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 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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.)
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.
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
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.
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>
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
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)
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!
500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting *
2 tsp salt
7gr fast-action yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
*Strong flour, also 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.
Heat oven to 220°C/ 428°F
Mix 500g strong white flour, 2 tsp salt and a 7gr of fast-action yeast in a large bowl.
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.
Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for around 10 mins.
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.
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.
Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.
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.
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
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.
One of the easiest and prettiest ways to decorate the cookies and enjoy time during quarantin days with your childrens…
Ingredients for 15 cookies:
190 g butter, at room temperature
110 g icing sugar
300 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
For the decoration:
Cookie cutters of desired shape
Add the butter in a mixer’s bowl and beat it with the paddle attachment at high speed, for 4-5 minutes, until fluffy.
Add the icing sugar and keep beating for 4-5 minutes using the paddle attachment at low to medium speed.
In a bowl, mix the flour with the vanilla and add them to the mixer. Beat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture looks like wet sand.
Remove the dough from the mixer and knead it with your hands until it is thick and malleable.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Transfer one of the pieces to a baking shett lined with parchment paper. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and, with a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it has the same size as the baking sheet.
Remove the parchment paper and cut the cookies using the cookie cutter. Follow the same process for the remaining dough, too.
Place the stencil on top of the cookie. Use a pastry brush to pick up cocoa powder and pat the cocoa powder onto the stencil.
Lift away the stencil carefully. Do the same for the rest of the cookies, then bake for about 15 min (180°C / 356°F)
After the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire- – which also included Greece – by Constantine the Great, (Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity ) he was the first to offer as gifts to his officials, the so-called “palatine bread”, today’s butter cookies and sweet bread (tsoureki). The shape of these Easter cookies and breads varies depending on local traditions.The best known is the braid. Braids and knots come from pagan times, as symbols of the removal of evil spirits.
So one of the ancient culinary Easter traditions in Greece is the butter cookies called “koulourakia” (kuluràkia). During Holy Week they are found in abundance in Greek bakeries and home kitchens. The dough is mainly made of butter and must be of excellent quality. Low quality butter will give horrible results without consistency, flavor and aroma. For this reason, every home has her favorite brand. My favorite brand is Greek from the historical region of Thessalia and it is the award-winning Flegga Dairy Company, synonymous with high quality for more than 60 years. The flour used for this recipe is a biological all purpose Italian flour; the same also biological eggs and organic oranges.
Have a Holy and Blessed Easter 2020. Warmest thoughts and wishes to all the people who are suffering from loneliness and pain.
Ingredients for 35 – 40 pieces:
300 g butter
300 g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, medium
120 g orange juice
orange zest, of 2 big oranges or 3 small
50 g brandy
1 kilo all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
50 g milk
1 pinch salt
1 egg yolk, diluted in 2 tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 190ο C (375ο F) set to fan.
In a mixer’s bowl add the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and beat with the paddle attachment at medium speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy.
Then, add the eggs one by one, the orange zest and juice, the cognac, and keep beating.
In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and mix with a spoon.
Add half of the solid ingredients into the mixer, the milk, the salt, and keep beating for 1-2 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, add the remaining solid ingredients, and mix with a serving spoon until the ingredients are homogenized. Then, knead with your hands until a dough is formed.
Cut a 30 g piece, shape it into a strip, and wrap it like a braid (see gallery below)
Follow the same process for the whole dough.
Transfer the cookies into baking pans lined with parchment paper, spread with the egg wash (1 egg yolk, diluted in 2 tablespoons water)
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 Flakesare 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
1/2cup milk (about 125 ml)
1/2 cup water (about 125 ml)
1 ripe bananamashed
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
Portokalopita is a typical Greek dessert made of phyllo, oranges (Portokàli means orange) and syrup. There are various recipes for portokalopita. I propose the one with whole oranges in which the peel of the fruit is also used.
Orange peel has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, containing high percentages of Vitamin C, is an indispensable aid for the immune system. Also is suitable against acidity, cholesterol and bacterial plaque in the mouth, helping digestion and intestinal transit. It is an excellent ally for those who have to fight cholesterol, as it helps to clean the arteries and counteracts the formation of clots, promoting cardiovascular health.
As it will be used the whole fruit, it is essential that it is organic and not treated with any type of pesticide.
