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Beef tenderloin from Greece with pride January 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.

Helen Charuhas is 100 percent Greek and proud of it. “I speak it, I write it and I cook it,” she said.

She is so proud, in fact, that she got her husband, Pete, to construct a restaurant for her in Fenwick Island.

Since its opening in 1998, Captain Pete’s has been honored three times by Delaware Today as the state’s top Greek restaurant. Charuhas says that the secret to great Greek food is slow cooking. And her signature dish, Kapama, is no exception.

Kapama starts with cubes of beef tenderloin that are seared and simmered with cloves, cinnamon and tomato sauce for up to three and a half hours. The plate is completed with Greek-style pasta tossed with three cheeses, then sizzled with browned butter and olive oil, and a choice of vegetable. All of Captain Pete’s entrées are served with fresh baked bread, dips and salad.

The recipe for Kapama is from Pete’s side of the family, which is originally from Sparta, a city in southern Greece known for its history as the city-state that defeated Athens in the first Peloponnesian War. The menu also features dishes from Helen’s family, who hails from Corinth and the Aegean Islands.

“Most of my Greek things come from Greece,” she said. “We want it to be an experience when you come here.”

The olive oil used in the restaurant comes from olives grown in Greece on Pete’s trees. During the second season, it arrives in five-gallon cans shipped by the dozen. In the summer, they use 55-gallon drums.

The dining room is decorated with blue and white table settings along with paintings and plates paying homage to Greece and its history. As far as the name of the restaurant is concerned, Pete said that it is mostly because of their selection of seafood.

“I have a boat and I do sportfishing,” he said. “In southern Maryland I have friends who have boats and we go out for tuna.” “Greeks are excellent fishermen,” Helen explained. “Greeks eat a lot of seafood.”

For dessert, try the homemade baklava or rice pudding. But whatever you choose, whether it is from the land or the sea, eat something because, as a Greek proverb says, “If you don’t eat, you cannot function.”

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