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Gourmed Healthy diet products

25. Jul 2014
 Gourmed Healthy diet products
 Gourmed Healthy diet products
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  1. Zabaglione with fresh rasberries Zabaglione, is a thick cream originated from Piemonte, and it is one of the most classic desserts of Italy. Today we make it with Vinsanto of Santorini and green tea matcha. Ingredients: 6 egg yolks 1/8 tsp. salt 1/3 cup. sugar 3/4 cup Vinsanto wine 1/4 cup rum a bit of matcha whipped cream and berries to garnish Procedure: Use an electric hand beater to whisk the egg yolks, salt and sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale. In a small bowl dilute the tea in the rum and the Vinsanto. Slowly incorporate the liquid in the egg mixture. Transfer the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and whisk for 6-8 minutes or until mixture doubles in volume. Take away from the heat and keep whipping for two more minutes. Divide in glasses and garnish with berries and some whipped cream. Serve immediately.
  2. Vanilla Ice Cream Vanilla ice cream, is vanilla ice cream, and is always welcome! If you are lucky enough to have an amateur ice cream machine at home use this recipe to make a treat for the household! Make sure to buy top quality vanilla, even if the price seems eccentric, we garauntee it will make all the difference; other than that, other than the cost of the machine, home-made ice cream is very cheap to make. Ingredients: 2 cups of milk 1 vanilla pod 4 egg yolks 3/4 cup of sugar 1 cup of cream Procedure:  Slice the vanilla pod down the side, open out and scrape the knife along the center to extract all the vanilla seeds. 1. Put the milk, the vanilla seeds, and the pod in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. 2. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar.
  3. 3. Remove milk from heat and begin adding the milk to the egg sugar mixture, ladel by ladel. Stirring between the first two ladles. 4. Return the mixture to the heat and stir constantly and gently with a wooden spatula. When the mixture begins to set take off the heat. 5. Discard vanilla pod. Add the cream and leave to cool. 6. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions until it is set and can be removed with a spoon. *For a stronger vanilla aroma, add a teaspoon of vanilla essence to the milk. Authentic Greek Recipes Healthy Diet Products Mediterranean Food
  4. Ali Oli (Garlic Mayonnaise) Ali Oli, is one of those epic sauces, indispensable when eating paella! Mayonnaise may seem complicated to make, but it is so much more healthy to make at home, no additives, and you know exactly where everything you put in it comes from! There is also a Lebanese garlic sauce made in the same way as this called Tobum. Ingredients: 1 egg 2 cloves garlic 1 pinch sea salt 1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 cup sunflower oil 1 cup olive oil Procedure: 1. Place the egg, garlic cloves and salt in a food processor and whirl them until the garlic is completely blended.
  5. 2. Add the vinegar and process a couple seconds more. 3. Gradually add the oil to the mixture. It is very important that you add it in a thin, steady stream, especially in the beginning, until the mayonnaise thickens. *If the mayonnaise comes out too runny, you can thicken it by adding an egg to the food processor and combining it with the mayonnaise, pouring it in a steady thin stream. *You can also make this using a mortar and prestle, and substituting the vinegar for lemon juice. Veal with Tuna Sauce (Vitello Tonnato) Vitello Tonnato is a recipe that uniquely combines meat with fish creating a truly tasteful result. It originated in the region of Piedmont, and though it is eaten as a main course when cooked in other cultures, is considerd one of the most classic Italian entrées, also known as antipasti. Though this dish may seem strange to some at first it is a must! Ingredients: 2 Ibs. tenderloin (veal) 8 cups white wine 1 celery stalk 1 carrot 1 small onion
  6. 2 garlic cloves 7 oz. tuna in oil 6 anchovy fillets 2 hard-boiled egg yolks 2 lemons, 1 squeezed, 1 thinly sliced 1/2 cup oil 2 tbsp capers 1 tbsp white vinegar salt &pepper Procedure: Marinating the meat.  Chop the onion,carrot, celery into irregular chunks. 1. Marinate the meat in the wine, celery, carrot, onion and crushed garlic cloves for one day. Preparing the meal.  Hard boil the eggs.  Slice 1 of the lemons in thin half slices 1. Remove the meat from the marinade, wrap and tie tightly in a cheesecloth and place in an oval pan just large enough to hold it together. Put back in the marinade and cook slowly for about one hour salt and pepper the liquid. 2. Remove from heat and let the meat cool in its cooking liquid. Degrease and filter the cooking liquid. 3. Blend the liquid in a blender with the tuna, anchovies, 1 tablespoon of capers and egg yolks. 4. Dilute the sauce with lemon juice, and vinegar, and whisk in the oil in a steady stream till a velvety sauce is achieved (similar to mayonnaise). Add salt if neccessary. 5. Slice the veal in thin slices, the thinner the better. 6. Arrange in a serving platter in the following manner: Spread a few tablespoons of the sauce on the platter. Add the veal a layer at a time, with sauce covering each layer. Sprinkle capers over it and decorate the rim of the platter with the sliced lemon Cuttlefish with Spinach or Wild Mountain Greens
  7. Cuttlefish with greens is a traditional Tuscan way of cooking cuttlefish; you can also use octopus or squid. Ingredients: 1 kg cuttlefish 1 cup fennel 2 cups chopped spinach 2 spring onions 1 small onion, finely sliced 1 medium size tomato, cubed the juice from 1 large lemon 1 cup olive oil salt pepper
  8. Procedure:  Clean the cuttlefish, drain well, and pound with a pestle. Once the cuttlefish has spread somewhat, it’s ready to be cut into strips.  Blanche, drain and chop spinach  Finely slice onion  Cube tomato 1. In a saucepan, saute the finely chopped onions, add the cuttlefish and saute too. 2. Pour in some wine, add salt and pepper, a glass of hot water, and simmer until the cuttlefish is quite tender. 3. Add the spinach or the greens and cook for a further 15 minutes. The liquid will cook off, leaving the oil behind. 4. Pour in the lemon juice just before removing from heat. Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Terrine with Pistachio Nuts and Dried Apricots This savoury terrine is delicious served cold after being chilled for 5 hours with good bread and a green salad. Ingredients:
  9. 350g chicken breast mince 350g pork leg mince 250g prosciutto 100g shelled pistachio nuts 80g dried apricots, thinly sliced 1 egg zest from 1 lemon salt, pepper Procedure: Preheat the oven to 180οC  Thinly slice the apricots 1. Overlap the prosciutto slices at the bottom of a non-stick rectangular cake tin or terrine mould. Make sure they overhang by at least 2 cm on each side. 2. Mix the mince, egg, pistachios, chopped apricots, lemon zest in a bowl. Season well. Try not to overwork the mix. 3. Spread the mince mix in the tin and fold over the prosciutto. Cover the tin with foil, place it in a roasting tin and fill it ¾ of the way up with boiling water and bake for 1.5 hours. 4. Let the terrine come to room temperature, place something heavy on top (e.g. jar of jam) and refrigerate for several hours until firm. 5. Remove from mould and slice it carefully. Chilled Cream of Melon Soup(Crema de Melon) Maybe you haven’t imagined trying a melon soup before, maybe it sounds like an odd combination with veal stock, but this cold melon soup is perfect as an appetizer for a summer dinner, serve it in shot glasses or in a small bowl.
