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Dear Karen, first of all I would like to thank you for making me laugh, think and reflect about people and the variety of life difficulties.
In this moment, in this state of emergency, people of all ages die like ants, i admit that personally think often, very often of all the sick people out there, the elderly alone, parents without work and money, people with recent mourning, kids without parents, mothers who have to be mum and father together … In this scenario I discover – thanks to you – that there are a lot of problems more serious out there: Your unwanted followers .

But we will solve everything, don’t worry.

For this reason I feel obligated to clarify some points with you and for you Karen…Since you open a thematic blog and launch it on this vast network called “internet”, immediately every single article of yours, every single word, commas included, your face photos included; is “connected”, “linked”, “interconnected”, “shared” with billions of personal computers. That what means Karen? Means that people of all colours, of all ethinicities, people that are different of you, people with different interests or hobbies of you; writers, doctors, tailors, hairdressers, politicians, terrorists, pedophiles, murderers, policemens, students, bloggers, farmers etc CAN SEE IT, can read it, can comment it, can follow it. Unfortunately for you, food bloggers can visit it too. I’m sorry to give you this really bad news about food blogs. I know you don’t appreciate that we follow you.
It is as if a writer was standing outside the bookshop selling his book and selecting who will read it and who not. You doing this Karen. You stay on your blog and select who will read it and who will not. Then you use their contacts to send the mail above.

However, YOU and only YOU Karen, allow everyone to visit your pages. If you don’t like this, there are tools offered by WordPress that block visits from blogs or countries you don’t want to be visited. In this case you can “close”, you can “block” the visits from Italy where I live. And I would be grateful to you and to God if you did it immediately …. But I would like to inform you that there are many many many chances, bilion of chances that other food bloggers or blogs different from yours, can follow you: Nightmare without end… It will be hard for you to send tones of mails to those all who do not want to follow your precious and very useful blog. Let me tell you that is not even kind too. Maybe you started a blog from wrong. maybe you wanted a closed facebook group with people of your same interests. it’s your right, i’ am with you. But here is not facebook. And i’ am sure you know that very well.

I have tried to explain it to you in easy words. Now I invite you to clarify what a food blog is – as a first step. They are humans too Karen. May be they have kids who may be like your blog. May be they are people who simply love and appreciate a lot your crafts. Start from here. Think. For some reason God give us the thought. I will be happy to help you on your difficult path. You know my mail. Feel free to contact me again. Stay healthy, have a joyful life and serenity in your soul. Be kind. All the best. Xristina

Arugula pesto

Arugula or rocket pesto is a classic cream / sauce of Italian cuisine. it is used to season pasta or on slices of toasted bread (bruschetta).

It is the variant of basil pesto. Its flavor depends a lot on the arugula used, for example wild arugula has a stronger flavor than cultivated. For this recipe has been used half selvatic and half cultivated. Rocket pesto is prepared by combining a few healthy ingredients, which go well with the intense flavor of this herb, such as extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, pecorino and pine nuts. The latter can be replaced with other valid alternatives, such as walnuts, almonds or pistachios. In any case, it is a condiment that represents a real detoxifying product

Ingredients:

150 gr arugula – 100 gr parmigiano or grana – 50 gr pecorino cheese – 100 gr pine nuts – 200gr extra virgin olive oil – 1 garlic clove

Method: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until creamy and homogeneous.

Cook spaghetti al dente (i use Barilla gluten free) . Drain them. Heat the pesto in a pan for 1 – 2 minutes. In the same pan add the spaghetti and mix well with the pesto. Serve immediately with a fresh dry white wine such as Fiano d’ Avellino or a Greek Kallisti Reserve’ from Santorini, fermented in oak barrel.

STORAGE
The arugula pesto can be kept for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, in a hermetically sealed jar well covered with a layer of oil. 

