Posts by kizbot

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Potato Salad with smoked trout

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This is similar to a previous recipe but I’m all for riffing on themes.

I love potato salad with smoked fish or anchovies, or even gavros marinatos – the little sprat ceviche made here Greece. I bought some really good smoked trout from epirus and made it into a salad and had it on a bed of shredded lettuce. It was a tasty lunch and plenty filling. Any veggies could leave out the fish and any vegans could leave out the egg too.

If I’d had a dill pickle I would have chopped one up and added that too.

I seasoned the salad with a little mix I make and which I add to a lot of foods and also use a lot to season popcorn. I’m a popcorn fiend and make it a lot.

The seasoning mix is 2 tsp of rock sea salt, 1 tsp of peppercorns, 2 small dried chillies and 1/3 tsp of smoked paprika crushed together in a little wooden pestle and mortar until quite fine but not powder.

Potato and smoked trout salad

4 medium waxy potatoes cut into bite sized chunks and steamed until tender, drained, rinsed and set aside to cool a little

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

200g smoked trout, flaked

3 spring onions, sliced

a large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 tbs of capers, rinsed and chopped

1 tsp of chopped jalapeno pepper

1 tbs of mayonnaise

2 tbs of evo oil

juice of 1 small lemon

a couple of good pinches of seasoning mix (see above)

 

Put the mayo, oil, lemon juice, seasoning, parsley, capers and jalapeno’s in a good sized bowl and mix well. Stir in the potatoes, preferably while still warm, until coated in the dressing. Then gently stir in the flaked fish and chopped egg. Adjust seasoning to taste. Nice served slightly warm or chilled.

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Koukourti tis Effie’s

20171119_092122Sunday breakfast!

Koukourti is the kind of thing that makes me love Greece. Simple, easy, inexpensive, really tasty and inventive food. Greek mamas know how to fill tums with nothing much in the larder and still make it so good that even when you’re rich you still want to eat it.

Koukourti is a kind of savoury ‘pie’ or savoury cheesecake made with trachana. Trachana looks like a grain, rather like quinoa, but is really a kind of pasta made with milk. It’s main use is in soups and stews to bulk them up, just in the way British cooking uses pearl barley. I don’t know if you can get trachana in Turkish or Cypriot shops but it’s worth asking. Otherwise, you could use pearl barley, quinoa or bulgar wheat. They would need to be soaked until soft, which would take longer than the 20 minute soak required for trachana.

As the title suggests, this is not my recipe, but my friend Effie’s. She’s a fantastic cook and she stuffed me to the gills with all sorts of goodies this weekend, not just her pie. I also got a lesson in making stifado… so that will, undoubtedly, be coming up anon!

By cups I mean an English tea cup

 

koukourti

2 1/2 cups of trachana soaked in water for 20 mins then drained in a sieve

2 cups of flour

2 eggs

250g of feta

100g of strong yellow cheese such as kefalo graviera or cheddar, grated

3 courgettes grated and all liguid squeezed out

500 ml of milk

1/2 cup of evo oil

some sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

 

preheat the oven to about 150 deg.

Put the milk, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat together. Add the trachana and courgettes and mix well. Crumble in all the feta and half the yellow cheese. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Slowly shake in the flour while beating the mixture to make a thick, heavy batter.

You will need a large pie tin or a big pyrex dish. The batter shouldnt be more than one or two inches thick in the tray or it will stay too wet. Basically, you need a Greek tapsi! Brush the oven tray or pie tin with olive oil and then dust with flour. Pour in the batter, scatter the remaining cheese on top and bake in the oven on the lowest shelf for about 45 minutes or so. The pie is ready when the top is a deep golden brown and the sides of the pie have come away from the sides of the oven tray.

Leave to cool completely so it can set. Cut into slices to serve. I had some for breakfast with a large mug of sweet milky tea… the best of British/Greek fusion!

 

Meaty Mighty Chilli

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Easy and deeply satisfying food.. perfect for the weather.

The summer has gone. I managed to get round the Athens marathon at a toddle without my knee giving up or Mr Wall Demon lunging at me, so lets have a recipe. Any veggies out there, turn away and go find Anna Jones’s veggie one. Its bloody brilliant and I make it a lot. I just fancied some meat and felt, that post marathon, it wouldnt do me any harm to have a bit for once.

The recipe here is as I made it, as usual, so adjust anything to your own tastes. I added some M&S chilli relish just because I had some. I also forgot to add cocoa powder which really does help to round off the flavour and give more depth. I reccommend a desertspoonful. It won’t taste of chocolate. Honest.

I found some long red chillies in a Greek green grocers. I have no idea what they are. I used 2 and they werent too hot. Use fresh or dried, whichever you prefer and to your own desired heat strength.

Same goes for the toms. I was using up stuff. You just need a tin of chopped toms and a bit of puree

 

1 400g tin of red kidney beans

500g of minced beef

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 long red chillies, sliced finely

I thumb sized piece of ginger, grated

1 fresh tom, chopped

1 cup of passata

1 tbs of tom puree

2 tsp of chilli relish

2 cups of water

1 tsp of smoked paprika

1 tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp of ground coriander

a little evo oil

salt to season to taste

strained greek yoghurt for serving

Add a couple of tbs of evo oil to a large saute pan that has a lid. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger and saute on a low heat for a minute or so to get the aromas going. Add the onion and saute for around five minutes until transluscent.

