There is a whole host of dishes we make in Greece which are classed as ‘meze‘. These are small (or big) plates of delicacies and nibbles (not prawns on stick or mini sausage rolls though) which are served with tsipouro (a.k.a. raki) or ouzo. Try not to drink the later if you’re not used to them. Meze can be simple – just a few slices of cheese and tomatoes, more complicated like boureki or just out-of-this-world, like today’s recipe.
There is something about London in November that just makes me ache for hearty soups and curling up on the sofa with thick socks. It’s not so much the cold – it gets worse over December and January. It is all about the sharp smell of the cold to come in the air. Sort of like the promise of winter right around the corner.
I was looking for something seasonal to do this week and I stumbled upon some lovely ambercup squash the other day. They look so lovely, don’t they? Small, round, tough, they are like a toy vegetable I think. In the past I never cooked with squash and pumpkin, for some reason my family is not very big on them. My mum has now started growing them in her garden, too late for me as I have flown the nest and my memories of what we eat “at home” are pretty much set. So using squash and pumpkin is very much a London thing for me.
I uploaded a pic of our dinner today on Google+ and Stratos asked for the recipe. That is to say he actually threatened that he would have a heart attack if I didn’t share it. Fine. You know me, I’m here for my friends.
What you need to know about this recipe is that roasted chicken with potatoes is one of the most frequent things we have in Greece. It is considered ideal for a family Sunday lunch so after a few years you are sick and tired of it. So I just gave the recipe a little twist to make it more interesting.
Here I am with the first ever Digital Scullery video in English. Cheers to all the friends of the Greek blog for the idea, by the way if people hate the video I’m blaming you 😉
I honestly thought about doing the Greek accent but I sound so fake that I just stuck to my own. So no funnies there I think. Anyway.
In this first ever Digital Scullery video in English the only classic recipe from modern Greece I could think of was the Frappé coffee – beloved in Greece. The actual phrase “drinking Frappé ” in Greek has become sort of like a cultural symbol. Depending on the context it could mean that you’re just chilling or – in some cases – that you are just lazying about.
Roxakia are a Greek type of sweet dough. I hope it’s mainly Greek but you never know. Anyway. They are bite sized cocoa and vanilla and cinnamon goodies that look lovely and taste like heaven. Avoid if syrupy stuff is not your cup of tea, but you will love them if you like any of the syrupy Greek, Turkish and Arabian goodies.
So. Friends of the Greek blog LOVE this dessert and have been asking me to do a video for absolute ages. I got around to it over the weekend (you can watch the video here – it’s in Greek obviously but you’ll see the technique I am describing below) and I managed to take some pics for the English side too.
It seems that the Dukan diet is sweeping the whole world , not just the nation (please get the media to stop with Carole Middleton and how she got her figure!). It does have some weird and interesting recipes (mainly with oat bran admittedly) and I mentioned that I wanted to make the muffins on our Facebook page. However, the Greek friends on there shouted out in despair about the galette. It seems people find it impossible!
All the chums on facebook (and twitter) are saying that this galette comes out horrible, gets stuck, it’s really hard. So, did my research and here I am with my photos.
Today’s culinary hell, takes us to the much berated US of A, and its capitalist burgers. Most people love a burger, but unfortunately it’s irrevocably connected in their mind with the disgusting plastic versions in the fast food joints or even the less disgusting plastic versions of more upmarket burger places. For the latter I will admit that they serve burgers more reminiscent of normal meat than the type served in the haunts of alienated youths the world over.
It was a hot afternoon in August. Athena (@athensbynite) mentioned on twitter that she was eating some toast with cheese and red pepper marmalade. Or chutney. Or whatever. Read on and decide.
Opa, I thought. Is there a recipe like that and I don’t know it? What the hell? I asked Athena and hey presto she sent me the recipe in 3 tweets all together. It’s that easy!
The proof is right here. I made the marmalade, I tried it, I loved it.
I know I know. I haven’t been writing a lot. The fact is I haven’t been cooking a lot so I don’t have anything to share. Sorry.
