The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Meze, Mezede

I first had a Mezede many many years ago while visiting Cyprus on a ship bound for Alexandria, it was at a time of great tension in the Eastern Med and President Makarios had just been whisked across to Malta by the RAF.
I was still able to enjoy my first of many mezede's through out the area. This was sitting on the sea front in Famagusta, watching the sun go down, little was I to realise that soon that wonderful seaside town with its restaurants and hotels would become a ghost town.
I was later to eat mezedes in Lebanon, Turkey, Greece and then once again in the 1980s in Cyprus (the first of many holidays with my family), alas not in Famagusta but in Paphos (prior to it becoming the horrid tourist trap of today).
Mezedes are at there simplest a few olives, almonds, pieces of sausage or dried pork filet, at the other range they consist of what I have cooked and more.

I had been planning to cook some Heidschnucke for a long time, but getting hold of it is not easy, within NRW I have only found one flock, luckily enough it is not too far away (40km) and even better they feed on the Senne ranges part of the large expanse of sand dunes and shrub land left after the last ice age. I had to pop over to the ranges so thought I would visit The Hof and see if I could order a nice piece of Heidschnucken braten.
I was lucky two of the shepherdesses where there and I had a chat with them, alas they would not be slaughtering the following week as it was a short week having a public holiday in it and as it was the Thursday most people had the Friday off as a bridging day. I asked if she had any at the moment, she said that she had a whole carcasse that had been hung, but alas that was already spoken for! Miserable face said it all, but, she said that she did have about 10kg of already prepared leg chops, wow!!!  that was exactly what I was going to do with it, perfect, so that was it bought 2kg of the best.

The grey horned heidschnucke is a very old race of sheep and could well have been bred from the earliest domesticated races after domestication of the mufflon. These races were at one time very prevalent through out Europe, but now only survive in very few pockets in places like Brittany (the Ouessant), Scotland (the Soaysheep), Sweden (the Gotlandfår) and a few other races.

So it was my Birthday long weekend (it was a public holiday on the Thursday and Friday was a bridging day, thus making it a 4 day weekend)

I (we had decided that I would celibrate mybirthday "in" that is from Saturday night until Sunday. So our cookery club friends duly invited. The next thing was the menu, I had already decided on Kleftiko, so why not a Meze to surround it. While at it I thought about a soup for a starter, why not a Avgolemono, I had made a one a few weeks earlier based on an Asparagus stock base, but this time it would be the true Cypriot one. The rest of the meal would consist of the wonderful food that I had tasted back in the 70s and 80s on the island of Aphrodite. The only thing that was not from, but could well have been a Cypriot recipe was the dessert.

So the Menu was as follows







BBQ'd quails



Some where but no photos

Grilled vegetables

Village salad

Pita bread

Kritharaki and green beans in a tomato and black olive sauce

Homemade lemon honey Joghurt ice cream on a strawberry coulie with a strawberry/clotted cream filled brandy snap,  strawberries and a hazelnut crocant topping. (Linda's concoction)



This time I made this without the aid of asparagus water, so is more authentic, or is it?
First make your chicken stock.


1 ½ kg of chicken carcasses (Hühnerklein) or a old boiler (Suppenhuhn)

1 bunch of root vegetables consisting of white of a leek, couple of carrots, slice of celeriac, few sprigs of parsley including any stalks (Suppengrün).

½ an onion spiked with a couple of bay leaves held in with cloves

1 crushed garlic clove

2 pieces of  mace (Muscat blute)

1 table spoon of pepper corns

Zest and juice of half a lemon

2 teaspoons of good vegetable stock powder (Marigold)

3 cm piece of cinnamon bark (Zimt)

1 desert spoon of dried herbs de Provence

Chop the veg into large pieces and place in the bottom of a pressure cooker add the herbs, spices, garlic, onion and stock powder. Put the chicken carcasses on top, cover with water and add a bouquet garni.

Bring slowly to the boil and skim the scum as it rises to the surface (it is easiest if you have the pan only half on a flame or plate) when no more scum rises,

put the lid on and seal. Pressure cook at full power for about 1½  hrs, switch off and allow to cool down.

Remove the lid, de-grease, this is easiest by cooling overnight and remove the solidified fat, but if not possible, ladle the top few cms into a de-greasing jug and pour the stock back into the pan leaving the fat behind.

Pour the stock, bones, veg and all through a funnel sieve into a clean container. You now have a wonderful chicken stock.

 Pick over the carcasses, adding the chicken pieces back into the stock (I got a good cupful)

Set aside or freeze until required.

You can clarify this even further, by freezing it and letting it drip through a fine muslin cloth, this will give you a rich consommé, but as I didn’t require it to be perfectly clear, this was great for my Avgolemono 

Method of making the soup.

2 eggs (or as in this case one massive double yolker)

Juice of a lemon (it was a very large one)

Put the stock on to heat, when it is just warm remove about 2 ladles of the warm and set to one side.

Put a cup of rice into the stock to cook.
In the mean time beat the egg(s) and add the lemon juice to the beaten eggs, whisk together and add to the cool stock that you have set aside and whisk, now add this slowly to the hot chicken/rice soup and whisk in to make your Avgolemono

Serve hot with home made pita bread or a crusty loaf.

Heidschnucke Kleftiko (αρνάκι κλέφτικο)


2kg of Heidschnucke (or goat,either use leg steaks or diced shoulder)
6 Cypriot potatoes cut into pieces
2 onions quartered
2 shallots 
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp marigold stock powder
1 pinch of pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Dice the shallots, and garlic, mix together with the oregano, marigold, pepper and olive oil, pour over the meat  mix well and cover allow to marinate for a couple of days

 (at this point I vacuum packed and froze).

