‘Lamb Fricassée’ – Lamb with greens

ελληνικαLamp is literally the ‘black ship’ of meat, people usually react like this when you talk to them about it: “It smells! It’s fatty! It’s heavy!”. I defied all this the other day and dared to buy lamp from a Dutch butcher who was listening Pink (!). Writing this in the Greek version of my blog I didn’t have to say no more but for all my international friends I will explain. In a Greek traditional butchery you would get a more ‘raw’ approach of a butcher asking you what part of the animal you want and then getting the whole body of it and cutting it right in front of you. All that don’t match with Pink, who other than that I love to listen a lot. Once again then, living abroad gives you the freedom of ‘no standard way’ of doing things. Love it.

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the recipe

90′ | serves 4

ingredients

  • 1 kilo of lamp, the shoulder part cut in big pieces
  • some olive oil
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green salad
  • 500gr. celery leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water

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directions

  • Warm up the olive oil in a pot until very hot and put the lamp pieces so that they get a nice color in all sides.
  • Get the meat out go the pot in a plate and add in the put the onions that you have finally chopped.
  • When onions are softened, add the meat again, salt, pepper and fill in the pot with water until the meat is covered. Cover the pot and cook in low temperature for 1 hour.
  • When the 1 hour is up, add the greens that you have cut in big pieces, salt, pepper and cook for another 20′ keep the pot without the cover. Add some water if needed.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and let the food rest for 15′.
  • Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork and add the lemon juice. 
  • Then with a big spoon add slowly broth from the pot into the bowl with the egg/lemon sauce and mix very very quickly so that the eggs are not baked. You transfer most of the broth to the sauce in this way.
  • In the end you move the egg/lemon sauce from the bowl in the pot and move the pot with circular moves so that the sauce is finely integrated with all the food.

Enjoy!

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Tips!

  • If you want to have a thicker egg/lemon sauce then before putting it in the pot on the final stage add some corn flour in it and mix well. It will help your sauce become even thicker!

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Cinnamon cookies

ελληνικα

Lately we are becoming full of sweet little foxes (in Greek this metaphor is used for sweet, smart, lovely people). They are coming from everywhere, they look like little aliens at first, they cannot even hold their head up straight, they look you slowly straight in the eyes scanning your face and reactions (who knows what they think). And you look at them thinking how complicated your life has become when things are always only simple. As what we all truly need is a heart, full of cinnamon. 

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the recipe

45lepta

ingredients

(almost 60 pieces)

  • 70gr. butter
  • 120gr. sugar
  • 400gr. flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tsp. baking powder
  • 1tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3tsp. cloves
  • 1tsp. vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt

Extra sugar for the topping.

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directions

  • Preheat your oven at 200 degrees C.
  • Beat the butter with sugar for 10′, until the get whitish.
  • Add the whites of the eggs in the mixture and then the yolks, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Continue with the flour.
  • The dough should not stick in your hands. Wrap it in foil and let it rest in the fridge for 10′.
  • Take small pieces of the dough and open it in a ‘phyllo’ 1,5cm think and make cookies from whatever saw[e you like. Sprinkle the cookies with some sugar and bake in parchment paper for 10′ (depending on your oven).

Enjoy!

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Tips!

  • You can make up to 3cm thick for a different cookie experience. Let them bake for at least 20′ in that case.

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Hitscock’s Applepie

ελληνικα

Athens, Hitscock, warm summer afternoons, cicadas and Dutch apples. What’s there in common? It was this warn afternoon this summer in Athens that I randomly found a cook book with recipes of dishes that appeared in Hitscock’s movies. I thought ok, these should be as exciting as his movies. Eat my Greek salad on the back balcony of the house, listening to the song of cicadas surrounded by beautiful pine trees reading Hitscock’s book. Lots of British recipes – way far from my style. And then I saw this apple pie recipe. With cornflour. Here is some suspense I thought. And when I got back to the Dutch apples I gave it a shot. Enjoy!  

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the recipe

60

  • 500gr. apples
  • 150gr. corn flour
  • 100gr. black sugar
  • 150gr. heavy cream
  • 20gr. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1tsp. cinnamon

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directions

  • Preheat your oven at 180 degrees 180 and butter a round 24cm pan.
  • Cut the apples initially in 4 big pieces and then half of them in small cubes and the rest half in fine thin slices.
  • Separate whites from yolks and beat the yolks with the sugar till they get ‘white’.
  • Add to the mixture the flour, then the heavy cream, cinnamon and the lemon zest. Beat till you get a smooth bater.
  • Add the apples cut in cubes and mix well.
  • Beat the whites in firm meringue and add it very smoothly in the bater using a spatula.
  • Put the mixture in the pan and lay on top the apple slices.
  • Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon, lower the temperature at 160 and bake for 40′.

Enjoy!

Tips!

