Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chicken Livers With Green Pepper Corn Paté



December 22nd 2013....Gees! Time flies... I began blogging December 16th 2010...that makes three years and an all time page visit of nearly  67,000. Not bad. Blogging is writing: if you don't feel like writing nothing comes out. If what you cook is not interesting then there is nothing to blog about. However I had a couple of surprises with my semolina cakes.....

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Boiled Beef Short Ribs With Steamed Broccoli And Cauliflower


What can be healthier than Boiled Beef Short Ribs With Steamed Broccoli And Cauliflower. Everything is boiled...the carrots, the celery, onion, and whatever else your little heart desires, such as turnips, leeks, etc., if you happen to have it in your fridge. I have not used any garlic (funny enough) because I don't like boiled garlic! Furthermore I steamed in a so called " Coucoussière " the broccoli and cauliflower cut in small florets. Nothing wrong with this food...start your week nice and light....
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Fava With Sardines On Corn Bread Cakes



Fava is a Greek word meaning the yellow machine cut bean. It does not need to be soaked overnight in water. It can be boiled for a maximum of 45 minutes with enough water to cover it by 3 cm when cold. Be careful to take off the foam when it start boiling.Once the fava beans are boiled to the soup consistency, you can take it one step further by letting more liquid evaporate leaving the fava beans "nearly" dry  but NOT COMPLETELY DRY.  You would want to keep just enough fluid in there so when you purée it with the vertical  hand mixer, the outcome would be a thick, yet slightly fluid, purée. 
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thin Corn Bread Cakes


Corn bread is one of the main staples in American food. Corn bread is filling, nourishing and delicious especially the way I made them. Usually corn bread is baked in a round,  or square 2 inch deep mold and cut in square pieces or triangles, baked for 20 to 25 minutes at 200 degrees C (400 F). I chose today to pour the batter onto a cookie sheet, spread it evenly and bake it at the same temperature but for 12 minutes only. It came out yummy. So yummy that I don't think there will be any left for lunch! Here is how they were made....
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Leek Pie...A Vegetarian Delight.


Leek pie is a quick, easy and inexpensive vegetarian starter to make without using cheeses. All you have to do is sauté the leek, onion, scallions and parsley...

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Lemongrass Tea

Live and learn!! That's what happened to me with lemongrass.....
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Greek Style Rice Stuffed Tomatoes And Bell Peppers.



I love stuffed tomatoes and bell peppers! It is not an easy dish to make so it should be made on a Sunday when we have no plans to go out or have nothing to do. This dish is international.  Every country makes it, but...in its own style. This is the Greek house-wife recipe.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Green String Beans With Cauliflower And Semolina Squares.

Green String Beans With Cauliflower And Semolina Squares.

DSCF6689
Green string beans with cauliflower and semolina squares is a meal by itself.  String beans are bought frozen and already cut  in pieces so as to make it easier to use in a meal like this.
This dish can be considered vegetarian if chicken broth is not used to make the tomato sauce and generally to cook the whole meal in. So basically it depends on who cooks it to decide. Broth is used to improve the taste, and the body of the dish.  Of course many herbs and condiments could be used instead of the broth but that really would change the overall taste of this recipe. The health benefits of green string beans are....

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Boiled Chicken With Porcini Mushroom Sauce, Mushrooms On Rice


Autumn is the time for mushrooms so we will be proposing lots of mushroom ideas. One of these is the following where I have chosen to separate the porcini mushrooms, once boiled,  from their juice and by using the juice to prepare the rice, and the mushrooms themselves to make the sauce for the boiled chicken and rice. I would like to emphasize the fact that one whole chicken has been boiled in water in a pressure cooker first and then used the broth to make the sauce and to cook the rice in.
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Octopus Sauce On Macaroni With Chopped Fresh Green Coriander

DSCF6676

Octopus Sauce is the result of cooking octopus on its own without adding any water. We all know that sea food contains about 90 % water, so when you let an octopus cook in a pot, it spills its own liquid and ends up cooked. Since of course octopus lives in the sea, the water comes out salty so never add any salt while cooking octopus.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

White Elephant Beans With Chicken Sausage


Some friends of our went to the north west of Greece to the Prespes Lakes famed for their white elephant beans. These beans are even bigger than the giant beans you have maybe read about in my previous posts. They are perfect to half braze half bake with a tomato sauce and Italian chicken sausages. By the way these sausages are the only salty ingredient in the whole recipe. I am still aiming at a minimum Na+ (sodium) diet.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Baked Cabbage.

