History & nowadays tradition of Greek Cheeses
The science of transforming milk into a solid substance is a very ancient procedure since the time of ancient Greece.
Homer (Όμηρος) in the Odyssey 6th century BC describes in detail the shepherd and cheesemaker Cyclop Polyphemus and gives descriptions of the cheeses that matured in his cave and were made from sheep’s, goat’s milk & sea salt
What we now call ” FETA ” was known to the ancient Greeks, since its preparation is mentioned many times in the Odyssey .
Polyphemus at first transferred the milk, he collected from his flock to “bags” made of animal skins, finding – to his great surprise – that after a few days the milk turned into a solid, acidic and preservable mass. After this discovery he experimented with various combinations, each time having different types of cheeses.
Still others are soft and less salty such as odiern “Anthotiro” and “Manouri” and were kept in its cave in straw baskets.
Anthotyro (Aνθότυρο): white cheese produced from sheep’s and goat’s milk. Its name means the flower of the cheese, a name that justifies its name as it conveys strong
smells of freshness
Myzithra (Μυζήθρα) is a fresh cheese made with milk and whey from sheep or goats, or both. The cheese is soft, snow-white, creamy, and moist. Since no salt is added to mizithra it has an almost sweet and milky taste and may be eaten or, often, baked in pies.
Manouri (Μανούρι): a type of myzithra type cheese, which is rich in fat. It comes from the ancient adjective manos (cheese), meaning sparse, soft cheese
It is distinguished due to its sweet and mild taste and aroma, having been characterized by the National Dairy Committee of Greece as “the most exceptional traditional Greek whey cheese
Xinotyri (Ξινοτύρι): The roots of this traditional cheese are lost in time. It is a spreadable cheese that is produced by mixing sheep’s and goat’s milk, and has a pleasant, slightly sour taste
Feta ( Φέτα): the first reference to feta is made in a Byzantine poem where it is referred to as ” πρόσφατος” “recent”. This is considered to be its Byzantine name. The name feta dates from the time of Venetian rule in Greece, in the 17th century, and derives its etymological origin from the Latin word “fette”. Probably the word refers to the practice of cutting the cheese into slices to be inserted into the barrels
Kaseri ( Κασέρι): cheese-making became quite popular during the Turkish occupation in Greece (15century) , due to the lack of plenty of meat. Then, we came up with the name of a well-known type of cheese, kaseri; it seems to come from the Turkish word kaşer, which in turn comes from the Latin caseus = cheese. From the same root comes the cheese in English and the “käse” in German
Graviera (Γραβιέρα): is a hard cheese, made mainly from sheep’s and goat’s milk.
It is one of the best known Greek cheeses after feta and has been produced for centuries with the traditional method. The cheese is round in shape and has a compact and elastic mass of light yellow color. Its complete maturation time is at least three months
Graviera cheese received a certification of protected destination of origin (a PDO) in 1996. In other words, cheeses that are called Graviera but made in countries other than some regions of Greece are not the real deal and have no right to use the name.
Below we present some of these ancient cheeses, produced by the Greek award-winning “Flegga” dairy company.
Since 1957 all these traditional products are made from 100% organic goat and sheep milk, no GMO, no gluten, no chemicals, no preservatives and yes to ISO food safety. ( The standard ISO 22000 is based on the HACCP principles defined by the Codex Alimentarius)
We will never be tired of repeating the benefits of goat and sheep milk against cow’s milk.
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
So for this Christmas, in the coming days we will propose some ideas using these precious products in a simple, easy and genuine way.
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
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.
Kefir Flegga & Aloe Vera smoothie
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.
- Food is Medicine – “Goat Milk Benefits are Superior to Cow Milk”. Written by Dr Josh Axe on May 20, 2015
- Benefits and medical uses of Aloe https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265800
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.
Ingredients for 2 persons:
1 cucumber (with the green peel)
1/2 green apple
1/2 glass of Ariani Flegga
5 – 6 ice cubes
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)
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.
- 2 legs of lamb about 1.5 -2 kgr
- 1 bulb garlic
- bunch of rosemary
- sea salt and black pepper
- 2 carrots
- 2 onions
- olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 392°F
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.
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.
- Prepare the Hasselback potatoes *
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.
