One of the most useful things – and nobody thinks to share this with you if you’re a newbie – is a list of what you should have in your fridge and your cupboard, especially when you’re busy and do not have time. Everybody kind of assumes that you know how to miracle food on the table or that you have time to stand over a stew. Let’s face it. You don’t.
Never ask your dear mother. Especially a Greek mother. Over the years they know all the tricks and they’ll tell you to have a lot more stuff than you actually need for quick lunches and dinners. The result will be that you’ll be throwing out about half of your fridge contents.
Kokkinisto literally means ‘reddened‘ in Greek. It’s basically a stew which you can make with all sorts of meat – even though each cut and animal have their littler secrets. It’s a bit different than your normal stew – it comes up with a spicy and cinnamon-y taste. Come to think of it that’s very common in my kitchen.
Anyway. Kokkinisto was the first recipe I really wanted to learn and it took quite a while. I’ve had to get rid of whole pots crying (even though it was better than what I had to deal with when I was learning to bake a cake).
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).
Hero sent me a little message in Greek via facebook. She has a lot of apples and no food mixer so she was wondering if I have a recipe for Apple pie with only kneading by hand.
For the dough:
- 2 cups of flour
- 3/4 of a cup soft butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar (preferably caster sugar)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon cognac
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 egg white
Mix the flour with the sugar and baking powder.
Put in the softened butter, the egg yolk and the cognac.
Knead with passion, first just rubbing between your fingers and then normally (punch it). The dough should be relatively crumbly
Just place the dough on a pastry dish (preferably a pie dish). It might be impossible to use a rolling pin so just beat it into the dish and flatten with your fingers.
Prick with a fork since you don’t want it to rise.
Place in the over for about 20 minutes (180 fan – Celsius) so that it just starts changing color. If you want to be a perfectionist cover with baking parchment and fill with red or other beans to stop it from rising.
While it’s in the oven slice the apples and sprinkle with sugar (consider brown sugar for this), cinnamon and the egg white.
Take the pie base out of the oven and just place the apples in with all their juices. concentric circles work well here. Pour any remaining juices over. Melt the butter and pour that over too.
Place in a moderate oven for about half an hour more.
Recipe: A really old Greek cook book by Sofia Skoura, Μαγειρική Ζαχαροπλαστική του Ελληνικού Σπιτιού, Athens, 1967
Photograph: Caramel-Apple Streusel Pie Recipe Uploaded by Pillsbury.com on 20 Aug 09, 9.10PM GMT.