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

L.A TIMES: “Kentro” the Greek kitchen

“The Fullerton restaurant aims to be a meeting place for Orange County. With its modern, egalitarian approach to Greece’s culinary tradition, it’s well on its way.

The menu at Kentro Greek Kitchen might as well be a manifesto. The downtown Fullerton restaurant is practically revolutionary, a stereotype-smashing example of what a Greek restaurant can and should be. Here there are no azure murals of the Aegean, no Doric columns carved from stucco, no choral rounds of “Opa!” to accompany the crash of shattered plates. Kentro instead is a paragon of subtlety, Orange County’s primary practitioner of a Greek culinary tradition that revels not in antiquity but modernity.”

By Miles Clements | Special to the Los Angeles Times

       I always appreciate any modern Greek approach…

       Good work, guys!

New category: “RECIPES FOR KIDS”

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR KIDS HAVE A FOOD ISSUE?

Do they eat little and only French fries with shakes? Do they refuse to try new flavors? Maybe it’s time to venture new recipes, easy cooking meals that your kids are going to love.

That is why I created a new category in my blog named: “RECIPES FOR KIDS”.

With a little effort and a lot of faith I believe that my recipes will help our “picky” little fellows to find joy in their plates. Good luck!

Children need a balanced diet, enriched with vitamins and minerals to fulfil their body’s needs for a healthy growing up.

The Greek diet is characterized by higher intakes of plant foods and fish, moderate intake of wine and lower intake of animal products.

Most frequently consumed items in this winning diet included garlic, watermelon, steamed fish and boiled chicken.

The Greek diet is a rich source of antioxidants, mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and relatively low in saturated fats.

Antioxidants help reduce oxidative damage to the body caused by free radicals, mono-unsaturated fats help to lower cholesterol and omega-3s are believed to help protect the heart.

Fibre can help lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors.

The art of traditional Greek cooking is to take a fresh ingredient and do the least possible to it. Refined and processed foods don’t have a place in the mediterranean diet as they don’t help a healthy heart.

If we must choose just one key-ingredient for the Greek diet, that would be the GREEK OLIVE OIL.

Olive oil is one of the “healthy” fats. It’s a monounsaturated fat. This type of fat can actually lower the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and in 2004, the FDA recognized that replacing other fats with olive oil can help reduce heart disease risk.

Greek Food Diet can cut your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer by 25%!

Follow my next post to find out seven (7) steps to a happy, healthy kid….

“Rakomelo”-Perfect for the winter’s cold

RAKOMELO

Do it like the Greeks… Drink “rakomelo” and you ‘ll never catch a cold !

Here’s a Greek traditional, safe recipe that combines only three ingredients!!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of “raki”

 

 

 

 

1 tablespoon of honey

 

 

 

 

 

a pinch of cinnamon

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO:

In a pot and in low heat, warm the “raki” but be careful not to boil it.

If it warms too much and splashes around, its alcohol may blaze up.

Remove from heat and add the honey and cinnamon. Blend well. That’s it.

Make sure you drink it hot. There’s nothing better for cold treatment.

Ottawa’s Greek Fest-Dancing Zorba!

Have they gone mad? No, they are Greeks !

Ottawa’s Greek Fest in August 2011 made everybody dancing into the streets.

If you’d like to see the video, please press here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhDgpXWkFHE

They had dancing, live music, kids activities, souvenirs,

Greek language lessons, church service and of course…Greek cuisine.

Here’s the menu:

Dolmades

  Greek feta & olives

Tzatziki

Pikilia Platter

Greek Salad

Spanakopita, Turopita

Pita Bread

Souvlaki Stick

Souvlaki on Pita Bread

Gyros Platter

 

Moussaka

Lamb-Greek style

I wish I was there. Maybe next summer I will

Until then… God bless !

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!”

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 !

What did ancient Greeks eat ?

The primitive need for food had become a major, social event in Ancient Greece. Olive oil, vegetables, fruits, spices, pulses and cereals as well as meat, fish and wine, like in our time, were the basic food ingredients.

Breakfast

Breakfast, known as “ariston”, consisted of bread soaked in pure (without any water) wine. Other ingredients were the dried figs, almonds, walnuts and other nuts. The breakfast beverage was “kykeon”, a mix of wine, grated cheese and barley-flour, goat milk as well as the “ydromelo” a mix of honey and warm water.

Lunch/Dinner

Usually, there were two meals. The first was consisted of fish, pulses or quick snacks like bread, cheese, olives, eggs, nuts and fruits.
Dinner, which was considered to be the main meal, was accompanied by friends and social events. In general, Greeks didn’t like to eat alone. They used to say that eating alone is not a meal, just a way to fill your stomach.

Olive oil

Many excavation findings have shown that the consumption of the olive oil was widespread all over Greece. Well known oil varieties came from the island of Samos and Ikaria, while Attica was not only self-sufficient in olive oil but was exporting olive oil and olives.

Wine

Wine was an every-day ingredient for in the Ancient Greece’s kitchen. In fact it was one of the basic foods since it was part of the breakfast as well as dinner.

Fish

Traditionally, Greeks were always eating more fish than meat. In ancient times, it seems that they preferred fat fish like mackerel, sardine, small fry and others.

Meat

Besides the symposium, meat was consummated mainly in private and public celebrations. The cooking method varies. However they preferred to cook it in the oven, on the skewer or boil it together with vegetables and spices.

Legumes and cereals

Legumes and cereals were the base of the nutrition for the majority of Greeks, in ancient times. All kinds of beans, chickpeas and lentils are some of the legumes that ancient Greeks preferred. Cereals were used mainly for the preparation of different types of bread, like barley-bread, wheat-bread and millet-bread.

Vegetables – fruits – spices

Vegetables and fruits always came first in the ancient Greeks diet. Besides, even in ancient Greece, there were vegetarians like the Pythagoras followers. Of course, there were differences in the fruits and vegetables of the time, since there were no tomatoes, potatoes, pepper trees, corn, oranges, bananas etc. As far as spices are concerned, they used dill, basil, mint, thyme, coriander, cardamom, capers, pine cone as well as imported spices like pepper and others. The top fruits were: pear, plume, arbutus berry, cherry, quince, fig and grapes. Among the nuts, you could find almonds, walnuts, raisins and dried figs.

Despite the luck in many food ingredients, the ancient Greeks were gourmand eaters. During a symposium, the dinner tables were packed with food and the wine flew in abundance.

In the 5th century’s rich dinner, one could find cheese from Achaia, figs and honey from Attica, dark-colored wine from Chios and Lesvos, seafood from the rich waters of Evoia, plumes from Syria, cheese made of horse only for the war lovers, boiled bulbs and radish for the hangover. Of course, famous were the Athens pies, stuffed with cheese, honey and other ingredients.