  • You can replace sugar with honey for a more juice result!

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Legumes salad

ελληνικα

Whenever you take a flight to Greece. When you smile and don’t anticipate more. When you smell the flowers walking down the street. When the fresh air hits your face in the early mornings. When you buy fish, fruit and vegetables from the Saturday market. When you cut figs from the trees. When a cat ‘purrs’ in your lap. When you create a new recipe. When your work excites you. When your friends message you to know if  you reached home safe. When you realize that you have no control in life. When you realize that you have a choice in life. When you realize you might never know exactly what you want and it doesn’t matter because that means that you constantly evolve. When you know that everything you do will never last forever but it’s another step of the way, another piece of your story. When you realize that you love someone and that you have been loved. 

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the recipe

30_λεπτα2p

  • 120gr. black beans
  • 120gr. black-eyed beans
  • 120gr. lentils
  • 2 onions in thick slices
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in small pieces
  • 100gr. chopped parsley
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 60ml. olive oil
  • salt, pepper to taste

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directions

  • Boil the black beans, black-eyed beans and lentils for approximately 25′-30′ in separate pots in slightly salted water(they all need slightly different boiling time, plus the black beans will color the rest if put together)
  • Drain them well and put them in a big bowl.
  • Add the onion in thick slices, the pieces of sun-dried tomatoes, the chopped parsley, lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil and mix well.
  • You can either keep the salad in the fridge for some time to enjoy it cold or simply start eating!

Enjoy !

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Tips!

  • You can add also tomato cut in cubes or coriander if you like it more than parsley!

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Moist banana – chocolate cake

ελληνικα

This summer in the Netherlands is a true one. Those who have been living here the previous ones they understand what I am talking about. Sun, warmth, blue sky, warmth, blue sky, sun, sun, sun.. And together with all this you simply get: relaxed mood, more smiling faces, nice light summer clothes, cocktails in the canals, cocktails in the boats, quick refreshing showers without caring if you have enough time to dry your hair before you leave the house, the crickets that you where wondering if they ever lived in this country (now you know they do and appear under certain occasions), the people that walk around with their flip flops and their red sunburnt noses and then you feel that you are the local one and the rest are tourists in their own country! For the cake: share responsibly as this is a very personal recipe and those that are going to eat it need to appreciate, respect and seek freedom (you’ll know what I mean).

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the recipe

30m60

  • 200gr. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250gr lurpak butter
  • 450gr. sifted flour
  • 20gr. baking powder
  • 1tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 melted ripe bananas
  • 1tsp. cinnamon
  • 2tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder
  • 200gr. melted dark chocolate 78%
  • 100gr. dark chocolate 78% in pieces

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directions

  • Preheat your over at 180 degrees C and butter a cake bundt adding some cacao instead of flour.
  • Smash the bananas with a fork, add the cacao and cinnamon and mix well.
  • Put the 200gr. of dark chocolate together with he butter in a small sauce pan and melt them in very low temperature.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar using your mixer till they get ‘white’ (4′-5′).
  • Keeping beating and add the banana mixture and then the chocolate mixture.
  • Add the flour in portions (which you have mixed with the baking powder and vanilla) and mix well.
  • Finally add the 100gr. of chocolate in pieces and mix using a big spoon.
  • Pure the mixture in the bundt and bake for 40′-45′ depending on your oven and..

Enjoy !

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Tips!

  • Let the cake cool down for a bit so that you can enjoy all the flavors.
  • Add some ice cream, it fits well during summer!

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‘Bobota’ – Corn flour Greek pie

ελληνικα

It’s been a while. And yet again (at least) for me, nothing really changed. Cooking is all around, it takes different forms every now and then, but that’s part of its nature right? So I come back with a big discussion: true love. Does it exist? What is it? Where can you find it? I can see what some people might say. “Get over this stuff my girl, there is no such a thing, true love.” I don’t know about that. I only know how I feel. And I feel true love for baking. And especially baking a dough. Greek sour pies, sweet cakes, desserts, all things with a dough. This recipe here for ‘Bobota’ pie from Kalabaka that my friend Aspasia gave me, has a ‘special’ type of dough, actually there is no dough as we know it but that’s again a true dough characteristic. It can be whatever it wants, as doughs have unique character. That’s why I love them so much. 