  10. Ingredients: 1 large (2 small) ripe melon(s) 1 pint veal stock 2 tbsp butter 2 egg yolks 2 tbsp light cream seasoning to taste 1/4 cup (about 2 oz) chopped serrano, or other cured ham 2 tsp chopped chervil (or parsley) 2 tbsp fino (dry) sherry (vinagre de jerez) Procedure:  Cut the melon(s) in half, remove seeds and scoop out about 16 small melon balls and set aside.  Remove the remainder of the melon flesh and cut into pieces. 1. Heat the butter in a pan and sauté the melon pieces for around 4-5 minutes. 2. Add the veal stock and seasoning to taste, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Then remove from heat and pass through a fine sieve or process until smooth. 3. Pour the melon soup back into the saucepan and, over a moderate heat, stir in the cream (do not allow to boil), together with the well-beaten egg yolks and stir constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Chill for a couple of hours. 4. Stir in the sherry just before serving. 5. When served, add about 4 melon balls to each individual soup dish and garnish with the chopped chervil and cured ham.
  11. Red peppers stuufed with salted cod A recipe inspired by Spanish tapas. A very tasty side dish or nibble for wine. Ingredients: 500 gr salt cod 300 gr potatoes 1/2 onion 2 springs of parsley 1 garlic clove 4 large red bell peppers olive oil salt, pepper Procedure:
  12. Rinse the salt off the cod, cut it in large pieces it and soak it in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water 2-3 times daily. You should refrigerate it in hot weather. In a small saucepan bring water to the boil and add the cod, 1 parsley sprig and the onion. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the fish soak for another 10 minutes. Strain the cod, skin it and flake it, removing any small bones. In the meantime, peel and cube the potatoes. Boil them for 10 minutes or until soft and mash them. In a rage bowl mix the potato mash, the flaked cod, 2 tbsp of olive oil, garlic and chopped parsley. Correct the seasoning. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Wash the peppers and remove the top and the seeds. Stuff them with the cod mix. Place the peppers in a small oven proof dish, add a bit of water and olive oil and bake covered with aluminium foil for 15 minutes and uncovered for another 15, or until tender. Serve hot or cold. Picadillo Con Alcaparras (Picadillo With Capers)
  13. This picadillo recipe is very easy to make and is a perfect comfort food dish. Picadillo is also very versatile, and the the leftovers can be used to make pastelitos de carne or Cuban style empanadas – or any kind of empanadas. Ingredients: 1/4 cup olive oil 2 lb. ground beef (chuck or top round) 1 small onion chopped 1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, finely chopped 1 Garlic clove, minced 1 bay leaf 1 tsp oregano 3 oz capers 8 Pimiento-stuffed olives cut into thin rounds 2 tb Wine vinegar 3 tbsp Tomato sauce 1/4 cup Burgandy wine or any similar red wine 2 drops Tabasco or other Hot sauce (more to taste) 1/2 tsp brown sugar salt to taste Procedure: Use a large skillet with cover.
  14. Heat olive oil and brown beef in hot oil until red of meat disappears. Combine onion, green pepper, tomato, garlic, bay leaf, crushed oregano, and capers. Add to meat in skillet. Mix well and cook covered for about 10 minutes on moderate heat. Cut olives into thin rounds. Add to the meat mixture together with the vinegar, tomato sauce, wine, hot sauce, sugar, and nutmeg. Stir well and cook 5 minutes, uncovered. Now add the water and mix well. Correct seasoning. If salt is needed, add it at this point (the salt released from the olives may be sufficient for your taste). Cover the skillet and cook at low heat for approximately 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. If the liquid is not absorbed sufficiently at the end of 30 minutes, cook uncovered until liquid evaporates. Spanish Coleslaw This tangy and colorful Spanish salad is full of texture and adds zest to any meal!
  15. Ingredients:  250 gr white cabbage, finely shredded  1 small onion, chopped  1/2 green pepper,cored, deseeded and chopped  1/2 red pepper, cored deseeded and chopped  1 large carrot,grated  50 gr grapes  6 tbs natural low-fat yogurt  1 tbs low-calorie french dressing  salt and freshly ground black pepper  parsley,chopped Procedure: Place the cabbage in a bowl and add the onion, green and red peppers, carrot and grapes. Mix together the yogurt and dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add to the vegetables and toss thoroughly. Garnish with chopped parsley. Valencian garden Paella The correct amount of water and the right temperature cannot be determined with accuracy. With “paella”, it is a question of practice making perfect.
  16. Ingredients: 6OO gr rice 48O gr rabbit 6OO gr chicken 24 snails 180 gr shredded tomatoes 180 gr “”garrofo”” beans (special for “”paella””) 180 gr “”tabella”” beans (ordinary white beans) 6 Tbs olive oil a few strands of saffron 1 Tbs sweet paprika Salt and yellow “”paella”” colouring 200 gr “”ferraura”” (special green beans for “”paella””) Procedure: Heat the oil, with a pinch of salt, in the “paella” pan and add the chicken and rabbit. Fry on a low temperature until golden brown. Now add all the beans, cook a little longer and add the tomato. When the tomato has cooked, add the paprika and quickly pour in 2.5 to 3 litters of water. As soon as the water comes to a boil, add the snails (cleaned and cooked beforehand), the saffron, the colouring and a little salt. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes and then spread the rice evenly around the pan. Cook on a high light for six minutes and then turn the heat down and continue to cook until ready. Pastel de Navidad (Christmas Nut Cups) Pastel de Navidad are cookies from Spain that are technically more like tiny pies with a raisin and walnut filling.