There is something today there. A special salad. Dear Prophet I don’t want to see you nagging. Salads go wonderfully with all your special meat recipes… even if the salad is a strawberry salad!
One more Digital Scullery lovely friend cooked, ate, took a picture and sent the recipe. Somewhat stolen from his mum Katy – (well done Katy though, for raising a son who is not afraid of the kitchen)!
I was always a sour kid. My mum says that I was a baby when I started eating raw lemons and my face use to go all funny from the sour and burning taste but I used to keep on eating.
For the salad:
- Green bits (anything you like but I prefer various types of lettuce)
- 2 medium sized tomatoes
- 3-4 medium sized mushrooms
- Shrimps (this is an easy salad so ready-to-eat shrimps. I hear they are anathema to the foodies but hey ho)
You can also add anything else you like – e.g. cubed courgette, fresh peppers etc.
For the dressing:
This is an amazing dressing a la Auntie Sofia. It is GREAT with chicken or sausages where you just bathe the meat in it and then cook it. It’s also really nice for a salad.
- Olive oil
- Mustard (same amount as olive oil)
- Lemon juice (same amount as olive oil)
- Pinch of salt
Chop up all the ingredients. Actually it’s better if you just tear the green leaves with your hands. It saves time and looks better.
Use your green leaves as a basis and then add the tomato.
Add your mushrooms. If you don’t enjoy them raw (I do), just place them in a pan with a tiny bit of water and brown them a bit.
Add all the rest of your salad ingredients.
In a big glass add all the ingredients for the dressing and shake em (use a foamer if you’ve got it or just a little handheld mixer).
Contantinos Giannoulis from World of Flavors sent a new recipe with a bit of chocolate (which we love).
Roast Beef with Chocolate-Orange sauce
Ingredients (for 4-6)
The roast beef
- 1 roast beef in the net (1kg)
- A handful mix of black and red peppercorns
- ½ tsp mustard seeds or 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 clove of garlic
- dried thyme
- 1 tomato
- 3 mid sized onions
- 1 fresh garlic
- Olive oil
- Nob of butter
The chocolate sauce
- 150gr of dark grated chocolate (any quality you fancy should work, I think the darker the better)
- 1 orange
- Two knobs of butter
How – To
Remove the roast from the fridge 1½ hours before roasting.
Crush the peppercorns, the clove of garlic, the mustard seeds, the thyme and salt into a fine mix (not puree). Coat the roast very thoroughly and let it rest.
You could marinade a day in advance for a more enhanced flavor, in which case remove the roast from the fridge about 1 hour before roasting.
Place the roast in the middle of your oven tray, cut the onions, the fresh garlic in quarters, the tomato in half and place around the roast, add salt & pepper, dress with olive oil and put in a preheated oven at 180.
For rare, temperature in the center of the roast should bed be around 55 Celsius, around 60 minutes.
For medium, temperature in the center of the roast should be around 60 Celcius, around 70 minutes.
For well done, temperature in the center of the roast should be over 70 Celcius, around 85 minutes.
Don’t forget to turn the roast half way.
Remove the roast from the oven and coat it with a knob of butter and place on a medium hot pan to create a gold cover. Around 2 minutes each side. We are looking for a golden and kind of crispy outer texture. Remove the roast and let it rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, and then slice it as thick or as thin as you fancy. Don’t clean the pan!
While resting the roast we puree all the roasted vegetables, and the juice from the tray with a food processor, adjusting with a little olive oil and salt for thickness and flavor. If you prefer it chunkier you can just mash everything with a fork.
Time to prepare the chocolate sauce!
Use the same unclean pan where the roast was crisped and put it on medium low heat, add the orange juice scraping all that’s stuck in the bottom of the pan from the roast, that’s nothing but flavor! Add a knob of butter, the orange zest and finally chocolate. Be fast! Once you have a shiny chocolate creamy texture you are there!
Now you can either mix the vegetable puree with the chocolate sauce or serve it separately as in the picture above.
Serve the slices of meat over a bed of salad, which is recommenced to be a bit acidic (use a dressing rich in lemon or vinegar). We prepared a cabbage & carrot salad with a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice.