Stuffed Tenderloin with Aegina’s pistachio

Cooking with fruits and nuts is a gourmet venture for most people… It sounds like a “scary” idea but really, once you try it you will find it ingenious and fun. Here, I’m giving you a special recipe made with pork tenderloin, apples and pistachio from the Greek island of  Aegina.

Aegina’s pistachio is a P.D.O (Protected Designation of Origin) product.

It is rich in proteins (26,5% to 28,4%), oils (52,1% to 53,8%),

sugar ( 5,3% to 6,5%) and its nutritional value per  100 gr is: protein:

12 gr, calories: 340, fat 29 gr, carbohydrates: 8 gr, fiber: 2 gr.

Of course, if you cannot find the original Aegina’s pistachio, you can use any other kind is available near you.

So, don’t be afraid to venture this recipe.

Ask your friends to taste it and I’m sure that they will love it, thus they will love you even more. Enjoy…

Stuffed Tenderloin with “Aegina” pistachio & apples

For four persons

INGREDIENTS:

2 pieces of pork tenderloin (appr. 1 ½ kilo)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

FOR THE STUFFING:

1 tbsp of butter

100 gr of pistachio (without the skin)

1 apple (piled and cut in cubes)

FOR THE SAUCE:

6 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

1 large onion (grated)

FOR DECORATION:

2 apples (1 red, 1 green) cut into rounds

2 tbsp of brown sugar

HOW TO:

Thoroughly wash the meat and dry it on a piece of paper.

Season it well. Using your hands, open the two pieces of meat wide and hardly press it against the table, so that it becomes slim enough.

Place the two pieces of meat one under the other on a foil, in a way they form a rectangle.

In a frying pan and on a medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the apple cubes. Pour in the pistachio as well with a little water and leave them to boil for a few minutes, just until the apple is soften enough.

When ready remove from heat and slowly pour the stuffing in the centre of both pieces of meat starting from the top to the bottom.

Gently roll the meat, encircling the stuffing inside, forming a cylinder.

Use a culinary string to tie the meat to secure that the stuffing will stay inside.

If you don’t have a string you can use four or five toothpicks (just remember to remove them when serving).

With a brush, coat the meat with some olive oil.

Bake the tenderloin in a preheated oven in 180oC for 40 minutes (it depends on the meat’s size).

When ready, move it to a large plate and cut the meat into slices.

Take all the juice from the baking pan and pour it over the slices.

Last but not least, in a casserole or frying pan, warm the brown sugar with the olive oil on a low heat.

Sauté the apple rounds for a few minutes (be careful not to melt them, they must be firm) and use them to decorate your plate. Place them all around the meat.

That’s it. Now, be frank, it wasn’t too difficult, was it?

 

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Chickpeas with spinach

Don’t waste your money for your dinner…

With only a few, you can prepare a delicious,healthy,tasteful dish for you and your loved ones.

It’s an easy, healthy and cheap recipe. Plus, it’s perfect for kids as it combines pulses with vegetables, rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and fibres.

Directly from Greece… with love. Enjoy!

 

 INGREDIENTS:

For four persons

500 gr chickpeas

600 gr fresh spinach

3 spring onions, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

½ cup of tomato paste

1 cup of dill

1 lemon, the juice (if you don’t like lemon, use half)

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Salt, freshly ground pepper

HOW TO:

The previous night, soak the chickpeas into a large bowl full of water and leave them overnight.

The following day, take them out of the bowl and pour them into a casserole.

Cover them with water and boil for 1 hour or until they soften enough.

When ready, drain them and leave aside.

In a deep frying pan or another pot heat the olive oil (app.3 tbsps)

and sauté all the onions together.

Make sure the heat is not too high, we don’t want to burn them.

When they change their color, add the tomato and let it drain for a couple of minutes.

Pour in the tomato paste. Add the fresh dill, the spinach and the chickpeas.

Here, a few Greek recipes claim that the chickpeas should go into the pot only the last 5 minutes.

Well, I don’t agree. I always put them along with the dill and spinach

and I leave them there until the spinach is soften and ready.

This way, the chickpeas “borrow” aroma from all the vegetables.

