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
Saragli’ is a traditional Christmas Greek sweet with plenty of grated walnuts and crispy phyllo drizzled with sweet and spicy syrup.
It is basically “baklava” that is rolled instead of layered. Phyllo sheets are brushed with butter, covered in a seasoned walnut mixture, and rolled up.
If you like crispy pastries, dried fruits, an intense scent of cinnamon and cloves in your home, this is the right recipe for you! Merry Christmas!
This recipe has been adapted by Akis Petretzikis saragli recipe
- 500 g granulated sugar – 300 ml water – 4 cloves – 1 cinnamon stick – Rind from 1 orange – juice of half orange
- 400 g butter
- 100 g walnuts
- 100 g almonds
- 100 g pistachio nuts
- 2teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 packages phyllo dough (900 g)
- pistachio nuts, ground, for serving
- In a pot, add the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves and orange rind.
- Place pot over medium heat.
- In about 2-3 minutes, as soon as the sugar melts, remove pot from heat.
- Add the orange juice, stir and set aside to cool.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- In a food processor grind the walnuts, almonds, cinnamon and cloves together. You don’t want to finely grind them but you don’t want to have large pieces because they will rip through the phyllo dough.
- Transfer the filling to a bowl and transfer the melted butter to a separate bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 160° C (320° F)
- Spread out the phyllo dough on a clean working surface.
- Lay one sheet of phyllo dough separately on your working surface. Drizzle with melted butter, making sure not to let the brush directly touch the phyllo.
- Cover with another sheet of phyllo and drizzle with butter.
- Spread the filling over the entire surface.
- Place two wooden sticks in the middle of the phyllo and roll the smaller side towards the middle, leaving an empty space at the edge.
- Do not roll too tight and gently press the ends together towards the middle with your hands, creating folds in the phyllo and remove the sticks.
- Brush a 30×40 cm baking pan with butter and add the sargli.
- Drizzle with butter immediately and repeat the same process until the baking pan is full of saragli rolls.
- When the pan is full, drizzle any leftover butter over the sargli rolls.
- Bake for 70 minutes.
- When ready, remove from oven and immediately pour the cool syrup over the scorching hot saragli rolls.The temperature of the pastry must be always opposite than the syrup. This is the key for a successful baklava /saragli’
- Allow them to soak up the syrup for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with ground pistachio nuts and serve
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
A slushie is a frozen treat perfect for hot summer days. Fruits & wine slushie is made with only two ingredients: Frozen fruits of your choice and your favorite white wine. The quickest way to make a slushy is by using a blender, but if you have an ice cream maker your slushies will have a smoother texture.
In this recipe i use peach & bluebberies but feel free to use any fruit combo you desire. Just put all the ingredients in a blender and you ‘ve got a delicious, perfumed and colorfull glass of slushie
Peach & bluebbery
Ingredients for 1 person: Peach & bluebbery
- 1/2 cup frozen peaches (Cut 1 peach into slices and put in the freezer until frozen)
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 3/4 cup fresh white wine
- 1tsp sugar (optional)
Method: Put all ingredients together in a blender. Pulse until homogeneous. If slushie appears too thick, add more wine. Serve immediately
Nothing makes a hot summer night better like a cold mojito. Shake up your own refreshing cocktail but this time try to add some sweet blueberries. Extra flavor, extra scent is guaranteed. Enjoy!
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
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
Discover the tastiest italian iced “crema di caffe’ freddo as it is prepared in Italians bars and your coffee willl never be the same again.
A creamy and fluffy alternative to traditional coffee. Crema di caffe’ is an icy mixture of espresso and whipping cream served in small transparent glasses. Enjoy!
- 150 ml espresso coffee
- 300 ml whipping cream
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tbsp Nutella (optional)
1. Prepare an espresso.
Dissolve the sugar in the espresso . At this point if you desire you can add 1 tbs of Nutella. Mix to dissolve
2. In a deep mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream (300ml) until soft peaks form.
3. Add the espresso coffee
4. Whip again 1 min until homogeneous
4. Pour the mixture into a plastic container and leave in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
Leave larger quantities in the freezer for longer
5. Once cooled, take the desire amount , whip it or blend it with a handblend until smooth and creamy
Serve immediately with a sprinkle of cocoa powder on the top. You can decorate the inside of the glass with some Nutella to give color & chocolate flavor. Enjoy!
My lovely cousin Eleni (excellent lawyer and mother) who lives in the beautiful Heraklion in the Greek island of Crete gives me this savory recipe for “amigdalosalata”. A fresh and healthy sauce that will get your mouth watering, made by greek strained yogurt, mustard, mayonnaise, almonds and a good amount of fresh dill (Anethum graveolens).
If you’re looking for a herb perfumed sauce to serve alongside steak, this is the right one. Amigdalosalata doesn’t require any cooking and can be ready in no time. Enjoy!
( Many thanks to Eleni, Filimon & Nikolas for the exciting moments that we have lived together last month)
Ingredients: 1 kg strained greek yogurt, 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp mustard, 1 bunch of fresh dill, 1 cup of almonds without skin
Method: Cut each almond in 2-3 parts. Chop the bunch of dill.
In a large bowl place all ingredients together (Yogurt , mayonnaise , mustard , chopped dill & almonds). Mix it well and season to taste.
Get grilling and enjoy you summer!