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.

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Avgotaraho (Bottarga) Vinaigrette

Since these days I ‘m focusing on Deli, Avgotaraho recipes, I found a recipe for an easy, quick and above all healthy salad dressing.

I haven’t tried it yet but I love all its ingredients, so I know it will taste super. If anyone tries it before me, please let me know what you think.

INGREDIENTS:

½ a cup of lemon juice   

1 tsp of lemon zest

1 tsp of orange zest

2 spoonfuls of orange juice 1 ½ cup of olive oil

1 spoonful of bottarga powder  

1 spoonful of chopped parsley

1 tsp of chopped fennel

PREPARATION:

Put all the ingredients together in a glass jar with firm lid. Stir until you will have a smooth sauce.

You can use this vinaigrette as a salad dressing, with steamed or grilled fish,

on boiled or baked vegetables, or as a topping on fish soup, lentil soup etc.

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”

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 !!

 

2012 New Year’s Dinner…

 For New Year’s Dinner, I chose to go with the “The New York Times” menu.

 I think it will do the difference I’m seeking for. I’m quoting it for you:

                                                          “For New Year’s, a Bit Fancy, but All Relaxed”

“THOUGH it can be great fun to go out for New Year’s Eve, this year I’m staying home. I’m not in the mood to fight the crowds, but I’ll happily cook for a small group of friends and celebrate around the table for hours.

There’s something kind of retro about New Year’s Eve. So the menu should be somewhat classic, maybe even vaguely “Continental,” with a nod to caviar and red meat. The food, like the evening, should be a bit fancy, but relaxed.

More to the point, the dinner needs to be festive but easily accomplished in a small kitchen, a great meal but with limited gymnastics. You don’t want to do much cooking once the guests arrive, so some do-ahead dishes are key.

You’ll need some little snacks with aperitifs, but not too many. Many old Parisian bistros serve good-quality plain salted potato chips, which are considered the perfect accompaniment to Champagne. This French habit is well worth mimicking. Serve the chips in small bowls, silver if possible. The pairing also works with cava and prosecco. Other snacking choices are cheese straws, green olives, fennel slices and celery sticks. But of course a few raw oysters would never go amiss, if someone is handy with an oyster knife.

For a first course, a crisp salad of smoked sablefish, spiked with a mustard-horseradish cream made in advance and a generous spoonful of wild salmon caviar. (Or upgrade to sturgeon caviar.) Garnished with endive, radish and watercress, it gets a spritz of lemon and a sprinkling of sea salt at the last minute. The plate goes together quickly, yet wows.

For a main course, a version of steak au poivre made with meaty Muscovy duck breasts. Cooked to a rosy medium-rare, they are served with a tart red wine sauce and a buttery purée of celery root and potatoes. For the sauce, use the wine you’ll drink. (If someone gives you a truffle, chop and add.) Trim and season the duck up to a day ahead. Make the sauce ahead and reheat it. Keep the purée warm in a double boiler.

Dessert is a bright, icy granita made from freshly squeezed tangerines. Served in wineglasses, it can be embellished with a splash of good bubbly or served as is. It is astonishingly good, clean and light, and takes mere minutes to put together. Afterward, move on to more decadent purchased sweets, like fine chocolates or macarons. Or bring out the dates and pomegranates.

And, to accompany it all, laughter, music and a lot of nonsense.”

Honey Vinaigrette

Very easy recipe. A quick way to prepare a salad dressing.It may be easy but the flavor is super and really elevates the salad. I use this kind of recipe because even if my cupboards are empty I never run out of these three ingredients. This vinaigrette goes well with every fresh salad and even with red meat, grilled poultry and lentil salad. But I’m sure it goes well with other flavors, too. Just use your imagination. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup olive oil (I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil-EVOO)

Directions

Used an empty glass jar from mustard or mayonnaise. Whisk together the vinegar, honey and olive oil until the honey has dissolved, and the dressing is smooth. Isn’t it quick?