GREECE - EARLY FALL 2006
WHAT'S COOKING WITH KURT
Another terrific Northwest summer is winding down, bringing fall with its ‘back to school’ excitement, football weekends, and mountain hikes amid golden aspen. The changing seasons make us think about gathering together family and friends for hearty meals. We’ve made it easy to serve the gang with some delicious ready to heat and eat dishes starring classic Greek recipes made with our distinctive Pasta & Co twists. Based on the unanimous enthusiasm of our store managers, we looked to Greece and its wholesome, boldly flavored Mediterranean cuisine to inspire our autumn deli menu. What’s not to like about food that uses fresh, seasonal ingredients in simple preparations? In researching recipes, we learned Greek cooks love to serve good food to family and friends. They’re also just as aware as we are at Pasta & Co about the benefits of a healthful Mediterranean-style diet using olive oil, olives, lots of vegetables and fruit, seafood, carefully selected herbs and spices to enhance each dish, and handcrafted, artisanal cheeses and breads. Our commitment to pure foods without additives or artificial ingredients of any kind parallels the same philosophy underlying Greek cuisine. Make it fresh, make it simple and pure, and make it flavorful. Always use the best ingredients. Come taste what we’ve prepared to make your autumn meals exciting and delicious. You won’t need a passport, just a good appetite!
Yours in good taste,
THE FLAVORS OF GREECE
Covered with rugged mountains and lying at the crossroads of Europe and Asia Minor with Athens at its center, the Greek or Hellenic peninsula pokes numerous fingers into the Mediterranean, Aegean and Ionian Seas. In these turquoise waters lie a multitude of islands—Milos, Mykonos, Delos, Santorini, Naxos, Crete, Corfu, and Rhodes—to name a few of the 2,000 large and small outcroppings that are also part of Greece. The country’s rugged terrain with limited farmland, a hot climate, and small rural villages and towns never more than 50 miles from the sea, along with its history as once the center of Western civilization, is key to flavorful Greek cuisine. Since pastureland to raise animals is scarce and since the sea is so close, Greek cooks rely on vegetables and fruit with fish and shellfish to create their rich cuisine, using what is seasonal and nearby. Some say we owe salads and the custom of eating seasonal greens to the early Greeks. Other essential ingredients in Greek cooking include olives and olive oil, lemons, honey, a little meat, which is generally lamb, locally-produced breads, and tangy hard and soft cheeses made from sheep or goats’ milk. In short, it’s the classic Mediterranean diet, a diet recognized and praised as one of the healthiest in the world. We’ve tapped this unique culinary heritage with recipes representing the best of Greek cuisine to bring you mouthwatering Pasta & Co dishes with authentic flavor.
INSPIRED BY GREECE: DELI ITEMS FOR FALL
Our early fall menu at Pasta & Co is bursting with great-tasting deli items inspired by flavorful Greek dishes. The hardest part might be choosing which one or two to try first. They’re all that good! You can create a meal around our GREEK STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS. We’ve stuffed boneless chicken breasts with Beecher’s Blank Slate cheese mixed with an olive tapenade, chopped artichokes hearts, fresh thyme and oregano. Baked until tender, these chicken breasts are a perfect main course accompanied by a green salad and crusty bread.
For supper on the first cold fall night, take home our savory LAMB STEW made Greek-style with chunks of lamb, blanched garlic (to sweeten garlic’s bite) and tomatoes in a rich sauce made with white wine, tomatoes, and the meat’s own juices. Top each serving with a spoonful of HOUSE-MADE ROASTED LEMON SALSA. A versatile condiment made from roasted, chopped lemon, scallions, and olive oil, it adds a fresh lemony snap to savory dishes such as lamb or fish. There’s also PASTITSIO, a meat and pasta pie made by layering spiced ground beef, pasta and béchamel sauce in the style of lasagna. Baked to a golden brown, it’s total Greek comfort food.
No one does vegetables better than they do in Greece. That said, Pasta & Co’s new Greek-inspired vegetable deli dishes will thrill local veggie fans. We’re serving SPANIKOPITA MINUS THE PHYLLO as a side dish. Take home extra, because this creamy blend of spinach and feta cheese seasoned with dill and spiked with sautéed yellow and green onions is a winner. BRIAM is based on another classic Greek vegetable dish. Its medley of roasted summer vegetables—eggplant, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes—seasoned with cumin, oregano, and garlic, and splashed with olive oil is wonderful on its own with brown rice or served as a side dish. And move over French fries! Our crisp ZUCCHINI FRITTERS are irresistible. Made with shredded zucchini mixed with green onions, feta and Parmesan cheeses, dill and mint, they’re cooked in olive oil until golden brown and finger lickin’ good. If you’re looking for a spread with real Mediterranean personality, try SKORDALIA. A traditional Greek spread, it blends breadcrumbs, potatoes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and capers. Delicious!
GIVE US A CALL AND DRIVE AWAY WITH GREAT FOOD!
Pasta & Co’s Catering to Go is a terrific solution for all your at-home and business entertaining needs. Celebrate fall holidays: Labor Day (9/4) and Halloween (10/ 31). Give us a call 48 hours ahead to order from our selection of delicious appetizers, cheeses and desserts. You can round out a menu, choose hors d’oeuvres for a wine and cheese party, or order an impressive spread for your next business meeting. We’ll have restaurant-quality fare ready at your scheduled pick-up time. Call or stop by for complete ordering details, and check out the Catering to Go menu at www.pastaco.com.
GREEK INSPIRATION FOR MORE COOKING ADVENTURES
Discover more about the fascinating, delicious world of Greek cooking by exploring the pages of THE OLIVE AND THE CAPER by Susanna Hoffman. We’re all enthusiastic about this extensive collection of contemporary Greek recipes and lore certain to inspire Greek cooking—and eating—adventures at home. This cookbook is guaranteed to open a world of good taste with authentic Greek flair and flavor.
STOCKING A GREEK PANTRY
No pantry is complete without a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Our choice for this staple raises the bar one rung higher: ORGANIC OLIVE OIL from Greece. Produced by Eleona, this premium olive oil won top marks from Pasta & Co’s Culinary Council gurus for its taste. Richly flavorful with a clear, smooth olive taste, it captures the essence of sun-drenched olive groves along the Mediterranean. For table use when you want to dress a salad or drizzle an olive oil for a dipping sauce, choose the curvaceous OLIVE OIL CRUET from Morea. Its golden green extra virgin olive oil contents will enhance many foods. Round out your Greek pantry with a jar of Eleona CHALKIDIKI GREEK OLIVES. Packed in flavorful olive oil, they’re perfect at impromptu gatherings paired with a glass of Merlot or Shiraz and toasted almonds.