- 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/
Chocolate Quinoa Flakes Breakfast
In these quarantine days where everything flows slowly, i taught my daughter how to prepare her own breakfast. This recipe is so simple that even a little girl can prepare it, obviously with the supervision of an adult.
Chocolate, quinoa flakes, smushed banana, milk and water. You only bring to boil these 5 ingredients for few minutes and it’s ready to eat. Quinoa Flakes are mechanically flattened grains of quinoa, similar to rolled oats; provide all the health benefits of whole grain quinoa with a more familiar breakfast texture and a much quicker cooking time)
Garnish with dried and fresh fruits of your choice or a ball of ice cream. As the cream does not contain sugar, agave or maple syrup cannot be missing. The advanced cream is kept in the fridge for the next day. Just add a spoonful of milk or water and heat it over low heat, stirring constantly.
For the presence of quinoa it is one of the most nutritious & healthy breakfasts for everyone. Quinoa is gluten-free pseudo cereal, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. (Ηistidine, Ιsoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine)
It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.
Ingredients for 2 persons:
- 100 gr quinoa flakes
- 100 gr dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup milk (about 125 ml)
- 1/2 cup water (about 125 ml)
- 1 ripe banana mashed
Fresh and dry fruits cut into small pieces
Agave or maple syrup for topping
In a little pot combine the first 5 ingredients. Mix well with a spoon. Bring to a boil, then reduce over low heat and boil for about 2 – 3 minutes (until creamy). Stirring costantly
Serve in bowls. Top with fruits and a generous amount of agave or maple syrup.
As the cream does not contain sugar, agave or maple syrup cannot be missing.
The advanced cream is kept in the fridge for the next day. It should be firm, so just add 1 – 2 spoonful of milk or water, whisk together until incorporated. Heat it over low heat, stirring constantly
Lemon, Garlic, Greek black olives Roasted Butterflied Chicken
Ingredients: 1 chicken 1,5 kg , 3-4 lemons sliced into 2 cm rounds , 2 bulbs garlic halved horizontally, black Greek olives, 2 tbs olive oil , salt.
- Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F).
- Arrange the garlic and lemon on an oven tray . Top with the chicken, breast-side up.
- Brush the chicken with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Roast for 50 – 60 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Towards the end of cooking add the black olives
Butterflying a chicken allows it to roast more quickly and evenly *
Placing the chicken on a ‘bed’ of lemon and garlic infuses it with amazing flavour as it roasts.
*How to butterfly a chicken. Step by step guide here:
Oven Roasted sea bream with potatoes and aioli
For the sauce:
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- red pepper flakes
- thyme leaves
- place all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with a whisk.
- 2 sea bream
- 1kg potatoes, sliced
- garlic cloves
- sprigs thyme
- Red pepper flakes
- A lemon, sliced
- Bay leaves
- Preheat oven to 200° C / 392°F
- Put some oil in a rosting tray and layer the potatoes. Add few slices of garlic.
- Prepare the sauce (Oil – lemon juice – salt – red pepper flakes – thyme leaves or any herb of your choice) Pour over the potatoes and put in the oven.
- Bake for 30 min, until the potatoes have absorbed the liquid.
- While they’re cooking, take a sharp knife and cut diagonal slashes across each side of the fish. Cut the lemon slices in half and push them into the grooves. Fill the cavity of each fish with lemon slices, garlic and bay leaves.
- Drizzle the rest of the oil-lemon sauce over them and season well with salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Place the fish on top of the sliced potatoes and roast for a further 30 minutes.
- Serve with aioli sauce and fresh “Assyrtiko” white grape wine from Santorini island (Greece)
- 2 garlic cloves
- salt 1 teaspoon
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 egg
- 0.5 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 0.5 cup sunflower oil
- 3 tsp lemon juice
Smash up the garlic with 1 teaspoon of salt in a pestle and mortar . Place the egg yolk and mustard in a bowl and whisk together, then start to add the oils bit by bit. Once you’ve blended in a quarter of the oil, you can start to add the rest in larger amounts. When the mixture thickens, add lemon juice. When all the oil has gone in, add the garlic. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a bit more lemon juice, if needed.
