Greek Spinach Pie-The only one


Greek Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie) is one of the most well-known Greek traditional dishes. It is well-known to people who love the Greek Cuisine.

In Greece, you can taste Spanakopita practically everywhere, in a house, in the restaurant, as a snack to take out etc.

In my recipe the quantity of ingredients is large. I advice those of you who will venture it to do the same and enjoy a rich,

juicy spinach pie that can stand proudly in the dish. Any time is a good time to go for a Spanakopita together with your main course or as the main dish.

Not to mention that a piece of homemade Spanakopita is perfect for school or a day at work. Enjoy!

GREEK SPINACH PIE

 INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 kilo of fresh spinach

1 cup of fresh dill finely chopped

1 cup of parsley finely chopped

1 cup of fresh onions finely chopped

1 large onion finely chopped

400-500 gr of crumbled feta cheese

1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

1/2 a cup of evaporate milk

5 eggs

1 pack of fillo pastry

salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO:

First clean the spinach and discard all the hard outer parts,

leaving the leaves and the soft stems.

Wash it well under plenty of running cold water and cut it in small pieces.

Using your hands, squeeze the cut spinach to get as much water out of it.

Pour half of the olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the chopped onion.

When the onion becomes translucent, add the chopped fresh onions to be sautéed a little bit as well.

Add the spinach, stirring and mixing with the sautéed onions.

Add the dill, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Lower the heat and simmer until there is no more water in the spinach.

Remove from heat, transfer the spinach in a bowl and pour over the milk to cool it down a bit.

In another bowl, crack the eggs, beat lightly with a fork and add the crumbled Feta cheese and mix with the beaten eggs.

When spinach is half cold pour over the eggs (not sooner because the egg will fry), the feta mixture and mix together.

Divide the fillo sheets into two parts (eg. if they are 8 in total, put 3 at the bottom and the rest on the top).

Start placing the sheets at the bottom of the pan, one by one.

Make sure that you oil each fillo with a brush. If you don’t do that, the sheets will stick together…sheer disaster!

Pour in the mixing and finish with the last fillo sheets, oiling again each one, even the last one.

Sprinkle with a few drops of water on the top fillo to give it a little moisture and put the pan in the oven.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Remove from the oven, let it cool down for about 30 minutes and serve.

Greek Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie) can also be done without sautéing the spinach.

The only deference is that is going to take about an hour to cook on lower temperature.

Homemade filo pastry can also be used, making two sheets,

one to use for the bottom of the baking pan and one for the top, having the filling in between.

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.

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 !

 

 

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?

 

Jamie Oliver’s recipe of the month

 “Hi guys,

I’m just back from a whirlwind trip to Australia and I had the most amazing time. I finally got to see the fantastic Ministry of Food Centre in Ipswich and had the pleasure of meeting Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh, who’s been really supportive of Ministry of Food and the Good Foundation. I also got to see the brilliant new Ministry truck in Logan – so huge thanks to all the Ministry staff out there for making me feel so welcome.

Next was Sydney, where we had a big party at Jamie’s Italian with incredible food, brilliant service and 170 really lovely, interesting guests – the wonderful restaurant team did me proud. I also did a “secret” recording for Australian Masterchef. I won’t give anything away, but look out for the programme in June – it was a fantastic day.

Last stop was Melbourne, where I visited some of my retail partners and attended a news conference to announce a new Ministry of Food initiative in the state of Victoria, where we’ll launch a new centre and another truck later this year. It was a huge pleasure to meet the Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu, and the Health Minister, David Davis – these guys are imaginative, focused politicians and I wish we had more people like them here in the UK. I had an incredible time in all of these lovely cities, so thank you to everyone who made the trip such a success – you know who you are.

Back in the UK, with Easter just around the corner, we’re focusing on baking on the site this month, so if you fancy indulging yourself or rustling up a gorgeous treat for your loved ones, make sure you check out our selection of lovely recipes.

Big love,   Jamie O xx”

Recipe of the Month:

Chicken and mushroom pasta bake

INGREDIENTS:

• 20g/a small handful of dried porcini mushrooms

• olive oil

• 4 chicken thighs, boned, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces

• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

• 350g/2 handfuls of mixed fresh mushrooms, cleaned and torn

• 200ml white wine

• 455g dried spaghetti

• 500ml double cream

• 200g Parmesan cheese, grated

• a sprig of fresh basil, leaves picked

 METHOD: 

I remember meeting a lovely old couple outside my parents’ puband

when they heard I was going to Italy they told me to make sure I cooked turkey tetrazzini-

I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about and then, by chance,

I saw a recipe for chicken tetrazzini in an old Italian cookbook

and it’s great – really tacky but gorgeous! Here’s my version…

 Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.

Put your porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour over just enough

boiling water to cover them (approx. 150ml/5½fl oz).

Put to one side to soak for a few minutes.

Heat a saucepan big enough to hold all the ingredients,

and pour in a splash of olive oil.

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown them gently in the oil.

Strain the porcini, reserving the soaking water, and add them to the pan

with the garlic and fresh mushrooms.