For the syrup
700 g granulated sugar
500 g water
juice of 3 oranges
For the orange pie
2 whole organic oranges
450 g phyllo dough sheet
250 g granulated sugar
250 g seed oil
250 g milk
(Some butter and flour for the pan)
To serve: chocolate or stracciatella ice cream
Spread the phyllo sheets onto your working surface. Let them dry for 2 – 3 hours.
Meanwhile prepare the syrup. In a pot, add the sugar, water, orange juice and transfer over medium heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180ο C (356ο F).
With your hands, crumble the phyllo sheets until they broken up into small pieces. Place them into a large bowl.
Wash and cut 2 whole organic oranges into small pieces. Remove the seeds
Blend them into a food processor until they are almost pureed
In the same food processor add all the other ingredients: 3 eggs, sugar, milk, seed oil, vanilla. Mix until blended.
Pour this mix into the bowl with the phyllo. Mix very well with a ladle.
Spread butter and sprinkle flour onto a 32×25 cm baking pan. Spread the mixture inside, bake for 90 min (180C / 356F)
Remove from the oven. With a ladle pour the coldsyrup over.
Allow 30 minutes for the syrup to be absorbed. Cut in pieces and serve with chocolate or stracciatella ice cream.
The oranges for this particular recipe must be 100% organic and without any type of synthetic pesticide. If used, must be derived from natural sources, not synthetically manufactured.
A very simply and tasty salmon recipe, full of omega 3, proteins, excellent sourse of Potassium & Selenium. Very high in B vitamins such B1 , B2 , B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12. Furthermore contains the antioxidant Astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is a compound linked to several powerful health effects. As a member of the carotenoid family of antioxidants, astaxanthin gives salmon its pinkish-orange pigment. Lower the risk of heart disease by reducing oxidation of bad cholesterol LDL and increasing HDL (the “good cholesterol)
With the addition of herbs rich in indisputable properties, the dish that “marries” the land with the sea is a hymn to health and taste. The result is a flavorful crispy crust on the outside, while the interior impregnated with the flavor of the herbs is soft and tasty.
Serve it with oven baked hot potatoes chips, avocado, chia seeds, walnuts and a home made dressing made by mayonnaise, lemon and olive oil. If you have fresh biological eggs you can made your own mayonnaise.
The right recipe that fortifies the organism in these dark and sad times that we are currently experiencing. Don’t lose hope, don’t let panic overcome fear.Take care of you, of your health, of your mind, read books, paint a canvas, start a yoga course, create new unusual recipes. The enemy of fear is creativity. Eat healthly, stay strong and rest at home. Best wishes to all of you. From Italy with solidarity and positive thoughts.
Ingredients: Fresh salmon 2 pieces, olive oil
For the crust:
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
sprigs of parsley
sprigs of mint
sprigs of thyme
sprigs of marjoram
1 garlic glove (optional)
CRUST: Place all ingredients for the crust into a blender. Pulse several times until is homogeneous green. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 200°/ 392° F
Place the mix of herbs+breadcrumbs in a dish. Press salmon all over into the green mixture to coat it on both sides
Place the fish onto a tray (or cast iron pan). Drizzle a little olive oil on top
Transfer the pan into the oven (200°C /392°F ) and bake for 15 min.
Serve with oven baked potato chips, avocado, chia seeds, walnuts and a homemade dressing.
For the dressing: 2 tbs mayonnaise, 1 lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil. In a jar add all the ingredients, close the lid, shake very well until homogeneous and creamy.
3 tbsp mayonnaise – 3 tbsp extra virgin oil – 1 lemon juice and lemon jest (In a glass jar add all ingredients together, cover tightly and shake)
Remove the steak from the refrigerator. Let it reach room temperature — around 1 hour.
Cut outer edges of fat on steaks, diagonally at 4-5cm intervals with a knife. Use a paper towel to absorb the moisture from the meat. Dry meat forms the best crust.
Sprinkle the mix of salt and oregano over the steaks into each sides. Massage well all over the meat.
Build up the fire until you can have a deep coal bed large enough to cook your steaks on. (About the size of your grill rack).
Set the steaks on the grill. Let them sear on one side, once it’s acquired the Maillard reaction* color golden brown. After 7 min flip it, let it do the same on the other side. (For thinner steaks, about 3 – 4 minutes per side for medium rare it’s ok, but a 6 cm steak takes at least 7 minutes)
Remove the steak from the heat, cover it with aluminum foil, and let rest for at least 3-4 minutes. This tip will allow the juices (myoglobin) to redistribute into the meat.
