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20 Apr 2020

Make it at home: Theo Michaels' Greek Cypriot-inspired sharing board recipe

Make it at home: Theo Michaels' Greek Cypriot-inspired sharing board recipe
spicy chicken shawarma

These recipes, for spicy chicken shawarma, gyro flatbreads, aubergine vegetable rolls and steamed razor clams come from Theo Michaels’ latest cookbook, Share: Delicious Sharing Boards for Social Dining, published by Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99. Make them all together to create a feast that's sure to lift the spirits during lockdown. These dishes draw inspiration from Theo's Greek Cypriot family roots and his travels around the world.

Theo was a semi-finalist on BBC One's Masterchef in 2014 and is now a regular guest chef on ITV’s This Morning, as well as appearing on BBC Breakfast, Sky TV and The Food Network, among others. He’s written four cookbooks, including Orexi! and Share, which features 10 themed sharing boards and over 80 recipes.

He’ll be appearing on the Main Stage at the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival, demonstrating one of his signature dishes.

Spicy chicken shawarma

My chicken shawarma is scented with allspice and smoked paprika and marinated in a vibrant yoghurt mixture. Using chicken thighs keeps the chicken moist and succulent, and grilling it this way gives that smoky charring reminiscent of street food. Serve in gyro flatbreads with fresh salad accompaniments and Greek yogurt on the side, for everyone to help themselves as part of a meze board.

Serves: 6


6 chicken thighs, boned, skin on

100g thick Greek yogurt

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp ground allspice

1 fresh red chilli, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp dried oregano

a few sprigs of fresh coriander, to garnish

To serve

Gyro flatbreads (see recipe below)

Accompaniments (optional)

1 red onion, finely sliced

bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped and stalks discarded

½ head of iceberg lettuce, shredded

½ cucumber, finely diced

6 ripe tomatoes, diced

3 lemons, cut into wedges

125 ml Greek yogurt


  • Cut two deep scores across the top of each chicken thigh. To make the marinade, mix all the remaining ingredients (except the coriander garnish) in a non-reactive bowl. Add the chicken thighs, toss to coat, then cover and leave to marinate for 1 hr (or overnight) in the fridge.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 mins before you plan to cook it. Set the grill to hot. Scoop the chicken thighs out of the marinade and arrange skin-side up and a few inches apart on a lightly oiled roasting pan. Cook under the grill for about 15 mins, turning occasionally, until the flesh is cooked through and the skin has charred and started to crisp.
  • Once cooked, slice each thigh into strips around 2.5cm wide, then season with salt and pepper. Pile up on the flatbreads, garnish with the coriander sprigs and place on a serving board, alongside any accompaniments.


Gyro flatbreads

Gyros are the ultimate grab-and-go Greek street food: soft, chewy flatbreads snugly wrapped around charred meat and salad, and always topped with fries — the trickle of juice and tzatziki down the chin is optional. The wraps used for gyros tend to be thicker than regular pitas and are also much more pliable and seriously delicious. This recipe couldn’t be easier or quicker. It’s all about the ratios: one part milk to two parts self-raising flour, plus a little olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Makes: 16 small flatbreads


270g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

250ml whole milk

1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a pinch of salt and work them together with your hands. Once the dough gets scraggy, tip it out onto a surface and start kneading by hand. Once it’s a soft, slightly sticky dough, pop it back in the bowl, cover loosely with a kitchen cloth and leave to rest for 30 mins (or, if time is short, just charge on and don’t bother resting it — it will still work out okay).
  • Cut the dough into 16 small pieces of equal size and roll each one out on a surface lightly dusted with flour until they’re about 5mm thick. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until hot, then add a dough piece and cook for a few minutes before flipping over. Repeat, cooking each gyro until golden brown on both sides. Stack them up and cover with a clean kitchen cloth to keep warm until ready to serve.

Bite-sized vegetable rolls with halloumi

This dish sees strips of charred aubergine wrapped around a host of tastes and textures that will keep you coming back for more. They tend to bring out a greedy streak in most people, so make plenty.

Makes: around 16


60g white cabbage, shredded

60g raw beetroot, peeled and grated

handful each of fresh coriander and mint leaves, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

olive oil, for drizzling

2 aubergines

200g halloumi

4 tbsp hummus

clear, runny honey, for drizzling

4 tbsp toasted almonds, coarsely crushed

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

pomegranate molasses, for drizzling


  • Combine the cabbage, beetroot and herbs in a bowl, then add the lemon juice, a pinch each of salt and pepper and a small drizzle of olive oil.
  • Slice the aubergines lengthways as finely as you can (about 3mm is ideal), aiming for 16 slices. Heat a non-stick griddle pan until hot and cook the aubergine strips for about 2 mins on each side. Repeat until all 16 are done, then set aside.
  • Keeping the griddle pan hot, cut the halloumi widthways into 15mm-thick slices and then in half again lengthways to create batons. Set in the griddle pan and cook for 2 mins on each side, or until nicely charred (if you don’t have a non-stick pan, you can brush the halloumi with a little olive oil before cooking it).
  • To assemble the rolls, lay the aubergine slices out flat and spread a teaspoon of hummus over each one. Place a halloumi baton at one end, with a heaped tablespoon of the cabbage mixture on top. Add a few drops of the honey and a pinch of the almonds and pomegranate seeds, then roll up the aubergine slice. Repeat until all 16 are done. Arrange on a platter, seam-side down, and drizzle with the pomegranate molasses and more honey, if you like. Scatter any remaining pomegranate seeds, almonds and herbs over the top and serve.


Steamed razor clams with garlic butter

Razor clams are interesting — their white flesh actually resembles squid more than that of their closer cousins, clams and mussels. They take only a few minutes to cook and all they need is a splash of white wine and a little seasoning to make them taste seriously good. Don’t forget to serve with bread for dunking in the delicious liquor.

Serves 6


500g razor clams, cleaned

60ml cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves, sliced

splash white wine

30g butter

handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

pinch of dried chilli (or hot red pepper flakes)

¼ lemon, juiced

good bread, to serve


  • Rinse the razor clams well in cold, running water, discarding any that don’t close properly when handled.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, lidded saucepan, then add the garlic. Just before the garlic starts to brown, add the razor clams and give the pan a little shake. Pour in the wine, then cook, covered, for around 2 mins until all the shells have opened and the meat has turned opaque. 
  • Remove the lid and let the wine reduce for 1 min more, then add the butter and turn off the heat, swirling the pan gently to incorporate the butter.
  • Just before serving, throw in most of the parsley (reserving a few pinches for a garnish) and the chilli (or pepper flakes) and squeeze in the lemon juice. Add salt to taste. Pile the hot razor clams on a serving board or arrange them in a shallow dish or platter, then drizzle over the sauce and sprinkle with the reserved chopped parsley. Serve with bread.




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