  17. Ingredients: 1 recipe of sweet pastry 5 eggs 2/3 cup sugar 5 tbsp butter, melted pinch of salt 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup chopped walnuts chopped 2/3 cup raisins Procedure: Preheat oven to 375°F. 1. Roll pastry thin and cut into 4 inch circles. Fit each round into muffin cup and press in gently. 2. Beat eggs until they are light; add sugar and mix well. 3. Add butter, salt, and vanilla; mix well. Combine walnuts and raisins and fill each cup 1/2 full. 4. Add egg mixture to fill each cup three quarters. Bake filled cups 20-25 minutes. Spanish Tortilla
  18. This thick Spanish potato omelet is a satisfying meal for any time of the day and is usually served with a green salad on the side. Ingredients: 6 eggs 200 ml olive oil 500 g potatoes, peeled, rinsed and thinly sliced with a mandoline , if possible 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley green salad, to serve 2 onions, sliced Procedure:  Steam the potatoes until almost tender.  Heat the oil in a deep oven proof frying pan.  Add the onions and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until tender, but not brown.  Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl, then mix in the potatoes, parsley, salt and pepper.  Add the mixture to frying pan with the onions and cook for about 10 minutes.  Bring the pan to a preheated oven and broil for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. Custard Strudel What makes strudel unique is the thin dough and the way it is handled when opening. It is a delicate thing to make but very rewarding! This is a twist on the traditional apple strudel, probably of eastern European origin; if you cannot find cottage cheese, you can substitute it with ricotta or any soft white cheese from around your region.
  19. Ingredients: Ingredients for the dough 3 cups unbleached flour 1 tsp salt 1 egg slightly beaten 2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil 1 cup warm water Ingredients for the filling 24 oz small-curd cottage cheese 3 eggs, separated 1 cup sour cream 3 oz cream cheese 4 tbsp vanilla instant pudding (the secret!) 1 ½ cups sugar 1 cup butter Procedure: Preheat oven to at 180°C Mix together water, egg, salt, oil and add to the flour in a big bowl. Mix with dough hook of mixing machine, or by hand. Add remaining flour as needed and knead vigorously until smooth. Place smooth, non-sticky dough in oiled Pyrex pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand two hours or overnight. Beat egg whites stiff. In large mixer bowl beat cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese and 3 egg yolks.
  20. Add instant pudding and mix well. Fold in beaten whites. Turn oiled dough onto well-floured cloth over large table, and begin rolling to about 20×20 inches. Roll to avoid thick edges. Stretch very thin with hands, to cover and over-hang table, spreading melted butter over entire dough. Spread filling over 2/3 of dough (from short end) and over it, sprinkle sugar (also coconut if desired) on last few inches. Flip any remaining dough over to enclose. Lift cloth to roll strudel. Place in 9×13 inch buttered pan in three strips to fit pan lengthwise sealing ends with thin patches of dough that have been trimmed off, or in S shape without cutting. Brush top with melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes. Pizza type: Peinirli
  21. Peinirli is a lot like a thick crust pizza and it is a favorite Greek snack and meal. It may be shaped, filled, and frozen then baked directly from freezer to oven. Ingredients:  1 envelope active dry yeast  1 1/4 – 1 1/4 cups warm water  4-5 cups bread flour  salt  cornmeal  1/2 pound kasseri cheese, or other semi hard cheese  2-3 tbs milk  several slices Pastourma  6 eggs (optional)  1 large, firm, ripe tomato thinly sliced (optional)  butter, as desired Procedure: Preheat oven at 200° C. Dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cups of warm water and let it bubble up for about 20 minutes. Sift 4 cups of flour and the salt together. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture. Combine with a fork until a dough mass forms. Sprinkle a worksurface with some of the remaining flour and knead, incorporating m ore flour as needed, until a smooth, soft dough forms. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough and divide into 6 equal pieces. Cover and let rise again until doubled. Lightly dust a baking sheet with cornmeal. Grate the kasseri and mix in the milk. Take one ball at a time, flatten it into an oval and then shape into a thick “canoe”, pinching it together to form points at both ends. Add one-sixth of the kasseri mixture and a little pastourma. Add a slice or two of tomatoes and break an egg carefully into the center of desired. (You can also just fill it with nothing but the cheese mixture.) Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  22. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Remove and immediately dot with butter. Serve hot. Tripe with Polenta Tripe was a common dish once upon a time—a weekly feature of the Italian diet, as typified by the expression “Sabato trippa” —so there are a lot of traditional recipes for making it. This one on top of a splash of polenta is on e of my favorite. Ingredients: FOR ΤΗΕ TRIΡΕ 600 gr. Iamb tripe 2 lίtres vegetable stock 2 bay leaves 5 cloves 1 cinnamon stίck 1Tbsp. olive οίl 2Tbsp. butter 2 cups onions, carrots, and celery, minced ν’ Υ2 cup dry white wine 2 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped salt, pepper parmesan shavings for garnish FOR ΤΗΕ ΡΟLΕΝΤΑ
  23. 170 gr. polenta cornmeal 650 gr. water 1 piece sliced bread salt 20 gr. butter Procedure: 1. Soak tripe in vinegar water for 24 hours. Boil in stock with bay leaf, cloves, and cinnamon, Let coοl, then chop finely. 2. Sautee vegetables in olive οίl and butter. Add wine. Stir in tripe and tomatoes; cook for 40-45 mins. 3. Season with salt and pepper, Serve trip over polenta. Garnish with parmesan shavings. GARNISHES: Polenta. 1. Τoast bread and remove crust. Place in deep frying pan with water, Using a spoon, tear apart bread in pan and boil for a few minutes. 2. Gradually stir in cornmeal, beating with a whisk until thoroughly combined with water and bread but not lumpy. Bring to boil and simmer over low heat for 45 mins. 3. Using wooden spoon, stir in butter and serve. Risotto with Pumpkin and Saffron
  24. Although this risotto recipe uses olive oil to saute the onions, our Italian neighbours, who inspired this rice dish, would consider the use of oil an outrage, insisting rather on the use of butter from start to finish. Ingredients: 2 cups of rice (only Italian Vialone or Carnaroli) 5-6 cups of vegetable stock (or stock cubes) 2 spring onions ½ cup of olive oil 1 small glass of white wine 1 tbs of fresh, unsalted butter 3 pumpkins (medium size) saffron threads (Kozani yellow) salt and pepper
