Friday, December 28, 2012

Prosciutto Di San Daniele Del Friuli Topped Goat Cheese Tart - Impressive, Quick & Easy.

I love French goat cheese especially the one which looks like a log. These days we can stay off the extremely strict eating habits and have a little bit of high fat content cheese, a wee bit of sugar in the Italian Panettone which we enjoy so much with our coffee in the morning.

I would like to propose cheese lovers a delicious and easy tart filled with a mixture of this soft French goat cheese, cream cheese and with a little fresh mint leaves as an appetizer during these holidays.....

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Easy Chicken Tandoori

 A quick and easy way to completely tenderize chicken breasts is ......
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Minced/Chunk Soy Bean With Steamed Broccoli And Shiitake Mushrooms

Snipped A Few Celery Tops For Garnish
Here's a nice little light dinner for all you fans out there. It is a good idea to eat low calorie food  now before Christmas and New Year's because I'm sure not everybody will have the strength to stay away from all the goodies!Here goes....
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) With Canned Sardines

Garbanzo Beans otherwise called Chickpeas, are delicious. Everybody knows Humus. Well, humus is made with garbanzo beans. People in the desert eat garbanzo beans that is why these beans are very much consumed in the Middle East. Please allow me to share with you the benefits before I go to the more interesting part....the eating!

Nutrients in Garbanzo Beans

1.00 cup cooked (164.00 grams)

Nutrient%Daily Value

-  molybdenum164%
-  manganese84.5%
-  folate70.5%
-  fiber49.8%
-  tryptophan43.7%
-  protein29%
-  copper28.9%
-  phosphorus27.5%
-  iron26.3%
-  Calories (268)14%
(Courtesy of  "The World's Healthiest Foods". 

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Skinless Roast Chicken With Fruit, Vegetables & Pumpkin

My newer type of cooking is far from being vegetarian.  There is no way I can become a vegetarian. I cannot live without meat, chicken, etc.

This so called "newer type of cooking" will try to stay away from starch such as potatoes and wheat (with all its products) . Unfortunately wheat products are many. These include pasta, white or whole wheat bread, cakes, pizza etc.

Ask your butcher to take the skin off your chicken.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Seafood With Cracked Buckwheat & Turmeric

The difference between Bulgur and Cracked wheat is that the latter has not been parboiled.

Bulgur is considered a whole grain by the U.S.D.A. Cracked wheat is found in most supermarkets and has already been used in this blog. Buckwheat on the other hand has not been used. So this is a completely new recipe.

Buckwheat or Φαγόπυρο in Greek is difficult to find in Greece unless searched in Health Food/Organic Food supermarkets. Buckwheat can be found cracked or milled.Wikipedia mentions that buckwheat is not wheat.

For all intensive purposes, cracked buckwheat has been used in this recipe and used instead of rice.
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Paleolithic Diet Or The Caveman's Diet...

Today my friends I would like to share with you something very interesting.  Some of you may have heard of it and some of you may not. I, for certain have not. This "diet" or "life style" as I would call it, should be the way I will definitely try to follow for the rest of my life. This "life style" is what is known as the Paleolithic Diet.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Black Eyed Peas & Fish Soup...Practicing For Winter

The idea here is to cook the black eyed peas in lots of water add whatever needs to be added then finally to poach the fish filet on the surface during the last 10 minutes or so.  This is a warm, light, tasty meal to enjoy on a week day for lunch.  The orange piece you see is pumpkin.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Fresh Salmon Filet ....Slow...Slow...Slow Cooking On Stove Top.

 When buying your salmon filet ask the fish monger not to take off the skin...just make sure that the scales have been scraped and washed away.

 I have personally seen my friend Chef Rotureau prepare this dish for a number of people at the three Michelin star hotel and restaurant in St. Jean de Luz, south west of France, 30 km south of Biarritz.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Boneless Smoked Ham....My Favorite!

I would like to share with you how I made this succulent boneless smoked ham.

Went to my butcher in the Athens Market and asked him to choose a medium size hind leg of a pig skin on and to cut it my way. That is, he cut off the shank part for another recipe I have in mind, and to bone the remaining leg. the result was that I had two pieces of pork, one: the shank, and two: an open leg of skin on pork.

The shank was deep frozen and the open leg of pork was cured for 8 days. It weighed 4.3 kg.