Beer roasted pork knuckles / Hasselback potatoes
Pork knuckle is the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot of a pig, where the foot was attached to the hog’s leg. It is the portion of the leg that is neither part of the ham proper nor the foot or ankle, but rather the extreme shank end of the leg bone. This cut of meat can be cooked with potatoes, greens or in sauces. Beer roasted knuckle is easy, super tasty and juicy/ fork tender dish with a very crispy and flavory skin. Serve it hot with some delicious golden Hasselback potatoes.
Ingredients: 1 knuckle/person (about 1 kg) – 2bottles dark beer
salt -pepper (optional) – thym (optional) – grated garlic (2 cloves/knuckle) – 2 onions/knuckle, salt, black pepper (optional)
Method: 1. Peel and slice into rounds 2 onions, lay them in a roasting pan
2. Season knuckles with salt , black pepper, grated garlic, thym. Sit the knuckles on top of the onions. Add a cup of beer (300 ml). Cook in the oven for 30 min (220°C)
[Meanwhile prepare the hasselback potatoes as you desire (empty or with bacon/cheese)]
4. After 30 min pour another cup of beer (300ml). Place the potatoes around pork knuckle. Roast an additional 1h and lower the temperature to 180°C. After the skin has started to crisp, baste with beer about every 30 minutes or so
For the empty version: Potatoes, olive oil or melted butter (2 tbsp/ potato) , 2 tbs/potato grated pecorino or parmesan, 2 tbsp/potato dry bread crumbs (optional)
In a bowl mix together grated pecorino romano or parmesan or another grated cheese of your choice, seasoned dry bread crumbs (optional), salt , black pepper (optional) , thym (optional)
With cheesy bacon filling: Potatoes, olive oil or melted butter (2 tbsp/potato), bacon,
cheese, grated pecorino or parmesan, salt, pepper (optional), thym (optional)
Method: see below the gallery step by step
Two simply ways to cook Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts contains significant amount of vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate and dietary fiber. Here are some of the major nutrients in a cup (150 gr) of cooked Brussels sprouts Calories: 56 , Protein: 4 gr , Carbs: 12 gr, Fiber: 4 gr,Vitamin K: 274% of the RDI, Vitamin C: 162% of the RDI, Vitamin A: 24% of the RDI, Folate: 24% of the RDI, Manganese: 18% of the RDI. But the most impressive is their antioxidant content (especially high in kaempferol). Kaempferol may reduce cancer cell growth, ease inflammation and improve heart health.
Enjoy them “au gratin” with crunchy bacon and creamy cheesy bechamel or simply oven roasted with bacon and olive oil. A healthy side dish for the Christmas table.
Brussel sprouts au gratin
Ingredients: 200 gr bacon, chopped – 400gr brussels sprouts, outer leaves and stems removed – 1 cup grated cheddar cheese – 1 teaspoon salt – 500 ml bechamel
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (256°F)
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until fork tender (10 minutes). Drain.
3. In a skillet fry the chopped bacon over medium heat until is golden & crispy
4. Tranfer the Brussels sprouts in a large baking dish and add the half of chopped bacon. Season with salt.
5. Pour bechamel over sprouts, sprinkle with cheddar and the remaining bacon
6. Bake the sprouts in a preheated oven at 256°F (180°C) for 20min or until the top is golden. Serve warm.
Oven roasted brussels sprouts with bacon & balsamic
Method: 1. Preheat oven to 200°C (392°F)
2. Wash and slice sprouts in half
3. Put them on a sheet pan with the rest of the ingredients (except balsamic vinegar) and toss to coat with your hands
4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until crispy , and bacon is golden brown. (Stirring halfway through)
5. Remove from the oven. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and salt
Caprese (Flourless chocolate/almond cake from Capri)
There are several apocryphal stories about the cake’s origin. A legend told that an Austrian princess married to the king of Naples wanted the Sacher cake (Austrian chocolate cake), but Neapolitan chefs didn’t know this recipe, so they improvised by using a typical Neopolitan ingredient: almonds.
One is of a baker fulfilling an order for an almond cake by a few tourists at his bakery in the 1920s. The baker forgot to add flour to the mix, but the tourists liked the resulting cake and considered it a delicacy. Another account ascribes the invention to two heirs of Austrian painter August Weber, who created it at the Strandpension Weber in the 1930s.
