Ελληνική βραδιά

Sunday was/is family dinner night. I start the meal usually on Friday in some small way, certainly thinking about it, shopping maybe, going out to the Greek store of pick up feta cheese, for instance. Going a little more aggressively into the meal planning by Saturday, say, making dough for bread. And then Sunday morning it’s full steam ahead.

I’d been influenced, as I often am, by YouTube videos of one sort or another and decided on Greek food. I actually did go out to the Greek Store and bought olives, feta, and plakis gigantes, the giant white beans that are the basis for a really popular Greek dish with lemon, rosemary, cinnamon and tomatoes. (Recipe here) Akis Petretzikis is the (Greek, in case that is not clear) guy I watch from time to time and he made these beans which I’d had in Frankfurt and have never forgotten (obviously).

“Soak the beans from 12 to 24 hours.” Yeah, OK, that’s sort of loosey-goosey but fine. I did the entire 24, not wanting these bad boys to be crunchy. I followed the recipe exactly. Made the, uh, sauce, maybe, that the beans go in. I put the whole mess into a casserole as he instructs. And into the oven. An hour and 45 minutes later, just around dinner time, the beans . . . crunchy.

Instantpot saved the day. And the plakis gigantes were delicious.

Plakis gigantes

Giant beans. Greek beans. I’m sure everyone remembers when I had the giant beans at the Greek restaurant in Frankfurt. I didn’t either until I was scrolling through some recipe by my friend Akis and I saw this recipe and was immediately reminded of their fabulousness. Strangely this coincided with an invitation to a friend’s for dinner, a sort of pot luck, and our hostess is Greek. So, bang, Greek beans.

Akis is a YouTube chef and I like what he does. Everything he makes is the easiest, the best and the sexiest, (his words not mine) and I do like his food, and Greek food in general. This recipe though was way too complicated I thought. These beans should be very simple and the recipe is very complicated. I added the lemon zest he calls for against my better judgment and I should have listened to my better judgment. It didn’t add “brightness” it added sourness.

Nonetheless, I arrived at the party and my hostess took the beans from me and when dinner rolled around she refused to put them out saying she was keeping them for herself. Aside from tasting them when I made them, I didn’t get to eat them. Still, I was flattered, I guess.