Serves a party of 15 healthy eating people.
-  Pumped the leg with the meat syringe with the curing solution at 10 % of its weight.
-  Layed the leg of pork wide open skin down meat facing you and added the following:
>  2 Tbsp. crushed coriander.
>  1 Tbsp. Mango powder.
>  1 Tbsp. Garlic powder.
>  1 Tbsp. dry onion flakes.
>  2 Tbsp. black pepper corns.
>  ½ tsp. clove powder.
>  4 sprigs worth of fresh rosemary leaves.
>  1 Tbsp. dry basil.
>  4 sprigs worth of fresh thyme leaves.
>  4 sprigs worth of fresh mint leaves.
>  4 bay leaves crushed.
>  1 Tbsp. dry parsley.
>  1 Tbsp. smoked paprika.
>  10 crushed green cardamom pods.
-  Carefully immersed the pork skin up with the meat and all the herbs and spices below in the curing solution in a large pot which will hold everything.
-  Placed a soup plate on top of the pork.
-  Placed a special heavy flat flint stone I found once on the beach which fits perfectly into the pot. This is to keep the meat completely immersed in the curing solution.
-  Covered and placed in a special small fridge which is cold and rarely opened at around 4 degrees C or less.
-  Seven days later, took it out, drained the curing liquid through a sieve to keep the herbs and spices.
-  Washed the herbs and spices very well with fresh water and spread them all over the meat (not the skin).
-  Rolled meat skin on the outside with butcher's twine as in picture.
-  Placed on smoker at noon till 6 pm filling the liquid tray a couple of time to keep the meat moist.
-  All in all 4 shots of smoke were given to ham.
-  When the ham was ready the inside temperature was 75 degrees C.
-  The skin and much of the fat was taken off.
-  Shallow rhombic cuts were made into remaining ham surface, and pieces of whole cloves were inserted at the centers of these.
-  The meat was then glazed with a mixture of Dijon mustard and cranberry jelly before serving.
It was fantastic.
Hope you guys make it.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jalapeño Peppers....A Miracle Happened In Greece!!

This blog is intended for Greeks and any other nationality living in Greece who loves Jalapeño Peppers.
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Best Batter For Frying Nile Perch

Nile Perch is readily found in Greece and it is a good fish to eat.  It is also cheap and can be very nicely cut into filets.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Egyptian Style Cucumber Pickles...Torshi!!

Basically this pickle is made according to each and everyone's taste. The quantity of vinegar put, salt, and the rest of the herbs and spices are added according to taste. The important thing here is to have a sterilized jar done by immersing it in water and boiling it for half an hour and adding enough boiled water to cover all the cucumbers when the jar is filled with them.  When adding the cucumber the water should be at room temperature.
You should add:
-  Enough vinegar for taste and acidity. It can be white or red.
-  Enough thick salt to pickle and preserve, to taste.
-  Dry coriander powder and beads together, to taste.
-  Cumin powder to taste.
-  1 Tbsp. Smoked paprika not more because it has a strong taste.
-  2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper.
-  10 cloves of crushed garlic.
-  1 Tbsp. black pepper corns.
-  Chopped fresh dill.
Mix well, use your hand held vertical blender to blend everything together.
You can add anything else you wish.
Use a fork to make holes in each cucumber to help the macerating liquid enter.
Add your cucumber to snugly fit until the jar cannot hold any more.
Keep at room temperature for a couple of days well sealed.
Shake every once in a while.
Refrigerate for a week.
If it is to your liking, start consuming.
Note: Do not add any sugar as it will only make it taste like any other pickles you find in supermarkets.
Enjoy with any middle eastern food.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Maria's Greek Stuffed Vine Leaves...Dol-ma-da-kia!!

July 30th was my birthday. My wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday so I surprised her by asking her to make me some of her fantastic vine leaves. Maria remembers her teens when her mother used to ask for her help to wrap and stuff vine leaves for some large party the family was having. So basically this recipe dates back to granny Loula's days!
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Plain Broiled Gambas....Now That's A Starter To Make Your Mouth Water!!

These Gambas Come 6-8 Pieces To The Kilo
I have one culinary souvenir from my days working in the Red Sea Area of Egypt and this is the size, ease and low price I could come back home in Cairo with nearly 10 kilos of these huge, shrimp/prawns/gambas fresh out of the sea. Always kept a big ice chest in my Chevrolet 4 x 4 for such occasions.

For somebody who really likes prawns, the best way to eat them is plain with just lemon and olive oil.  A kind of sauce can be made on the side just in case someone wants to dip his prawn in it.

The other day was my 65th birthday, a milestone in my life.  So I decided to have some friends over to give them (and myself) a real treat.... here's how:
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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chicken Kebabs........No Skewers Needed!

I am about to give you an idea you may not have thought of before to make your chicken kebabs even tastier and more presentable to your guests.

