This is a greek recipe which my mother-in-law used to make, though I am sure some version is made in many western homes. It has gone out of fashion, a 70s recipe, along with shrimp cocktail and cheese and pineapple on a toothpick and stuck in a grapefruit. I remember when I served this at a small party just after first arriving here 40 years ago. K's friends sort of stared at that concoction in mystifying silence and no-one touched those darn toothpicks. I found out later that Greeks did not eat sweet and sour, ie cheese and pineapple, and that also they are not willing to even taste something different.
I don't experiment when cooking for locals. They do not appreciate it and will suspiciously poke anything unusual on their plate, ask mistrustingly, 'wot's this' and leave it there staring me in the face, reminding me that I will always be a foreigner.
-Minced beef 1/2 kilo (about a pound)
-Onion one, diced
-Garlic as much as you dare, diced
-Mustard a generous squirt
-Bread soaked in water a thick slice of stale bread, soaked and then squeezed so there is no extra water
-Thyme/oregano a little of both or only one, dried or fresh
-Egg , one
-Salt and pepper
Mix really well altogether in a bowl. I put my hands in there and give it a good massage
Add also about a cup of hot water so you've got enough sauce to use as gravy or use as the base of a gravy.
Accompany with cubed potatoes, boiled rice or mash
Bake about one hour and baste now and again with the sauce.
Yesterday I made fish soup and today I made the mix for fish cakes with the leftover fish and potatoes.
This is not a traditional greek recipe. Traditional people poke these with their fork, eventually push them to one side and ask if there is anything else to eat. They don't like fish pie either.
I love them.
-Cooked deboned fish
-boiled potatoes mashed with a fork
-salt and pepper
-one spoon of flour, may need slightly more flour if the mixture is very wet
-the zest of half a lemon
-chopped parsley or dill
Mix all this together with a fork till it is really well combined. Put into the fridge for an hour. I'm leaving mine overnight.
Form into little patties. Lightly flour and fry. Delish, with a slight lemony tang. Add a dollop of mayo or tartare sauce or whatever your heart desires.
Serve with a salad and drink a glass of chilled wine, red or white.