Serve with lettuce salad, top with the dressing.
Recommended wine: Chianti Clasicco. Typical Tuscan Red Wine – DOCG – Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin.
The blood red color liquid in the steak is not blood at all. It’s myoglobin, a protein that only found in muscle tissue and delivers oxygen to an animal’s muscles; contains a red pigment- which why muscle tissue is red. As a steak is cooked, the myoglobin darkens- which is why the more “well done” the meat is, the grayer it looks. So rare* meat isn’t bloody, it is just cooked to a lower temperature
*Rare. This refers to a steak that is been cooked for a very short period of time — leaving the centre red in colour. It’s just a stage up from raw meat — but cooked on the outside. Steak doesn’t contain parasites that chicken and pork do — eating it rare doesn’t pose any health risks
*The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring the addition of heat. Like caramelization, it is a form of non-enzymatic browning.
You can use a digital instant-read meat thermometer. Check the temperature of the steak while it’s still on the grill. Grill the steak to your desired taste:
Wild Boar is a natural meat very low in bad cholesterol, low in sodium and an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and zinc. No added hormones, no antibiotics, no steroids, no additives.
Very high in proteins. Proteins are made up of amino acids. Our body use them to build and maintain our bones, muscles, cartilage skin and blood. Protein is also what the body uses to repair damaged tissue. The benefit of wild boar meat is it contains ALL the essential amino acids (proteins) our body requires.
Wild boar is rich in Iron, Selenium, Zinc. Rich also in Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2) Niacine (B3) ,Vitamine B6. Our body does not produce these vitamins naturally so they must be obtained from the food we eat. These vitamins are used by our bodies to convert the food we consume into energy. This improves our metabolism. A person’s nervous system and brain function are also dependent on these vitamins beacause they improve our immune systems, help regulate our moods and reduce stress.
Gragnano pasta or other of your choice
1onionpeeled and halved
1carrot washed and cut into large pieces
1celery stalkwashed and cut into large pieces
bay & rosemary leaves
For the sauce
2 lttomato passata
1onionpeeled and finely chopped
1carrotwashed and finely chopped
1celery stalkwashed and finely chopped
3-4tbspextra virgin olive oil
3glasses red wine (room temperature)
Instructions for marinade:
Wash the wild boar meat, cut it into pieces. Put it in a large bowl.
Add the onion (peeled and cut in quarters) the carrot and the celery in large pieces, the bay leaves, the rosemary, the juniper berries.
Cover with red wine and mix.
Cover the container with plastic wrap or a lid and allow to stand in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Once the necessary time has passed, drain the meat and eliminate the wine, the vegetables and the herbs.
How to make the ragu:
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet and fry very slightly the garlic, carrot, celery and onion
Add the wild boar meat and brown it on all sides.
Add the red wine (3 glasses), lower the flame and cook for about 10 minutes so the alcohol can evaporate.
4. Add the tomato pulp, a pinch of salt and cook with the flame reduced to a minimum for about 1.5-2 hours. Stir occasionally and add some water if the sauce seems dry.
After 2 hours, cook the pasta al dente, add the paccheri pasta into the ragu’ and mix carefully. Serve immediately.
The first secret of this amazing pasta is the land where the wheat is cultivated. Situated at the foot of Monte Lattari, Gragnano village (near Naples/Campania) benefits from a microclimate made of the right mix of dry wind from the mountain, sun, and humidity from the sea. It was for this reason that, in the 18th century, the king of Napoli decided that only two places were suitable to cultivate the wheat for the rest of the population: Naples and Gragnano. The pasta also must be made by mixing durum wheat with the calcium-poor water of Monti Lattari.
The second secret is the carefully-developed process, which continues to be regulated by a strict standard of production. In 2013, the European Union declared PGI (Protected Geographical Indication): the pasta made under the name “Pasta di Gragnano” must be produced in a legally defined area that still corresponds to the territory indicated by the king of the Napoli about two centuries ago.