Alternatively,it can be frozen in small jars and then defrosted in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Arugula is often counted among medicinal plants thanks to the numerous qualities that characterize it. In addition to being rich in water, it is also low-calorie – precisely, it contains about 25 calories per hundred grams of product – and provides many mineral salts, including iron, potassium and calcium but also phosphorus, zinc, sodium, magnesium, manganese, selenium . The vitamin content is also remarkable: rocket is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as folic acid (vitamin B9) and vitamin K

Kefir Flegga & Aloe Vera smoothie

As opposed to cow’s milk which contains the allergenic protein “A1 casein” (a highly inflammatory protein for the human body), goat’s milk contains A2 casein, that makes it – protein wise – the closest milk to human breast milk, hypoallergenic and tolerated even by babies

Therefore it is always preferable to consume goat milk and goat dairy products, especially when they come from free animals who grazing on grass

So, always using our favorite 100% organic brand of dairy products, the award-winning and prestigious Greek Creamery “Flegga”. Today’s smoothie includes goat’s bio kefir with the addition of aloe vera, green grapes, green apple and spinach. Just add all ingredients into a blender (after freezing the grapes) and mix until velvety and creamy.

Aloe vera contains 75 potentially active constituents: vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids.

Green grapes , spinach & green apples are rich of vit A, B2, B6, E, C and K, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, phosphorus.

References

  1. Food is Medicine – “Goat Milk Benefits are Superior to Cow Milk”. Written by Dr Josh Axe on May 20, 2015
    http://www.draxe.com/goat-milk
  2. Benefits and medical uses of Aloe https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265800

“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food”

«ΦΑΡΜΑΚΟ ΑΣ ΓΙΝΕΙ Η ΤΡΟΦΗ ΣΑΣ ΚΑΙ Η ΤΡΟΦΗ ΣΑΣ ΑΣ ΓΙΝΕΙ ΦΑΡΜΑΚΟ ΣΑΣ»

Hippocrates (4° Century BC)

   

Ingredients for 1 person: 1/2cup organic goat kefir by Flegga

150 gr aloe Vera

10- 15 frozen green grapes without seeds

1/2 green apple

Spinach leaves about 20 leaves

Agave or marple syrup 2 tbs

Method: Wash and freeze the grapes, simply by placing them in a plastic container.

The next day, wash the spinach leaves and cut the apple into small pieces. Do not peel it.

Cut a piece of aloe, more or less than 20cm.

Cut out the green peel and remove the gel with the help of a spoon.

Add all ingredients into the blender, frozen grapes, apple, spinach, aloe gel, kefir, agave or maple syrup.

Blend few minutes until velvety and creamy. Serve immediately

Ariani Flegga smoothie

Preparing a smoothie with Ariani by Flegga is the most delicious way to refresh yourself with taste while staying in health.
Ariani by Flegga is a Greek traditional product made by 100% fresh bio and pasteurized goat milk with the addition of  bio yogurt culture. No preserventives. Only organic milk produced esclusively by ruminants goats in the valleys of Pindos mountain range.
Ideal for toddlers, kids, adults, the right choice for breakfast, recipes, drinks, ice creams, smoothies. Unlimited the ways you can enjoy Ariani. Unique its flavor as it is. But here some ideas for a refresing and pleasant smoothies with the addition of vegetables, fruits, almonds and everything else your fantasy commands.

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Ingredients for 2 persons:

1/2 avocado

1 cucumber (with the green peel)

1/2 green apple

1/2 glass of Ariani Flegga

5 – 6 ice cubes

Method:

Cut all fruits and cucumber in small pieces. Add them in a blender with the rest of the ingrediends, so add Ariani and ice cubes. Blend 2 min until the smoothie is homogeneous.

If it is very dense, add more Ariani and ice cubes. Blend again for few seconds until you have the desired consistency. Serve cold.

For the sweet version, simply add 1 tbsp of honey,  5 – 6 almonds/person. Blend until everything is smooth and creamy.

To see the procedure step by step, click the photo gallery below. (Java script is required)

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Chicken legs with Barbera grapes

Not as unusual as this recipe may seem. meat and grapes perfectly bind together. For this recipe, the grape used is Barbera. Barbera is an ancient Italian grape dated back to 17th century; naturally high in acidity with  strong black cherry flavors. For its acidity, the flavor must be balanced with a little honey and sweet wine or liqueur during cooking. Obviously you can replace Barbera with any other type of grapes. If your grapes are sweet, simply remove the honey from the ingredients.

