All posts tagged: συνταγή

salt cod fritters

Salt Cod Fritters (Bakaliaros Skordalia)

Bakaliaros skordalia (salt cod fritters with bread garlic sauce) is sort of greek national institution. You have it on National Day and Palm Sunday, both in spring. You associate it with blue sky, parades and childhood memories – until you have to carry your own toddler to the parade. The deep fried bakaliaros and the garlic in skordalia make a tastebomb. It is also a game theory dish. Equilibrium is reached when everybody have it and can bear each other’s garlic consumption. We like to have it the whole year round and for some time we were in the quest for the perfect recipe. After experiments involving soda siphons Blumenthal style, I think we found our definite answer to bakaliaro perfection in an adaptation of Argiro Barbarigou’s recipe. Here it is: Serves 4-6 For the salt cod fritters (bakaliaros) 1kg salt cod fillet, desalted 260g all purpose flour 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp sugar 2 tsp baking powder 330ml beer 20ml ouzo olive oil for frying To desalt the cod (24-36 hours in advance) Rinse the …

lemon and saffron chicken

Pers-Mex Saffron and Lemon Chicken

With the exception of some amusing quotes of Herzog (‘Look into the eyes of a chicken and you will see real stupidity. … They are the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creatures in the world’) and Russell’ s disturbing metaphor about the farmer  ‘who feeds the chicken every day throughout its life and at last wrings its neck instead’ , I am not aware of truly noteworthy appearances of chickens in literature or philosophy (the chicken – egg dilemma does not qualify) – in contrast to horses, wolves, wales, bears, tigers, cats, dogs and recently giraffes that feature heroically.  On the other hand I know of several great recipes with chicken. The one that follows is definitely one. It combines persian, mexican and mediterranean elements. Enjoy it with a Gewurtztraminer. Serves 2-3 1tbsp lemon zest 1 cup lemon juice 300g onions, minced 1 garlic clove, minced 2 Tbsp olive oil 200g strained greek yogurt 1/4 tsp saffron , ground & dissolved in 2 TBS of hot water 1 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp sea salt flakes 3 chicken breasts (about 900g) To serve flour tortilla wraps fresh salad leaves cherry tomatoes greek yogurt For the marinade …

cheese pie

Another Cheese Pie

When it comes to cheese pie recipes there is no absolute optimum. It depends on your aspirations on the pie. To be honest ours were bland lately since we wanted our toddler to have some too, so no spicy or very salted cheeses. Starting from this healthy baseline and after a series of exhaustive experiments involving wine, dinners with friends and demanding family members we ended up to this version, which became our favourite. For the cheese pie 8 fillo pastry sheets olive oil, enough to brush the tin and each one of the fillo sheets 400g feta, crumbled 200g fresh anthotiro cheese (or fresh ricotta), crumbled 100g gruyere cheese, grated 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated freshly ground black pepper 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup buttermilk Serves 8-10 Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan) For this recipe you will need a large rectangular baking tin. Ours is 30cm x 40cm. Keep the fillo pastry covered with a slightly damp kitchen towel during the preparation of the recipe so that it will not dry out. Brush the bottom and inner sides …

Zante beef, Sunday’s lunch.

The recipe comes from a lady called Rubina (Ruby). She was an old family acquaintance and lived in a house with echoing acoustics and a garden full of roses. She was from Zante and spent her married life in Athens. Her family was the best-off in the street and she was respected by the neighbours because of her charities during the war. She passed this recipe to my grandmother who passed it to my mother and found its place in the Sunday lunch repertoire when I was a kid. It still is cooked when we visit the grandparents in their house with a garden full of hydrangeas and jasmines. For the Zante Beef Serves 6 1 cup olive oil 1,5kg good-quality stewing beef, cut into 3cm cubes 150ml mavrodaphne, a sweet dark red wine from Patras 75ml red wine vinegar 3 allspice berries 10 black peppercorns 1 cinnamon stick 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 800g very ripe fresh tomatoes (or canned if not in season), peeled 1 tsp brown sugar 1/2kg pecorino cheese, cut into 2cm cubes …

watermelon salad with feta

Eat Watermelon Salad with Feta

Not only is this easy to make summer salad very refreshing, but it contains 80% more light than other food, because of the watermelon. If it was not for the feta, it  would contain even more light. If you eat it you help release trapped light back to the cosmos – at least this is what a now extinct gnostic religion of the Late Antiquity, the followers of Mani,believed! It sounds even more bizarre than the Jedi Church, but the cult existed indeed. The last standing temple of the religion is in the southeast coast of China, transformed to a buddhist shrine now, and surrounded by watermelon plants I suppose. Serves 2-4 400g chilled watermelon, rind removed, desseeded  and cubed 150g cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped 100g feta, cubed 1 Tbsp mint, finely chopped 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar freshly ground black pepper Place the watermelon, cucumber, feta cheese and mint in a large bowl. Combine the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, pour over the watermelon mixture and toss gently …

