Monday, May 26, 2008

Last week we celebrated Kosta's name day. Because it landed on a Wednesday this year and we are actually in Greece, I wasn't sure how many people would stop by. I did know that MIL was coming over for sure and that I had to make a nice meal anyway. As it seems like I've been entertaining constantly for the last month I've gotten a little tired of my own recipes and wanted to try something different. Also, I didn't want to make anything too complex as my time was limited.

A few weeks ago my neighbor treated me to some potato salad that she'd made and I loved it. The ingredients were easily identified and it had an unbelievably fresh taste. So, I decided to make a potato salad and I wanted to come as close to her recipe as I could. I've been making a great potato salad for years and it calls for mayonnaise. Although it's delicious, sometimes it can be a little heavy. And, since it's been really warm here for the last week I thought that it'd be best to stick with lighter dishes.

I looked at several recipes on different blogs/sites that I frequent and I chose to make a recipe from Greek Food's -Nancy Gaifyllia. Her potato salad/patatosalata recipe calls for everything that I already have in my kitchen so it didn't require any additional shopping. I made it early in the day so that it would be ready for a meal later in the afternoon and I refrigerated it. I have to say, it was absolutely delicious. Because it was also a warm day, I'm glad that I chose to chill it because it was so refreshing. And, the best part of the whole patatosalata experience was eating it the next day. I think that salads like this are always better the next day. Anyway, we all loved this salad so much that I decided to make it again Saturday, as we were having yet another BBQ.

Now, our guests Saturday weren't just anybody...they happened to be a family that owns one of the best salad companies in Greece. Can you say intimidating? Yeah, I have to cook for the salad king. I stuck with simple, traditional recipes. My tzatziki turned out runny (of all days!-I don't think that I've ever made runny tzatziki!) and I was embarrassed. He said that it was probably because the cucumber wasn't fresh and that all of the water from it goes directly into the yogurt. (sigh---lessons from a master at the table...I appreciated it but I still wanted to hide). But, his input is helpful and I'll keep it in mind. You must be able to snap a cucumber in half, that's how you know that it's fresh. Ay!

He ate the meat and most of the salads. I noticed that he ate quite a bit of the patatosalata which put me at ease after the tzatziki lesson. Also, he couldn't get enough of our olive oil-knowing that it was ours he just kept soaking it up with his bread.

So, the salad was a hit. It's perfect for summer BBQs and picnics, although I'd make this salad any time of year.

Here's a picture from Wednesday:

Now here's a picture from yesterday afternoon. Alexandra was trying to serve herself some more of the leftover patatosalata:

Before I go I want to say that I hope everyone back home has a nice Memorial Day.I think that I have some Sweet Baby Ray's in my American food stash-I'm going to use it on chicken and grill it the way that my father taught us. I'm also going to open a can of corn and have some baked beans! The leftover potato salad will fit in well with my holiday menu. Again, enjoy your Memorial Day.


  1. Xronia Polla! Your spread looks pretty darn good to me (and I love your tri-corned bowls).Not to disagree with the salad king but, in my opinino, to prevent your tzatziki from being watery, you should always wring the moisture out of the cucumbers in a dish towel. It works like a charm every time! (And the picture isn't me, but is my best friend of 35 years!)

  2. I was wondering about the picture too, Laurie. At least, if you two are talking about the picture I think you're talking about.cqdxvf

  3. Oh, so that's why the word verification I typed didn't show up in the word verification box.

  4. Cheryl, that potato salad does look good. I've only had the vinegar-and-mint version of potato salad, and hadn't noticed Nancy's lemon-and-parsley version. I'll have to try it!

  5. Xronia polla to Kostas, I should have thought about it, he has the same name day as my sister-in-law (Eleni).

    I love potato salad, I might have to try this one.

    I have my doubts about the salad king, though. Every store bought tzatziki I've tried aside from what they sell from the counter at Arvanatides (Makedonia brand)is total crap. And I love tzat so I've tried them all!

    No Memorial Day celebrations here. We can't even cookout yet because we don't have a grill. We did have my brother-in-law and his wife over for a Eurovision party Saturday night though! It was a blast.

  6. Thanks Laurie, my spread was pretty tasty. The red bowl is actually a Tupperware bowl that I "won" last know I won that and a party at my house. I've used it for the holidays but it's such a nice red that I bring it out more often because the kids really like it. It's plastic so I'm always a little reserved about using know, I have that thing about plastic.
    Now about the cucumbers-until now, I've never heard of wringing a cucumber but I'll try it. I learned how to make tzatziki from MIL and she grates the cucumber right over the yogurt without wringing or anything.
    And yes, your friend is classy. How lucky you are to have had a friend for so long. That's really special.

    Lulu-LOL...the word verification thing. I always mess up typing it in because I can't always manage to figure out what each letter is supposed to be.
    Yes, the potato salad it worth a shot. I even dipped bread in the lemony oil on my plate. Very, very refreshing.

    Hey Mel! Thank you. I know, I might have missed a few people celebrating as well. I'm not used to having to recognize so many people on the same day yet.

    About the salad king...I haven't tried his tzatziki. I don't know if I'd like packaged/store bought tzatziki since we make it fresh all of the time. He gave us a whole box of his salads to try and I have to admit that I haven't even looked at what's there yet. I do know that there's also ketchup and mustard that he makes. His wife saw a bottle of Heinz on the table and said that I'd never use it again after I taste theirs. Hmmmm...not sure I can give up the Heinz-ever.
    Memorial day was recognized at dinner time and it was a hit. The kids were happy to have a totally American meal for once. Sweet Baby Ray's all the way baby!

  7. Heinz is my absolute favorite ketchup. If you compare labels, it's the only one (at least in the U.S.) where the second ingredient is vinegar rather than a sweetener. So it's zingier.

  8. Lulu, I totally agree. It is zingier. Just love my Heinz!