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the recipe

8mUntitled

  • 600gr. spinach
  • 4 spring onions cut in small pieces
  • 2 leeks cut in small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 200gr. Feta cheese
  • 300gr. corn flour for the base
  • 150gr. corn flour for the top
  • 150gr. water for the base (you should ‘feel’ the dough and adjust)
  • 6tbsp. olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • 3tbsp. butter
  • extra water (around 100gr.) for the top of the pie

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directions

  • Preheat the oven in 200 degrees C. and butter up a round pan 28cm (or a different shape pan of similar size).
  • Put all chopped greens in a pan with some olive oil and let them sweat and lose most of their water. That should take around 20′. Remove from the stove, let it cool down for 5′ and add the egg and the Feta cheese together with some salt and pepper. Keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix the 300gr. of corn flour with the 150gr. of water and some salt. You should get a ‘wet’ corn flour that still crumbles in you hands.
  • Put the corn dough in the baking pan and spread it with your hands to cover all the surface of the pan and also the half of the ‘walls’ of the pan. Try to keep the same thickness everywhere. The bottom part should be around half cm thick.
  • Spread the spinach on top of the corn base and using a spoon straighten up .
  • Pure some water on top of the spinach filling and then sprinkle corn flour until the surface of the spinach is covered. The corn flour should be ‘soaked’ in the water otherwise it will not be baked well.
  • Spread pieces of butter on the surface of your pie and bake for almost an hour until it gets a beautiful color and..

Enjoy !

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Tips!

  • You can add any other filling you want: chicken with peppers, beef with onions, Feta cheese filling with herbs!
  • For extra spicy flavor you can add some pepper or spicy paprika in the corn bottom of your pie.
  • You can also make mini ‘Bobotes’ using a muffin pan! A great idea for birthday parties and events!

 

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Reversed forest fruit cake

ελληνικα

Here in Netherlands, small wild strawberries and all other kinds of berries are very common to find. Especially now that are in season, you can find them in the open markets in a very good price too. After a recent trip in Paris, I got back with lots of recipes magazines for food and desserts to have a fresh eye on food, get inspired. French desserts are basically fruit related so there was a lot of food for thought in there! In the end I decide to do my own thing (as I do most of the times!), changing an existing recipe of my mom’s and creating this juicy forest fruit cake. I have another version in my head, it should be in the blog pretty soon!

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the recipe

30m60

  • 200gr. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250gr. butter
  • 280gr. sifted flour
  • 20gr. baking powder
  • 250gr. small wild strawberries
  • 200gr. blue berries
  • 1 pear (170gr. when pealed)
  • 1 vanilla stick
  • 30gr. cognac
  • for the pan: 5tbsp. sugar, 1tsp. vanilla sent, 2tbsp. cognac, some of the vanilla stick

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directions

  • Preheat the oven in 170 degrees C. In a round pan 28cm place half of the butter (125gr.) together with the 5tbsp. of sugar, put the pan in the oven until the butter melts and take it right out.
  • Add in the pan the vanilla sent and part of the vanilla stick as well as 2tbsp. of cognac and mix well.
  • Add the fruit in the pan, keep the strawberries in wholes and cut the pear in thick slices. Mix well with the liquids and spread well so that there are no empty spots in the basis of the pan.
  • Beat the rest of the butter and sugar till they get ‘white’ (4′-5′)
  • Add the eggs one by one, the cognac, the vanilla stick seeds and in the end the flour which you have already mixed with the baking powder.
  • Puur the mixture carefully on top of the fruits in the pan. Make sure it is spread equally in every place and bake for 40′-45′.
  • When read leave in the oven for 2′-3′ and then another 5′ outside the oven. After that place a big plate on top of the pan (it has to be slightly bigger than the pan and thus the cake) and reverse the pan so that cake ‘sits’ in the plate with the fruit side on top and..

Enjoy !

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Tips!

  • You need to leave the cake rest for 5′ after taking it off the oven but don’t leave it more than that! If it gets too cold the fruit will stick in the pan.
  • Alternatively you can make reversed apple pie: change the forest fruit to apples and vanilla to cinnamon and cloves!
  • Also you can replace 2 of the eggs with 200gr. milk!

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Lasagne Bolognese

ελληνικα

Most of the times the hardest things are the most simple ones. Or what is actually hard is to keep something simple, not to mess it, not to get lost, to simply do what you want. People will say that ‘It’s not always easy to simply do what you want’. And that sounds extremely comfortable and at the same time so not true. It’s what you would say to yourself to excuse you for not trying more for what you want more in your life. That’s exactly the reason you do it: before you do what you want you need to find it first. Search in you, around you, try new things and see what you like, what makes you relaxed, smiling, peaceful. I don’t know of a way to get there. To get what you want, what you like. I don’t have a recipe for that, maybe only a suggestion: keep going and moving, searching towards all directions!