blood orange salmon

Blood Orange salmon

Fast, simple, light and delicious. This recipe makes a weekday dinner without much hassle. Serves 2 2 salmon steaks 2 Tbsp soy sauce zest of 1 blood orange 3 Tbsp mirin 3/4 cup blood orange juice 1 clove garlic, minced 1 Tbsp very finely grated fresh ginger root freshly ground black pepper Combine orange juice, zest, mirin, garlic and ginger in a large food container. Rinse and pat dry the salmon with a a paper towel. Place the salmon steaks in the marinade and allow to coat for 10 minutes each side. Preheat a large heavy  nonstick skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Remove the salmon from the marinade, place it on skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, turn the steaks over, pour the marinade over the steaks, dicrease the heat to low-medium and let simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn the steaks once more, increase the heat to medium-high and let simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Serve over steamed rice or mashed potatoes or/and a green salad.

Stereotypes and tyrokafteri

What can I say.. there is truth in the stereotypes. Lunch in the countryside, with friends and children running around. We spent the weekend in a house with garden, and had visitors for lunch on Saturday. To be honest they brought most of the food. We just prepared the tyrokafteri (a spicy feta cheese spread) with feta from Stratoula, a local producer, originally from Epirus who ended up in Anavyssos (both very good credentials for a feta producer!), and small chillies from the garden. We had every good intention to prepare also a horiatiki salad with watermelon (the first of the season that we bought in the local open market), but we skipped it and had it the following day for dinner. (Stay tunned, the recipe will follow soon…) On Sunday we strolled in Lavrio, a small port with a very long mining history. We had ouzo and the typical mezes’ that go with it: octapus, marinated anchovies (gavros), fried red mullets (koutsomoures),grilled sardines and some delicious boiled greens (almyra). We gave the establishment an 8 out of …

semolina and strawberry tart

Semolina and Strawberry Tart

We deviated from our standard strawberry tart recipe and baked this for our easter lunch. It is an interesting hybrid  between the classic tart and the greek galaktoboureko and great when eaten same day. We kept some in the fridge for the next day, but the baked filling turned too solid. The moral of the story is, bake it for same day consumption. (Based on a recipe from Ottolenghi “The Cookbook”) For the sweet pastry 330g plain flour 100g icing sugar zest of 1 lemon, finely grated 1/4 tsp salt 180g cold unsalted butter 1 egg yolk 2 Tbsp cold water For the filling 345ml milk 180ml whipping cream 60g caster sugar 80g butter 1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthwise and seeds scrapped out 60g semolina 1 egg 200g strawberries icing sugar, to garnish For the sweet pastry, combine flour, sugar, salt,lemon zest and the butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Change to the hook attachment and add the egg yolk and the cold water. Continue mixing  until dough comes together …

Spicy Shrimps and feta gratin

This is a recipe of my mother in law, who is an opiniated cook. When she cooks anything from the tradition of Smyrna she keeps to the letter of family recipes; there is only one way to prepare soutzoukakia or imam. Deviations are not acceptable: ‘why do the call it soutzoukakia if they add bread in the minced meat?’ There is always a hint of discredit in quotes like that. When the obligation of tradition does not apply, she lets her taste of spicy and well defined flavours prevail, as I hope you will find out in the following recipe.  500g shrimps shelled and deveined (fresh or frozen) 1 medium onion (about 120g), finely chopped 4 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes 6 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped ( plus 1 Tbsp for the garnish) 1 tsp mustard powder 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1/2 cup dry white wine 1 tsp brown sugar 1,5 cup feta, crumbled Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main dish. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Heat 2 Tbsp …

Lemon and Pistachio Cake

As we learned from “The Land where Lemons Grow” by Helena Attlee, lemons reached Europe with the Arabs when they invaded Sicily in AD 831. They were first grown in the protective environment of pleasure gardens until the Arabs built a new irrigation system, combining practices from the Islamic (water-challenged) territories in Egypt, Yemen, Mesopotamia and the Levant with the classical Roman water management  infrastructure that they repaired and extended. As for the Romans, not only did they build aqueducts, dams and conduits, they also introduced pistachio cultivation in Europe around AD 35. Until then it was grown in the Levant and Iraq – even in the handing gardens of Babylon during the reign of Merodach-Baladan, the king who fought the Assyrians and sent Hezekiah letters of concern because of his illness. (We can think of him dictating the letters to his scribes among the pistachio trees during a babylonian afternoon). So both the basic ingredients of this cake were brought to Europe from the near east – were they were introduced from central and southern Asia. The moral is that you should not take the delicate flavours of …