  25. Procedure:  Finely chop spring onions  Slice pumpkin lengthwise and scoop out the flesh; slice into half moon shapes. 1. Saute the spring onions and the rice in hot oil. 2. When they start to turn a golden brown, add ½ cup of hot stock, taking care not to burn yourself. 3. Allow the rice to absorb almost all of the liquid, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Add salt and pepper. 4. Pour in a little more stock, continuing to stir whilst the liquid is absorbed. 5. Repeat until all of the vegetable stock has been added and absorbed by the rice. It’ll take approximately 20 minutes for the stock to be absorbed and the rice become mushy. 6. Half way through cooking, add the saffron fibres to the pan, which will give the rice a lovely golden yellow colour. 7. About 5 minutes before the rice is done, add the white wine and the pumpkin. 8. Before turning off the heat, add the fresh butter and combine well. 9. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a kitchen towel. In 2-3 minutes, the dish is ready to serve. Focaccia
  26. This Italian flat-oven baked bread is full of of flavor and can be topped with herbs or any other ingredients you desire. Ingredients:  1/4 oz yeast, dry active  1/2 oz sugar  12 oz water  1/2 cup onions, chopped  1 tbsp garlic, minced  1 lb flour, all-purpose, plus  2 oz flour, all-purpose  2 tsp salt  1/2 tsp white pepper  1/2 tsp fresh rosemary  or basil or pesto  olive oil, to lightly coat  “kosher”” salt Procedure: Preheat oven at 220°C. Sauté onions and garlic, in a small amount of olive oil. Let mixture cool. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water for 5 minutes. Place dry ingredients in mixer bowl. On low speed gradually add the yeast and the onion mixture. Knead for about 5 minutes. Place overnight in a plastic bag, in refrigerator. Next day: bench dough for 15 – 30 minutes. Roll and stretch dough to fit a lg cookie sheet. Proof for about 10 minutes. Lightly spread top with olive oil and sprinkle a few grains of kosher salt over top. Finish with any ingredients you desire and just before baking sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
  27. Polpettes (Meatballs) Polpettes are glorified meatballs that have that typically Italian flavor given by a mixture of mint, garlic, and oregano. Serve the polpettes hot or at room temperature. Ingredients: 3 slices of stale bread without the crust 1 kg of minced meat, beef (or veal) 1 tsp of vinegar 1 egg ½ cup of fresh mint, finely chopped, or 1 tablespoon of dried mint 1-2 tsp of oregano 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely sliced flour olive oil Procedure: Finely chop mint Finely slice garlic Soak the bread in water and squeeze lightly. 1. Combine the meat, vinegar, egg and herbs, and knead well. If you have time, leave the mixture overnight in the fridge so that all the flavours can combine completely. 2. Form largish balls of the mince and roll them into shape between wet palms. 3. Coat in flour and fry in olive oil. Mediterranean Pizza recipe
  28. Pizza, the world’s Greatest appetizer. A recipe for a pizza especially made for all of that come from the Mediterranean Sea. Ingredients: For the DOUGH 500 gr white bread flour ” 00 type” , plus extra for dusting A small pinch of sugar 7 gr dry yeast 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing 300 ml water at room temperature FOR the TOP Mediterranean Tomato sauce black olives, ham red peppers, salami, ground mozzarella, basil Procedure: Put the flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl and let it rest of five minutes. Add the oil and water. Stir with a wooden spoon until you have a sticky dough. Add a splash more water if needed. Scatter a bit of flour over the surface and tip the dough onto it. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic enough and bring it into a ball shape. Brush a clean bowl with a little olive oil, put the dough in it and cover with cling film. Leave it somewhere warm for it to grow until doubled in size. Heat oven to 220 o C. Roll out the dough in a special pizza tray. Add a bit of tomato sauce on top and with a spatula spread it all over the pizza. Build your own pizza. Put all the toppings you and your family want. The idea is to ‘build’ their own pizza. Bake pizzas for 12-15 mins until puffed up and golden around the edges. Serve at once.
  29. Mediterranean Pasta This delicious pasta dish is full of classic Mediterranean ingredients and flavors. Ingredients: 300 gr penne or any other pasta you like 300 gr plum tomatoes, quartered 1 Tbs capers 2 Tbs olive paste 2 anchovies (fillets) 2 garlic cloves 4 Tbs olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 5 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped 1 glass white wine 1 tsp marjoram 1 cup Greek anthotiro, grated Procedure:  Quarter plum tomatoes  Finely chop sundried tomatoes  Mash anchovies with a fork 1. Sauté the onion, garlic, anchovies, capers (well-washed) and the sun-dried tomatoes in some olive oil. Douse with a cup of white wine.
  30. 2. Add to the above the plum tomatoes and marjoram and let it come to a boil. 3. Boil the penne in salted water, drain them when ready and add them to the sauce. 4. Sprinkle with anthotiro cheese and serve hot. Easter in Greece “Pascha,” the Greek Easter is celebrated through a variety of different regional traditions and recipes. It is not by chance that the feast of Pascha, a feast that the Western World refers to as Easter, but whose Greek name actually translates to “Passover,” takes place in the spring. As nature celebrates new life, Christians celebrate the rebirth that comes with the Resurrection. The Greeks also refer to Pascha as “Lambri,” which translates directly to “brightness,” thereby referring to the sunny arrival of a new spring and new life. After the forty-day fast that begins on Clean Monday, comes yet another week of fasting and special services known as Holy Week. At that period Greeks do fast. You can see the collection of our Specific recipes. The prelude to Holy Week begins with the Saturday of Lazarus, the celebration of Christ’s raising his friend Lazarus from his grave—a foreshadowing of Christ’s own resurrection. In most parts of Greece, this day is traditionally commemorated with children roaming through the neighborhoods, singing hymns about Lazarus’ return from the grave. In turn, the children are given eggs (which, once collected, will be dyed red on Holy Thursday) and tasty little breads called “Lazarakia,” or “Lazarelia.” See their recipe here.These breads will be made with a filling of nuts, cinnamon, raisins, and tahini, and are shaped into a figure with swaddling clothes- a configuration intended to represent Lazarus.