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Ingredients for 2 persons:

4 chicken legs

800 gr Barbera grapes (oviously you can choose any other type of grapes. If your grapes are very sweet, remove the honey from the ingredients) Barbera grapes is an ancient Italian grape dated back to 17th century; naturally high in acidity with strong black cherry flavors

Fresh thyme – Fresh sage – salt – pomegranate seeds

Half glass pomegranate liqueur (or alternatively  half a glass of red sweet wine)

1 tbsp honey

4 tbsp olive oil

1 teaspoon corn flour

Method:

Preheat oven 200°C / 392°F

1.Heat  4 tbsp  oil in a non stick pan.  Add the chicken legs and cook until browned all around. Add the salt.

2. Add the grapes to the skillet, the herbs, the pomegranate liqueur (or alternatively  half a glass of red sweet wine) and 1 tbsp of honey over the grapes.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 min.

4. When ready  transfer the chicken to plates. Filter the liquid from the pan, add 1 teaspoon of corn flour and boil (in a small saucepan) for 1-2 min until it becomes a creamy and glossy sauce. Pour on the chicken legs. Decorate with fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds.

Serve with fresh Barbera wine

 

See step by step the gallery below

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Karidopita / Καρυδοπιτα

Karidopita. A mouthwatering , dark, spice scented walnut pie. Widespread throughout Greece, it is one of the oldest and most traditional Greek desserts. Scented with cinnamon and gloves, almost always served with a ball of ice cream, it has a flavor that is not easily forgotten.

The recipe varies slightly from one region to another, so it can be found with some small variations such as adding rum or cognac in the dough.

 

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Ingredients

For the syrup

  • 800 g granulated sugar
  • 800 g water
  • 1 stick cinnamon

For the walnut pie

  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 360 g hard flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 g walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 120 g milk
  • Butter, for the pan
  • All-purpose flour, for the pan

Method:

Syrup:

  • In a pot add the sugar, the water and the cinnamon and cloves
  • Transfer over medium heat and let it come to a boil until the sugar melts.
  • Remove and set aside to cool well.

For the walnut cake

  • Preheat the oven to 170ο C (340ο F) set to fan.
  • In a mixer’s bowl add the butter, the sugar, the vanilla, and beat with the whisk attachment at high speed, for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of the flour, the eggs one by one, the milk and keep beating. Wait for each egg to be incorporated before adding the next.
  • In a blender add the walnuts, the cloves, the cinnamon, and beat so that the walnuts have the desired size and consistency that you want in your cake.
  • Transfer the walnuts to a bowl and add the flour, the baking powder, and the salt.
  • In the same mixer’s bowl add the solid ingredients and mix all ingredients together with a spoon or a spatula.
  • Butter and flour a 25×32 cm baking pan and spread your mixture in it. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of cake
  • Remove and immediately pour the cold syrup over it, using a serving spoon.
  • Allow 1 hour for the whole syrup to be absorbed, and serve with vanilla ice cream.

(Do not refrigerate, it may cause the syrup to crystalize.)

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Whole wheat flour decorated bread ( Two engraving patterns)

Same recipe as “Decorated bread” but this time made with whole wheat flour. Which means stronger aroma, stronger flavor, darker crust color and obviously more nutrients than regular white bread. This because whole wheat  flour contains approximately the same relative proportion of nutrients and components as the original wheat kernel.

As for the white bread, the same rule for incisions also applies here. So first cover the loaf with a thin layer of white flour. Dusting the top of your loaves with flour prior to scoring will ensure maximum contrast between white flour and dark baked crust.

 

 

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Ingredients:

Ingredients for 1 loave

  • 600 g whole-wheat flour, graham flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400 g water, lukewarm

Method:

  • In a large bowl, add the flour, salt, yeast and honey or sugar
  • Slowly add the water and start kneading with your hands continuously, until a smooth, elastic dough has formed.
  • Then add the olive oil.  Knead again until all of the ingredients are completely incorporated into the dough.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and allow dough to rest for 1 hour, until it rises.
  • Preheat oven to 180° C (356° F)
  • Transfer dough to a working surface dusted with flour. Knead dough and shape into a  loave. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Place loave in baking pan. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm area, until they double in size.
  • You can dust the parchment paper with some flour before placing the loave on it.
  • Before baking, sprinkle and brush the loaves with white flour
  • Engrave the shapes of your choice (leaves, lines, geometrical shapes  etc) with a simply sharp razor. See the gallery bellow for two different inspirational patterns.
  • Bake for 50 min until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.
  • When ready, remove from baking pan and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

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whole

Greek Easter Bread / Lambròpsomo/ Λαμπρòψωμο

Lambròpsomo is a bread from the Byzantine times that continues to exist to the present days throughout Greece as a traditional Easter bread. It is used to package it in various forms on Holy Thursday.  The shape of each bread varies according to local traditions. The best known and the most used shape is the braid, on which a red egg can be placed. The braids and knots on the bread, derive from pagan times as a symbol of the removal of evil spirits.

