Saturday, June 17, 2006

Photos of moaning experiences

You know, if I waited till Monday, it would be exactly two months since I posted here. This will be only pictures of things I have cooked.

Tzatziki: cool tanginess of greek yoghurt spiced up with garlic, smoothened with grated carrot, essensed with sweet dill, and cooled up
with cucumber. And lots of aromatic virgin olive oil!

Stuffed peppers cooked on the pot. Lots of garlic, onions, and mint are being browned in the pot, then the beef mince is added, then the rice, and you leave it to cook till the rice is half done. You fill with this the peppers, arrange them on a pot one on top of the other, then place a plate on top to prevent movement, pour a glass of water on the pot, and let it simmer for 30 mins. You eat it with a big dollop of fage 0% and lots of hot paprika

Amazingly rich homemade bitter chocolate icecream with rum. Beat your 8 organic egg yolks with a bit of sugar and a lot of Green & Black Organic Cocoa powder, simmer your cream and milk with the rum and the two bars of Green & Black Cook's 72% cocoa bitter chocolate, mix, freeze, eat ;)

Boil potatoes, cut them in pieces, mix them with tons of fresh parsley, pickled cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, capers, purple onion, and homemade mayo with lots of mustard. Nice cool potato salad!

Marinade your meat in yoghurt. Any kind of meat. These are pork chops. I've done chicken and beef too. You willnot believe how soft the meat turns out. Add in your plain yoghurt any spices you like. I put lots of powdered garlic, lots of hot and sweet paprika, lots of bbq spice, and cumin, fragrant spicy cumin! Let them in the fridge for at least an hour, but three hours will do wonders to the tenderness of the meat.

Grill skewers with onions, eggplant, zuccini and peppers. Prepare a classic tomato salad with feta, and as soon as the veggies are grilled add them in the salad. The cold tomatoes and feta and the hot grilled veggies make for a very refreshing combination.

Grill in the bbq or oven 2 big eggplants and 3 red peppers. Take the flesh, and mix it with the juice oftwo lemons, 3-4 garlic cloves, a big bunch of parsley, a ripe tomato, and a tad of olive oil in your mixer. Its a great dip for grilled pitas, and a cool and aromatic mash as a side dish for any grilled meat

And last but not least, the chicken from the other day: fill your skewers with chicken pieces and veggies, grill them in the oven, take the juices from the pan and mix them with lemon juice and good mustard, and have a very summery yet spicy dinner!

And those are last night's pork and chicken skewers that were marinated for 3 hours in yoghurt. Don't they look good?!

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Rye Rusk Salad

We greeks love our rusks. Rye, barley or wheat, it is an old fashioned way to preserve your leaftover bread. Back in the days when women baked their bread once a week, the leftover would be cut in slices and put in the oven in very low temp, till it dried, then the new loaves would be made. The rusks would be kept in air tight containers to be used in various ways.

My favourite is in a salad.

I say piss off croutons compared to rye or barley rusks! The texture is so much more real. But you have to follow a few steps, or else you might be in need of a dentist sooner than you want ;)

So you take the rusks under running water just for a few seconds. You do not want to soak them too much! You just want to make them crispy but not as hard. Then you cut them with your hands in rough pieces and place them in a bowl.

A pinch of salt, and a few tsp's of virgin olive oil later, you need to begin adding the rest:

2 very ripe tomatoes, a small cucumber, a small handful of fresh oregano, a few olives, a bit of red onion, and you have a very satisfying dinner now the weather becomes warmer! You have to cut the tomatoes on the bowl, so that any juice runs down to the rusks and soaks them more.Then you add the cucumber, then the oregano, then the olives.

Each forkful will give you a piece of tomato, and then at the end, a piece of the rusk, soaked in the tomato juice and with the taste of the olive oil so prominent and dominant, that will make you moan. The fresh oregano will give you an unexpected aroma and if your olives are like mine, the extra vinegar kick will be just what maked the difference!

And now I am on olives, here is a tip for you. When you buy olives, prefer the ones that are not in olive oil. Then take them home, take a vase with a tight lid, put in it some water, some vinegar, (the ratio should be from 1/3 to 1/2, depending how much you love vinegar) and a couple of handfuls of coarse sea salt (depending on how big your vase is). This will give an extra kick to your olives and will also preserve them for the next generations ;)

I am going to try and give you the greek orthodox easter culinary tour this week. Lots of traditional stuff, with recipes, pictures and the story beyond. Easter is the greatest celebration for the Christian Orthodox, and as each holiday, has a lot attached to it with the region's culinary habbits. I just hope I will have the time!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Kathara Deftera

Which in Greek means Clean Monday, and its the 1st day of Lent. For some reason, this is a public holiday, and the drill is as follows:

Big family lunch of legumes, seafood, special bread called lagana, special dip made of cod eggs, and flying kytes everywhere.

What happened chez nous, is another story...

That is octopus boiled in one glass of olive oil, one glass of dry white wine, and one glass of red whine vinnegar. You just put the liquids in your pot, then octopus, cover it, and let it simmer for an hour or so, till the octopus softens to the point of melting and the liquids become a thick sauce.

Next to it is mussels. A tad of olive oil in the skillet, tons of garlic cloves, parsley, wine, then the mussels, then lemon juice, and at the end, a generous quantity of mustard, which thickens the sause magically. This is good on top of pasta or rice too.

Shrimps and other ocean creatures, grilled or steamed, or alive!