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the recipe

4m

60

ingredients

For the meat

  • 300gr. minced meat (pork & veal)
  • 40gr. olive oil
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 5 small tomatoes
  • 3tbsp. parsley
  • 40gr. white wine
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 2/3tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/5tsp. nutmeg
  • salt & pepper
  • 40gr. warm water
  • some grated dry mizithra or parmesan

For the lasagne

  • 8 pieces lasagne

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directions

  • Preheat your oven at 180 degrees C.
  • Put in a pot the olive oil and warm it up.
  • At the same time peel the onions and garlics and cut them into fine thin slices 2cm thick. When the oil is warm add them into the pan.
  • After stirring for some seconds put the fire higher and add the meat little by little making sure that all the pieces you add are well sautéed.
  • Add the wine, mix well and wait some seconds until the alcohol is evaporated.
  • Put the fire in a medium-low level and add all the spices; laurel leaves, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt & pepper.
  • Mix well and then add the tomato juice which you have using your blender, the parsley and water.
  • Cover the pan and cook the meat for 10′.
  • Put the lasagne in a 22x22cm pan. Put some sauce at first, then 2 pieces of lasagne and then minced meat sauce continue with this sequence until the ingredients are over. The last layer will be some meat and sauce.
  • Add some warm water in the pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30′. Take the foil off and bake from another 10′ to get a nice color on top.
  • Serve with grated mizithra or parmesan and…

Enjoy!

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Tips!

  • You can make a vegetarian lasagne version using as filling the briam recipe!

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Food catering in Amsterdam

ελληνικα

Lately I have been working crazy hours at work, taking over new responsibilities, learning new things, learning how to manage my new team and basically learning how to manage myself.

When my friend Ioanna called saying “I have a catering offer for you, are you interested?” even though the responsibility was big and my time limited, I knew I would do whatever it takes to realize this. A step closer to all the things I’ve been dreaming and thinking for months. A new challenge. The answer was yes! By all means, yes! Having great cooperation with greek foodtales for all the high quality Greek ingredients I needed, I started planning the menu for the catering:

Dakos salad, Soutzoukakia, Tiropitakia Kourou, Imam Baildi and Kolokuthopita (the recipe will follow soon!).

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The food catering was prepared for a ‘farewell’ party for a colleague of Ioanna that took place in a boat coursing in the canals of Amsterdam. A great Friday afternoon with warm summer weather which made it all just perfect.

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After presenting each recipe, explaining the name, the idea behind each one and the importance of using quality ingredients to secure a tasty and authentic Greek recipe, we started sailing enjoying this beautiful afternoon!

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Ioanna’s colleagues loved the food, they asked me questions about the recipes, they were very enthusiastic with the taste and they started telling me stories of beautiful times they had in summer vacations in Greece.

I had so much fun, I loved all the cooking preparation, it’s been a while since the last time I cooked for so many people and most of all I loved looking their happy faces when eating the food! This amazing feeling of feeding people with what you made, there’s nothing like that!

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Looking forward to the next one, I would like to thank Ioanna for her confidence in me and greek foodtales for all the unique ingredients and the operational support which was crucial to pull all this together and make it happen!

Thank you!

 

 

 

Dorado with greens

ελληνικα

What should I get? Standing in front of the fish stand in Saturday’s open market scanning the fish. Here in NL you can easily find big fish like salmon, tuna, cod fish and other fish I used to find in Greece but all the later are usually in a enormously big size as they breed in fish farms. When I find here small fish in ‘Greek’ size (smaller one) they usually have the tag ‘wilde’, which means ‘wild’, free in other words! This time I was late in the market so no wild fish available anymore. I went for the dorado, all time classic safe choice. As I was thinking all this I asked the fisherman for a nice, big dorado fish. “Should I clean it?” he asked. “No! Only the flakes.” He gave me a strange look wondering and I came back to him “It’s just that here when you clean the fish you take out the head and a big part of the belly.”. He laughed hard, asked me where I was coming from and when I told him he remembered some nice vacation time he had in Kos and the tasteful fish we found there!

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the recipe

2merides

ingredients30_%ce%bb%ce%b5%cf%80%cf%84%ce%b1

For the fish

  • 2 dorados
  • 2tbsp. olive oil
  • 1tsp. oregano
  • juice from one lemon
  • baking paper to wrap the fish

For the greens

  • 300gr. spinach
  • 300gr. other wild seasonal greens
  • 3-4 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt

For the oil-lemon dressing

  • 6tbsp. olive oil
  • 6tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1tbsp. oregano

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directions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees C.
  • Wrap each fish in a baking paper after adding all ingredients. Make sure that you keep the paper firmly closed so that all fish juice won’t come out.
  • Bake for 15′.
  • Meanwhile, put the greens in boiling water for 4′. You should add them in the pot separately as each type needs different baking time (spinach is more sensitive and might need less time for instance).
  • After boiling them, put them instantly in a bowl with very cold water and drain right away. Use your hands to squeeze all waters out of them.
  • When the fish is ready you open the baking paper carefully, take the fish out and serve with the greens adding on top some of the fish juices.
  • Mix in a shaker the oil-lemon dressing ingredients and use some of the dressing on top of the fish and greens!

Enjoy!

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Tips!

  • You can use any type of greens but if cannot find any wild ones you can simply do the recipe only with spinach!

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