National BBQ Month: Souvlaki & Hatzidakis Santorini VQPRD

Happy National BBQ Month – now if only the weather will stay BBQ weather!

In our minds just because it’s BBQ doesn’t mean it has to be lathered in BBQ sauce! Greek’s love to grill – some of the best grilled food I’ve ever had was in the Aegean Islands.
Let’s start with chicken souvlaki:

Ingredients:-

  • 1 Kg or2 lb of chicken cut into 2.5 cm or inch cubes
  • 110ml or ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 Pitta breads
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper and oregano seasoning
  • Tzaziki

Method:-

Make up the marinade in a bowl using the olive oil, the juice of two of the lemons, salt and pepper, throw in the pork and allow to marinade for at least one hour. Thread the chicken onto wooden skewers and grill for about 10 minutes turning occasionally to ensure the kebab is cooked on all sides. In the meantime, place the pittas on the grill and warm them through taking care not to toast them.

When the meat is done, dip them in a long glass containing the remaining lemon juice (or brush it on) and then holding a pitta bread in one hand empty the skewer contents in it removing the skewer. Sprinkle with oregano and salt, spoon on some tzatziki and your souvlaki is ready to eat.

You may notice tzaziki is an accompaniment to this dish:

Ingredients:-

  • 1 medium cucumber peeled and finely chopped
  • 225ml or ½ pint yoghurt
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method:-

Pour the yogurt into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Give it a stir and chill for at least one hour to let the flavours come together.

Now what to serve with this dish you may ask? The answer is easy. BBQ weather generally means high temperatures so, naturally you and your guests will be looking for something on the chilled and lighter side. Assyrtiko can be a full bodied wine on it’s own but when blended with Athiri and Aidani to create the popular a popular blend of the island, this wine is perfect for relaxing and pairing with food such as souvlaki and tzaziki.

For today, I recommend the Hatzidakis Santorini VQPRD. Pale straw color and fruit driven aromas. On the palate the wine is full of the fresh minerality and citrus that is indicative of wines from the islands which makes it perfect company for souvlaki’s salty, grilled character. The cucumber and yogurt in the tzaziki  play off the light character of the wine as well.

Can’t you just imagine indulging over the cliffs of Oia at sunset?

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