Sesame Salmon with mashed peas

Easter may be a memory but spring has already paid us a visit reminding us that the summer is at the door!

This could only mean one thing… I have to get ready for my bathing suit. I hope it still fits me…

Somewhere between panick attacks and “Stoicism” I found an old magazine with low-fat recipes.

However today’s recipe is ideal not only for a diet but for our-I hate fish and everything that smells like it-kids.

It’s a fact that most children hate fish, its smell and its fish bone. That’s why a clever parent must wisely “camouflage” it.

Here you could use a salmon fillet which has only a bone in the middle and hide it into lots of sesame seeds.

If you avoid to buy the ready tin can of mashed peas and go for the real thing, you will have an easy and healthy recipe

and a very nutritious dish because it combines fish and peas. Enjoy…

SESAME SALMON with MASHED PEAS

INGREDIENTS

For 6 persons

 6 salmon fillets (200 gr each)

1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 tbsp of lemon juice

1 tbsp of sweet paprika powder

200 gr. of sesame seeds

FOR THE MASHED PEAS

600 gr of frozen peas

2 tbsp of butter

1 wine glass of fresh milk

2 tbsp of fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional but recommended)

Salt and pepper

 HOW TO:

Marinate the salmon into a bowl with the olive oil and the lemon juice.

Season with paprika and a pinch of salt.

Leave it in the refrigerator for about 1 hour .

Prepare the peas by boiling them into salted water for 15 minutes.

Drain them and mash them very well with the mixer, until they become like paste.

In a pot, melt the butter. Throw in the mashed peas and stir well. Slowly, pour in the milk.

Not too much milk because we don’t want it to be like soup.

Sprinkle with the basil leaves and season according to taste.

Grill the salmon fillets. When ready, take them out of the oven.

Sprinkle a layer of sesame into a dish. Place each fillet on both sides.

Place them into an oiled baking pan and continue to grill the fillets both sides

until the sesame takes a golden color.

 When ready, serve in a dish along with the mashed peas.

It’s a very nutritious meal, ideal for your children.

And remember: when the fish doesn’t look like one, your kid loves it.

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Orange cake-with olive oil

Today, I’m going to show you how to bake a healthier but delicious cake.

It’s true that cakes are everyone’s favorite treat, especially children’s.

There are numerous variations as far as the filling is concerned.

From desserts, the orange cake (together with chocolate cake) is my favorite one.

However, cakes do not always have to be extra fatty.

A clever trick is to change butter for olive oil.

Plus, if you could find an Extra Virgin Olive Oil (of low acidity),

you will favor you cake with an extra delicate aroma.

Last but not least, this is SUCH AN EASY RECIPE. Good luck!

ORANGE CAKE with olive oil

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

4 eggs

1 cup of sugar

2 cups of flour

1 orange with the peel

3 tsp of baking powder

HOW TO:

In your mixer, put the orange, whole, with the peel but without the core.

Press the button for a few rounds and squash it well.

Take off the blade and put the stirrer in your mixer.

Add the olive oil, the eggs, the sugar and the squashed orange.

Press the button for a few rounds to blend the ingredients.

Then add the flour and the baking powder. Blend some more.

Take your baking mold (I use a round one of 22 cm/8.6 inches)

 

 

pour just a drop of olive oil and spread it all around,

using your hand or a brush.

 

This way your cake will come out easily, when it’s time to serve.

Bake your orange cake in a preheated oven at 180oC for 45’-50’.

 

If you want to see whether your cake is ready or not, take a pointed knife and dig it all the way into your cake.

If the blade comes out covered with the white filling that means the cake is not baked yet.

The knife must come out clean.

You may wonder if just one orange is enough for the entire cake.

Trust me it is more than enough. The aroma from the fresh orange is reinforced

by the aroma and the slight bitterness from the peel.

And all these are being “softened” by the extra virgin olive oil.

That is why I don’t recommend to use other kind of oil.

Well, that’s it. Decorate with some powder sugar or sliced almonds.

I really hope this orange cake will become your favorite, too.

Please, let me know what you think, ok?

 EXTRA TIP:

You can pour on your hot-just came out of the oven- cake some orange flavored syrup.

This way you will have the juiciest orange cake ever…

For the syrup:

2 cups of water ,1 cup of sugar

The peel of one orange, 1 small cinnamon stick

 

Bring the ingredients to boil and let them for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let aside to cool down.

When your cake is taken off the oven, slowly pour the syrup on it.

 

The syrup must be used either cold on hot food or hot on to cold food.

If both the syrup and the food are cold (or hot), the syrup

will not be absorbed and you will have a “muddy” result.

 

 

Try it out and let me know what you think, ok? Bye, bye and good luck !

 

 

Colorfull pork chops for everyone!

