Best Dish: Jo!

jooooooooooooooo

Meet Jo! I look up to Jo. She’s greek, a super hot mama, an amazing friend to everyone we both know, and someone I love learning from. She is my Supervisor – officially – , but I love her so much I can’t bring myself to use such a boring word when referring to her! The best part is she’s an amazing cook and the person we all turn to at work when we’re in need of a little dinner inspiration! oh, and did I mention she’s greek? I did? Good, because she is and that means she knows how to make all sorts of delicious, enchanting greek goodies!

When Jo first told me her Best Dish was SLOW ROASTED GREEK LAMB SHOULDER (ahhh!!) I thought it might not be a good fit for this column.  It sounded too classy, too professional for what I’m trying to do here. But she swore up and down that it was easy, breezy  beautiful cover girl and, because I love Jo, I trusted her.

She was having family over last Saturday and we both thought it was the perfect time to document it all. And perfect it was! Look at that lamb! Who needs Hellenic Republic when you’ve got a  boss lady that can cook like Jo? …. (this was meant to be a rhetorical question, but the answer is probably everyone. Some times you’re really tired and don’t want to do dishes.)

Okay, here we go!

SONY DSCSONY DSC

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

First you’ll need to find a weekend when you dedicate 4 1/2 hours to making this baby. Second you’ll need to have lamb shoulder, 2 lemons, 1 garlic bulb (separate 3 garlic cloves out of the bulb, unpeeled), rosemary, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper on hand. You’ll also need clean hands, an oven proof dish, baking paper and aluminum foil.

Please turn your oven to 170 degrees. Now, to start make a layer of garlic cloves at the bottom of the dish, then place your lamb shoulder on top. Try to space out as evenly as possible. Then salt and pepper, as appropriate to your, and your families liking. Drizzle olive oil on top. Add in the rosemary and oregano.

Form small holes into the lamb and stab the garlic cloves in. Cut your lemons into quarters, squeeze some of their juice on top, and find a place for them within the lamb shoulder. Yes! It’s all happening now. You’re basically done!

Now, wrap the lamb shoulder in baking paper, place them back in the dish and cover with aluminum foil. Then slide the baking dish into the oven, pour yourself some red wine and catch up with friends.

Every time you get a whiff of lamb you should check it. You want it to stay in there for about 4 1/2 hours though so don’t worry too much, it’s probably fine. You know me, I don’t trust ovens. Fast forward all those short hours and BEEEEEEP it’s all done! Your dish should smell like heaven? Oh, you don’t know what that smells like? Well, now you do! Take the aluminum foil and baking paper off. I would dip each piece of lamb in that juicy, flavory sauce at the bottom of the dish while cutting them apart, but that’s just me. I’m an animal.

Serve separated and with newly quatered lemons to be crowned the belle of the ball!

 

That Donkey is Not Your Friend

The only thing I don’t recommend you do in Greece is: Ride the donkeys.

Sure, go see the donkeys but remember they are not your friends. You will not be able to control these little devils. They will ram you into the stone wall until your leg gets scratched up and rashy. I’m not being a baby… it hurts!

Also, they don’t like to, even lazily, move around other tourists, they love to walk straight at them. I had to apologize to every tourist trying to enjoy the amazing view of Santorini.

The last reason not to do this is that no one who is Greek actually does this. Every time we shared  our experience with tan, dark and handsome Greek man they thought we were crazy. It’s for tourists

If you don’t take my advice and pay 5 Euros for one of these suckers, don’t grab the railings when your donkey forces you against the wall. There is a huge probability you will fall over the edge.

I’m convinced they (the donkeys) do this as pay back for making them stand perfectly still in rows of up to hundreds for hours, probably days.

Something I recommend you do in Greece: Rent an ATV/4 wheeler for the day!

Yes, rent it for the entire day. Before we even landed in Greece we were both forbidden to rent an ATV, and forced to promise we’d try it.

We passed on them in Mykonos, but in Santorini it seemed safer and less complicated to get around so we went for it.

The average price for one four wheeler is about 20 Euros + gas but it’s worth every penny to see the city in that way. We had ours for just two hours, leaving from Kamari Beach to the red sand beach and back. It was perfect, our salted hair was flowing in the wind, our helmets didn’t fit, the engines kept back firing, we had a map but got lost, we pulled over whenever we wanted to see the views, got thumbs up for being two girls on one 4 wheeler. To be honest, it ended up being my favorite part of the trip. Yes, way better than the donkeys.

It really took the beauty of Santorini to another level. I felt I was within it all instead of just someone passing through and looking in from a bus window. If (“when”) I get back there, I’ll rent a 4 wheeler for my entire stay.

Side note: Public Transportation is excellent in Santorini. Only 1.60 euros, clean, always on time and available to every destination you’re looking for.

Nammos in Mykonos Was Were We Belonged.

Nammos is a Must Do if you ever find yourself hungry and looking for a good time in Mykonos, Greece. I know both of those are guaranteed, so no excuses!

My trip to Greece was planned using a very strict budget, this meant we would only treat ourselves to one luxurious meal. Nammos was it.

It’s about a 10 minute, 10 Euro taxi ride from the center of Mykonos to Nammos in Psaruo Beach. As you walk through a small corridor the energy instantly hits you. You’ll hear the music pounding, keep walking and you’ll start to see the exotic scenery; a fully open white and straw seating area, soft sand, and sparkling water illuminating Nammo’s elegant guests. It’s the absolute best place to start off that Greek fantasy we’ve all had.

We sat on the all white porch looking out onto the beach. Once we got over how simply, yet effectively beautiful each table was decorated, we ordered a bottle of white wine and concentrated on the menu.

There was no way we could afford to pay 100 Euros for fish, even if we split it. If you can afford it, good on you! I hope to one day go back and try it. We did what any thrifty food consumer would; share and order a few light plates. After sitting in the sun feeling all hot and bothered, salads, seafood, and appetisers was exactly what we wanted anyway.

Our waiter noticed our terrible decision making skills and came to our rescue. We turned down a few dishes that were over a price range, but he got the hint.

We ended up with the most delicious Octopus and Potato Salad (packed with tomatoes, onions, anchovies and capers in a Olive Oil dressing) I’ve ever had, a Fried Eggplant and Feta Cheese Mille Feuille, and fried Zuccini fries.

Have you ever had a meal where you comment on how delicious it is once every minute or find yourself nodding uncontrollably to your friend every time you take a bite? That was this meal!

We completely milked it too. We thought our bottle of wine gave us the right to stay as long as we wanted. We danced to the music and people watched (more like admired the girls in string bikinis confidently dancing around) for at least 3 hours. We didn’t want to go, Nammos was were we belonged.

We finally snapped back to reality when the bill came. Maybe it was the wine or the music or the gorgeous tan men, but the bill was about 50 euros more than we estimated. For the sake of sounding like a “thrifty” tourist: they charged us 6 euros for water and 6 euros for bread we didn’t ask for or eat. After the initial shock wore away; we built ourselves a sand castle and got over it. It was all worth it.

The truth is Nammos is a place I will always remember, and recommend to anyone travelling to Mykonos! When you visit, please try the octopus and potato salad, please. For me.