Although its origins are unknown, several aspects of its creation are known. The cake was first created by the hospitality industry of the island of Capri and it was created primarily for tourists to the island. At first, it was likely served in tea rooms. As it became more popular, restaurants incorporated it into their menu.
- 200g dark chocolate, minimum 70% (melted and cooled)
- 200gr unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 200g sugar
- 5 eggs, separated
- 200gr ground almonds (blanched)
- 1 small glass Strega liqueur (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Beat the sugar and butter until creamy, add 1 egg yolk at time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add the melted butter, ground almonds , the liqueur and the melted chocolate. Mix well.
- Beat stiff the egg whites with a pinch of salt and add to the mixture, folding gently.
- Line a cake tin with wet greaseproof paper, pour the cake mixture in it and cook for 40 minutes.
- When cooked cool 20 min then remove from the tin
- Allow to cool to room temperature, then dust the top with powdered sugar
- If you prepare Caprese for Christmas you can decorate it with ice cream cones Christmas trees (Hold each cone and coat it in melted chocolate or nutella. Then cover with ground coconut , groung almonds, colored sprinkles ecc)
Roast beef with mushrooms & white wine sauce
Roast beef . Great for a Sunday lunch and why not for a Christmas menu’. Enjoy a juicy and tender roast without feeling guilty. Low in fat , rich in proteins, vit B12 & iron. The secret is in the time cooked. 30 min at 200°C / 392°F
Ingredients for the beef:
- 1.2kg prime beef fillet
- Sea salt
- A handful of rosemary leaves
- 10-15 garlic cloves
- olive oil – salt
- 2tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp mustard
- 500 gr mushrooms of your choice
Ingredients for the sauce:
1 glass white wine – 500 ml heavy cream – 1 tbsp butter – 200gr grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 200°C/392°F/ Take the beef out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it and allow it to come up to room temperature. Salt generously
1.Mix together chopped rosemary leaves and garlic witha tbs of olive oil. Stir to combine and reserve
2.Heat a non-stick frying pan with extra virgin olive oil. add mushrooms , salt , pepper and saute’ for 4-5 min or until tender
3.Remove mushrooms from the skillet.
4.Heat the same skillet and when is hot add the beef. Sear for 2-3 min on each side until browned all over
5. Brush roast with mustard , then spread herb-garlic mixture all over
5 Transfer the beef to the skillet over mushrooms, add the butter on the top of the beef and place it in the oven. Roast for 30 min for medium rare
Transfer the fillet to a warm platter. Cover with a double layer of tin foil . Leave to rest for 10 min. Serve it warm or at room temperature with the mushrooms and some wine sauce. Slice it thickly and overlap the slices on a serving platter
WHITE WINE SAUCE : In the same skillet used to roast the beef and the mushrooms, add the wine and simmer for about 4minutes until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the butter & the cream .Bring to a boil .add the parmesan or another cheese of your choice such blue cheese, grana etc. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened.
Paella de Marisco
Spanish polycromatic symphony that your eyes enjoy before your stomach.
Paella is a Spanish rice dish. It originated in the fields of a region called Valencia in eastern Spain but variations exist in the different Spanish provinces.A colorful mixture of saffron-flavored rice, various meats , vegetables or seafood. Paella’s name comes from the paellera, the flat, round pan in which it is cooked.
There is a wide variety of paella, such: 1.Paella Valenciana – The original paella was born in Valencia. Besides rice, this includes chicken and pork. 2. Paella de Marisco (Seafood paella) – This paella does not contain meat. It usually contains prawns, mussels, calamares, clams, and other seafood. 3. Paella Mixta – This paella is a mixture of the paella Valenciana and the paella de marisco. It contains both meat and seafood. Sometimes this paella is called Paella Andaluz. 4. Paella Vegetariana – This paella contains a variety of vegetables like artichokes, lima beans, red and green peppers, and rice and does not include any meat or seafood. 5. Paella Negra – This paella is cooked with squid ink and looks black. It may have very small squid.