Five minutes before turning off the heat, add the lemon juice.

That’s it… Enjoy !

EXTRA TIP: You can combine this tasteful dish with spaghetti, too.

Boil the pasta according to the package instructions (we want them al dente).

When your chickpeas are ready to be served,

turn off the heat and pour the spaghetti in the same pot.

Mix all the ingredients well and serve and of course…

Don’t forget to sprinkle with your favorite cheese.

POTATO PIE RECIPE just for kids

What do kids love?

Pies !!

  Here is my favorite potato pie. Prepare it on a Sunday evening. Monday morning will be ready for school…

INGREDIENTS:

1 package of “filo” pastry (we’ll use just one)

2 kg of potatoes

1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 leek

1 cup of flour

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

 

 

HOW TO:

Peel and cut the potatoes into thin slices.

Cut the leek into small pieces.

Mix together the potatoes, the leek, the flour and ¾ of the cup with olive oil.

Add the parsley and season according to your taste.

Sprinkle the bottom of a frying pan with some olive oil so that the “filo” doesn’t stick.

Lay down the “filo” pastry. Manage with your fingers to fill the entire pan.

Pour the mix on it. Preheat the oven in 180C and bake for about 1 hour, until it has a nice, golden color.

If yours take longer to bake, don’t worry. Some potatoes need more time than others.

When ready, cut into small pieces. It is eaten hot but I think that cold will be firm enough for your kid to hold it with a napkin, the next day, at school.

Budget meal? If healthy, yes!

QUICK SALAD

Rachael Ray suggests this two-steps salad. A budget meal, made only of fresh ingredients that usually are in the refrigerator. Even if the vegetables are 7 days old, don’t throw them away.

To the original Rachael’s recipe I’m adding just a personal touch to make this salad even more interesting. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

For 4 persons

1 zucchini, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

1/2 pint yellow cherry tomatoes

1/2 pint red cherry tomatoes

1/4 small red onion, grated

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE SAUCE:

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

HOW TO:

In a medium size bowl, toss together the zucchini, squash and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and the onion.

Whisk the EVOO into the mustard mixture until combined. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables.

MY PERSONAL TOUCH:

Grill all the vegetables (like you do with a chicken)

In the vinaigrette sauce: Add 1 tsp of honey

Sprinkle with Greek “Anthotyro” or other white, soft cheese

Panacotta – The “Greek” approach

PANACOTTA WITH “KATIKI” CHEESE

Panacotta is a very popular dessert worldwide. Everyone has tasted some version somewhere.

Here’s a very easy, quick, semi-salty version that I like very, very much.

Katiki cheese (in Greece called : “Katiki Domokos“)

can be found in Greek markets,

or ethnic groceries and cheese specialty shops.

It’s a soft cheese, ideal to use as a spread with appetizers, too.

KATIKI CHEESE:

100 gr : 10g proteins, 3g carbohydrates, 13g fat
INGREDIENTS:

600 gr cream

100 gr milk

60 gr sugar

3 gelatine sheets (soaked in cold water to soften)

300 gr “katiki” cheese

FOR THE SAUCE:

300 gr honey

50 gr warm water

1 tsp of freshly ground pepper (black, white, red pepper mix)

PREPARATION:

In a saucepan, pour the cream, milk and sugar over a medium heat.

When it starts to inflate remove from heat and pour in the gelatine sheets.

Add the “katiki” cheese blending vividly until you see a smooth cream. 

As soon as it cools down, serve in small cups and place them

in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours.

When ready to serve, pour some sauce over each panacotta with a tbsp.

That’s it!!! Your friends and kids are gonna love it.

Potatoes stuffed with Avgotaraho & Orange

I like trying new flavors and combinations, that sometimes I even “see” recipes in my sleep.

So, today I woke up with a new gourmet dish in my mind. I run to my kitchen for a quick experiment.

My darling husband will be the first to try it (as always). I hope he doesn’t divorce me one of these days…

I’m sorry I haven’t any photos yet, but I am so happy with my new recipe and I ‘m giving it you you ASAP.

I hope you like it.