Remove the meat from the marinade, place in the centre of  a piece of grease proof paper large enough to make a parcel along with the spuds and onions.

Wrap and tie up, wrap this in aluminium foil and place in a watered Romatopf. Place on a cold oven rack in the oven (150°C) and allow to slow cook for 5 hours. (you can also cook in a slow cooker, switch on low and forget about it until ready to serve)
the Romatopf, a Blautopf, a Tontopf and a glass of wine

Souvlaki Arnisio (σουβλάκι αρνίσιο)


18 small wooden skewers (or as in this case 6 special souvlaki metal ones complete with frame)
1kg of lamb filets


Olive oil
Lemon zest from a lemon
Lemon juice from the lemon
Oregano leaves picked from about 10 stalks (fresh)
About 15 leaves of mint (fresh)
1/2 tsp Thyme leaves (fresh)
Salt and Pepper

Mix the olive oil and lemon juice together, chop the herbs and grind in a pestle and mortar, add to the olive oil/lemon juice along with the lemon zest in a mortar and bash it with the pestle until it turns into a homogenious mass. Add salt and pepper to taste (you can leave it out and serve a mixture of salt, pepper and ground dried Oregano for people to add their own)

Remove the silver skin from lamb filets, cut into bite size pieces put into a bowl and pour the marinade over them. Cover and leave to marinate for 24-36 hours in the refrigerator, turning a couple of times so that all get a good bath.

On the morning of the the Meze put the wooden skewers in water and allow to soak. (don't need to do the metal ones LoL

Ready to grill?  Thread onto the skewers (about 5-6 pieces per skewer, more on the metal ones)

Place in the special rack (not 100% needed but helps) and BBQ over hot grey charcoal, keep turning they should be crisp on the outside and juicy inside.

Sheftalia or Keftedes


500g minced pork (or Mett)
1kg minced lamb (Turkish butcher)
Bunch of  parsley
3 shallots (reasonable sized ones)
1 clove of garlic
Juice of a lemon
1 desert spoon of ground oregano and salt (grind them together in a pestel and mortar)
Pepper to taste

Pigs Cawl (Schweine netz)


Very finely dice the shallot, garlic, pluck the leaves from the stalks and chop them very fine (the leaves not the stalks, they go into the chicken stock for the Suppa Avegolemono)

Add all to the minces and mix well I find a well washed hand the best mixer for this. Add the lemon juice, the oregano/salt and a few turns of pepper, mix well, taste, this is important as now you can adjust the seasoning. Cut the cawl into 10cm x 10cm squares, place an egg sized piece of the mixture in the middle of the cawl and carefully wrap it around, forming it into an oval. When you have done them all spear them two to a pre-watered wooden skewer (you can get flat sword skewers specially for the Greek and Turkish kebabs).

BBQ over hot coals but not too close or they will be burnt on the outside and still raw on the inside. Keep turning them so that they are crisp and brown outside and juicy inside.


200g of Cods roes (I used tinned)
handful of fresh bread crumbs
1 small onion (I used a shallot)
Juice of 1 lemon
100ml of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste (watch out the roe is salty)

Put the roe in a mortar, drizzle with a little olive oil and give it a good bashing.

Moisten the bread crumbs and squeeze out most of the moisture, put all into a mixer and blend adding the shallot and lemon juice.

Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the machine while on full speed, stop the machine and adjust seasoning with the salt, pepper and  more lemon juice if required.

Put into dished and decorate with black olives.

Grilled spatchcocked Quails

For six

 6 plucked and drawn quails
Juice and Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of Olive oil
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
Grinding of salt and pepper.
12 wooden skewers soaked in water

Cut the back bones out of the quails and remove any hearts, lungs and crops. Wash the bird and pick off any remaining feathers.

Place in a dish, mix the lemon, olive oil, oregano and pour over the birds, massage into the flesh and cover for about 2 hours.

Just prior to BBQing, remove cover, give them a good grinding of salt and pepper and skewer them through the wings and legs. Cook over the coals of a medium hot BBQ (you don’t want them burnt on the outside and raw on the inside).

Serve alongside the other BBQ,d meat, Greek salad, grilled vegetables etc.

 Pita Bread

1 kg of bread flour (type 505 in Germany)
30g of bakers yeast
600 ml of tepid water
½ teaspoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
6 desert spoons of olive oil.

Crumble the yeast into the water add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and then knead until it becomes silky and forms a large ball that does not stick to the sides of the bowl.

Allow to stand for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 250°C

Oil a baking tray place into the oven

Knock back the dough and remove a large piece, form into a roll about 50-60 mm round, cut into 10 mm slices and form into balls (rolling in the cupped palms of both floured hands).

Place these on a floured board and cover for 10 minutes.

Now roll each ball onto a flat oval

 and place on the now smoking baking tray in the oven, shut the door but keep an eye on them they don’t keep long. When puffed and crispy brown they are ready.

When they are in the oven you can make some more.

They are best served hot straight from the oven, but can be kept stored in a tin and then heated on a hot contact grill.

You can eat them as they are with soup and grilled vegetables or cut the top off and stuff with salad and grilled kebab meat, or sheftalia. A quick and easy bread.

Some Middle East flat breads don’t use yeast but add a bit of baking powder. These will often baked on the top of a flat stone or griddle, perfect for the outdoors camping.