Add the mince and turn up the heat a bit to brown off the meat. Add the tomato, passata and puree, the 2 cups of water, the relish, spices and some salt to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to very low and put the lid on. Simmer for about half an hour for flavours to develop and sauce to thicken. Then add the beans and taste to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Serve over rice with a good dollop of thick Greek strained yoghurt.

That’s it!

Bold as Brass

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As you can see the wee witch is proud of her work. THAT RUG IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SCRUNCHED UP!

It’s supposed to be nicely placed by the balcony doors so that when I come from a wet balcony after watering the triffids I dont traipse soggy footprints across the parquet.

FAT CHANCE!

The fat ungrateful baggages (treats are SO OVER) think I put it there so they can use it for running slides and to rub off all extra cat fur.

They’ve ruined all my curtains. They’ve destroyed my tablecloths. I’ve only saved the sofa because I keep it covered. And I cant have a tiny simple rug. Nope.

And…

The glace cherry on the tourta? They gloat. Positively. GLOAT.

There’s going to be a revolution in this palace. Mark my words!

Spicy Mung Bean Salad

Very refreshing and filling for a hot summer day

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I like mung beans because they have a lovely green and earthy flavour that goes well with lots of herbs and spices. They’re also light but filling. I made this salad to use up lots of odds and sods in the fridge. Hence the lettuce. I’d be tempted some other time to add some fresh coriander and spearmint to this. I think that would work well here too. This has quite a kick to it so reduce chillies if you’re not a fire fiend like me.

I used Sharwood’s Madras curry powder because it’s easy for using in salads. Any Greeks reading this, please dont use the generic curry powder available in supermarkets here. It’s cack. Either find something like Sharwoods (available in Thanopoulos in Kifissia usually) or go to one of the many Pakistani or Bengali shops in the centre. Those shops are also brilliant for buying basmati rice at half the price, getting tins of kidney beans or chick peas, dried red lentils and mung beans, and great frozen felafel.

mung bean salad

200g of mung bean soaked overnight and cooked

1 small onion sliced finely in half moons

a thumb sized piece of ginger grated

a clove of garlic grated

4 small green chillies deseeded and finely chopped

2 small red chillies deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp of Madras curry powder

a good handful of chopped flatleaf parsley

4 cos lettuce leaves finely shredded

the juice and zest of half a large lemon

a good couple of glugs of evo oil

a little sea salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and chill for a bit before serving. Serve with toasted arabic pitta bread and ice cold beer.

Beany nut burger

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Messy but pretty good and sooo virtuous. I’m a saint.

I was inspired by Anna Jones to make a veggie burger. I didnt make her one (I’m sure its brilliant, better than mine, her food is good) in the guardian as I didnt have all her ingredients so I just took the general idea and came up with this. Adapt to suit your tastes.

And for any whinging meat eaters:

I eat meat. I love meat burgers but veggie burgers are great too. No, they dont taste anything like a meat burger and have a different texture. So what? I think it’s a good idea to cut back on meat consumption. I keep it as a treat. I think that’s how it should be, in the main.

I used stuff I had in my cupboard and fridge, recipes are for messing with… theyre not sacred. Black eye peas would work here too.

 

250g cooked borlotti beans

4 Tbs oat

2 Tbs crushed flaxseed

a good handful each of walnuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds whizzed in a food mixer until well ground but still some crunchy bits.

1/2 small tin of sweet corn (optional)

juice 1/2 lime

glug of EVO oil

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cumin

2 good pinches of oregano

a handful of chopped flatleaf parsley (or fresh coriander)

a dash or 2 of hot sauce.

 

Mash the beans well. Mix in all the ingredients and use your hands to combine everything thoroughly just as you would with a meat mixture. Leave mixture in the fridge covered for a couple of hours to allow the oats and flax to absorb moisture from the beans and other ingredients.

form into burger sized patties and shallow fry, bake or grill.

I served this on a mini baguette with shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced jalepenos, mayo, mustard and brown sauce. This needs a napkin!

You can also make these into little rissoles and serve with a salad if you really want to virtue signal.

 

Salmon with lemon and cream pasta

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Easy food. Guys like it.

The Corfiot came to stay with me for a few days and specifically requested I make him this dish. It’s actually a very quick easy meal so I gave him the recipe and now he can make it himself back in Corfu. If I make it in summer, I use spring onions and in winter I use leeks. I use penne rigate pasta but use your own favourite. I think this would be nice with tagliatelle.

For two

150 – 200g smoked salmon chopped into bite sized pieces

1 large leek sliced or 3-4 spring onions sliced

200 ml of single cream

1/2 a glass of white wine

juice of 1/2 lemon

a good glug EVO oil

a good handful of flat leaf parsley roughly chopped

a good grinding of black pepper to serve.

 

Add the oil to a heavy bottomed skillet over a low heat and gently saute the leeks or onions until softened. Add the wine and sizzle off until reduced to almost nothing. Add the salmon and cook for a few minutes. Do not overcook as it becomes hard and fragile. Stir and turn carefully and gently. Add cream. When its hot, add the lemon a drop at a time until the sauce has a nice lemon tang. Dont make too lemony as you want the other flavours to come through. Add parsley and your just cooked pasta to the pan. Serve with a good grind of black pepper and a nice crisp white such as the Greek Paranga by Kir Yianni. Or the Rose Petaloudes.