Well, we are in November now in Greece and the weather is getting chilly although we are still going around with short sleeved shirts and no jumpers. I am proposing today something "homely" which came out very pleasant even if it was not made according to Sharon Ryan's Irish recipe. I only had half of the ingredients so I improvised the other half! The original recipe is called Baked Cabbage with Bacon. But since I am trying to avoid bacon, (I didn't have any anyway) here what I did.....

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Risotto "Light" Con Porcini Secchi.




This is the second time I make a risotto in my life. The first was about 30 years ago and it was a disaster. Since then I never ate it even in Italian restaurants. This time my risotto with dried Porcini mushrooms was a masterpiece! (At least Maria and I thought so!). Here's what happened while we enjoyed some 1998 Cabernet Reserve...
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Special Frittata With Whole Chicken Sausage.

The Italians have succeeded in making delicious sausages made from chicken, not pork. They taste very good and can be mistaken for the real McCoy! Of course, like any other charcuterie, they are salty. One sausage every now and then is not bad when everything else is without salt at all. Eating them with an omelet is fantastic, even more when the omelet is a frittata, Italian style....

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Teriyaki Marinated BBQ Pork Shoulder

Ok ok!! I confess! I bought myself a new BBQ. My 24" in diameter RÖSLE is a beauty. She is the new love of my life (apart from Maria of course) Here are some pics!

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Curried String Beans With Soy Pieces


Soy pieces can definitely take the place of meat, specially when they are the size you see in the picture. Perfectly vegetarian and healthy. Including string beans gives us the extra vitamins needed and the addition of a curry sauce gives a little "kick" to the whole dish. Here is how:

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Poor Boy Semolina Cakes


Semolina comes from wheat. It is very cheap and is used in Greece to make sweets. Today I used it to make semolina cakes to pour a string bean curry over them. Here is how...

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Sardines With Tomato And Fresh Basil


I have already spoken to you my friends regarding Omega 3  and how essential it is for your health. Well today we are having sardines but in a different way...

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Using Fresh Coriander Instead Of Parsley...

Fresh Coriander Instead Of Parsley.

Fresh Coriander, Cilantro known in Hispanic circles, or Coriandolo in Italy, is used extensively in foods to give a special "note" to the overall taste.  Fresh coriander is very much used in India, Pakistan, and other Eastern and Far Eastern countries for their wonderful dishes. It is also used in Mexico, Central and Latin America.

Fresh Coriander On The Left, Dry Coriander Corns In The Middle, Finely Ground, Right.
Courtesy Of Google
Dried Coriander is very much used in the Middle East for Falafel, Foul, Humus, mixed and fried with garlic for Molohia soup. In short it is one of the most used herbs/condiments in oriental cuisine.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Grilled Boneless Breast Of Chicken Skewers Tandoori Style.


Tandoori is definitely the Indian way of grilling. A tandoor is an non glazed clay pot which is heated on the outside and bottom by wood, coal whatever creating high heat in the interior. By sticking the food to the walls of the pot, it cooks giving the food a fantastic taste.  Here are some photos of tandoors is a courtesy of Google.....

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bacalao With Za'atar, Jalapeño Peppers, Garlic,Cilantro & Olive Oil

