After tonight's meal in Cyprus, I will have one more "C" country left to go: the Czech Republic! It feels so
invigorating to have nearly completed all 18 countries in this category! Next, I'll be cruising along into the "D" countries, of which there are only 4. YAY!
Cyprus (Nicosia)(AS)and/or(EU): This country has a fascinating history and culture. It is a divided island with the northern portion under Turkish control. This is referred to as "The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", but is only recognized as legitimate by Turkey itself. The Southern portion is an independent republic called, The Republic of Cyprus. The Republic of Cypress is in the process of becoming a part of the European Union, although this will not apply to the northern portion of the island under Turkish control. The capital, Nicosia, is divided by "The Green Line" in two parts, similar to the way Berlin was once divided. Access between the two parts of Cyprus has been restricted.http://gogreece.about.com/od/cyprus/a/fastfactscyprus.htm
The cuisine on the island of Cyprus is shaped by the island's Mediterranean climate, geography, and history. Reflecting the two dominant populations, Cypriot cuisine has evolved as a fusion of Greek and Turkish cuisines, with local twists on well-known dishes. Further influences are evident from the neighboring Levant countries, with similarity to Lebanese Cusisine There are remnants too of French, Italian, and Anglo-Saxon influences stemming from the island's occupation by the French Lusignans, the Venetians, and the British. Modern western cuisine (especially fast food) has an increasing influence on the day-to-day diet on the island. The names given to the foods of the Cypriot cuisine are different amongst the two dominant populations.
For tonight's meal, I chose to make souvla - skewered meat cooked on coal fire. The preparation and cooking of souvla is usually a man's job, women just prepare the salad and the baked potatoes, but in my house, that's not how it goes down. Cooking on a coal fire grill / rotisserie, called foukou, is the most common way to prepare souvla. Luckily, I just HAPPEN to have a beautiful foukou right in my back yard.
|Butterflied leg of lamb, which I cut up into cubes, and basted with fresh lemon juice and really good olive oil|
|Brush the olive oil before putting on the grill so the meat has time to absorb the fruity flavor|
|My rockin' fire pit. Note the great kindling wood scraps supplied by our awesome friend, Paul! Absolutely NO lighter fluid is needed: old newspaper, wood scraps and|
Cowboy hardwood charcoal - THE way to go: http://www.cowboycharcoal.com/
|Beautiful cherry tomatoes, ready to pick - they went into the salad still warm from the sun|
|A perfect cucumber for the Cyprus Village Salad - ignore the weeds, please|
|I ate about 20 cherry tomatoes right off the vines :)|
2 lbs meats lamb and / or pork and chicken
|My guard dog, BuddyBoy, had to check to make sure they were safe - A-Okay|
|Paul Cook - our friend, carpenter, bicycle fixer, and kindling supplier - Thanks for everything, Paul!|
|I barely use this dinosaur anymore|
|Now THAT's what I'm talkin' about - the smell of the meat roasting was sublime|
|DO NOT over cook your lamb!!|
|Lamb Souvla and Cyprus Village Salad - a perfect summer dinner|
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil mixed with the juice of 1 fresh lemon
finely ground coriander seeds (optional)
1. Cut the meat into big chunks and season to taste.
2. Pass meat evenly through thick metal skewers so that it won't slip down while on the coal fire grill (foukou). Place the skewers over high fire on the foukou.
Cyprus Village Salad