INGREDIENTS

4 potatoes (medium size) boiled with the skin

2 tbsp of Greek whole yoghurt (not light)  

1 spring onion, chopped

1 orange (medium size) juice and zest

2 very thin (almost transparent) slices of Avgotaraho, cut in half

Freshly ground pepper

 

  HOW TO:

 

“Scoop” the potatoe from one side, to leave room for the filling.

Prepare the filling: Mix together the yoghurt, the spring onion, the orange juice and zest.

With a teaspoon, fill each potatoe and gently place half slice of the Avgotaraho. Sprinkle with pepper.

If you like, you can use only half of the orange zest for the filling and sprinkle the rest with the pepper on the top.

IMAM BAILDI-a Greek dish-Is it?

In Greece, we use to cook with vegetables. Any dish with vegetables holds an important place in our kitchen. Unlike other “cuisines”, we cook them mainly with olive oil since it is produced locally and it’s our country’s top-selling exporting product. During the summer, you can taste a lot of Greek recipes that contain eggplants, zucchini and tomatoes. The following recipe is also suitable for vegetarians. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

4 slim, elongated eggplants, about 700 gr – 1 kg

150 ml extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

450 gr. onions, thinly sliced

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced  

450 gr. tomatoes, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon sugar

HOW TO

Cut the stalks off the eggplants and rinse them.

Using a sharp knife, slit them lengthwise on one side only,

making sure you do not slit all the way through.

They should open like a wallet, so you can put the stuffing in the opening.

Shallow-fry them gently all around in 4 tablespoons olive oil.

If not enough you can add some more oil in the frying pan.

Take out and arrange side by side in a small oven dish and season them.

Put the rest of the olive oil in a saucepan and sautee the onions and garlic in it

until they are slightly golden. Add fresh tomatoes and half a cupful of water.

Season. Add the oregano and sugar and cook gently, covered, for 15 minutes.

With a spoon, fill the eggplants with this stuffing, opening them slightly.

They should be quite soft by now. Virtually pile the stuffing in them, filling them generously.

Normally they generate enough juices on their own so no addition of liquid is necessary in the oven dish.

Cook in a pre-heated oven, gas no. 4 (350 grades F/180 grades C), for 40 minutes.

My Greek,turkey sandwich

Do you have leftovers from the Christmas table?

Did you already have more than enough fatty meals ?

Don’t worry. Here’s a healthier, Mediterranean suggestion. I love it.

 

 

Ingredients

2 slices (1/2 inch thick) hearty country bread

4 slices roasted turkey breast

1 big lettuce leaf

1 small onion sliced

4 sun-dried tomatoes

Basil Vinaigrette Dressing                      

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Oregano

Sea salt – Freshly ground pepper

Directions

First take a small casserole and boil the onion slices into some salty water until they soften. Put aside.

From the casserole take a few drops of hot water and pour into a bowl with the sun-dried tomatoes. This will revive the dried tomatoes bringing back all their juicy flavor. Leave them there as you move along with your sandwich.

Pre-heat the oven at 180 oC. Take the bread slices, pour 4 tbsp of olive oil into both slices and sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper. Put into oven, high, and grill them just until they start to become brownish and crispy. When ready, take them out and place into a dish. Then add the lettuce, the turkey and the vinaigrette dressing. Continue with the onions and the tomatoes. Season according to taste.

For an alternative, healthy and quick turkey sandwich. Enjoy !

Mustard Vinaigrette

This is an easy, quick and healthy recipe.

Of all the vinaigrette types, this spicy dressing is my husband’s favorite.

He enjoys it on top of fresh spinach & rocket (arugula) leaves.

 

 

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup vegetable oil

4 drops hot Tabasco sauce

Directions

In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Chill and serve.

I admit that it’s a bit hot for my taste but perfect for my husband. What can I say?

Maria’s Balsamic Vinaigrette

An easy, healthy and quick recipe!

This is a recipe I invented by mixing together several

of my favorite “vinaigrette” ingredients.

Take a look.

Ingredients

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar             

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1-2 teaspoons mustard (according to taste)

1 pinch salt

1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Shake well before serving.

The rest you may store in your refrigerator. Taste it on all kinds of green salads. Enjoy!