Filo – ing Groovy 

I watched a programme recently featuring the chef Rick Stein traveling around somewhere hot, during which he passed through Greece. He made a dish that looked really cool and also was shown a variation of a moussaka that looked quite interesting.

I thought I would try the Greek dish this evening and make it for lunch tomorrow. In keeping with with general and unsustainable madness that I posted about yesterday, I am currently running at four desserts: two traditional and two new, one of which is the Greek one that Rick made.

I can imagine the frustration that people who do not cook much feel while trying to follow a TV recipe. It would be equal to mine this evening dealing with bloody filo pastry. I mean, what is the point of having paper-thin sheets of pastry if you are going to pour butter all over them anyway?

When you buy filo, it is frozen and folded. Repeatedly. But it is so fragile and I have giant, football goalkeeper hands. As patient as I try to be when working with filo, as many damp tea towels as I drape over ‘the package’ I invariably tear the filo and end up wrenching chunks of the stuff which float away like autumn leaves from my hands.

When Rick makes the dessert it looks so easy: he is able to make a custard by separating eggs and then fold the beaten egg whites miraculously into the custard despite the instruction to stir it constantly for twenty minutes. How did he get the egg whites fluffy while doing that, eh? And what about the pastry? He is also able to pour the mixture with folded egg whites into a pan with the filo pastry all buttered and untorn absolutely ready do do his bidding.

I hate Rick Stein. How is this possible unless he has around eight arms?

It probably is possible. Greek food is generally simple and should be do-able, but whenI take filo out of the freezer and slide it out of its packet, I know that only misery lies ahead.

I also ran out of melted butter – I always seem to run out of melted butter – and also because I have a smallish kitchen and have managed to cover every available surface with STUFF, it is quite a trick to manage melted butter, sheets of pastry which are fragile and breaking -and huge, boiling tubs of milk and egg whites-a whisking. Is it the twelfth day of Xmas? because it should be.

I added a bottle of wine to the recipe, which I drank from.

Anyway, somehow we are here, I have a Greek desert which looks really interesting sitting in its tin and the other bits of filo are wrestled back into ther box in the freezer.

Just the orange sugar syrup to do tomorrow. Should be simple. As long as Rick is doing it.

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