Friday, May 20, 2011

Apology!!

Dear friends!!

Tomorrow is a our daughter's birthday. Barbara has invited 12 friends for a 4 course seated dinner!! And insisted Maria and I cook.  So today and tomorrow you will have to forgive us because we will not share any of our recipes with you due to preparations.

However we plan to make it up for you on Sunday by sharing what we prepared.

Kisses to all, and have a good week end.
Maria and Stelio
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Filet Of Sole With Sauce Armagnac On Cilantro Noodles

Gascony is the Green Part
The Little White Area Below,
Is The Basque Aquitaine Region Where
Biarritz And St. Jean De Luz are.
1956 Armagnac
Courtesy Of Wikipedia
On Google.

Filet of Sole is the quickest fish to cook so it gives your mind time to think what to couple it with.  Cilantro, fresh coriander as it is widely known will accentuate the noodles passed into browned butter mixed with steamed carrots, string beans sweet peas and topped with an Armagnac sauce.
Armagnac brandy is as delicious for some, just as Cognac is for others.  Armagnac is produced in the Region of Gascony, South West of France shown in phtoto above Courtesy of Wikipedia on Google.
For this dish you will need :
Serves 3
-  6 fillets of sole, thawed and patted dry.
-  300 gms. of egg noodles.
-  1/2 cup milk.
-  4 Tbsp. unsalted fresh butter.
-  1 small onion very finely chopped.
-  1 garlic clove very finely chopped.
-  2 Tbsp. fresh coriander thinly chopped.
-  4 Tbsp. Armangac.
-  4 Tbsp. thick Greek yogurt 10% fat  (instead of cream 35% fat).
-  1/2 cup of baby carots cut small.
-  1/2  cup of string beans cut small.
-  1/2 cup of sweet peas.
-  Juice of 1/2. lemon juice.
-  Salt and freshly ground pepper.
Method:
-  Add  milk in a skillet, quickly cook the sole filets on high heat for 1/2 minute each side. Transfer fish onto a plate. Leave juices in skillet.  Set aside.

-  Steam cook frozen baby carrots, string beans and peas till crunchy Set aside.
-  Add half of the butter in same skillet you cooked the sole in (with liquids in), stir fry garlic and onion then lower heat.
-  Add yogurt, stir to blend then add Armagnac, stir.


-  Add veggies and incorporate into a homogenous sauce.
-  In a separate skillet, brown butter, add boiled and strained pasta and stir in butter to coat until that beautiful aroma is let out.
-  Add sauce / veggie mix to the pasta mix well and transfer the lot in an oven proof baking dish.
-  Now, add the pieces of filet over the pasta and press 1/2 lemon's worth of juice over the fish.
-  Grill in oven for 5 minutes maximum, sprinkle the cilantro and serve.


Serve,
Bon Appétit,
Stelio
P.S. Deliciously light.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Le Trou Normand......A Palate Cleanser Between Courses

My good friends today I would like to share with you something very elegant,  a certain savoir vivre or etiquette, of rich dining. By rich I mean in calories and, if I may add, sumptuous.
It all began in Normandy.  People in this region of France eat heavy meals with cream since this is the most common ingredient in most of their meals. Therefore a glass of Calvados, an apple brandy made in the area of Calvados in Normandy, is usually imperative between courses in order to digest the previous course until you "attack" the next.


File:Couperne Calvados.jpg
Courtesy Of Wikipedia On Google
This custom was generalized in France and in the rest of the world in chic restaurants and in homes when the meal is rather heavy. This custom however did not stop at just drinking straight Calvados but it was extended to the preparation of a Sherbet (Sorbet) usually made with either green apples and Calvados, or Lemon or Lime (or both) with Vodka, or what ever could "Cleanse the palate between courses".
I would like to share with you today a recipe I usually make when rather rich creamy courses are being served. It is a " Vodka - Lime Sherbet " but with no dairy in it. It should be very fresh and cold like ice-cream. This re-organizes your appetite to be able to eat more food!!

File:Backyard limes.jpg
Lime
Courtesy Of Wikipedia
Lemon
Courtesy Of Wikipedia
You will need:
Serves 15 little shots.
-  Grated zest from 6 limes.
-  1 cup lime juice.
-  135 gms of powdered sugar.
-  3 cups cold water if you do not want it alcoholic or if you do then you add,
-  2 cups cold water and 1 cup Vodka.
Method: 
-  Mix together the rind of the 6 limes, 1 cup of lime juice, and 135 gms. of powdered sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil,  then simmer for 10 minutes till the solution becomes thick and syropy.
-  Let cool completely.
-  Add the 2 cups of cold water, stir well, then add the 1 cup of vodka and stir well.
-  Freeze in little shot glasses for at least 24 hours. It is usually served before the third course.
Enjoy!
Stelio
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stewed Eggplant....Another Greek Dish For The Family

Eggplant.  In Greek Called: F l á s k e s
Courtesy of Goodgle
We are now entering the season for eggplant in Greece. Price per kilogram has gone down, and they look marvelously shiney, and firm. The type of eggplant that were used are the black, pear shaped ones called Flaska (Fláska is singular... Fláskes is plural).
You already know the health benefits of eggplant, now you only need to see how a Greek home would cook them for an everyday meal. (Basically my way).
You will need:
Serves 4 - 6
- 4 big eggplants.
- 70 gms. of tomato paste.
-  200 gms. grated tomatlo in juice.
-  1 bouillon cube braised beef.
-  1 big onion chopped.
-  4 cloves of garlic chopped.
-  1/2 bunch parsley chopped.
-  1 hot green chili sliced.