Pork chops are a delicious treat for nearly everybody. There are hundreds of ways to prepare them: fried, grilled, baked, scalded, saute, marinated etc…

Here’s an oven-made, very easy recipe, perfect for everybody that combines meat with vegetables.

That makes it also a perfect kids recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

6 pork chops (neck)

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

2 red peppers in slices

2 yellow peppers in slices

2 green peppers in slices

1/2 lb of cherry tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic sliced

Some fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE SAUCE:

3 lemons, the juice

2 tbsp of mustard (hot is better here)

2-3 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 a tsp of salt

HOW TO:

Place the pork chops in a baking pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Place all the sliced peppers and sliced garlic over the pork chops in the baking pan.

Wash the cherry tomatoes, cut them in half and add them in the pan with the pork chops and peppers.

In a jar with a lid beat the minced garlic, salt, mustard and lemon juice.

Pour the sauce over the ingredients in the baking pan and add the fresh thyme.

On the top, pour the olive oil and cover with aluminum foil.

Bake in a preheated oven to 180 C (350 F) for about 1 1/2 hours.

After about an hour of baking, remove the aluminum foil.

Bake for the rest of the remaining time for the food to get some color.

From time to time make sure to moist the chops with some of the sauce with a spoon.

When ready, serve hot accompanied with french fries and a Greek salad!

Do you know how to make Greek salad?

The Greek country (or rustic) salad (Choriatiki in Greek) is worldwide known as simply “Greek salad”. It is considered a summer salad and basically it is made of tomato, cucumber, onion, black olives, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and dried oregano. Optionally, it is enriched with Greek “feta” cheese, green pepper and even sometimes and in some places with vinegar and capers.

However, you can find other variations of the Greek salad but it is always served in a soup plate which is large enough to keep a large amount of olive oil together with the tomato liquid (the salt tends to extract all the liquids out of the vegetables, that is why it is better to be added when served. That is also the reason why yesterday’s salad is always richer in flavor and liquids, perfect for a bread dip.) It is a perfect kids recipe as it combines freshness with all the benefits from fresh vegetables and virgin olive oil.

 The Greek salad goes well with everything…

 And in Greece you can find it everywhere…

Gallery

Smyrna Meatballs-Heaven must be Greek!!!

This gallery contains 10 photos.

As a child, I though that this “Soutzoukakia” recipe was the hardest of all, seeing my grand-mother spending hours in her kitchen preparing it. The whole house smelled cumin and cinnamon and garlic and slowly the aroma was climbing up … Continue reading

Pork tenderloin with “Rakomelo”

Hello my friends. Today I’m giving you one of my favorite Greek, local recipes. It combines two of my favorite ingredients: pork tenderloin and Rakomelo. If you need more information on the “Rakomelo”, please visit my earlier posts. Also, you may find more information at the bottom of the page. Enjoy !

for four persons

750 gr pork tenderloin

2 leeks chopped into 2 cm

3 spring onions chopped

1/2 wine glass of Rakomelo

a few drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

3 garlic cloves sea salt 

FOR THE MARINADE:

4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

½ wine glass of Rakomelo

1 tbsp sweet pepper

3 garlic cloves  

HOW TO:

First we marinate the pork in a bowl with all the ingredients together.

We place our marinade in the refrigerator no more than one hour.

In a non-stick frying pan, we pour a few drops of olive oil and we sauté the meat with all the marinade ingredients. We fry them for about 10 minutes until the meat changes color.

Then, we extinguish with the other ½ wine glass of Rakomelo. We let it boil for another 10 minutes. If we notice that there is not enough fluid in the pan, we must add a little water so that the meat won’t stick.

Then we add the leeks and the onions and we let them boil for another 10 minutes. We add water if needed.

Season well and by now it should be tender enough. We serve along with white rice (the potatoes spoil its flavor, to my opinion).

*EXTRA TIP: For a real gourmet dish, you can sprinkle some almond fillets on your dish when serving.

 “RAKOMELO” – Stay healthy during the winter, having…fun!

Rakomelo is a Greek spirit made of honey following the process of sugar fermentation. Its production combines the Cretan spirit “Raki”(tsikoudia) or “tsipouro” with honey and several spices like cinnamon, clove, cardamon,  or other local spices.

It is produced mainly in the island of Crete but also in other Aegean islands and in mainland. It is consumed hot during winter since it’s a weapon against the cold and a very effective trick to keep you warm.

Another similar product of the island of Amorgos, is called “psimeni raki” and it is produced either with honey or with sugar.

When you buy a bottle of Rakomelo you must heat it a little bit and then serve it immediately.

Except the original, plain recipe, one can also find Rakomelo with orange, lemon and the PDO “mastiha” of the island of Chios. These three ingredients add extra flavour to the Rakomelo elevating it to high taste levels.