- Ingredients for 4 serves:
- 10-14 raw shell-on king prawns
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300g cuttlefish, cut into chunks
- 8 shrimp tails
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 red pepper (optional)
- 250g paella rice
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- pinch of saffron
- 1/4 x 200g can chopped tomatoes (save the rest for the stock, below)
- 300g mussels cleaned
- 100g frozen peas
- handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
For the stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- ½ x 200g can chopped tomatoes
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- Shrimp heads
- Prawn shells
- Peel and de-vein the prawns (remove the dark dorsal vein), reserving the heads and shells. Return the prawns to the fridge.
- To make the stock, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and reserved prawn shells and shrimp heads. Cook for 3-4 mins, then pour 2 litres of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 mins. Leave to cool slightly, then whizz in batches in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine sieve.
- Heat the oil in a large paella pan or an extra-large frying pan. Add chopped cuttlefish . shrimp tails and sautè for a few mins each side, then remove and set aside. Add the onion and fry for 4-5 mins until softened.
- Stir in the rice and cook for 30 secs to toast. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne (if using) and saffron, cook for another 30 secs, then stir in the tomatoes and 1.5 litres of the fish stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 10 mins (the rice should still be al dente). Return the cuttelfish & shrimp tails to the pan with the prawns, mussels, peas (and if you desire the red pepper cut in stripes)
- Cover the pan with a large baking tray, or foil, and cook on a low heat for another 10-15 mins until the mussels are open and the prawns are cooked through. Scatter over the parsley before serving.
Enjoy with white wine made from the Alvarinho ( a variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia ), Verdejo ( a variety of wine grape that has long been grown in the Rueda region of Spain) or sauvignon blanc grapes. These wines should also be served well chilled, between 5 and 8ºC
Instant cherry ice cream
This 2 ingredients instant ice cream will be ready quicker than it takes to eat it. It comes out of the food processor like soft-serve ice cream. You only need a very ripe banana and cherries. Experiment by adding other frozen fruits such frozen strawberries, peaches, apricots, berries but you can add also nutella, peanut or pistachio butter. All you need is a freezer and a blender. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 1 person :
- 1 ripe or overripe banana, sliced and frozen (Freeze for at least 2 hours)
- 10 pitted and frozen cherries (Freeze for at least 2 hours)
- Maple or agave syrup 1 tbs (optional)
- Add bananas and cherries to the food processor and blend.
- At first the banana pieces will look crumbled or smashed. Scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times to make sure everything gets blitzed and continue to blend until smooth, approximately 4 -5 minutes.
- Scoop ice-cream into bowls or cones and serve immediately with chocolate chips or chopped cherries
If the fruits are frozen rock-hard, leave it to thaw for about 10 minutes before blitzing, this will make it easier on the food processor
Portobello stuffed mushrooms
Portobello stuffed mushrooms with 3 different cheeses. When rich and fresh ricotta pairs well with earthy mushrooms in a timeless hot appetizer. Stuffed mushrooms with spinach/fresh ricotta mixture, savory cheddar bottom, freshly grated parmesan on top. Eat it hot!
Ingredients: 5 handfuls mushrooms – 80 gr ricotta cheese – 5 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese – 50 gr cheddar cheese – handful of spinach -1 garlic clove – olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
- Remove the stalks (they come out easily) and cut them into pieces
- Heat a pan with olive oil, when hot add garlic & stalks. Sauté the chopped mushroom stems for about 5 min, then add a handful of spinach & salt. Cook for 3-4 min stirring often. Turn off the heat .
- Add ricotta to spinach & stir to combine
- Brush the mushroom caps with oil, salt (and pepper if you desire)
- Place pieces of cheddar cheese at the bottom of each mushroom cup
- Fill with the ricotta stuffing, place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over each mushroom.
- Bake for 20 min or until the cheese is golden. Bon appétit!
Herb roasted baby potatoes
Crunchy, herb scented roast potatoes with a pinch of grated cheese. A lovely accompaniment for meat dishes. They’re easy to make and the variations are endless. You can add ground pepper, paprika, dry garlic, dry onion, herbed breadcrumbs, fresh or dry herbs of your choice. Enjoy them with herb crusted rack of lamb or with your traditional easter lamb recipe and a fresh glass of wine.
Ingredients: 1 kg baby potatoes, garlic powder, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano Reggiano, 1/3 cup olive oil, 4 tbs chopped parsley, 4 tbs chopped thyme, 4 tbs chopped rosemary.