Method:
-  Wash and omit stems from the 4 eggplants.
-  Peel in stripes as in photo.

-  Cut in thick slices and then each slice in four.
-  Heat enough extra virgin olive  oil to cover the bottom of a non stick deep sauce pan with cover.
-  When oil starts  to smoke add the eggplant pieces and stir fry till they have all changed color and are slightly soft to the touch about 3 minutes.
-  Add onion, garlic, chili, and continue to stir fry on high heat for another 2 minutes. By now eggplant has let out its juices.
-  Add tomato and bouillon cube.  Stir, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the eggplant is completely cooked and soft.
-  Add Salt to taste.



Tip:  I don't fry the onion and the garlic in the hot oil at the beginning because the dish would be difficult to digest. I sort of let it "boil" with the juices and the tomato afterwards.
Bon Appétit,
Stelio
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Strawberry Jam.....What else ?

It may sound funny to you but I am absolutely sure that there may be some of you out there in this whole wide world who would love to find out how to quickly make strawberry jam.
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Charcoal Grilled Sea Bass......Summer Is Approaching!!

Fish After Thawing
If you spear fish, or just like to eat big fresh, just out of the sea fish, the best way to eat it is grilled on charcoal. Charcoal grilling gives this special grilled/charcoal flavor.


You can see where the spear hit the fish
Just below the head and gills.

I wish I were still in a good enough physical shape to continue snorkeling, and spear fishing like in the good old days in the Red Sea down in Hurghada and Safaga of Egypt. We always went in pairs never alone watching each others backs due to the sharks and the barracudas.
This beauty was caught by a friend of Barbara's somewhere in the south of Greece, immediately deep frozen and we had it two days later. You can see where it was hit...perfect just below the head. Once again the predator in us has emerged! And ended up on our plate!!
So if you are at the fish market, real early in the morning, or waited for the fishing boats to come in with their catch and you find any known big fish weighing around 2.5 kg buy it, and have the fisherman clean it for you but ask him not to take the scales off. The reason is you would not want the fish to stick on the grill. This way you can turn it as many times as you want and the skin will not stick.
You will need:
Serves 4-6
-  1 sea bass or whatever big fish of good quality weighing around 2.5 kgs. well cleaned. If you are lucky it may be a female and get the roe which is delicious.
-  Salt, pepper, some oregano, oil, and lots of lemon juice.
-  Make three equally spaced slits with a sharp knife on each side of the fish across the back bone to help it cook faster.
Method:
I had to clean the fish and discovered that it had two pouches of roe so kept them separate.
Generally speaking:
-  Take off gills and pull out everything which goes with them.
-  With a sharp knife open the stomach and take out whatever is in there, if you find fish roe and you like it, keep it if not throw it away.
-  Cut all the flip flops left right up and below.
-  Now it is ready to add salt, pepper, oil, oregano and lemon juice.
-  Light the charcoal wait till it is all grey, pull all to one side, and put the fish on the other side of the barbeque. Close the top and check it every 15 minutes. At one point put the roe in a skillet to cook as well.
Fish Ready To Go On The Grill

Few Pieces Of Charcoal Below,
Majority Is Far.









Fish Roe Pouches Cooking In
Oil and Lemon In A
Skillet On Charcoal


For Chili Lovers.
 The pictures speak for themselves.

Rule of thumb to know if fish is cooked or not:

  •  Whole fish with bone Cut along the back bone with a flat wide sharp object then try to raize the flesh. If it comes off the bone easily, then it is cooked.
  One hour later the fish of this weight is ready to serve with Greek Salad, Potato Salad and a chilled white "Flisvos" by Tsandali.
Bon Appétit
Stelio
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Prosciutto Di Parma Salad.....Perfect For Dinner

Prosciutto Di Parma With Very Thin Slices Of Carrot
And Iceberg Lettuce
Q: What could you eat for dinner when you had a big lunch ??
A:  A Prosciutto Di Parma Salad.
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Baba Au Rum......Dates Back to the 17th Century A.D.

Baba Au Rhum With Whipped Cream
And A Twist Of Blackberry Sau
Baba au Rhum, or Rum Baba is one of the oldest desserts in pastry making. I wouldn't like to bore you with the history of this dessert but if you would like to know more about its history, please follow the aforementioned link. It is really very interesting.
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