  31. The next day, Palm Sunday, commemorates Christ’s entrance to Jerusalem- a slow march during which He was received by a multitude that excitedly laid branches before Him. During the Palm Sunday Liturgy, the faithful take up branches from bay trees in an attempt to mimic the people of Jerusalem as they welcomed Christ into their lives. In certain regions, worshippers are given palm leaves which have been folded into the shape of a cross as they exit the church. The people are permitted to break the strict fast on this day, thereby consuming fish in celebration of the Jerusalem’s enthusiastic welcome. Many of the traditional fish dishes include cod with garlic sauce, or mackerel. Of course, the fish is accompanied by wine. This meal is the last opportunity to feast before the onset of Holy Week, a period characterized by the strictest fasting of the year. Holy Week is a time of reduced activities, a plethora of church services, and rigorous fasting, along with the meticulous cleaning and decorating of homes in preparation for the big feast. On Holy Thursday, there is the traditional dying eggs with a bright shade of red, a color intended to symbolize the blood of the crucified Christ. In some regions, eggs are dyed by first sticking various small leaves of herbs on the surface of the egg and then wrapping it within a thin stocking. Eggs dyed in such a manner will therefore have elaborate white designs against their red backgrounds. In other regions, the egg will be wrapped in the brown peeling of dried onions instead of herb leaves, resulting in a surface with alternating shades of brown and red.
  32. Along with egg dying, villagers will traditionally bake a variety of Easter cookies. Made primarily from eggs and butter, these cookies will be shaped into small twists or braids, brushed with egg wash, and then sprinkled with sesame seeds. Similarly, loaves of bread known as Tsoureki will be baked in various shapes, primarily braids, and decorated with seeds. Typically, a red egg will be baked into the loaf as well. It is the tradition for godparents to give such welcome treats to their godchildren, together with the candle to be used during the Resurrection service. Holy Friday, the day of Christ’s humiliation and crucifixion, is the most solemn day of the Orthodox liturgical calendar. Consequently, the fast becomes so rigid, that many of the faithful will merely nibble on bread, olives, and halvah. In many parts of Greece, there is the tradition of drinking a little vinegar in remembrance of the vinegar that the Roman soldiers gave Christ on the sponge. In other regions, boiled lentils are eaten with a little vinegar to symbolize both the passion of Christ, and the seed of new life.
  33. Although Holy Saturday is also a strict fast day, it is not as solemn. The morning church service celebrates the “first Resurrection,” commemorating Christ’s descent into Hades wherein he pulled out Adam and Eve, thus freeing them from their bonds of sin. Preparations for the Paschal feast begin early in the morning. The traditional meat for Pascha is lamb, a symbol of Christ offering Himself in sacrifice for man’s deliverance from darkness. The Paschal lamb is slaughtered and its entrails cleaned to make the traditional tripe soup called “mageritsa” that is served directly after the midnight Resurrection service. This “soothing” soup consists of finely chopped lamb organ meat—its stomach, spleen, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and intestines—added to sautéed fresh spring onions and lots of dill. Many cooks add the traditional egg-lemon sauce known as “avgolemono” to the soup, but this is optional. The purpose of eating this soup first is to gradually prepare the stomach for the heavier meat dishes after 47 days of a vegetarian diet. We give you today a recipe for vegetarian mageiritsa as well. After eating mageritsa and before eating anything else, each member of the family will select a red egg from the bowl and proceed to crack each other’s eggs at either end. According to Greek tradition, the person whose egg lasts the longest without cracking with be the luckiest throughout the year. Before tapping the other person’s egg, it is customary for one to repeat the phrase, “Christ is Risen,” to which the other person to respond with, “Truly He is Risen.” Just as a dead, stone-like egg has the potential to produce a chick, the cracked egg is meant to symbolize Jesus’ return to life. On Easter morning, the long-awaited lamb is seasoned and tied to a spit to be roasted over an open fire to until crispy and browned. Instead of roasting lamb on the spit, other regions bake a whole lamb or kid goat in the oven. Local traditions dictate whether the lamb or goat will be stuffed with herbs or rice, or some other mixture. Often the bottom of the baking dish will be lined with the clippings of vine branches left over from the pruning of the vineyards, thereby giving a special aroma to the meat. There are many other delicacies that will be included in the Paschal feast depending on the specific region of Greece. Included in these are cheese pittes, regional fresh cheeses, and yogurt served with honey. As mentioned, there are always myriad Easter sweets and breads as well.
  34. The Old-World Peinirli Comprised of dough, cheese, and myriad filling choices, “peinirli” is a sumptuous old-world snack that came to Greece in the early 1920s from Asia Minor. Their workstations are the hot, flour-dusted corners behind the store. The accoutrements of their trade are those that one might expect to see in a baker’s back room: an industrial-size oven (sometimes wood-burning) and a huge metal mixer, chugging along in the late afternoon as it makes the malleable dough. Here and there lean sacks of flour, and on racks sit the long, shallow wooden trays where the little mounds of dough have been left to rise, before they will be moved to the marble counters covered with flour. There, the dough balls are coaxed open by the master’s s quick, light fingertips. Within arm’s reach are all the necessary accessories; blocks of kasseri cheese and a few odd pieces of kefalograviera. Once grated, they are mixed with water into a milky paste and set in a deep basin, ready in wait to be spread onto the dough. The water will keep the cheese from burning in the oven. In preparation for the orders that are soon to be coming in, stacks of eggs and containers of ham, bacon, sausage, ground meat, and, of course, pastourma are lined up nearby. Once the orders arrive, the dough will be filled, its lips folded over, and its corners pinched.