Add the wine, with the strained porcini soaking water, and turn the heat down.

Simmer gently until the chicken pieces are cooked through and the wine has reduced a little.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water

according to the packet instructions and drain well.

Add the cream to the pan of chicken, then bring to the boil and turn the heat off.

Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add the drained spaghetti to the creamy chicken sauce and toss well.

Add three-quarters of the Parmesan and all of the basil and stir well.

ransfer to an ovenproof baking dish or non-stick pan,

sprinkle with half the remaining cheese and bake in the oven until golden brown, bubbling and crisp.

Divide between your plates, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese before serving.

 

Gallery

Cretan Rusk-4 steps abundance

This gallery contains 8 photos.

  Cretan rusk (Dakos in Greek, or owl due to its shape) is a traditional, Cretan dish. Usually it is a barley rusk on which we add mashed tomato and mashed Cretan “mizithra” cheese, or “feta” cheese. The dish is … Continue reading

Gallery

Greek Kalamari,the cheesy version

This gallery contains 12 photos.

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

Greek Kalamari, stuffed

Lent is the Christian observance of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday.

The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxury as a form of penitence, such as dairy products, meat and every food that has blood.”

So, they usually confine only in pulses, pasta and seafood, like KALAMARI.

GREEK KALAMARI, STUFFED 

INGREDIENTS:

 1½ kg squid (kalamari)medium or small size

1 (or 2 according to taste) onion

120 gr risotto rice

50 ml white wine (eg Greek Retsina wine)

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

60 ml Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

 

THE SAUCE:

1 tablespoon tomato paste diluted in 2 tablespoons water

1 onion grated

50 ml white wine

2 garlic cloves, chopped

a handful of fresh basil

400 ml fresh tomatoes, chopped

1/2 lemon, the juice

60 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil

a pinch of sugar

Salt & freshly ground pepper

 

HOW TO:

For the sauce:

Take a frying pan, pour in the olive oil and in medium heat saute the onion

until it becomes transparent. Be careful not to burn it.

Then add the garlic and saute for one more minute.

Then distinguish with the wine.

Leave it to evaporate and then add the lemon juice, the tomatoes, the tomato paste, salt, pepper and sugar.

Simmer for another 20 minutes. 5 minutes before the end, add the fresh basil.

 For the squid:

Remove the head with the tentacles from the body. Then take a sharp knife and remove the ink,

the eye and mouth and discard them.

Make sure you empty the body completely and wash it well.

In this point you can rub the tentacles and empty tubes with salt.

This way the outer membrane will be removed completely.

To be honest, I never do it but some people can’t stand the membrane, so it’s up to you.

Chop the tentacles and the onion.

*If you want to avoid all this trouble, just buy the already cleaned kalamari.

Take a frying pan and saute the onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes (until transparent).

Add the tentacles and fry them until all the juices have evaporated.

Then add the rice, the parsley, salt and pepper and cook the mix for about one minute.

Then extinguish with the wine and stir until it is evaporated.

Add one or two tbsp of your previously prepared sauce so it’s not too dry.

Let it slow cook for 5 minutes. 

When ready, with a teaspoon, you stuff the kalamari with your mixture and secure the tube with a toothpick.

Put the stuffed kalamari in an oven dish and spread the sauce over them. If you want you can sprinkle with some more fresh parsley.

Cover the oven dish with a lid or tin foil.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160 oC for about one hour or until the kalamari is tender enough. From time to time you should inspect your kalamari to make sure there is enough water. If not, add a little.

 Serve alone or with white rice. Enjoy!

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…

Oven baked “Kleftiko” lamb

The term “kleftiko” suggests lamb or goat meat which is slow-cooked traditionally in a sealed clay oven.

It is a recipe from Cyprus and if it is cooked properly and slowly, it is delicious. There are many variations. Here is an easy, basic version. With this recipe, I’m sure you will steal your loved ones heart. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 kg lamb meat without the bone

125 gr Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

250 gr peas

Dried oregano

Dried thyme

3 carrots chopped

2 tbsp lemon Juice

3 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 big potatoes cut in cubes

2 tomatoes sliced

6 pieces of non-stick paper

100 gr of Greek “kefalograviera” cheese (it’s salty enough)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

HOW TO:

Wash the meat, drain and marinade the meat with all the spices, the lemon and the olive oil in a large bowl, leave for at least one hour.

Meanwhile, we scald the carrots and peas into salted water. Drain well.

In a pot, pour 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the carrots and peas.

In another pot, pour 125 gr of the olive oil and sauté the lamb. Then in the same oil (we add a little if needed) saute the potatoes.

Take 6 pieces of non-stick paper and divide the pieces of lamb, the potatoes, the carrots, the peas and “kefalograviera” cheese equally. On the top, add one tomato slice, salt and pepper and wrap each paper individually.

Use a cotton string to tie them and put them into a clay pot or a simple baking tray.

Bake them for 1 hour at 175o C.

Make sure you serve hot and accompany with a Greek salad.