Every time I visit Greece I encounter a new, warped translation, funny spelling flubs or something literally translated from Greek to English.
On the Greek Islands, you will often find very helpful wait staff who are eager to take your order.
“Yes Please”?, asks the waiter…he/she has offered to be of service to you. The Greek way of saying “may I help you” is “Parakalo” but often literally translated as “YES PLEASE”.
Greece is nowhere near perfect when it comes to serving it’s tourists but at least you’ll often be greeted by a menu that will show the restaurant’s offerings in your language (something I found to be absent in many other tourist destinations).
You might, however, still have some difficulty reading the English menu as some food items get, well…lost in translation.
Greeks are apt to offer a menu of Greek classics and and some international dishes to appease the homesick traveler. I often see “Gordon Blue” on such menus.
I think that many Greek proprietors, in their haste to add an international dish and keep up with their competition, have hastily copied a menu item lost in translation, such as the Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Cordon Bleu is a stuffed chicken breast that’s rolled and usually filled with ham and Swiss cheese.
I’ve had this dish often when grabbing a quick lunch away from home but I was triggered by the memory of seeing “Gordon Blue” in Greece and I thought I’d save you all the trouble from ordering it if you go there (Greece).
Folks, if you’re going to travel to some new, foreign land…for heaven’s sake…embrace the local cuisine. I cringe when I see folks from the west cramming into a McD’s or ordering something off the menu like a fast-food chain burger.
Try the local cuisine. Ask the server for help with choosing your order. Ask for the specials. The day’s features are usually of fresh, seasonal produce and you’re going to get a dish that’s probably made with some heart from the kitchen staff.
Meanwhile, back here in Canada…I’m 6 months away from taking my vacation and I do still enjoy trying out different cuisines and some old classics. Chicken Cordon Bleu is easy, it’s healthy and it looks snazzy for a weeknight meal.
The Cordon Bleu did not remain as a leftover meal. The chicken breast was moist, some ham gave it a taste contrast and the Swiss some tang. I enjoyed the cream sauce (which actually didn’t need much cream) and I finished it off with some chopped tarragon.
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of Swiss cheese
4 slices of ham
1/4 cup flour
slat and pepper
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup whipping cream
3 Tsp. dry tarragon
- Rinse and pat dry your chicken fillets. Butterfly each chicken breast (Place chicken breast on the cutting board with thickest part furthest from you).
- With a sharp meat knife, slicing away from you, cut horizontally through the breast meat with out cutting all the way through so that you have one large thin piece of breast.)
- Lay Swiss cheese on half of the breast. Top with ham. Roll up breast starting with the cheese side. Use a tooth pick to secure the end to the roll. Sprinkle flour and paprika onto a piece of wax paper and roll the breast until coated.
- Place in hot oil, working from the outside of the pan in. Keep turning until all sides are brown. Remove from pan. Pour wine and chicken stock into the pan and completely deglaze (get all the brown bits off of the bottom of the pan).
- Return chicken to pan. Cover and simmer, at low, turning occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- Add the cream and reduce for another 5 minutes, until thick. Stir in your tarragon and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve with potatoes or rice and mixed vegetables.
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