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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INGREDIENTS: 4 big squids Greek “Feta” cheese, 4 pieces cut in matchsticks Greek “Kefalotyri” cheese, ½ cup, grated 1 red, sweet pepper, cut in matchsticks 1 tomato, cut in cubes FOR THE SAUCE: 3 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil … Continue reading

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Five well hidden secrets…in the kitchen.

Do you need help in your kitchen?

Do you have unanswered questions?

Help is on the way.

Take a look at these few cooking tips.

Don’t be afraid of the mess… Keep cooking!

 

 

PEELING ONIONS MAKES YOU CRY?


Leave the onions in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before peeling. Never cry again.

FRY, YES… SMELLS, NO.


Frying can cause your house to smell like a cook house. For avoiding that, when frying, burn some potato & lemon skin in an ashtray.

SEASON AT THE END


Season your favorite tomato salad only when you are ready to serve. Otherwise, it  will look more like a soup because the salt tends to drain the fluids, leaving your tomatoes shrunken.

IT’S A SECRET…


When cooking a risotto, add the hot vegetable broth gradually and not from the beginning. As the boiling comes to an end, reduce the amount of broth so that the risotto won’t over-cook. The risotto must be firm, “al-dente” as the Italians say.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…


In Greece, after the 15 of August, the lobster fishing is forbidden, because their breeding season starts?

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.

Avgotaraho Canapes-A 5 min delicacy

Have you ever wanted to prepare the most romantic dinner for you and your sweetheart?

Ok, maybe not something so… extravagant?

Well, if you want to really impress with your food choice, why not prepare a rare delicacy,

an easy and very quick but worthy of a Michelin award, hors d’ oeuvre?

Avgotaraho has a strong, “fishy” taste that doesn’t go with everyone.

However, for those who can handle it, here’s what I would choose to prepare:

AVGOTARAHO CANAPÉS

INGREDIENTS 

4 thin slices of Greek Avgotaraho Messologiou

4 thin baguette slices (may I suggest whole-wheat bread)

5 dried figs, cut in half

1 ½ tablespoons of cream cheese

1 tablespoon of pure honey

1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar

Chive (small onion) for decoration (optional)

PREPARATION

Spread the cream cheese on the bread slices and top with fig half along with two avgotaraho slices.

Mix the honey with the balsamic vinegar and drizzle. Decorate with the chive.

!!! Be frugal with your ingredients. Don’t overload your bread slice. Hope you ‘ll like it.

Tiger prawns in “kadaifi” pastry

How the Greek traditional cuisine meets “Nouvelle Cuisine”.

Try this recipe. It’ s easy, quick, kid-friendly because of the skewer and simply… yummy !

INGREDIENTS:

10 tiger prawns peeled and deveined

Small packet of kadaifi pastry

1 egg, beaten to make egg wash

1 lt vegetable oil for frying

For the marinade:

2 chillies, diced

1 Lemon grass(or lemon), left whole for easy removal

1 garlic clove

Coriander leaves, chopped                    

1 lemon, juice and zest

100 ml sesame oil (or vegetable oil)

1 tbsp dried ginger

FOR THE DIP:

400 ml Greek yoghurt

1 tbsp finely diced ginger

1 lime, juice and zest

Fresh parsley, chopped

HOW TO:

1. Soak the prawns in the marinade for at least one hour.

2. Place each prawn on a skewer, dip in egg wash and roll in kadaifi pastry (approx 10cm x 3 cm strip).

3. In a small pan, deep fry until golden with enough oil to cover the prawn but not the stick.

4. Mix together all the ingredients for the dip and serve alongside the prawns in a platter.

Pistachio-The Greek “treasure”

Pistachio trees have been cultivated in the Greek island of Aegina since 1860, later spreading to other parts of Attica and Greece.

Throughout Aegina, the dominant variety is known by the name ” Aeginis”, or “koilarati” meaning ” round”, a variety considered high-yielding.

The climate of the island is ideal and the soil composition is unique. This is the reason for the exceptional flavor and aroma of the Aegina’s pistachio.

The exclusive right to identify the pistachio as “Aegina pistachio” was secured

by the E.U. regulation of 1263/96, protecting the local pistachio from those of other regions.

Please, follow my next post for one of the most famous and delicious Greek pastries:

“KADAIFI”

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.

Crispy Apple Chips-Kids friendly !

 I found this inexpensive, kid-friendly recipe on the internet. Because I love apples, I decided to go for it.

It is crispy, easy and the kids love it because it look like a sweet. The happy thing is that they can eat tons of them. Enjoy !

Five apples, I prefer the green ones, they are my favourite.

Cut them into chips.

Spread the apples on two baking sheets so the chips stay in a single layer.

For 25 chips 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Granny Smith apples, washed but not peeled

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a shallow dish, combine the sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.

Cut a thin slice from the bottom of the apple to form a flat surface. Place the apple on a cutting board. Using a small sharp knife, place a knife at the top of the apple and slice downward vertically to make 1/16-inch thick slices, working your way in toward the core. As the core appears, turn the apple. Repeat on all sides and with all apples.

Dip the apple slices in the sugar mixture, turning to coat each side. Place the slices about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Turn the slices and bake for about 40 more minutes, until the sugar melts and glazes the apples. The slices should become crisp when set aside to cool for several minutes. If some of the apple slices are thicker than 1/16 inch, they may not become completely crisp, but will still taste fine or, if you prefer, you can bake the thicker slices for a few additional minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

 

 

Extra tip: For more flavor, serve with ice-cream, vanilla.  Delicious !!