 

Jamie Oliver visits Greece !

My fellow cooks, good morning and Happy New Year to all. May 2012 brings us more happiness and more new flavors…
In my Google research I found the Jamie Oliver episode where he visited our Greek islands.
If you ‘d like to see the episode, press here: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/jamies-food-escapes/athens/index.html
From this episode, I am focusing on his version of  the famous “Greek Salad”.
Jamie adds 2 kinds of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and beef tomatoes. To my opinion, the Greek, summer tomatoes are so sweet that don’t need the sweetness from the cherry tomatoes. However, they add an extra flavor that elevates the salad. additionally, the mint leaves go very well turning the popular salad into a gourmet dish.
Last but not least, I would like to say a huge “Thanks” to Jamie for his idea of scratching the cucumber with a fork to let the olive come in, for cutting the onions very slightly so that they absorb the olive oil, for the use of oregano and of course for using Extra Virgin Olive Oil
because this is the only kind of olive oil that the salad allows to touch her!!!
Jamie, thanks for not ruining this recipe with “touristic” tricks and for respecting
the originality of my country’s most popular dish.
PS. Also thanks for the genius cook’s note.

“In Athens, Jamie goes spear fishing off a Mama Mia-style island, meets bee keepers who produce the most amazing honey and are full of even more amazing stories about bee sex. He makes goat cheese with a Greek Orthodox monk, and prepares a Greek salad, and pistachio and honey cake.”

Greek Salad – by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe tomato
  • 7 ounces/200 g ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 1 beef tomato (also known as beefsteak tomato)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 green pepper
  • A handful fresh dill
  • A handful fresh mint leaves
  • A large handful black olives, pitted or stoned    
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality Greek extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 ounces/200 g block feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

DIRECTIONS

This salad is known and loved around the world. Those of you who’ve been lucky enough to eat this salad in Greece will know that when it’s made well it’s absolute heaven. Hopefully this recipe will help you achieve the big bold authentic flavours that it’s known for. The trick is to pay attention to the small details that make it so wonderful: things like finding the ripest tomatoes, good Greek olive oil, beautiful olives, creamy feta, and lovely herbs.

I think it’s quite nice to have different shapes and sizes in a salad, so cut your medium tomato into wedges, halve the cherry tomatoes, and slice the beef tomato into large rounds. Put all the tomatoes into a large salad bowl.

Slice the onion very finely so it’s wafer thin and add to the tomatoes. Scratch a fork down the sides of the cucumber so it leaves deep grooves in the skin, then cut it into thick slices.

Deseed your pepper, slice it into rings and add them to the salad along with the cucumber.

Roughly chop the dill and most of the mint leaves, reserving the smaller ones for garnish. Add the chopped herbs to the bowl of salad, then squeeze your handful of olives over so they season the vegetables, then drop them in.

Add a pinch of salt, the vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Quickly toss everything together with your hands. The minute all those flavours start working with the vegetables is when the magic starts to happen. Have a taste, and adjust the flavours if need be.

To serve, pop the block of feta right on the top of the salad. Sprinkle the oregano over the top along with the reserved mint leaves, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and take it straight to the table. It’s confident and scruffy with a bit of attitude. Delicious.

Cook’s Note: I’ve been known to pop leftover Greek salad into a liquidizer with a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and a few ice cubes, then blitz it up to a smooth consistency so it’s basically a Greek gazpacho. It’s not a classic thing to do, but it is very delicious, not to mention a great way of using up leftovers!”

Basil Vinaigrette Dressing

This is a quick, easy salad dressing and one of my favorites. Fresh basil will bring spring in your plate and freshness into your kitchen. That’s why I strongly urge you to prepare it with fresh basil leaves and not dry ones. Also, to my opinion, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil of supreme quality are best friends. Don’t waste it on other kinds of oil. Take my word for it. Enjoy !

Ingredients

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup honey                                         

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 cloves garlic, minced

                                                                 Directions    

                           Take your mortar and pestle and whisk together all the ingredients,

                           pressing them, tossing them around,

                           pressing them again until you get a thick, green paste.

                           Pour over your favorite (especially summer) salad and serve.

Pear Vinaigrette

This is an easy, healthy, delicious salad dressing.

Usually, I use it on a lettuce, arugula(roka)

with goat cheese (or feta cheese with yoghurt) and nuts .

Yummy!

Ingredients

1 ripe pear peeled, cored, chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons mustard

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or usual, table salt)

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Directions

Blend the pear, white wine, garlic, mustard, white balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and sea salt in a blender until well combined.

Drizzle the olive oil into the mixture in a thin, steady stream while continuing to blend.

Blend a few seconds longer until the salad dressing is thick and creamy.

Wasn’t it quick and easy? Enjoy !