We all know rosemary goes very well with chicken. As you cut your fresh rosemary from your plant at home try to cut short branches. Hold the top of each little branch with one hand, leaving behind the top of the branch, slide your thumb and forefinger down the branch with the other hand. You will end up with a bare branch with a head of rosemary on top.  Marinade your chicken pieces anyway you like, adding the loose rosemary leaves then instead of using a normal wooden skewer you use the bare branch of rosemary to pass through each peace of chicken like in the picture below. Cut any protruding branch behind.

Hope you like the idea which by the way is not mine.
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Batida De Ananas.....A Refreshing Pineapple "Shake" For Summer Nights...

 Batida is Portuguese or Spanish for Shake.  So Batida de Ananas con Cachaça is a pineapple shake with Cachaça. For anybody who may not know what Cachaça is, it is a rum made in Brazil straight from sugar cane. It does not go through the extra stages of turning it into the real rum Jack Sparrow, the Pirate, used to drink sailing around the Caribbean. Cachaça has a very subtle back taste of the black rum we know as Captain Morgan's. Cachaça is not like Bacardi.  In fact Cachaça is very pleasant and very alcoholic so we consume responsibly as with other alcoholic beverages.
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Baked / Fried Cheese Puffs - Hot Or Cold...Delicious!!

Gees I really missed you guys!! I had to be serious for a while and look after my business other than cooking. I would love to share with you a recipe that came to my mind while reading various cooking magazines and figured you would love it. Everybody loves cheese unless prohibited due to health reasons.
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chocolate Fudge Millefeuille Concoction...Also Easy And Quick

 Yesterday Sunday evening, we were watching the Greek elections on TV, all super markets were closed and suddenly we all had an urge to eat sweet. So I thought of something that we could use from what we had on hand between our pantry and the deep freezer and it went like this:

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Pommes Dauphinoises.....Creamed Baked Potatoe Second Edition.

Lovely color.

This is a second way to make this dish which I shared with you on July 8th 2011. In my opinion it is much better.
You will need:
Serves 4-6
-  1.2 kg of  potatoes, sliced medium ¼ inch thick.
-  500 gr milk
-  200 gr fresh cream 35% 
-  ½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg.
-  4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped.
-  1 Tbsp. butter.
-  Salt and pepper to taste.

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Stuffed Little Meringues....Very Easy And Quick

Little meringues are delicious when you can just put a couple with stuffing in the middle in your mouth without choking! There are many recipes which call for egg yolks so by the end of the day you end up with a bunch of egg whites meaning that you can either make a cholesterol free omelet, increase the quantity of two to three fried whole eggs on corn tortillas "Huevos Rancheros" type breakfast or beat the heck out of them and make small meringues as a sweet.

We decided to make small colored meringues and stuff them with cream and chocolate.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Smoked Salmon Tartlets With Red And Black Caviar Topping.

This is a most elegant, and delicious appetizer for all kinds of buffets. All you need to do is prepare the tartlets a few days earlier, freeze them, then use them in whatever way you want: savory or sweet.
These particular ones were savory where whole cumin seeds were used to adorn the tartlet and taste the cumin while biting into it......

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Custard Filled Tartlets Topped With Gooseberries And Strawberries.

It is very handy to make tartlets to use either for savory or for sweet purposes. The difference is that you may have to add some sugar in the sweet tartlets.

A Recipe for tarts and tartlets which always works is as follows:
Makes 25 tartlets.

-  250 gr all purpose flour.
-  110 gr cold butter cut in pieces or "NeoVitam soft" for our Greek friends.
-  76 cc. cold water.
-  ½ tsp. sugar.