Finally, the dough must be extruded through rough bronze forms and, once it has taken shape, dry at low temperatures in the mountain air. The result of this long and traditional process is one of the finest pastas in the world.
excerpt from the article “WHY PASTA DI GRAGNANO IS SO DELICIOUS” (Eataly)
Vasilopita is a New Year’s Day traditional cake in Greece and many other areas in eastern Europe and the Balkans. The cake contains a hidden coin which gives good luck to the receiver. Usually the night of the new year, the moment of the change of the year, the cake is traditionally cut by the oldest member of the family, and the individual who receives the portion of the cake which contains the coin is considered blessed and lucky for a whole New Year.
This age old tradition commenced in the 4th century, when Saint Basil , who was a bishop, wanted to distribute money to the poor people in his Diocese. He wanted to preserve their dignity, so as not to look like charity, he commissioned some women to bake sweetened bread, in which he arranged to place gold coins. So the families in cutting the bread to nourish themselves, were pleasantly surprised to find the coins.
300 g butter, at room temperature
250 g icing sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
7 g mahleb
2 g mastic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
zest of 2 oranges
1 teaspoons vanilla powder or liquid
4 eggs, at room temperature
80 g milk
400 g all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Decoration: icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180* C (350*F) Fan.
In a mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar, with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Stop beating and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat for another 5 minutes. (It is important that the butter is at room temperature. The softer it is the fluffier your mixture will be.)
While you are waiting, add the remaining ingredients from the 1st mixture (apart from the orange zest) and beat them in a blender along with a tablespoon of sugar, until they become powdery. When ready, add the orange zest and mix.
Add this powdery mixture to the mixer and beat on low speed.
Add all the ingredients from the 2nd mixture, in batches. Release the mixing bowl and add the ingredients from the 3rd mixture. Mix with a large spoon.
Grease a round 25 cm spring form baking pan and dust with flour. Transfer the batter to the baking pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
When ready, remove from oven. Allow the cake to cool completely. Pour the icing sugar over it and serve.
The secrets for this recipe are two. The fresh biological eggs and the butter. Produced by The Greek Award Winning Dairy Company “Flegga“, this goat butter gives a velvety consistency and a truly inimitable flavor. Rich source of several vitamins such A, D, E, (E is a powerful antioxidant) B12, K2 (K2 protects against heart disease and osteoporosis). Most of the saturated fats in butter are short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), the most common of which is butyric acid. Butyric acid is a uniquecomponent of the milk fat of ruminant animals, such as sheep, and goats.Reduces the inflammations in the digestive system and has been used as a treatment for Crohn’s disease.
This is all due to the free grazing of healthy animals under the sun in one of the most pristine areas of Greece. In the heart of the National Park of Pindos.
Mahleb or Mahalepi (Greek : Μαχλεπι) is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry, Prunus mahaleb. Mahleb is rich source of fatty acids, phytosterols and antioxidant phenols (good for hypertension and colesterol) also contains vitamins B1, B6, E, a tocopherol, proteins, essential oils
Mastic (Greek: Μαστίχα) is a resin obtained from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus) cultivated in the Greek island of Chios. Mastic releases a refreshing flavor similar to pine and cedar. Mastic resin absorbs cholesterol, it has antibacterial properties, acts as an oral antiseptic, aids digestion, tightens the gums, heals wounds and scientists discovered that when it is administrated even in small doses it cures stomach ulcers.
“Christopsomo” in Greek means “Christ’s Bread” and this is why the bread is decorated with a cross. Christopsomo is considered very sacred bread in Greece and is usually prepared the day before Christmas and is served at the Christmas table.
According to the tradition, it has a cross made out of dough in the center and it has whole walnuts, almonds, raisin in it, that represent abundance. It also has other sacred shapes made out of dough which portray animals, members of a family, babies, grapes (a frequent symbol in Christianity and New Testament who represents the abudance), fruits, stacks of wheat (it represents a good harvest), flowers, crosses, a sun (represent life and strenght) leaves (the number of leaves represent the number of family members).
In some parts of Greece, where farming has always been a major occupation, Christopsomo is adorned with dough likenesses of specific farm tools, plows, ears of corn, sheaths of wheat, mules, horses, sheeps, shepherds and more. Everyone decorates it with the symbols that best represent it.
They are almost universally round, the circle a symbol of eternity, or, alternatively, cross-shaped.