<Warmest thoughts,  deep affection to all people who suffer from pain, fear, loneliness, emptiness. No words enough. Blessed Orthodox Easter>

 

 

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Ingredients:

  • 250 g water lukewarm
  • 8 g yeast
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 20 g olive oil
  • 500 g hard flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk, diluted with 1 tablespoon water or milk
  • 30 g sesame seeds

Method:

  • In a mixer’s bowl add the water, the yeast, the sugar, and mix with a hand whisk until the sugar and the yeast are dissolved.
  • Add the olive oil, the flour, the salt, and beat with the hook attachment at medium-high speed, for 3-4 minutes, until there is an elastic dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured bowl, sprinkle a little flour on top, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour to double in volume.
  • Transfer the dough to your working surface and roll it out into a sheet 30 cm in diameter, dusting with flour.
  • With a pizza cutter, cut the dough in a snail shape and spread it on your working surface. Braid it in a cross shape (see photo gallery bellow) and transfer to a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180ο C (350ο F) set to fan.
  • Spread the egg wash over the whole surface of the dough, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove and serve. 

    See the procedure step by step in the gallery below. (For full functionality of this gallery it is necessary to enable Java Script)

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Decorated Bread

Not as difficult as it may appear. This decorative bread is made from the same dough as any other hard flour bread. The only difference is the use of a well – sharpened blade with which incisions are made everywhere and all around on the bread. Flowers, ears of wheat, a sun, a smile, geometric lines, initials of a name or whatever else your fantasy desires. The only tip before cutting is to cover the loaf with flour. Dusting the top of your loaves with flour prior to scoring will ensure maximum contrast between white flour and dark baked crust. Follow instructions and have fun!

 

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Ingredients:

  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting *
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 7gr fast-action yeast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 300ml  water

*Strong flouralso commonly known as strong bread flour, is made from hard wheat varieties. It contains more gluten (12% to 14% gluten content),than other types of flour which gives it its elasticity and enables the dough to rise with a good structure.

 

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 220°C/ 428°F
  2. Mix 500g strong white flour, 2 tsp salt and a 7gr of fast-action yeast in a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the centre, then add 3 tbsp olive oil and 300ml water. Mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add another 1-2 tbsp water and again mix well.
  4. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for around 10 mins.
  5. Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough (punch the air out and pull the dough in on itself) then gently mould the dough into a ball.
  7. Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.
  8. Dust the loaf with some extra flour

(Dusting the top of your loaves with flour prior to scoring will ensure maximum contrast between white flour and dark baked crust.)

With a sewing thread form a cross on the dough. Then on each fourth format, draw 2 other lines as in the gallery photos

With a sharp razor make small incisions on the sides of each line – from the top to bottom- so that it looks like an ear of  wheat.

Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

 

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Goat Leg Oven Roasted with Hasseback Potatoes

The simplest and easiest recipe with goat meat. The simpler it is, the more it retains its flavor. Only herbs, vegetables and very little olive oil make this dish a real delicacy.

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Ingredients

  • 2 legs of lamb about 1.5 -2 kgr
  • 1 bulb garlic
  •  bunch of rosemary
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • potatoes
  • olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 392°F

  2. Use a small, sharp knife to make some  slits all over the lamb. Peel two garlic cloves and slice them into shards. Roughly squash the remaining garlic and put into the bottom of a large roasting tin.

  3. Push a few slivers of garlic and small sprigs of rosemary down into each slit in the lamb and season with plenty of salt and pepper.

  4. Prepare the Hasselback potatoes *
  5. Put the carrots, the onions and the potatoes into the roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the lamb on top and roast in the preheated oven for about 60 min , until cooked to your liking.

  6. When cooked, remove the lamb from the oven and transfer to a board. Cover with foil and leave to rest for 15- 20 minutes.

 

*Hasselback potatoes. See how to cut them step by step here>> https://enogastronomista.com/tag/hasselback-potatoes/

 

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