pico de gallo , which sounded very exotic, but it was actually a fresh colourful salad, consisting of tomato, peppers and onions of all colours. It just so happened that on the previous day, I had harvested a number of coloured peppers from our garden - how convenient was THAT?! While the sausages were cooking, I set about chopping up the salad ingredients into little cubes. All they needed was to soak in a little lemon juice, before being strained when the time came to use them. The recipe also called for fresh pineapple pieces as part of the salad, something which we never buy: fresh fruit is never missing in our house in the form of oranges, apricots, melon and watermelon (we don;t grow the last two). I omitted this step, but made up for the colour (maybe not the sweet taste) with the brilliant yellow pepper.The recipe then called for a
The recipe also called for a spicy meat glaze made with whiskey. This was the most daunting part for me: I've never made such a sauce before. The ingredients for the sauce included tabasco sauce, soya sauce, onion, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, whiskey, cider vinegar and beef stock. The cider vinegar was replaced with a light home-made red wine vinegar, and the beef stock was omitted (I simply added water). The point was to make a sauce as thick as syrup, which would be used both as a sauce and a topping. The ingredients needed about 20 minutes to reduce to a syrup.
The final look of the plate involved skwering the chicken wings (so I skewered the sausages),cooking them in some of the syrupy sauce, plating them with more sauce and topping them with the salad. This all looked good, but the plate looked a little empty, as I was serving this dish as a main evening meal and not an appetiser . I had some mini-pita bread rounds in the freezer, which I toasted lightly int he same pan I cooked the sausages. I also have a lot of eggplant in the garden at the moment, so I sliced a small one and fried it. (The aubergines were sitting on the kitchen worktop for three days, and had shrivelled slightly, which makes cooking them much easier, as they did not need to be salted and drained - Cretan garden-grown aubergines re much sweeter than commercially grown aubergine).
Just after 9pm, the dish was completed, and the plate looked full. It was very tasty, as judged by my eaters, who asked me if I could make it more often. Yes, I suppose I could, although I wasn't happy about the addition of sugar in our main meals. I wonder if I could make the same sauce with honey as a healthy alternative.
Post-script: My husband particularly enjoyed this meal, and I was very glad I to have been able to offer it to him - he'd been stuck on the roof of our house all morning under a fiercely hot sun (we're renovating, and in Crete, renovating usually entails the house owner taking an active part in the work), and was too hot and tired to eat at lunch time (which consisted of a leftover meal - not very enticing if you are too tired to eat). After leaving for work in the afternoon, he realised that he would either crash the car or fall asleep at the wheel if he continued working, and he was surprised to find this meal ready and waiting for him. Just another day in the life of another lazy Greek.
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