**Merry Christmas to everyone**
For the dough:
550-600 ml water, at room temperature
18 g yeast
120 g granulated sugar
50 g olive oil, +extra 10g for brushing bowl
1 kilo hard flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
10 g salt
30 g anise
100 g walnuts
120 g water, lukewarm
20 g olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
250 g all-purpose flour
1 walnut, whole
1 egg white, lightly beaten for brushing
For the glaze:
50 g honey
20 g brandy or 20gr water
For the dough
In a mixer’s bowl add a part of the water (550 g), the yeast and sugar.
Mix with a hand whisk until the yeast dissolves completely and it becomes activated.
Add the olive oil, flour and cinnamon. Beat with the hook attachment on medium speed for about 5-8 minutes, until all of the ingredients are completely combined start coming together to form a dough.
If the dough is too thick, you can add the remaining water if needed.
In a separate bowl, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the dough.
Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for 1 hour, until it doubles in size.
Prepare the dough for the decoration of Christopsomo, so add the water, olive oil, flour and salt in the mixer’s bowl or you can simply use a bowl and your hands. Mix until the dough is smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes to rest.
For the Christopsomo
Deflate the dough lightly with your fingers and shape into a round loaf.
Add the salt, anise and walnuts. Beat for 1 minute, just to combine. They are not added from the start so that they don’t get crushed inside the dough.
Butter a round baking pan (28-30 cm) and line with parchment paper. Transfer the dough into the baking pan and spread lightly. Brush the top lightly with some beaten egg white and water.
Remove the plastic wrap from the decorating dough and cut it into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a long rope. Then form 2 braids. Place the 2 braids over the Christopsomo and shape a cross. Place the whole walnut in the center. Cover the dough with a towel and wait for the dough to rise for 1 hour. (see also the preparation photos below)
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F Fan and bake for 50 minutes, until the Christopsomo is nicely coloured and cooked through.
When the bread is almost ready, prepare the glaze by combining the honey and cognac thoroughly. When ready, remove from oven and immediately brush the glaze over the Christmas Bread.
Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry popular in Middle Eastern countries made of layers of phyllo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey.
Baklava is normally prepared in large pans. Many layers of filo dough, separated with melted butter are laid in the pan. A layer of chopped nuts—typically walnuts,pistachios or almonds is placed on top, then more layers of phyllo. Most recipes have multiple layers of phyllo and nuts, though some have only top and bottom pastry.
Greek version of baklava is made with 33 dough layers, referring to the years of Christ’s life.
How to cut it in diamond shape (4 steps)
Repeat the same procedure for all quarters
1 package phyllo dough
300 gr chopped nuts
200gr chopped almonds
300 gr butter (My choice is always the Greek award winning dairy products of “Flegga” Company. This specific butter gives not only a delicious fragrance but another dimension of taste to all dishes, sweets and savoury)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon clove powder
1/2 teaspoon nut
Ingredients or the syrup:
2 cup water
2 cup white sugar
1 orange peel
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup honey
Preheat oven to 160° C. In a bowl, melt the butter .
Butter the bottoms and sides of a 33×23 pan.
Process the nuts until in small, even sized pieces. Combine with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves powder. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough.Place a sheet of phyllo dough into the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Repeat more times until you have 10 sheets layered.Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut/almond mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go.Continue to repeat the nut/almond mixture and two buttered sheets of phyllo until the nut mixture is all used up. The top layer should be about 10 sheets deep. With a cuisine scissors cut out all edges of phyllo.
Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake baklava for about 1 hour until the top is golden brown and crisp and the lower phyllo layers beneath the nut/almond mixture are thoroughly baked through. To test this, use a knife to lift up a corner of one of the pastry rectangles from the center of the pan so you can peek at the bottom layers . If the top starts to get too brown before the pastry is cooked through, lay a piece of foil over the top.
.While baking, make the syrup.Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add orange peel, cinnamon sticks and honey. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon syrup it . Serve at room temperature.
Cyprus bread is more than food, is a religious expression.
Different types of bread are traditionally made for different occasions, weddings , easter , Christmas, communions, baptism.
Dr. Dorita Voskaridou is a researcher, author and founder of the Decorated Breads of Cyprus museum in Limassol.
Dorita’s book “To Ploumisto Psomi tis Kyprou” (The Decorated Bread of Cyprus) is a collection of historical and personal testimonies. Decorative breads for every occasion, based on various village designs have been re-worked by this talented lady.
“All the symbols came from the ancient times when people used to believe in 12 gods. There are symbols from ancient Greek pots. From excavations we then find the same symbols in bread.