Method: Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). In a large bowl mix oil , parmigiano Reggiano, garlic powder & chopped herbs. Add potatoes, sprinkle generously with salt and toss to coat.
Spread potatoes in single layer on large baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart.
Roast until tender and golden brown for about 1 hour- 1 h 15 min Stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle with additional herbs mix & salt. Serve hot or warm.
Beetroot pickled eggs
A trick to getting your kids to eat eggs? Beetroot colored pickled eggs is the perfect solution. Beautiful and full of proteins. Easy, tasty, cheap & kid friendly. Try these pickled eggs in a green salad or alone such an appetizer and enjoy a happy Easter!
- 6 hard cooked eggs, peeled
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup beetroot juice
- Place eggs in saucepan, cover with water. Bring to boil for 12 min. Lift into a bowl of cold water and cool. Peel and put into a sterilised jar.
- In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, vinegar and beet juice to a boil.
- Pour liquid over eggs in the jar. Seal well & cool.
- Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
Super food multivitamin salad – Turmeric & ginger dressing
Colorful veggies, berries, walnuts full of vitamins & minerals, low in calories, no cholesterol nutri – salad. A delicious way to nourish your body with natural vitamins. Dress all with two of the healthiest & antiflammatory spices on earth: Turmeric (Curcuma longa) & Ginger (Gingiber officinale). You only have to add lime juice , honey and olive oil.
SUPER FOOD MULTIVITAMIN SALAD
Ingredients for 2 persons: 1 avocado , blueberries 1 cup, arugula 2 large handfuls, 2 cups shredded purple cabbage, walnuts.
Cut the avocado into quarters. In a large bowl mix arugula and purple cabbage with the rest of ingredients together. If you desire you can add some pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds.
Pour desired amount of turmeric & ginger dressing over the salad and toss until everything is coated. Enjoy with your heart ! Bon appétit ❤
Beetroot croquettes- Kροκετες παντζαρι- Croquettes di barbabietola
If your kids don’t eat enough veggies , try with this colorfull recipe ! Rich in acid folic , vit A , B, C , calcium, iron, manganese, potassium , copper , magnesium , fiber , proteins
Ingredients for 10 croquettes :
1 cooked beetroot – 300gr feta (cheese made in Greece from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk)
2 eggs – gluten free breadcrumb
In a large bowl mash up the beetroot & feta using a fork or an immersion blender.
Add 1 or 2 tbsp breadcrumb until mixture is solid. Roll it into balls and place onto a plate. Refrigerate for 20- 30 min to firm up.
Celeriac chips (oven roasted)- Τραγανα τσιπς σελινοριζας – chips di sedano rapa
1 celeriac peeled and cut into chips
4 tbs olive oil , salt , paprika
Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F)
Place the celeriac chips on a baking sheet
Drizzle over the olive oil , salt , paprika
Stir it all together
Roast chips for about 20 min or until are golden and crispy
Raw Celeriac salad / Σελινοριζα / Sedano rapa
Celeriac is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots, hypocotyl, and shoots. It is sometimes called celery root
It is edible raw or cooked, and tastes similar to the stalks (the upper part of the stem) of common celery cultivars. Celeriac may be roasted, stewed, blanched, or mashed. Sliced celeriac occurs as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, and other savory dishes.
Celeriac is very low in calories. 100 g root holds just 42 calories, good source of vitamin K and essential minerals such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, copper, and manganese
1 cereliac root , 1 apple , 1 orange , arugula , olive oil , apple cider vinegar
Wash the root under fresh water . Peel it with a potato peeler. Cut it into thin, uniform matchsticks (julienne)
In a large bowl mix arugula , orange slices , apple cubes , celeriac julienne . Add olive oil and apple vinegar. Mix well and enjoy a dish full of vitamins A, B , C , K*, coumarins, essential minerals such as phosphorus**, copper iron, calcium, and manganese.
**Phosphorus is required for cell metabolism, maintaining blood buffer system, bone and teeth formation. Copper helps restore immunity, prevents anemia, and required for bone metabolism.
