By Meni from Mary's Kitchen
Born in Australia to Greek parents, Melbourne-based cook Meni Valle grew up surrounded by tradition and a love of food. Meni gained her teaching qualification while raising her young family and teaches Food Studies. She has presented at The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Masterclass sharing her knowledge and passion for Greek home cooking. A love of travel, a rich Greek heritage and great skill in the kitchen has seen Meni become one of Australia’s most-respected authorities on Mediterranean cuisine. She often spends time in Greece where she learns new techniques and recipes to add to her kitchen. She teaches Mediterranean style cooking in Melbourne, sharing her love for food with others and presents at festivals and conferences on the Mediterranean diet. Meni’s first book ‘My Greek Kitchen’ is about the food she grew up with and her desire for preserving culture. She loved to cook with her mother and the importance of home cooking has become a big part of her life. Meni continues to collect recipes and stories from the people she meets along the way. She contributes to magazines regularly and runs culinary tours in Greece.
Meni’s new cookbook ‘Ikaria’, published by Hardie Grant will be released in September, 2020 and will also be available to purchase from Grecian Purveyor.
Mageritsa - Greek Easter Lamb Offal Soup
The main Easter Sunday meal has typically been an occasion to slaughter a lamb or goat, and this soup, mageiritsa, was created to use the leftover parts of the animal, so that nothing went to waste. Mageiritsa is made on Holy Saturday and eaten after the midnight church service when everyone returns home.
Traditionally in this soup you would use lamb, intestines, tripe, heart, liver and kidneys. The lamb would be cooked on a spit for Easter lunch. To give it an authentic flavour without all of these I use only the liver and kidneys, about 500 grams in total is enough.
I don’t like to add rice or noodles in this soup, but you can if you prefer, I prepare it simply with meats and herbs.
250 grams lamb livers
250 grams lamb kidney
Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Organic First Press Ladi Biosas - Kalamata
½ cup dill, finely chopped
½ cup spring onions, finely sliced
½ iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
½ cup medium grain rice (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste - Salt Odyssey Natural Salt Flakes
Egg and lemon sauce
To dress with finishing oil - Sakellaropoulos Lemon and Thyme organic flavoured olive oil
Wash the offal well and cut into pieces. Place in a saucepan with 3 litres of water and bring to boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, drain (reserving the liquid) and let cool.
In a large saucepan heat the olive oil, add the dill, spring onions and lettuce. Sauté a little. Add the liver and kidney, seasonings, along with the reserved water, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, then add rice (if you are adding rice) and cook until both the meat and rice are cooked.
Allow to cool while making the egg and lemon sauce.
Lightly beat the egg whites in a small bowl, add the yolks and beat a little more to combine well. Pour in the lemon juice gradually, beating as you add. Slowly add a little stock from the soup to the egg and lemon mixture, continually mixing well as you go. Once you have added about a cup full of stock pour the sauce into your soup, stirring well so it does not curdle.
Finish off with a good drizzle of Sakellaropoulos Lemon and Thyme organic flavoured olive oil... simply delicious!
If you enjoyed this recipe, then head over to https://www.maryskitchen.com.au for more authentic Greek recipes.