There were Byzantine shapes and influences. Women in villages see icons of churches which inspire them to go home and make the bread. Every village has different kinds of symbols and every woman has a different, very personal style, for example one village may have the same symbol but each woman makes something different. Every woman has her own aesthetic.
Bread is the king of the house in Cyprus proverbs. It is very important still and is the main nutritional ingredient in our culture. In Cyprus’ popular traditions, bread on the table symbolised Jesus Christ himself. So nobody gets up from the table until the bread has been removed. The bread has to move first away from table,” says Dorita Voskaridou
I tried to reproduce one of these ancient and full of tradition shapes. I have no idea if it is a wedding, communion, Christmas or easter bread. I choose it for the presence of the cross and the X of Xrist. (Χριστος in Greek language). So i think perfect for Xristmas.
Follow the instructions step by step. You will need 33 dough cords and a good amount of sesame seeds. Isn’t difficult as appears. Crunchy texture , delicate flavor. Enjoy a Merry Xristmas!
500 bread flour
250ml warm water
1/2 tablespoon dried yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a large bowl combine flour, olive oil, yeast and sugar. Add the water & salt. Mix well
Knead the dough until is smooth and elastic. ( If the dough seems a little stiff add 1-2 tbsp water)
Place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour
Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knock back the dough by gently kneading just few min. You only want to knock out any large air bubbles
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Now mould the dough into a 33 thin cords as in the pictures. Follow carefully the step by step instructions. Seal ends by pressing down firmly with your fingertips. Brushing with water, then sprinkling with sesame seeds
Method: 1 Cut pomegranates. Gently pull seeds away from the white centers.
2. Place all seeds in a glass container
3. Pour the alcohol over the seeds. Close the lid. Let it age for two weeks in a cool dark place.
4. After 2 weeks, heat the water with the sugar . Disolve very well
5. Strain through fine wire mesh and discard all the seeds.
6. Pour the cold syrup into the liqueur and mix with a spoon
7. Tranfer in a clean glass bottle.
It is ready to be served alone or added to cocktails such 1 to 1 with vodka or 1 to 1 with sparkling wine and cinnamon syrup. With tequila and cranberry juice. You can added it in a glass of warm red and spiced sangria (mulled wine) to accompany roasted chestnuts. The possibilities for use are endless. Enjoy!
Melomakarona are traditional Greek Christmas cookies. Typical ingredients of these biscuits are flour or semolina, sugar, orange fresh juice, cognac (or similar beverage), cinnamon and olive oil. Immediately after baking, they are immersed for a few seconds in cold syrup made of honey, sugar, dissolved in water. Finally, they are decorated with ground, as well as bigger pieces of walnut.
The word “melomakarona” is a combination of the two Greek words: “mèli” which means honey and “makàrona” which comes from the ancient word “makaria” and means “blessed”
For the 1st mixture:
400 ml orange juice
400 ml vegetable oil
180 ml olive oil
1/2 tsp clove
2-3 tsp cinnamon
zest of 2 oranges
For the 2nd Mixture:
1 kg flour
1 tsp baking soda
50 g icing sugar
For the syrup:
500 g water
800 g granulated sugar
150 g honey
3 stick(s) cinnamon
1 orange, cut in half
Boil the ingredients for the syrup 2-3 hours before you start making the melomakarona so that there is enough time for the syrup to cool.
1. Boil all of the ingredients for the syrup, apart from honey, until sugar melts. Remove from heat. Add the honey and mix till combined.
let syrup cool for 2 – 3 hours. It must be cold by the time the cookies come out from the oven.
You can prepare the syrup from the day before.
2.Preheat the oven to 190° C (370*F)
To make the cookies, you need to prepare 2 separate mixtures.
3.Mix all the ingredients for mixture 1 thoroughly using a good whisk.
4.Add the ingredients of mixture 2 and mix softly for a little while, just until the flour is fully incorporated in the rest of the mix. Be careful not to overwork the cookie dough because the oil may start to seep out and then they won’t turn out crispy.
5.Mold cookie dough into oval shapes, 3-4 cm in length, 30 g each. Try to keep them as similar as possible.
6.Bake at 190°C for about 20-25 minutes until they are crispy.
7.As soon as you remove them from the oven, soak the hot cookies in the cold syrup for 20-30 seconds.