  35. Then finally, it will take on its characteristic boat shape and be placed into the oven. Even the heat is a matter of secret concern. Some people say the ovens have to be medium-hot, around 180 degrees. Others will swear by more heat. When the dough boat finally comes out of the oven, its hot crust is shamelessly slathered with huge slabs of butter. With that, the peinirli enters the world. This sating, seemingly easy-to-make concoction of yeast dough, cheese, and myriad filling choices is an old-world snack that most seasoned pros will tell you takes years to perfect. Peinirli came to Greece in the early 1920s, with the refugees from Asia Minor. The word, of course, is Turkish and translates roughly to “cheese.” A plethora of regional variations exist throughout Turkey and the Caucasuses. Similarly, in Istanbul, the peinirli is not boat-shaped but round and thin. The boat shape seems to have its origins in Greece, and perhaps developed simply for practical purposes. The peinirli can be found in the form and shape described above in bakeries throughout Athens, but most prominently in the Drapetsona and Drossia regions of the metropolis. Caponata, Eggplant and Olives Stew This Sicilian classic pairs eggplant and olives and is bursting with color and flavor. It is delicious served with fresh fish. Ingredients: 3 aubergines 2 tbs olive oil 1 onion 2 celery sticks 150 ml tomato passata
  36. 3 tbs wine vinegar 1 yellow pepper 1 red pepper 25 g anchovy fillets, soaked in warm water, drained and dried 50 g capers 25 g black olives 25 g green olives 25 g pine nuts salt 2 tbs chopped parsley Procedure: Preheat oven at 180° C.  Dice aubergines into 1.25 cm pieces  Slice onions  Dice celery sticks  Core, deseed and finely slice peppers  Roughly chop capers  Pit and slice olives  Chop parsley 1. Put the diced aubergines into a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain for 15-20 minutes to exude their bitter juices. Rinse under running cold water to remove any salt and pat dry with kitchen paper. 2. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and saute until soft and golden. 3. Add the celery and cook for 2-3 minutes. 4. Add the aubergine and cook gently for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 5. Add the passata and cook gently until it has been absorbed. Spoon in the wine vinegar and cook for 1 minute. 6. Add the peppers, anchovies, capers, olives and pine nuts, and cook for a further 3 minutes. 7. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and bake, covered, for about 1 hour. 8. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Hunting for Horta
  37. A common sight in the Greek countryside is a car parked just off the main road; look a little further and you will find a group of older people walking through the fields, bent over, scouring the ground with a knife in one hand and a plastic bag in the other; unless you realize what they are up to, it is a strange sight. These are the “horta hunters”… Horta is one of the most popular dishes in Greece. There are many types of horta, and the Greeks, especially on the island of Crete, attribute great value to them. Those in the know (and I am not one of them), can tell them apart, know what each type is good for, and which ones have no value or are inedible. Some are good for the liver or kidneys, or cleanse the blood, and of course all are good for your digestive system. What fascinates me is that the locals pick them from their own fields, after the heavy rains in October and November. They do not grow them – they are collected from the wild. This is something they pride themselves on, to the point that they even inform you of it at the taverna; “They come from the woods, I picked them myself this morning”. My wife who is of Epirote descent, remembers picking horta with her grandmother from empty lots in Massachusetts – they picked dandelions. I grew up in Brooklyn, not many empty lots and thus no horta. A common sight in the Greek countryside is a car parked just off the main road; look a little further and you will find a group of older people walking through the fields, bent over, scouring the ground with a knife in one hand and a plastic bag in the other. Unless you realize what they are up to, it is a strange sight. These “horta hunters”, usually city folk, are having a great day out, searching for their delicious greens; many are well-to-do people making this extra effort in order to eat the delicious, beneficial greens that they grew up with. So, if you are driving around the countryside and see these “hunters”, and want to join in, I am sure they will welcome you enthusiastically, as Greeks tend to do, and share this tradition of theirs with you. A small piece of advice: make sure the field you pick horta from has not been recently used by sheep and goats, or any other animals for that matter, as you may find horta with a peculiar taste! Authentic Greek Recipes, Healthy Diet Products,Mediterranean Food, Reliable Travel GuideLeave a comment Edit 18JUL2014
  38. Chicken and Vegetables Mediterranean recipe A Mediterranean recipe with Chicken, Vegetables and dried fruits is a wonder dish served with a glass of dry red wine such as Xinomavro. Ingredients: 1 chicken, cut in small portions 24 button onions 1/2 kg carrots cut in rounds 4 celery sticks finely chopped 1 leek finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, left whole 24 prunes stoned 1/2 tsp coriander spice 1 cinnamon stick 3 allspice seeds 1 cup red wine salt and pepper 3/4 cup olive oil Procedure: Heat the olive oil in a deep pan and saute the garlic cloves until they take a golden color, and then discard them In the same pan saute the chicken until well brown on all sides. Remove and let on a platter on the side. Put the onion, carrots, celery, in the pan and saute in low temperature for 5 minutes approximately. Pour in the wine.
  39. Add the chicken inside, spices, prunes, salt and pepper, turn down the heat to minimum, cover and and let it stew for about 50 minutes until chicken is tender and the sauce smooth. Grigorios Greg Birbil Greg is our “Nostos” contributing editor. Reading his blog “An ad man in Greece” is an everyday habit for lots of us. Grigorios “Greg” Birbil is an American of Greek descent, whose parents came to America from Asia Minor. He was born in Brooklyn in 1937, attended the Pratt Institute and studied advertising design. He started working with McCann Erickson, and continued working for them for 40 years as art drector, creative director, manager and CEO in various countries. He has lived in New York, Chicago, London, Madrid, Milan, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Mexico city, Bogota and Athens. After retiring he decided to remain in Greece, moving to Porto Heli, with an amazing view of the sea and olive groves. He is married with three children. He says: “I have loved every minute of my life, and I am an ardent scuba diver and backgammon player. We have to do something new, something that we have never done before. I am looking forward to the next experience…”. The Exquisite Tomato
  40. Greek tomatoes, a staple ingredient within the country’s cuisine, are unlike tomatoes anywhere else in the world. To a New York child of the 1960s like myself, a tomato was an entity that came in plastic trays of three, had an unattractive pale pink color, and a texture that was both crunchy and squishy at the same time. Ironically, since the tomato is a New World food, it was a trip to the Old World that opened my palate to the bliss of tasting a great tomato. It was in a village of a small Greek-island, around 1972, where I first really savored a tomato. While much has happened since to diminish the quality of crops in Greece (agri-business, globalization, hybrids, greenhouses, bio-chaos and more), comparatively speaking there still is nothing quite like a Greek vine-ripened tomato. Tomatoes are relative newcomers to the European kitchen cabinet. In the 16th century, when the Spanish first brought the fruit to Europe from America, most people were afraid to eat it. For about a century, it was cultivated as a decorative plant before anyone dared bite into it. While no one can be sure when that first did happen, it is known that by the mid-19th century, people were experimenting with it in the kitchen. The Italians, more than anyone else, were those who used it the most. It is probably thanks to them that the Greeks got to know it, via the Venetians who occupied the Ionian islands from the 15th to the 19th century. To this day, perhaps more than anywhere else in the country, the tomato is extremely prominent in the cuisine of those islands. Indeed, the places in Greece that seem more tied to the tomato than others, are the places most closely associated with a strong Italian presence: On the island of Chios for example, which was governed by the Genoese, tomatoes play a major role in the local cuisine. One can see them strung and dried from rafters all summer long. In Tinos, which also endured a lengthy Venetian hold, sun-dried tomatoes appear in several unusual dishes. Likewise, Santorini claims its own indigenous, waterless tomato. For decades, until tourism supplanted farming as a major occupation, the island’s economy was based on the tomato canning industry.
