Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in South Bend is hosting a School of Mediterranean Cookery class May 4, featuring a five-course traditional Greek meal. Attendees will receive recipes for each dish and see them prepared, then feast on the results.
The goal of the class, hosted by the church’s Hellenic Cultural Society, is to teach people about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and give them a taste of the rich food culture that comes from Greek heritage.
“Greek food is unadulterated for the most part, keeping as close to the original form as possible,” said Spyro Sinis-Terezis, one of the event’s organizers. “Seasonings are minimal, there’s not a lot of creamy sauces. Just salt, pepper, lemon and oregano.”
The Mediterranean diet is considered among the most heart-healthy diets in the world, thanks to its emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruits, seafood, whole grains and healthy fats. In Greece, meat is reserved mainly for special occasions, protein comes in the form of nuts and beans, and portions are always kept small. Dessert is typically fresh fruit and honey instead of creamy, sugary confections.
“We use lots of vegetables, especially greens, and it’s all fresh,” Sinis-Terezis said. “And in Greece, it’s often coming right out of the garden.
The menu for the May 4 class includes Spanakopita, Lamb Fricassee, lemon oregano potatoes, Greek salad and Karithopita (a cinnamon walnut cake bathed in sweet syrup). The main dishes will be served alongside traditional mezethes (appetizers), wine, fresh fruit and freshly baked bread.
We caught up with Sinis-Terezis recently to get a taste of what the class would be like, and learned how to make the appetizer, Spanakopita. It’s a rich blend of spinach and cheese, wrapped in crispy phyllo dough. Get the Spanakopita recipe here.
The class costs $25 per person until April 25, and $30 per person after that. All proceeds benefit the church. There will be a second class in the fall, Oct. 26, 2014, with a focus on cooking for the holidays.
Good Samaritan Cultural Center
Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church
52455 N. Ironwood Road
South Bend, IN 46635