published Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Braly: Bake sale stirs up Greek favorites

Doors open bright and early Friday for the annual Greek Bake Sale at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. I have visions of baklava and other sweet and savory favorites dancing through my head as I write this column. In addition to perennial favorite baklava and the much-loved Greek sweet bread, the sale will include the following foods this year:

  • Amygdalota (large, crescent-shaped pastries made of ground almonds, sugar and spices).

  • Finikia (spice cookies dipped in syrup and rolled in nuts).

  • Galaktoboureko (phyllo pastry filled with custard and topped with syrup).

  • Kataifi (shredded wheat phyllo with a nut filling and covered in syrup).

  • Koulourakia (crisp butter cookies -- excellent with coffee; sold by the dozen).

  • Kourambiethes (rich butter wedding-style cookies covered in powdered sugar).

  • Pastitsio (a casserole of macaroni, Parmesan cheese, ground beef and spices in a béchamel sauce; sold by the pan).

  • Sfeeha (Middle Eastern "burger" pies made of ground chuck and spices).

  • Spanakopita (layered phyllo filled with spinach, eggs and feta cheese; sold by the pan).

  • Tiropita (cheese triangle with layers of phyllo; sold by the dozen.

Many of the bake-sale items have been frozen, so all you need do it take them home and transfer them to your freezer. They'll be ready to pull out during the holidays.

I always get a pan full of baklava to put in my freezer to serve for Christmas brunch. All I have to worry about is pulling it out ahead of time so it'll have a chance to thaw.

Church member Connie Sloan Lee said that over the years, she and other sale volunteers have received many compliments on the food that comes out of the kitchen.

"Other than the obvious, that people say it's delicious, I've heard ... that it's full of flavor and not too spicy. Plus, many people like the use of the mint and oregano in many of the dishes," she said.

The sale begins at 8 a.m. Friday and will continue until 6 p.m. -- if the food lasts that long. I would advise you to get there early.

If you have time, stay and enjoy a meal of a gyro sandwich or Greek gyro salad. Both are available for carry-out as well. You can let church members cook lunch or dinner for you while you support the philanthropies supported by the church, including the Times Free Press Neediest Cases Fund, Chattanooga Room in the Inn, Ronald McDonald House and Chattanooga Community Kitchen.

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is at 722 Glenwood Drive across from Memorial Hospital. For information, call 629-2364.

On the restaurant front ... I made my way down South Broad Street for lunch the other day and felt as if I'd traveled farther south -- all the way down to New Orleans -- when I took my first bite of N'Awlins' shrimp po' boy. Wow! It was some of the tastiest shrimp I've ever had, very lightly battered with a slightly hot kick to it. The shrimp was then served on bread that was soft in the middle and delightfully crispy on the outside. It must have some straight from Cajun country is all I can guess. All the sandwiches come with chips, but for a little more, you can choose from an array of side dishes, one of which is red beans and rice. That's what I chose, and it came very well seasoned with a couple of slices of sausage mixed in for good measure.

N'Awlins gets a good nod from someone who can't get enough of Cajun cooking. Other dishes on the menu include andouille gumbo, chicken jambalaya, shrimp Creole and crawfish etouffee. It's located at 3103 South Broad St. in the old Soup's On location. Check out all the offerings at nawlinschattanooga.com.

Email Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com.

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