How many of you like Pistachios? They are such an instant gratifying crunchy snack. I like it when I can pull the nut meat out of its salty shell and pop into my mouth…soon I have had 1/2 a bag! It is probably my favorite tree nut. Continue reading
Our adventure in Greece is almost complete~! Tonight, I will be doing A LOT of baking and cooking. By the time I am finished, I will have made about 30 Greek dishes! Tonight- planning on a few sweets- Pistachio/Sesame Snack and Honey Cakes with walnuts. Other items include: Fisherman’s Soup, Lamb and Rice, Spinach Rice, Once A Year Bread, Greek Salad. Excited to end with an OPA!
Here is an easy recipe to cook this weekend- even great for a Super Bowl party. Great with grilled foods-like chicken or beef.
Roast Lemon Potatoes~Food From Greek Kitchens~Tessa Kiros
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and rinsed
juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 350. Halve the potatoes lengthwise, then cut each half into 2 or 3 wedges, depending on the size of your potatoes. Spread them in an 8 1/2 x 12 inch non-stick baking dish. Splash the lemon juice and olive oil over them, and add salt and pepper generously. Crush the oregano between your fingers, letting it fall over the potatoes. Turn the potatoes to coat them well with everything. Drizzle 2 cups of water down the sides and give it a shuffle. Roast until the potatoes are tender and melting and a bit golden here and there with still a bit of sauce in the dish, about 1 1/2 hours, turning and basting them every 20 minutes or so. Add more salt and serve hot. OPA!
Keep following me in February- Headed to Thailand culture, food and freinds!
I make this kind of “omelette” all the time. My favorite breakfast is something with protein and greens. This is one that you can do everyday with different ingredients. Add a bit of feta and you will see that there is something satisfying about this briny, tangy, salty sheep’s/goat’s milk cheese.
If you did not know, the term “feta” has a protected designated of origin which basically means that Greece is the only country to claim the briny cheese from sheep’s/goat’s milk. Other countries can call it soft cheese, but it must originate from Greece in order to use the “feta” word -kind of like champagne which has a protected designated of origin also-France. Other “champagne” like drink is called sparkling wine. If you want to read more on Feta check out this link :http://www.realgreekfeta.gr/history-of-feta/
Switching gears or rather switching countries. It’s that time where our family members chime in on where we are headed for February….drum roll please.…. Continue reading
If you like lasagna then you are going to love this 3 layered Greek casserole. The layers include eggplant, meat (lamb or beef), bechamel (a white sauce made with milk). Sometimes there might be zucchini or potato added to the recipe. Any way you make it, you are going to have a nice comforting meal. Add a Greek salad and you are all set. Continue reading
You may have heard of “GREEK WEEK” on many college and university campuses which basically is a blitz on fun, frivolity, and food among the sororities and fraternities. For me, it’s Greek week too- an energetic and concerted effort to cook a lot of Greek foods in my last week of January.
Here’s the down low- get all my food items made (and blog about it), listen to awesome Greek songs, offer prayers for the Greek people, and try to get some Greek reading in. It is going to be a busy week and I look forward sharing what will be coming down the pike as I attempt Greek Week- fun, frivolity and food!
Menu for the next 7 days:
Shrimp with Feta and Tomato, Greek Salad
Macedonian Rice Stuffing with whole Chicken
Moussaka, Once A Year Bread
Roast Lemon Potatoes, Honey Cakes
Cabbage Rolls, Fried Tomato Fritters
Baked Lamb with Rice Shaped Pasta
Spinach Rice, Olive bread
Fisherman’s Soup, Sesame Pistachio Snack
OPA!!! and don’t forget to check back as I reveal the 16th country that I plan to cook and learn about in February.
I am excited for 2017! It means a new month and new cooking adventures. I really love international cooking and learning new things about countries that I might get to visit or not.
In December, I gathered all the family for January’s country culinary pick. Greece won and here we go- cooking all things Greek in January. Not only do I like to cook, I also like to get to know the country. I do that by reading about Greece. In the news right now is about refugees from Syria, Iraq and Aleppeo currently coming in and finding safe haven from dire home situations. Continue reading
It’s Around the World to Turkey. Bulgaria, Armenia, Greece, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iran and Iraq. What do all these countries have in common with Turkey? They all border the country Turkey and can you imagine ALL the food influences that Turkish food will feature? This is our last whirlwind “trip” in cooking and culture this year, so come and jump on board and let’s find out what is happening with Turkey!
If yesterday’s meal is an indication of what’s ahead, then proudly let me stand with the Turks. Simply called “Chicken with Vegetables and Plums” with a hint of cumin and a lot of slow cooking goodness. I call it “plum delicious.” My new “borrowed” cookbook comes from a collection of Turkish recipes written by friends in North Carolina, called “Delicious Dishes.”
Take a look again at the photo and see the amazing fall colors. Potatoes, carrots, onion and chicken thighs with some dried plums simmered together with its own juices, create a simple and elegant meal.
I hope you will give this one a try. It is an easy dish to prepare. Let me know when you do, I would love to know what you think.
Chicken with Vegetables and Plums by Fatos Simsek
6-8 Pieces of chicken thighs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 squash or 2 carrots, cubed
2 medium potatoes
1/2 cup dried pitted plums
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
(Although this dish says it requires a special earthenware pot, I used a heavy and large pan that worked just as well).
In large pan, with medium high heat, place olive oil and onions, brown onions for about 5 minutes.
Add chicken and cook each side for about 5 minutes. Combine with all then vegetables. Stir for a few minutes. Add cumin, half a cup of water, salt and pepper to taste. Top with the plums. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to very low. Cover tightly sealing the top of the pot with aluminum foil first and then placing with the lid. Cook on very low heat for about 2-2.5 hours. Do not stir or check while cooking. Serve hot with traditional white rice or bulgur pilaf.
My notes: I cooked my dish for about 3 hours. I think it would be nice to have this with turkey as well.
I hope you will enjoy Turkey as much as our family will this month. Lots of European and Asian influences and after cooking a couple of meals, the key to Turkish cuisine is the balance of flavors. How appropriate that for the month of November this country won out against others such as Greece, France, Ireland, Thailand, and Lebanon- (read my first post-Around the world-first stop…India!, to see how the countries are chosen). But, I have a feeling that you might encounter some flavor characteristics of these other countries-truly a Euroasian experience. As you may or may not know, this month really is turkey month for America and in our corner of the world, we will also celebrate the culture and cooking of the country Turkey. Come and join us this week as we venture into new territory, one last time this year.
Here is a sample of this weeks Turkish menu:
- Cabbage Stew
- Bean Salad
- Inverted Rice with Stew Meat
- Rice Pilaf with tomatoes
- Stuffed Green Peppers
- Turkish Wild Rice
- Piquant Kebap
- Leeks in Olive oil
- Spinach Casserole
Daha Sonra bakin-see you later!