All posts tagged: quick and easy

Greek Mess, in a good sense

This is not Eton Mess – it is Greek Mess in a good sense. Eton Mess is probably more relevant right now, but a Greek Mess is always possible. It is the Mediterranean summer now, and it is hotter than usual. This means that it is a good idea to have something light and cold for lunch. Our favourite is greek low fat (2%) yogurt with fruit. You can combine any fruit you want, but our combination for this summer is peach and blueberries. They have to be very cold and of the best quality, of course. Serves 1 200g low fat (2%) strained greek yogurt 1 peach, cubed 10 blueberries Place all the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

Grilled Sardines Greek Style

Full of Omega 3,  without the mercury and very affordable. That is the power of sardines. Of course, you have to like them – and not everybody does. In any case the smell of grilled sardines is inexorable connected to the Mediterranean summer. We like them slightly “overgrilled”. Do not let the blackness of the grilled fish put you off, it adds extra flavour. Serves 2 250g sardines, cleaned,gutted, scales and heads removed 160g onion, finely sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 200g potatoes very finely sliced 1 cup parsley, finely chopped 225g tomatoes, peeled and deseeded 1/4 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional) 10 cherry tomatoes, halved 2 Tbsp capers 2 pinches dried oregano 1/2 cup olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup water (or more if needed) Preheat your oven grill to high temperature. Wash and drain the sardines on paper towels. Blend the peeled and deseeded tomatoes with the sugar in a mini food processor until smooth. Arrange the onions, garlic, potatoes and sardines in a baking dish large …

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 …

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 …

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 …