  41. Today, a major farming zone for tomatoes is the Peloponnesos. In fact, Peloponnese tomato canning is one of the country’s largest businesses, although the local crop is, ironically, the small plum tomato. All summer long, the sweet-sour smell of fermenting tomatoes seems to permeate the whole region. You can still see tomatoes sun-drying on planks in the small villages. Through late autumn, truckloads of sweet ripe tomatoes slow you down on the National Road. A Brief Note on Tomatoes in the Greek Kitchen Greeks prefer to flavor their tomato sauces with aromatic spices such as cinnamon and allspice, rather than dried herbs such as basil. Combined with the country’s delicious olive oil, these sauces tend to be rich and thick, almost a meal by themselves. We cook tomatoes with eggs too, in loose, omelet-like dishes. We stuff tomatoes, and of course prepare the Greek Village Salad, a dish that can be judged based on the ripeness and juiciness of the tomato. The Perfect Sauce Although these tips come from an anonymous professional chef, ask any Greek grandmother about her sauce recipes and she will give you similar advice… What to do when … … your sauce has over-heated. Empty the sauce immediately into a clean pot and taste it in order to determine how badly its taste has been altered. Stir a few times with a wooden ladle then leave it to rest so that the burnt part could sit on the bottom of the pot. Repeat this procedure one more time. … your sauce is too greasy. Remove the sauce from the burner and leave it to cool. Then try to carefully remove the fat with a small spatula. It is important to collect only the top part of the fat. Repeat this procedure as often as necessary. The fat could then be used to cook meals with meat as the basic ingredient. … your sauce looks and tastes dull. You could add flavour to your sauce by adding cream, or perhaps various wines and spices, in an effort to liven it up.
  42. … your sauce has developed a crust. The best thing to do is to drain the sauce through a thin strainer, perhaps more than once. … your sauce is too salty. If this is the case, it is too late to do anything. But if the sauce has too much pepper, you could soften the taste by adding some sour cream milk. … your sauce is too thick. To thin out your sauce add some cream milk, sour cream milk, or a distilled liquid. You could also use a very good watered wine. Or boil some finely chopped dill with Bouquet garni, spices and wine, and at that to the mix. Ingredients that have the potential to enhance a dish Greek style:  A well-chosen oil could become a base for many sauces, both cold and warm. Make sure the oil is fresh and, when it is cold, make sure it is well-beaten, this simple addition eases the pressure on the stomach, and is great for blood circulation.  Freshly used herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals, and because of these qualities, they often allow for meals are digested easily. Even so, they should not be overheated because they loose their aroma.  A sauce can become much tastier and seemingly lighter when you use butter as a base. The butter thickens the sauce and gives it a refined taste. Such a sauce goes best with meat and fish, because of the strong flavour.  “Bouquet garni” is a term that refers to various herbs, all of which are very important for seasoning and used often in French cuisine. Such a bouquet often consists of leeks, parsley, thyme, and laurel leaves. Tie these herbs together with a string and place the bouquet in the sauce to boil.  Eggs are often important to cold or warm sauces. The yolk unites the mayonnaise or brings the Hollandaise to the right temperature, turning it into a thick sauce. The eggs must be fresh so that the yolks are still round in the whites.  Garlic gives almost any sauce a better taste and finer aroma, but even so it should be used with great care. Too much garlic could spoil a sauce.  Wine is also an important ingredient for making sauces. Extinguishing with wine the remaining juices of cooked meats will create a special aroma. A sauce with red wine is best served with beef, lamb, or other hunting meats. A sauce with white wine is best served with veal or fish.  Mushrooms are good additions to most sauces because they diversify the taste. When adding mushrooms, also add a distilled liquid to further refine the taste, flavour, and aroma of the sauce.  While mixtures are boiling, other important additions can include various vegetables, usually carrots, onions, celery, and parsley root.  For aromatic sauces made with fruits, one must be careful to use fruits that are ripened and seasoned. Mash such fruits, combining them with other sweet ingredients, to create the perfect sauce for desserts.  Adding lemon juice to a sauce will not only enhance its taste, but will prove soothing to the stomach and digestive system. Aside from the juice of the lemon, Greek chefs often add to their sauces a slice of lemon peel, or perhaps that of an orange, to give it a special flavor.  Fine, select alcohols are often used in modern and light sauce recipes. However, the dose of the alcohol must be small and precise, since such liquids could greatly affect the overall flavour, potentially ruining the sauce. An Ode to the Fry
  43. In restaurants and tavernas across Greece, gone are the glory days when fresh potatoes were peeled and sliced by hand, and fried to order in unsparing amounts of olive oil… Is there any hope for the French fry of Greece? The Continuous Rise and Fall of the Fry Thanks to concerns about practicality and cost, the Greek fried potato, a national gastronomic treasure, is all but an extinct dish. Yet inklings of its survival and resuscitation are starting to surface. For one, I found it defined on a website called the “Official French Fries Pages.” In a listing of fried potato recipes from all over the globe, the Greek version was described as usually cut round, always fried in an olive-oiled skillet, and served with salt and oregano. Throughout the country, people are starting to lament its loss. There is even official consideration at the Greek National Tourist Organization for reviving it and making it a de rigueur menu item at any restaurant that claims to serve traditional Greek cuisine. But, the reality of the situation is that our national treasure has been reduced to a horror in almost every public eating place: a furry-textured substance with the taste of plastic wood. These industrial French fries first started to appear in the early 1980s, at large souvlaki places. Their use spread like wildfire because they expedited the needs of mass production. Now, they have conquered the market. Often, they’re not even carved out of Greek potatoes, but from varieties imported from Holland and Germany, much cheaper than our own. These low-quality potatoes are precut and prefried in Greek factories before being packed into 20-kilo bags for delivery to tavernas all over the country. I empathize with the restaurateur who justifies himself by explaining that it is impossible to prepare 100 or 120 kilos of fresh potatoes every day unless one hires three people to do just that. On the other hand, I, for one, have decided to become a conscientious objector. I simply stopped eating the stuff because it tastes so bad. As for the fries in fast-food restaurants, we won’t delve deep into the issue. But the next time you order fries at a fast food joint, just remember that many establishments use a kind of heavy-duty cooking fat (often a combination of beef suet and vegetable shortening) that can last for 4-7 days at a constant temperature of 168 degrees Celsius before going rancid and requiring change. Potatoes cooked on the car engine would be healthier. At this point in time, the only hope for the Greek fried potato rests on home front. Even there, though, the dish faces serious threats. First, because the territory is murky. Every connoisseur (and there are many) has his or her own