Bacalao With Za'atar, Jalapeño Peppers, Garlic,Cilantro & Olive Oil

Bacalao known as Cod in English, is one of the tastiest fish existing in the seas and oceans of mother Earth. Bacalao is not only very much eaten  by the P.I.G.S. (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) but also in France and the United Kingdom.
Bacalao or the Atlantic Cod is easily distinguished from most other marine fish by its three rounded dorsal fins and two anal fins that are mirror images of the second and third dorsals.
Wheels Of Bacalao Ready For Baking.
Wheels Of Bacalao Ready For Baking.
It also has a prominent barbel ("whisker") on the chin. The Atlantic cod occasionally reach lengths in excess of 5 to 6 feet and lives in about 300 feet of water. Bacalao does not travel in schools but in small groups when searching for food.
Bacalao is healthy, has no fat, and 93% protein http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4045/2.  We all remember the Cod liver oil our mothers used to give us to make us strong!
Baked Bacalao is very easy and quick to make because your basic fish patty is ready. All you have  to do is put the various herbs and spices you want and off into the oven.
Baked Bacalao With Garlic & Cilantro
Baked Bacalao With Garlic & Cilantro
Ingredients:

Serves 6
  • About 1.2 kg of frozen Bacalao patties thawed and have the extra water squeezed out of them.
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper very thinly sliced, seeds discarded (optional).
  • ½ bunch cilantro finely chopped.
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
  • Olive oil as needed.
  • 1 Tbsp of Za'atar
Method:
Baked Bacalo With Cilantro Persillade
Baked Bacalo With Cilantro Persillade
  • Heat 1 Tbsp of  olive oil in a small pan.
  • Add some of the garlic and cilantro and stir fry for a couple of minutes until the beautiful aroma of garlic fills the air. Set aside.
  • Lay the Bacalao patties side by side on a baking dish lined with oven proof paper.
  • Sprinkle the Za'atar on the patties.
  • Spoon some of the garlic cilantro from the pan on each patty.
  • Bake in a preheated 180 degree C oven for 25 minutes.
  • Sprinkle some of the uncooked cilantro and garlic over bacalao.
Baked Bakalao Served On A Sauce Drenched Slice Of Freshly Baked Home Bread.
Baked Bakalao Served On A Sauce Drenched Slice Of Freshly Baked Home Bread.
Serve with a green salad
Enjoy
Stelio

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Delicious Desert For Warm Days....



A delicious dessert for warm days is made of thick Greek yogurt, fresh cream, a sauce, and all sorts of berries. My friend Sonia Peronaci, founder and owner of the famous Italian food blog site www.giallozafferano.it presented this recipe during August into translatable Italian and I would like to share it with all my English speaking friends around the world. Here goes...
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The Greek Spinach Pie


August 17th 2013 034
The spinach pie in Greece is one of the most common street food you can find. It can be found in every street corner and is considered as a snack for breakfast or lunch up to about 3 pm. After that all the shops making it run out and that's it for the day until 6 a.m. the next day when they start again selling fresh ones. These shops are cafeterias selling other pies as well such as meat pies, cheese pies, sausage pies, little pizzas etc. Today we shall talk about the spinach pie.
The spinach pie is divided into two types: with feta cheese or just spinach for those who fast or don't eat cheese for some reason.
Today I decided to go ahead and make the simple spinach pie because I am avoiding salty cheeses due to my high blood pressure. Of course using feta, or a mixture of other cheeses is better, tastier, and of course, richer in calories.

