I’ve roasted a whole lamb on the spit many times…mostly for Greek Easter but there’s the odd occasion when it’s done to celebrate as well. The tradition of roasting whole on the spit came from Roumeli (central Greece) but this method of cooking lamb became so popular that Greeks from all over Greece have embraced this method, especially on Easter Sunday.
I decided to center last weekend’s Greek Supper Club around a whole spit-roasted lamb for those that have never experienced it and for those who may not have that many guests over for Easter to justify roasting a whole lamb. Greeks know their way around lamb and goat and although the concept is simple…there are always variables like the weather, wind, hot or cold, size of animal, fat content and heat of charcoal vs. height of roasting lamb.
Last week’s dinner was held at the Cherry Street Restaurant, an old bank turned into an eatery and owned/operated by Louie Anagnostakos. Louie also urged me to do the lamb on the spit as he bought this killer rotisserie and he wanted have someone christen it with its first use. Enter “kalofagas”.
Dinner guests sat outside on the patio, admiring a great view of the Toronto from the Portlands area, the weather was mild and pleasant, the dinner company cordial, food – delicious!
All courses were paired with Greek wines from Kolonaki Group and we opened up the bar selection to have our guests choose from either Thalia red, white or rose, Kechribari Retsina and Alfa Beer.
Below is a recap of the courses and finally a slideshow that captures the essence of the evening. A big thank you to our servers Sangeetha, Amanda and Thurka. Paula Costa of Dragons Kitchen for her tireless support in planning and executing these dinners, John Douldouras of Neo Image Lighting for providing the evening’s ambiance with candles and an evening ambiance.
Thanks again to Thurka for doing double-duty and taking some fantastic photos during dinner, the staff at the Cherry Restaurant were most helpful, made us all feel at home at the Cherry and thanks again Louie for allowing me to cook there.
Jerked Pork Gyro Sliders & Slaw. I love jerk marinades and it works wonderfully with pork butt – the preferred cut for making Gyro. I marinated the pork, cooked and thinly sliced the meat to resemble Gyro. I inserted the met in baguettes and added some coleslaw to cut the richness.
First Course – Greek Gazpacho With Feta & Olive Oil Ice Cube, Homemade Bread. I love this soup…it’s really a Greek village salad in soup form with my own little twist of garnishing with an olive oil ice cube.
Second Course – Grilled Manouri Salad with Crispy Sweetbreads & Kalamata Olive Dressing. I love Manouri cheese, a whey cheese mildly salty, buttery and great on the grill. The dressing was made of finely chopped Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes and for some crunch and keep with the lamb theme…crispy fried sweetbreads finished the dish.
Main: Whole Ontario Lamb on the Spit *(Souvla). Tzatziki, Greek Roast Potatoes & warm bean salad. Dinner guests were witness to two styles of lamb on the spit: one being the whole lamb and the other being the Cypriot style souvla where large chunks of leg and shoulder are slow roasted on a spit. Side dishes were Greek roast potatoes and warm bean salad.
Dessert: Trigona Panoramatos filled with Creme Patisserie with Toasted Almonds. This is a Thessaloniki specially where phyllo triangles are baked then hollowed out. Then you dunk them in a Baklava-type of syrup and finally, they get filled with a creme patisserie and garnished with toasted almonds.
Thank you to the almost 50 guests in attendance, I look forward to seeing you at my next dinner on July 17th at the Burroughes Terrace. We’ll be once again dining outdoors, with another great view of the city and we’ll enjoy a menu and wine list entirely from Santorini! Seats are now on sale and the dinner is already half-sold!
. All rights reserved.