And then, after the oceans of ouzo, one should need something sweet, dont you know!

Tradition says we should eat halva. And another thing made of semolina, olive oil, nuts and raisins. You actually brown the semolina in the olive, then add water, cherries, or any other dry fruit, raisins, nuts, sugar. You put it in small cake tins, let them cool, and eat them!

And I made all of them toast for you :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006


The different flavours in this dish blend so well. The more the lemon juice the better. It goes great with grilled fish!

You will need:

juice from two lemons

You have to:

steam the brocolli for 6-7 mins
throw them in a pyrex dish
add the onions cut in rings
add the feta
squeeze the lemons
remove the pips, not like me that let them in
add salt and pepper
drizzle the olive oil
put in the oven in 180 C
let it there for 15 - 20 mins

eat it with small moans.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A salad

You will need:

fresh baby spinach
a couple of bunches of rocket
a handful of pine nuts
100 gr of parmezan cut in flakes
8 tsp of olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1 Tsp of sugar free raspberry jam

You will:

wash the greens and chop them up
add the pine nuts
add the parmezan
shake the oil with the vinegar and the jam
pour over
pour yourself a glass of red wine


Saturday, February 25, 2006

A non sticking pan


They are the essence of whatever one does.

Take your make up for instance. The right brush produces the perfect smokey eyes effect.

Take your camera. The right lense will do the photo justice.

Now take your non sticking pan.

Put it on the stove to heat it up while you gather up your incredients:

pork tenderloin *
red bell peppers
pita breads
sweet paprika
lemon pepper
garlic pepper
lotsa fresh oregano. If you dont have fresh, dont use dry. It will turna bit bitter.

Cut the pork in small pieces. Put them on the pan. No oil needed. Browm them slightly on each side. Then cut your tomatoes and onions in thick slices and place them on top of the meat. Cut the mushrooms and red peppers in big pieces and throw them in. Do not add any salt or pepper at this point. Just the fresh oreganon and the sweet paprika. (why all the pics I take without flash are our of focus still beats me!!!)

Let the heat on maximum for the next 5 minutes. Then cover with a lid and let it simmer on low for another 5 mins. This way, all the juices from the tomatoes and the mushrooms and the onions will run and make the meat boil in them with intense flavour. Uncover and put the heat back on high. Put your pitta breads on top. Mine were right out of the freezer and this way they defrosted rapidly and got a very nice fragrance of fresh oreganon and onions. Let them on for a minute, then turn them around and leave them for another one. Take them off, and use another non sticking pan to just brown them slightly on each side. Put aside.

At this point there should not be many liquids left in your pan. The tomatoes should have melted into a thick sauce and the onions should be transparent and suculent. The mushrooms must have been cooked too. And the red peppers should be very soft and sweet. Add the lemon and garlic peppers, get the heat on high, squeeze the lemons, and see it absorb most of the lemon juice, then turn the heat off. Add the feta in small pieces, the pan should still be on the stove, cover it for the next couple of minuted till the heat subsides and the feta melts a little, and then cut the pittas in half.

Take scoops of this, put them in your pitta, roll it, and moan!

* I guess this can be done with chicken and turkey and lean beef too. I did it with shrimps last night as well and it was also deliscious. Angelos and I are hooked on this cos its fast, so we can have dinner ready in 20 minutes even when we get back home at 10 in the evening! There is also a great salad we ate for dinner the other day and I will post it sometime during the weekend, cos now I am going shopping babies!!!!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Celery root and carrot soup

In Greece we call these celery roots. Well, we call them selinorizes to be precise. But I am not sure if there is a better word in english. Anyway, this soup is really a very well cleansing tool for your body. It's tasty and nutritious, will help you flash all the bloaty liquids from your system, mainly due to the high diouretic effect the celery root has. It has a tiny amount of protein to sustain you and make your metabolism wake up.

Oh...and the lemon juice will do your stomach a favour. For a big pot that serves generously 6 people, you will need:

5-6 big carrots
5-6 celery roots
the juice of 3 lemons
2 eggs

You put water in your pot, and add a bit of herbal mare salt. You put it on the stove. While this comes to a boil, you peel and cut the celery roots and carrots in small pieces. When the water is boiling well, you put the small pieces in, and let it simmer in medium to high temperature, till they all soften.

You beat 2 eggs in your shaker. Add the juice of 3 lemons. Then slowly add in this mixture warm liquids from the boiling pot while you stir constantly. Add enough hot liquids in so the egg won't cook
when you put them in the pot. Take your pot off the stove, and add the lemon/egg/liquids mixture while stirring well. Then, either by using a stab blender in the pot, or by taking out all pieces and putting them in the blender, puree the veggies, and put them back in.

Serve with a bit of parsley on top.

In the meantime, because you have time while all these boil, take all the fresh veggies our of your fridge, and cut a salad in your trustworthy Tupp3rware container that will last for 3 days for lunches for both you and your husband. In my fridge there were lettuce, dill, arugula, mint, parsley, white and purple cabbage, and orange and red peppers. Don't think I used them all up! But a bit of all ;)

I like this salad with boiled azuki beans, a tad of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or cottage cheese. Or seeds and vinegraitte. Or yogurt and pepper. Or hard boiled eggs and mustard. Or tuna and lemon juice. Or chicken breast and yogurt with mustart. The possibilities are endless when the mood is right.

And after spending 3 hours in the kitchen cleaning and chopping vegetables, I can certainly say that things look a LOT more better than 3 hours ago!!!