August 17th 2013 003August 17th 2013 021August 17th 2013 019August 17th 2013 005August 17th 2013 009August 17th 2013 001August 17th 2013 023August 17th 2013 026August 17th 2013 027August 17th 2013 029To make a spinach pie you will need:
  • 2 kg of frozen spinach (leaves or finely cut).  After thawing they have to be very well strained by taking a handful at a time and pressing them patiently between the palm of your hands to squeeze all the juice out. The spinach must be dry when used or else the juices will spoil your pie. 2 kg of frozen spinach produced 900 gr of strained dry spinach.
  • 1 bunch of parsley finely chopped.
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill finely chopped.
  • 2 big onions finely cubed.
  • 1 pack of fyllo pastry: about 12 sheets 40 cm x 30 cm.
  • ½ cup of olive oil.
  • ½ cup of vegetable margarine.August 17th 2013 017August 17th 2013 015
  • 2 eggs (for vegetarians) these can be omitted.
Note: I added no salt or pepper for health reasons. But of course you go ahead and use salt and pepper but take into consideration the salt in the feta (300 gr for this quantity of spinach) if you are going to use any.
Method:
  • Melt margarine in oil just until melted. Mix, and set aside.
  • Thaw spinach and extract all juices as explained above and set aside.
  • In a large pan heat some olive oil just to cover the bottom add cubed onions and stir fry till transparent.
  • Add chopped dill and parsley and stir fry for about 3 minutes.
  • Add well strained spinach stir and mix with onion till all the spinach is well separated from each other and you get a homogeneous mixture.
  • Cook mixture for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
  • When cool, add eggs and mix well.
Putting the pie together:
  • Fyllo pastry dries up very quickly. So open the pack just before you start putting the pie together working as quickly as you can.
  • Using a 36 cm x 30 cm oven dish, start by brushing the olive oil/margarine mixture all over the bottom.
  • Cover by one fyllo pastry sheet and tap to get any trapped air out.
  • Brush more olive oil/margarine mixture and add one more fyllo sheet tapping again to get the air out. Any excess fyllo on the sides fold in.
  •  Put 6 of the 12 fyllo sheets always brushing olive oil mixture between them.
  • At this point, add your cooled, and dry spinach mixture and spread evenly to cover the baking dish.
  • Now, start adding the other 6 six sheets one by one by brushing olive oil mixture between them. Always tucking the extra fyllo in.
  • When all the sheets have been used, cut into portions as in photo.
  • Sprinkle some water just before putting your pie into the oven.
  • August 17th 2013 033 August 17th 2013 034Bake for 40 minutes at 200 degrees C with air, on the lowest shelf of your oven to make sure the pie cooks well from beneath.
  • When the top of the pie takes a nice tanned color it is ready.
  • Make sure to let it sit for about 15 - 20 minutes before you dig in otherwise it is too hot to eat and enjoy.
  • This spinach pie can also be enjoyed cold the next day. It can stay up to 2 days in the fridge.
Enjoy,
Stelio
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Quit Salt And Eat A Nice Side Dish Of Millet With Cilantro...

Quit Salt And Eat A Nice Side Dish Of Millet With Cilantro.



Cilantro is the Hispanic word for fresh coriander used in many Eastern dishes especially in India. Mexico uses lots as well. Today we are going to make Millet with Cilantro. Millet has many health benefits. Some of them are Millet in Greek language is Κέχρι.
The following passage has been copied, as is, from the link http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-health-benefits-of-millet.html
Millet provides a host of nutrients, has a sweet nutty flavor, and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available. It is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body.
Millet has always been a favorite grain of mine since I discovered it in my hippy days in the 70’s!
Read about millet’s 12 health benefits, some interesting trivia and history, 10 tips how to use it, and 3 delicious millet recipes.
12 Health Benefits:
1. Millet is alkaline and it digests easily.
2. The Hunzas – who live in a remote area of the Himalayan foothills and are known for their excellent health and longevity – enjoy millet as a staple in their diet.
3. Millet will hydrate your colon to keep you from being constipated.
4. Millet acts as a prebiotic feeding microflora in your inner ecosystem.
5. The serotonin in millet is calming to your moods.
6. Millet is a smart carb with lots of fiber and low simple sugars. Because of this it has a relatively low glycemic index and has been shown to produce lower blood sugar levels than wheat or rice. (Kamari and Sumathi, 2002)
7. Magnesium in millet can help reduce the effects of migraines and heart attacks.
8. Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet can help lower cholesterol.
9. Millet consumption decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein. Scientists in Seoul, South Korea concluded that millet may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease. Nutrition Research. April 2010; 30(4):290-6.
10. All millet varieties show high antioxidant activity. A team of biochemists analyzed the antioxidant activity; all varieties showed high antioxidant activity. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 9 June 2010; 58(11):6706-14.
11. Millet is gluten-free and non-allergenic. A great grain for sensitive individuals.
12. Millet’s high protein content (15 percent) makes is a substantial addition to a vegetarian diet.
Ingredients for Millet with Cilantro:
Serves 6

  • 3 cups of Millet.
  • DSCF6505DSCF65036 cups chicken broth.
  • Half bunch of Cilantro (fresh coriander) finely chopped.
  • No salt no pepper.
Method:
  • In pot with cover boil the broth with the cilantro.
  • Add the Millet, stir, and cover.
  • Lower heat to minimum and simmer for 13 minutes covered.
  • When time is up, uncover and mix to distribute cilantro evenly in the cooked Millet.
  • Ready.
  • For vegetarians use water instead of broth.
Enjoy as a side dish.
Stelio
P.S.
Best way to keep cilantro fresh is to stick the stems of the whole bunch in a glass of water in the fridge. It will keep for about 3 days otherwise it spoils easily.



