I'm planning to do a Barbeque at the end of the month and I'd like to serve a variety of different 'Greek' style kebabs. I'm not looking for recipies, but what is the essence of creating grilled / barbeque food that tastes Greek. Whenever I have kebabs in Greece or in a Greek restaurant they taste different to kebabs I have had elsewhere but it's really difficult to tell what the difference is. One issue I think that might be important is the particualr mix of aromatic herbs such as Greek Basil. Does anyone else have any ideas what I can do?
The primary flavors of Greek meats are lemon, oregano, and olive oil. Typically either (or both) thyme and mint are present as well. I'd start with the following base for a marinade:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (2-ish lemons)
- 2 Tbsp oregano
- 1.5 tsp thyme
- 1.5 tsp mint
I'd also suggest adding some garlic and onion to this. Maybe 1/2 an onion and 4 cloves of garlic. Adding a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of red wine could add some depth as well (I'm assuming lamb or steak, use white for pork or chicken).
A good soak in this overnight, perhaps with some tweaks, should equate to Greek kebabs.
Other herbs & spices common in Greek cuisine include: marjoram, paprika (sweet & hot), and pepper. You can also find, in small quantities: cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, anise, coriander, fennel, and allspice.
In Greece, traditionally, they used Chicken or Goat as a white meat and lamb as a dark meat.
As for a marinade, try, Olive Oil, minced Garlic, fresh Tarragon and Oregano. I especially like this on Chicken.
Alternatively, try a Tarragon, Garlic and Yoghurt marinade. This is good on Goat or Lamb as the Yoghurt also acts as a tenderizer.
Leave it in the marinade for at least a couple of hours or preferably over night. Salt after you remove from the marinade.