Method for the tartlets:
-  Heat oven to 200 degrees C.
-        -   Add flour, sugar, and butter in a big bowl.
-        -  Cut butter into flour until all is grainy
      -  Add cold water and mix by hand till a smooth dough is obtained.
-        -  Wrap in a plastic film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
-        -  When time is up, flour your working surface and flatten your dough into a circle. 
     - Use a 7.5 cm cutter to cut circles.
-        -  Put each circle in place in muffin mold and using your fingers to cover the base and sides to form a tartlet.
-    -  Pearce holes into the base and all around the tartlets with a fork to prevent dough from swelling. 
-    -  Bake for 15 minutes or until a golden.
-        -  Take out from oven, let cool completely.
-        -  Bake the next batch till dough is finished.
-      -    Use immediately or freeze for future use.
Note: If tartlet is going to be used for savory purposes, you can add some coriander, sesame, cumin, or cardamom seeds to the dough. This will give it extra flavor.
For the custard cream:
You will need:
-  1 liter milk.
-  250 gr sugar.
-  100 gr corn flour (corn starch).
-  2 whole eggs.
-  2 yolks.
-  60 gr good fresh butter.
-  1 vanilla bean (pod).
-  Mix milk, part of the sugar the vanilla and bring to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce heat to minimum.
-   In a bowl, mix corn flour (corn starch), eggs very quickly otherwise the cornstarch will solidify, and the rest of the sugar.
-  When the egg / corn starch mixture is well blended together without any lumps, this is where you have to be very careful: take a ladle of the hot milk and pour slowly into the colder egg mixture while mixing quickly to increase its temperature. Take another ladle of hot milk and again pour slowly into the egg mixture while stirring quickly. Take a third and a fourth till you see that both fluids are nearly equal in temperature.
-  At this point you can pour all the egg mixture into the milk, increase the heat, and continue stirring with the whip till your total mixture temperature is not more than 83 to 85 degrees C. If you do not have a thermometer, then stir the cream till it is thick enough to form a layer on the back of a spoon and leaves a clean groove when you run your finger through it.
-  Add the butter and stir till it melts and blends in.
-  The cream is now ready and you must turn off the heat, and immediately transfer it onto a bowl, and put cling film on the surface to prevent the formation of that crust till it cools down. The cling film should completely touch the cream surface with no air pockets.
-  When cold,  mix well to turn it into a smooth cream again and set aside.
For the gooseberries and strawberry topping you will need:
-  1 cup frozen gooseberries completely thawed out and at room temperature.
-  1 cup frozen strawberries also completely thawed out and at room temperature.
-  ½ cup of sugar for each cup of berries.
-  Leave for an hour to let berry juices flow out and sugar to dissolve.
For the filling of the tartlets you have to:
-  Strain berries from all juices and dry on several kitchen paper towels.
-  Fill each tartlet with custard cream.
-  Use as many of the berries to top your tartlets making sure not to have any juices running on the tartlets otherwise they will become soggy.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Braised Country Sausage Appetizer....Goes Nicely With Ouzo

Country sausage can be cooked in different ways. I used leek flavored Greek country sausage sliced at an angle.
You will need:
Serves 10-15
-  8 x 30  cm long country sausage.
-  2 shots ouzo
-  1 Tbsp. olive oil.
-  2 stars anise
-  2 cups any tomato based sauce you have in your deep freeze. If not made a new hot and spicy tomato sauce.
-  Heat the olive oil.
-  Add the sliced sausage and saute on high heat for about a minute.
-  When sausage takes a nice color, add ouzo and star anise.
-  Flambe the whole lot.
-  When flame dies out, add tomato sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes then turn off heat.
-  Serve with slices of bread to dunk.
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Cannelloni With Spinach, Cottage Cheese and Walnuts

This recipe for Cannelloni will be my version of it as opposed to the one written on the box itself and I would like to share it with you....
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Profiterole....A Very Common Dessert But Not When Everything Is Home Made!

Everybody loves Profiterole.  According to Wikipedia Profiterole is the "cream puff" which has appeared on US restaurant menus since 1851,[9] if not earlier.The record for world's largest cream puff, weighing in at 125.5 pounds, was achieved August 11, 2011 at the Wisconsin State Fair by Dave Schmidt and Team Cream Puff.[10] The Wisconsin State Fair is known for its dairy bakery that has been producing cream puffs during the fair since 1924.  However Profiterole, or the cream puff, or just puff was used in old English and French Cuisine but not as a sweet but as a savory added stuffed in soups.....

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sangria...A Most Misunderstood Drink!

Courtesy Of Wikipedia.


I am under the impression that Sangria is underrated and misconceived... that it is a drink made for parties where people want to get really sloshed and not remember anything next morning.

Sangria, made in a refined manner, can be very quenching and pleasantly tasty. Just don't have too much of it. Like everything else for that matter. I obtained the basic recipe from a friend of mine from Catalonia, Spain...but of course I used my imagination to create something different and delicious.  Never buy the ready made Sangria from the supermarket...always make your own so you know exactly what is in it....

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Baby Octopus And Mac....Celebrating Election Day In Greece And France!!

This is the first time I ever eat (and cook) baby octopus. In my opinion fishermen must not fish octopus (octopi or octopuses choose which ever is correct) when it is so small. It becomes even smaller when it is cooked.  Octopus should be left to grow to be at least 2 to 3 kg. This is the perfect size to use for this recipe or dry it in the sun then grill it for ouzo meze, or to braise it in wine or vinegar.

Whole Octopus Being Dried Under The Warm Sun Of Greece. Courtesy of Google.

Octopus Tentacles Being Dried In The Sun. Courtesy Of Google

It is so beautiful to have lunch at a seaside taverna wearing your bathing suit, where a typical Greek mother is frying fresh sardines, the husband charcoal grilling the octopus tentacles, the daughter preparing a nice Horiatiki Salata (Greek salad) with Feta, and the son serving tables the food, the retsina (Greek resinated wine) or Greek Fix, Mythos beer.

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