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Friday 13th Omega 3 Fish Eating Day!

Friday 13th Omega 3 Fish Eating Day!

Today is Friday and good Christians must not eat meat. So since we are good Christians we ate fish. We had poached fresh salmon and roasted fresh sardines.  We usually eat salmon and/or sardines once every 15 days because we know that these particular fish have high Omega 3 content. On the other hand, though, we try not to exceed eating such fish because of their alleged heavy metal content. We are therefore limiting our intake to twice per month. I would recommend eating fish in general more than any other protein (meat or chicken) but as mentioned above, only twice per month fish rich in Omega 3. I would on the other hand advise not to offer fish in general to your guests. Unfortunately the majority of people like meat and chicken.
Here is how we had them.
Serves 4.
Ingredients: 
  • 600 gr fresh filet skin on one side of salmon  all bones taken out (you know the vertical line of big bones running on the side from up to down).
  • 300 gr whole fresh sardines heads and guts taken out.
  • A few leaves of basil.
  • A few drops of olive oil.
  • Some Za'atar for the sardines. (Za'atar is a mixture of thyme, oregano, sesame seeds and other herbs).
  • ½ cup of water.
Friday 13th Is Omega 3 Day! 003
Method:
For the Salmon:
  • Add water in a skillet with a cover, heat, lay salmon with skin down touching the skillet.
  • Cover, lower heat to minimum and let poach for 20 minutes at lowest heat.
  • Mince the basil leaves and sprinkle on top.
  • Serve and enjoy.
  • No salt, no pepper.
For the Sardines:
  • Lay the sardines side by side as shown in picture on oven paper.
  • Add some drops of olive oil and brush.Friday 13th Is Omega 3 Day! 001
  • Add a pinch of Za'atar.
  • Roast for 20 minutes at 180 degrees C.
  • No salt, no pepper.
  • Serve and enjoy.
Both of the above served with a nice green salad.
Bon Appétit,
Stelio
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Friday, September 13, 2013

Fantastic Spicy Sweet Pepper Sauce



This morning I felt like cooking. I had bought some red sweet peppers (not bell peppers) from the market the other day which told me (the red peppers did) "make a sauce out of us".

This is a sauce which can be used hot or cold, on pasta, meat, fish, or even Quinoa, Cracked Buckwheat, or Millet for those who wish low glycemic index foods.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Chicken With Beer In The Butt....




 June 16th is father’s dayWe had guests and decided to make something different not very known in Greece or maybe Europe. It is, however, quite well known in the United States Of America. It is “Chicken with beer in the butt” . We all know what butt means but in this case the butt of the chicken is the big hole between the thighs .  I think is a marvelous idea to stick a small beer can at room temperature with lots of holes on the top in this hole…let the chicken stand and cook in this manner.


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Sunday, June 9, 2013

A False Lasagna...A Miscalculation....Interesting Outcome!!


Maria loves lasagna!! For today Sunday I promised her lasagna al pesto which she loves...Since we are not eating pasta made out of wheat flour anymore, our pantry had some pasta left. I was sure we had a whole box of lasagna (500 gms) . When it was time to make the lasagna I saw I only had 5 sheets of lasagna but I had a whole box of canneloni!! Since I could not go back on my word, I used the canneloni as well. This, guys, might happen to you someday (when you get old like me). So this is what I did....
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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Greek BBQ....Best With Ouzo Or Retsina!!



For some reason we all woke up this morning and decided to break our usual light no salt, no sugar diet so we decided to have charcoal grilled breast of turkey, country sausage, burgers, and fried Haloumi cheese (you know the cheese that squeaks while chewing).

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