad Salsa
- 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into small dice
- 1 Lebanese cucumber cut into dice the same size as the tomatoes
- 1/2 Spanish onion, washed ( blanched)
- 1 Tablsp chopped parsley
- 2 Tablespoons lemon or olive oil
- 50 gm chopped Kalamata olives (3 1/2 Tablesp)
- Salt and pepper a
- juice of 1/2 lemon
Combine the tomato, cucumber, parsley and olives. Chop the onion into fine dice. Put into a bowl and add boiling water sitting for several minutes before draining and refreshing with cold water. This ensures that the onion doesn’t overpower the other ingredients in the dish. As the salsa sits it will be more flavourful , and the tomatoes will form part of the dressing with their juices.
To Serve as a starter
- Thread the Quail and the Haloumi onto skewers with a piece of lemon. Oil the grill well then cook in a grill pan or BBQ plate for two minutes each side. Spread some Skordalia onto a plate and put a skewer on top. Put a spoon of Salad salsa on top.
To serve as a canape
- Oil and grill some sour dough bread . Cook the Quail breasts till golden, rest then slice in half. Spread some skordalia onto each toast , put a piece of quail on top with some salsa. Serve immediately.
A list of what stores stock the Quail breast fillets can be obtained directly from Game Farm