I get to satisfy my longing for the past each year when the Oscar Awards are handed out. When I think of Academy Awards and Greek movies, movies with Greek themes, or even just movies with a vague Greek connection, I don't think of fat weddings. My thoughts go back to 1964.
In 1964, the movie Zorba the Greek, filmed here on Crete, was in the running for seven Oscars. I was absolutely certain Anthony Quinn would take the best actor award. He didn't - a great injustice, I thought, although the film did win three awards. With a stong feeling of nostalgia, it's great fun to plan a Greek Oscar party as a tribute to Zorba.
I've got movie posters, the soundtrack, and even a copy of the DVD to fill the time between fabulous red carpet moments. But the real Greek atmosphere is in the food!
True to the Greek tradition of eating while enjoying the company of friends and great conversation (after all, we have to talk about the stars, the clothes, the winners... and losers), here is a selection of meat and vegetable mezethes - small plates of exquisite tastes to be shared by everyone. Each plate contains just a small amount so that the food isn't overwhelming and it doesn't become the center of attention. After all, this is Oscar night!
- Drunkard's Meze (pork cooked in wine)*: Bekri Meze
- Greek Bruschetta: Lathovrekto in a variety of choices
- Purée of Yellow Split Peas*: Fava - a golden color, perfect for Oscar!
- Cocktail Meatballs: Keftethakia
- Batter-Fried Zucchini**: Kolokythakia Tiganita
- Fried Potatoes: Patates Tiganites... a standard
- Sauteed Liver Morsels*: Sykotakia Tiganita
- Eggplant Dip*: Melitzanosalata
- Herbed Baked Beans*: Yigantes plaki
and of course...
- Feta Cheese: no table would be complete without it.
* - can be made ahead of time; for dishes served warm, heat in microwave
Pair this selection of mixed meats and vegetables with a dry Greek rosé wine, perhaps an Agioritiko. For non-drinkers, the beverages traditionally served at Greek meals are water, sparkling water, and soda water.
Round out your table with lots of crusty bread (and some toasted wedges of pita bread if you like), some Greek olives, lemon wedges, salt and pepper, and, for a truly Greek touch (this will be appreciated especially by those who are of Greek descent or who have visited Greece), some toothpicks!
A few great choices for dessert:
- Thick Greek Yogurt Drizzled with Honey, or
- Sweet Cheese Pies (make them ahead and freeze until ready to use) drizzled with honey, or...
- pull out all the stops and go for Galaktoboureko, a delicious golden custard wrapped in phyllo sheets and baked to perfection.
Serve dessert with strong Greek coffee to help your guests stay awake through the long Oscar ceremonies!
Need some vegetarian alternatives? Check the list of vegetarian appetizers and mezethes.
Stars Pick Favorite Greek Foods
At the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, television and movie stars and celebrities talked about their favorite Greek foods.