  44. philosophy when it comes to making the perfect fries. Ali-bab, a 19th century Polish count and famed gourmet, wrote in his treatise “Gastronomie Practique” that “making French fries is the beginning of culinary art.” Yet no dish inspires as much difference of opinion. Making the perfect fry depends on several factors: variety of potato, fat used, temperature, cooking vessel, and technique. The Varieties Quagmire In Greece, the issue of variety is the most confusing of all. In almost every other part of the Western world (everywhere from Australia to America to France and Belgium, where the dish was actually born), cooks distinguish the potato varieties best suited for the fryer. In Greece, though, potatoes are distinguished by the place they are cultivated, by the time of year they are harvested, and by whether they are washed or not. The harvest cycle goes something like this: spring potatoes (usually a 90-day growing cycle) are cultivated in Kalamata, Pyrgo, Achaia, Larissa and Crete; summer potatoes come from Corinth, Evia, Larissa, Serres, Drama and Oresteiada; Thebes gives us the fall potato, but so do Patra and Pyrgo. No one, however, seems to know very much about varieties and their particular attributes (firm, starchy, watery, etc). According to the Ministry of Agriculture in Athens, Greece cultivates three main varieties for food: Sputna, Lizeta, and Nikola. According to the Center for Potato Seedlings in Naxos, which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, the main varieties are Spunta and Marfola. (The former is oblong; the latter round.) There are others, such as Yerla and Entzina, but they are cultivated on a small scale. Naxos enjoys some fame as a potato-lover’s haven, perhaps because it is the seed center of Greece, or perhaps because its soil helps produce some of the country’s best spuds. According to Giannis Marakis, an agronomist at the seed center, the Naxos potato can be any one of the above varieties. Apparently, whatever is not sold as seed is left to grow and sold as a regular, edible potato. He was also the only expert I spoke with who had any thoughts on the best potato for frying. Apparently it is the oblong Spuntna. The round Marfola is too firm and fries made with them tend to be tough. There is also a yellow-fleshed potato grown in Macedonia, which sounds a lot like the Binjte, the European variety most popular for fries. But from what I could garner, it is not available in Athenian markets. The Fat, the Pan, the Method According to the Official French Fry Pages website, the optimum cooking fat is either pure vegetable oil or shortening because these have no flavours which would interfere with the delicacy of the potato. Corn oil seems to be the prevailing favourite worldwide. In Greece, opinions vary. Our own resident philosopher of taste, Christos Zouraris, author of The Deipnosophist, states categorically “Olive oil, without question.” Spiros Kotsis, owner of Abrevoir, one of the few restaurants in the whole Attica basin that still makes its own fries -the French alumettes- agrees, although in the interest of economy he uses refined, not extra-virgin, olive oil. At least one well-known gourmand, though, Ilias Mamalakis, begs to be different. Although he waxes nostalgic for the fries of his youth from his village in Crete -big fries cut like quince and fried in olive oil over a wood fire- he claims that olive oil now has one big disadvantage. It is too expensive. Pirinelaio is the best Greek oil for frying potatoes, he adds. Palm oil is good, too, says Mamalakis, because it solidifies at 22-24 degrees Celsius. “French fries turn out dry and crisp that way,” he explains. As for myself, I only fry in olive oil, weathering the expense, in the interest of both health and taste. Just how to cook our beloved Greek fries, whether the real thing in olive oil or the ersatz, modern compromise of the dish, is an issue seemingly as contentious as Imia. In Western Europe, specifically in Belgium, Holland and France, where fried potatoes are the bread of the masses, common practice dictates that the potatoes be fried twice, first at a lower temperature, around 163° C, then at a higher one, around 188° C. There is scientific evidence supporting this odd-sounding technique. In frying foods we aim to cook them through and to brown the surface sufficiently to produce the characteristic fried flavour and texture. Too high a temperature will brown the surface before the interior is cooked, while too low will take too long. The food at hand will absorb too much oil and become overcooked. In the two-stage method, the first serves to cook the potato through without browning the surface. The potatoes are cooked until limp, that is until the starch granules have gelatinized. Then we let them cool to room temperature. By the second frying, the potatoes are
  45. covered with a film of gelatinized starch, which slows any further oil absorption. The second frying can then be done at high temperature and stopped as soon as the outside is browned. This is not the prevailing opinion in Greece. “That is only a method for mass frying,” says Lefteris Lazarou, kitchenmeister at Varoulko. “At home the chef opts for a small pot, something that can imitate the deep fryer, never a skillet. The potatoes must swim in the oil.” He recommends filling the pot three-quarters of the way up with oil, heating it, adding the potatoes and leaving them for a few minutes before you start to turn them. “They have to cook on the bottom first,” he explains. Zouraris, on the other hand, is adamant about the skillet. “Only in a skillet, with a little olive oil heated until very hot. The best way is to turn them one by one,” he adds. His own penchant is for potatoes fried in the Cretan manner, that is soft and not fried dry or golden. He recommends a wood fire for the smoky taste, or at the least, a gas fire, so that you can control the heat better. Mamalakis has his own school of thought, “first start with low heat so that the potatoes cook for 2-3 minutes, then raise the heat,” he says. “That ensures a crust.” General Rules As for my own experience, I can only add a few pearls of wisdom. Never refrigerate potatoes meant to be fried or cooked otherwise because the starch in them converts to sugar and burns. Wash the potatoes and dry them very well before adding them to the skillet. Make sure they are all cut about the same size so that they cook evenly.
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