Sunday, December 11, 2016

White beans soup with smoked ham

Cut the onion into medium (1/2-inch) dice. Peel the carrots and cut them and the celery into approximately 1/2-inch pieces. Coarsely chop the garlic. Place a skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, swirling it to coat the pan. Add the onions, carrots, celery, cloves, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onions begin to appear translucent.
Place the vegetables along with the ham hocks, beans, and chicken stock in a large (6-quart or larger) slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours. (Note: The original recipe says to cook for 8 hours. However, I tested the beans after 6 hours and they were perfectly done. The cooking time will depend on your slow cooker.) 
About 1 hour before the cooking time is completely, remove the ham hocks from the slow cooker and let them cool until they can be handled. Remove and discard the bones, fat, and skin from the ham hocks. Chop or shred the meat and return it to the slow cooker with the beans. Add the salt and continue cooking until the beans are completely tender.
Garnish individual servings with diced fresh tomato, diced red onion, and/or snipped chives

Enjoy it! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Chrispy Greek Cheese pie

Give this super easy delicious greek cheese pie - tiropita a try and amazes your friends and family with its crispy and tangy flavour!
8-10 sheets of phyllo pastry
200g feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 of a cup milk cream
100g grated Parmesan or Regato or kefalograviera
100g grated Gouda cheese or Emedal cheese
100g ricotta cheese or anthotiro
2 large organic eggs, beaten
2 tbsps fresh mint (optional)
olive oil or melted butter
sesame seeds (optional)
freshly ground pepper
Bake the tiropita in a preheated oven at 180C for 45-50 minutes, until the phyllo is crisp and golden. Let it cool down for a while before serving.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dolmathakia - Stuffed grape leaves

No greek table is complete without dolma, the all-time favorite, and my favorite too as a matter of fact. A lot of variations of this dish are present in cuisines of several other countries, including Middle Eastern, Persian, Turkish and Greek. I’ve tried different versions but still there is something special about Greek dolma. There is this irresistible flavor of aromatic fresh herbs mixed, with vegetables or meat and rice. I hope you enjoy my Greek version too
50-60 fresh grape leaves or 1 jar (16 oz.) brined grape leaves
1-cup olive oil (divided into 1/2 cups)
6 large onions, minced
1 medium whole red tomato
1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp. dried mint
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Juice of  lemon
Rinse the leaves well to remove brine. Place the leaves in boiling water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes to soften them and make them more pliable. Remove from water and set aside.
In a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, tomato, parsley, dill, pine nuts, mint, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Allow the filling to cool.
Line the bottom of a heavy saucepan with 2 or three grape leaves (I use the broken or torn ones for this.)
Place a leaf with the stem towards you on a flat surface. The underside of the leaf should be face up. (The veins of the leaf are raised on the underside.) Using the point of a sharp paring knife cut out the stem of the leaf. Overlap the bottom two sections of the leaf toward the center.
Place a tablespoon of filling in the bottom center of the leaf, just above the stem. Fold the bottom section up to cover the filling. Fold the sides in towards the center.
Continue rolling the packet up towards the top point of the leaf.
Place the rolls in layers in the saucepan. Be sure to place the packets with the seam on the bottom.
Pour remaining 1/2 cup olive oil over the dolmathakia and enough water to cover them by about an inch. Place an inverted heatproof plate on top of the rolls to keep them submerged in the water. Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour or until the leaves are tender and the rice filling is cooked through.
Dolma is traditionally eaten warm with a serving of chilled garlic yogurt sauce. The sauce is made by mixing freshly squeezed garlic with plain yogurt. Feel free to add more garlic to taste or completely eliminate it from the recipe if you prefer. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. 

Yogurt souce with Vegetables: 2 cups plain yogurt, preferably homemade; 4-5 tbsp cucumber, grated or minced; 4-5 tbsp carrot, grated; 1-2 tbsp onion minced; 1 tsp of fresh cilantro or mint leaves, chopped finely; 2-3 cloves of fresh crushed garlic (optional); 1 tsp salt. 
Egg and Lemon souce: 2 egg yolks, beaten till thick and lemony; 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Bon Appetit! Kali orexi!



Friday, May 16, 2014

Very easy and tasty

The Greek Mediterranean food is one of the healthiest diets. It is characterized by a nutritional model that has remained constant over time and space, consisting mainly of olive oil, cereals, fresh or dried fruit and vegetables, a moderate amount of fish, dairy and meat, as well as a variety of condiments and spices, all accompanied by wine or infusions. 
 According to research carried out in the last 50 years in parts of the Mediterranean, including Crete and southern Italy, the Mediterranean diet model is responsible for the longevity of its inhabitants and the absence of heart diseases or diseases of the digestive system.
However, the Greek Mediterranean diet is not merely a diet, but rather a way of life: it constitutes a set of skills, knowledge and practices, promoting social interaction, since communal meals are the cornerstone of social customs and festive events.
Did you know?
  • The word diet comes from the Greek food, a word meaning way of life.
  • The traditional Mediterranean diet delivers as much as 40% of total daily calories from fat, yet the associated incidence of cardiovascular diseases is significantly decreased.
  • Mediterranean diet increases the amount of "Omega-3 fatty acids," a substance the rest of the developed societies do not get enough of.
  • The people of Crete Island are among the longest living in the world. Researchers have linked their longevity to various factors among which, their daily diet.
 Very easy and tasty: Greek seagrass Almiriki.
If you get a chance just try it! Delicious!
How to prepare:
1.Rinse seagrass with a lot of water in the sink
2.Cook till Al Dante and add a little bit salt

3.Dressing: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a perfect companion with olive oil, and together they are a wonderfully light and clean addition to any kind of salad.
Bon appetit! Kali Orexi!