*Vit K improve bone mineralization by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. Research studies suggest that it also has established role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.8 g||5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.352 mg||6%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||8 mg||13%|
|Vitamin E||0.36 mg||2%|
|Vitamin K||41 µg||34%|
No fry fries-Extra crispy sweet potatoes / Patate dolci croccanti/Τραγανες γλυκοπατατες
- 2 washed & unpeeled sweet potatoes (you can leave the skin on – it adds nutrition & a nice texture) and cut into sticks
- 2 tabs cornstarch
- paprica- black pepper- onion powder – garlic powder – oregano- olive oil – salt
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400 °F)
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Put potatoes in a plastic bag, toss with cornstarch. Blow a little air into the bag, twist the top and shake it vigorously
- Now place sticks into a bowl , add 3 tbs olive oil , onion & garlic powder , paprica , black pepper . Mix all together with your hands
- Line the sticks into the sheet
- Bake for about 20 min. Once bottom of fries are getting crisp, flip them over and cook for another 20 minutes.
- Serve with salt , thyme & fresh beer “Baffo d’ oro birra Moretti “
Spiced red wine poached pears cream filled/ Γεμιστα αχλαδια ποσε’ σε κοκκινο κρασι με μπαχαρικα/Pere ripiene di crema al vino rosso speziato
Poached pears in spiced red wine ( filled with mascarpone cream)
- A. 3 pears (peeled-stalk intact) , 1 bottle red wine , 250 gr sugar , 2 cinnamon sticks , 2 star anise , orange & lemon peel
- B. For mascarpone cream : 100 gr mascarpone (or Philadelphia cheese) , 1 tbs honey, cinnamon . chopped walnuts (optional)
- Put all ingredients (A) except the pears in a saucepan just large enough to hold the fruits and bring to a boil
- Place the pears into the wine mixture then simmer uncovered for about 40-45 min. or until tender when pierced with a fork.
- Transfer pears to a bowl and continue to boil the poaching liquid until reduced to half (about 20 min. until is thickens)
- Now use an apple corer to scoop out the seeds and fill the pears center with the mascarpone cream
Mascarpone cream: Combine mascarpone or Philadelphia , honey , cinnamon , chopped walnuts into a bowl . Mix until smooth and creamy
Ways to serve poached pears :
1.You can serve it with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream , greek yogurt , whipped cream.
2.In a dish or in a glass put pears and some mulled wine (or other liquor 80 proof and above ⇒40% alcohol by volume) and apply a flame to the liquor. We recommend a long lighter. Before you light the drink, remove any alcohol you don’t want to catch fire from the area.
Serve warm, putting a few chopped walnuts or almonds into each glass and enjoy!
Mulled wine / Vin brulè / Ζεστο αρωματικο κρασι
Mulled wine is an ancient drink which has survived to modern times. Usually made with red wine and various spices and fruits.Mulled wines have a long history. In medieval times these wines were called Ypocras or Hipocris, named after the Greek physician Hippocrates. They were thought to be very healthy, and indeed, with wine at the time being far more sanitary than water, these heated drinks probably did keep people healthy through the cold winters.
Mulled wine reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
Red wine is a great source of antioxidants, which increases levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and gets rid of the bad stuff, which can significantly prevent heart disease and clogged arteries. It also contains tannin, which performs an anti-viral action by attacking the protein of viruses, making it highly effective in fighting off colds and ‘flu.
Cinnamon has anti- inflammatory properties ,is very effective against ‘flu symptoms. Lowers blood sugar levels
Cloves are anti-parasitic ,they have powerful anti-bacterial properties.
Lemon and orange are antiseptic and high in vit C
1 bottle red wine (not sparkling), 200gr sugar , 2 cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, 1 orange (juice and peel) , 1 lemon (peel only), 5 cloves, 2 star anise
Feel free to use your favorite fruits and spices ( clementines, apples, limes, ginger , pepercorns etc)
Peel the skin of the orange and lemon
- Put the wine in a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients (peels .fruits , spices and sugar)
- Squeeze the orange to get the juice and add it to the wine
- Heat gently until sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to boil and cook for 5 min. Stir constantly until it becomes a beautiful thick syrup
- Ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve with a cinnamon stick
- Recipes for Hippocras (odiern Mulled wine) from a manuscript c.1530. Add.Mss. 36542 f.2a. Reproduced by permission of the British Library.