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Greek Cuisine

Posted by Jamar St. on December 12, 2015 at 7:00 PM



For the second installment of the Entrée column is the hidden but magnificent wonders of Greek food. Being known for their delicious Gyros, Greek cuisines is a Mediterranean cuisine that has a modern Greek palette that includes olive oil, lemon juice, assorted vegetables, and various herbs, grains and bread. The meats that are included in Greek cuisine includes lamb, poultry, rabbit, and pork. From their beautiful islands and small houses, Greek cuisine is a one of a kind cuisine that any millennium should try.




 

Daktyla

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 4 cups self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1-2 cups lukewarm water

For the filling:

  • 1 kg fresh anari (mizithra) cheese*
  • 4-5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3-5 tablespoons rose water
  • oil for frying
  • icing sugar for dusting

Directions

  • To make the dough, mix the salt with the flour and pour in the oil. Using your fingertips rub the oil into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Knead with as much water as needed to make a firm dough. Cover with a kitchen towel for half an hour.
  • To make the filling, mash the anari with a fork. Mix in the cinnamon, sugar and rose water to make a fluffy mixture.
  • Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut it into small pieces of 8x10 cm each. Place about 2 teaspoons of filling on each piece. Fold the pastry over the filling to enclose it completely and cut using a glass or cutter to make half a circle shape. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling.
  • Heat the oil and fry the bourekia a few at a time, until golden brown. Drain the bourekia in a strainer and transfer to a platter.
  • When cool sprinkle with icing sugar. You will get approximately 60 bourekia.

 

 

 


Greek Salad

Ingredients

 

Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  •  2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mediterranean is best)

 

Salad

  • 1 head lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces ((I use Romaine)
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped (the long, thin, almost seedless ones)
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into thin rings and soaked for 10 minutes in a small bowl of ice water to make it less sharp
  • 1 small green pepper, cut into thin rings
  • 3⁄4 cup kalamata olive
  • 3⁄4 cup crumbled feta cheese

 

Directions

  • Whisk dressing ingredients together until blended.
  • Add seasoning for desired taste.
  • Drain onion from ice water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Combine all salad ingredients, except cheese, in large bowl.
  • Toss with dressing.
  • Sprinkle cheese over and serve.

 

 



Giouvesti

Ingredients

  • 1 kg/35 ounces veal (shoulder), cut into portions
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced (1 cm thick)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsps. tomato puree
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 250g orzo pasta (9 ounces) ( kritharaki )
  • 100g grated feta cheese (5 ounces)

 

Directions

  • Wipe the meat with paper towels. Heat 1/2 of a cup of olive oil into a pan, add the chopped onions and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes in medium-low heat.
  • Turn up the heat and add the veal; brown the meat on all sides until crusty.
  • Stir in the tomato purée and pour in the red wine; wait for the wine to evaporate.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, a glass of water, the sugar, the cinnamon stick and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for about 45 minutes.
  • In the meantime, heat another pan, add 3 tbsps of olive oil and the orzo pasta and sauté, until golden.
  • Place the orzo pasta in an oven tray along with the meat and sauce (remove the cinnamon stick) and mix. Cover the tray with some aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the aluminum foil, add a glass of water if needed, and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with some grated kefalotyri or any hard yellow cheese.



 

 

Kotosoupa (Chicken and Lemon Soup)

Ingredients

For the Broth:

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 lbs.
  • 2-3 celery stalks with leaves, cut in half
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Soup:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Clean the chicken and remove skin and excess fat. Add 8 cups water to a large soup pot and add chicken, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Bring liquid to a boil and simmer partially covered for approximately 45 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Discard onion and celery. Carefully strain the broth through a fine sieve and reserve. (If you choose to de-fat the stock, you can refrigerate it overnight and simply skim the fat off the top before using).
  • Heat the olive oil in the soup pot and add onions, carrots, celery, and potato. Sauté the vegetables for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Return the broth to the pot, add bay leaf and diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup orzo pasta.
  • Simmer partially covered for at least 45 minutes until vegetables are cooked through. Stir the pot occasionally so that the pasta does not stick to the bottom.
  • While the soup simmers, remove the chicken meat from the carcass. Dice the chicken and return to the pot to be heated. You may need to add a little bit of water or canned chicken broth to supplement the liquid in the pot. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.



 

 

Gigandes Palki (Greek Baked Giant Beans)

Ingredients

  • 500g gigantes beans (17 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 tbsps parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of hot water
  • 400g (14 ounces) tinned chopped tomatoes or 600g (21 ounces) ripped fresh tomatoes, grated
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  • Prepare the gigantes (Gigsntes) plaki, start by soaking the gigantes beans overnight into plenty of water. Drain them into a colander and rinse with plenty of water.
  • Place the gigantes in a large pan with cold water, enough to cover them, add a pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes, until tender but not cooked. Drain them in a colander and set aside.
  • In the meantime, pour into a large baking pan the olive oil, add the chopped onions, the whole garlic clove (peeled) and bake at 180C, until softened and slightly colored (approx. 15 minutes).
  • Turn the baking pan out of the oven; add the gigantes beans (drained), the celery, the parsley, ½ cup of hot water and season with salt and pepper. Put back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the baking tray out of the oven, blend the gigantes beans lightly with a wooden spoon and pour in the grated tomatoes or plum tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, add a pinch of oregano and bake the gigantes plaki further for 50-60 minutes at 180C, until the beans are soft and tender and the sauce thickens.
  • Place in a large pan with enough water to cover them and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, drain them and place into a large baking pan, along with all of the ingredients, cover with some aluminum foil and bake at 180C for approx. 2 hours. The last 30 minutes, bake without the aluminum foil.

 

 

 

 

Galaktaboureko (Custard-Filled Phyllo Pastry)

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 6 cups milk
  • 1-1/4 cup fine semolina (you can substitute Farina)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • For the syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 inch piece of lemon rind
  • 2 inch piece of orange rind
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 lb. phyllo pastry sheets
  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted (for brushing)

 

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the milk over medium high heat until just boiling. Add the semolina and stir with a whisk. Lower the heat to medium low.
  • Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Ladle a cup of the warmed milk into the egg mixture to temper and then add the egg yolk mixture to the pot. Continue to cook over medium low heat until the cream starts to thicken, stirring continuously.
  • When the custard has thickened, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and the butter. Set aside.
  • Unwrap the Phyllo
  • Carefully remove the Phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve. Most packages come in 12 x 18 inch sheets when opened fully. Using a scissor or sharp knife, cut the sheets in half to make two stacks of 9x12 inch sheets. To prevent drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the other.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Assemble the Galaktoboureko: Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 rectangular pan. Use approximately half the phyllo sheets for the bottom of the pastry. Begin by layering sheets one by one in the bottom of the pan, making sure to brush each one thoroughly with melted butter.
  • When you have almost layered half the sheets, drape two sheets of phyllo so that they extend half in the pan and half out of the pan horizontally.
  • Add the custard in an even layer on top of the sheets, smoothing the surface with a spatula.
  • Fold the phyllo sheet flaps in over the custard layer. Add the remaining sheets on top, brushing each sheet with melted butter.
  • Before baking, score the top layer of phyllo (making sure not to puncture the filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later.
  • Place the pan in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes to harden the top layers and then use a serrated knife.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the phyllo turns a deep golden color.
  • While the Galaktoboureko is baking, prepare the syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and add the lemon peel and orange peel.
  • Boil over medium high heat for approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the lemon and orange peel and stir in the lemon juice. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Categories: Lifestyle: Entree

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