Showing posts with label Greek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek. Show all posts

Cheese Saganaki (Fried Feta) and How NOT to make it!

While we were in Greece we had a dish called 'Cheese Saganaki' (Fried Cheese)

So, I tried to make it myself. Silly me didn't look on the net or anywhere first I just 'decided' how to make it......Can't be that tricky I thought, it's just a block of feta in batter and deep fried. WRONG!

UPDATE: Since this attempt I have got it right - here.

This is what it should look like.

This (below) if you haven't already guessed, is mine.......

It doesn't look quite the same does it?!

Deep frying is not good - I didn't have my brain in when I made this as the batter floated to the top of the fryer and the feta melted!......I retrieved what I could of the feta and balanced the batter back on top. Tasted okay but this obviously isn't how to make it!

Peter over at Kalofagas tells me you just dip the cheese in flour and shallow fry it.
Tiz easy when you know how. I'll have another go soon. Do I get any points for trying?!

Moussaka Recipe and the Greek island of Kos

This is the main road of Tingaki on the Greek island of Kos, along this road is restaurant after restaurant. We loved walking along reading all the menus that they have outside.
The best place to eat in Tingaki, Kos is called Sagittarius Restaurant it is owned and run by Manos and his wife Donna (Donna is from the UK). They are such a lovely couple. They have now built some excellent looking apartments which they have recently opened.

This is the island of Pserimos which easily reached by boat from Kos.


Our Greek Evening!

Last night we had two friends coming round for dinner, so I decided to have a Greek evening!

I had a go at making stuffed vine leaves as part of the Meze. There was a recipe on the back of the plastic pack the vines leaves came in - but me being me I washed the empty packet - I'm cooking remember and that packet has been in how many peoples hands....yuk!
So, the result was the recipe washed off the packet! 

Oh dear! Good job I'd had a quick read first. Anyway, it was something like this:
Soak some long grain rice in boiling water for 5 minutes, rinse with cold water and drain.
Put the rice into a bowl and add chopped tomato, chopped onion, crushed dried mint, all spice, and ground cinnamon. Then add salt and pepper.
Then line a saucepan with some left over leaves (I think I had about 30 left) but I didn't want to make loads in case they turned out horrid, in any case they were only for a taster.

Where was I - lining the bottom of a saucepan with some leaves.....
Then put a small amount of the rice mixture into the center of the leaves and roll up. Place them on top of the leaves in the saucepan and cover with a mixture of olive oil, water and the juice of a lemon. Put a lid on and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Let them cool in the pan, then remove and serve cold.
It was something like that anyway!
Overall the verdict was good as we all ate them!
I got some Greek white wine too! (Retsina)

Olives with feta, those big beans in tomato sauce and some peppers stuffed with feta.

I made Pastitsio using this recipe but forgot to take a photo - so here is a picture from when I made it before! The only difference I do to that recipe is to use only one can of tomatoes, but add 200ml of red wine and two tablespoons of tomato puree.
It is the best Patitsio recipe ever. Many thanks once again Evelyn.

I made an individual bowl of Greek salad for everyone, but I made a really nice dressing following a recipe I'd seen in Rick Stein's book. Remember though, he was the one that made me put too much red wine vinegar in my Beef Stifado!.......So this time I was ready for him.
He said 1 tablespoon, I used only 1 teaspoon!
I made Rick Stein's salad dressing recipe from his Mediterranean Escapes book.

Left to right: Paul, Matthew and Caroline.

For dessert I made Galaktoboureko using this recipe by Peter of Kalofagas blog.
Thank you Peter for such an excellent and easy to follow recipe and for your help via email.
PS: Anyone in the UK - I managed to get semolina flour in Waitrose.

With ice cream, of course!!!


Beef Stifado - Or Not Quite!

Today I made Beef Stifado, once again I searched the net for recipes, and once again found soooooo many different versions. In the end I ended up putting in too much red wine vinegar......eeek!

So, I put in some sugar, and left it to cook. When I tasted it again it didn't seem any better, so after adding even more sugar and not getting anywhere, I put in a big dollop of good old 'Heinz' Tomato Ketchup!......Beef Stifado - Sorted!......

Thank you Peter at Kalofagas for your help regarding 'Should I Shouldn't I'? put in raisins as some recipes say to.
I must point out that the ketchup idea was NOT Peter's! I should think he's horrified to hear what I did to such a lovely Greek dish.....Sorry!

This, I'm sure must be my own recipe as I shouldn't think there is anyone else out there that has used tomato ketchup or celery in Beef Stifado before!

What I Put In:

500g Best Braising Steak, cubed
2 large onions, chopped.
1 x 400g Tin of Plumb Tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons of Tomato puree
2 Teaspoons of All Spice
5cm of Cinnamon Stick
3 cloves
4 Garlic Cloves, very finely chopped
2 Sticks of Celery, sliced - I had some in the fridge and felt the need to use some.1 Sprig of Rosemary
100ml of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
600ml Red wine

1 'Knorr' Beef stock cube (I diluted one cube in 300ml of boiling water and used about 100ml).

1 TEASPOON of Red Wine Vinegar ***Please note: I am thinking 1TEASPOON would be enough as I put in 4 Tablesppons and so was in need of the tomato ketchup and 3 teaspoons of sugar!
Freshly Ground Black Pepper and Salt to taste.

***12 Shallots, a Knob of Butter and a little sugar (leave them out until a bit later in the recipe)

I probably used about 150 - 200ml of water (thanks to Peter) this along with my ketchup made the taste better

How I Did it:
I made this in a 'Le Creuset' (name dropping here)!! casserole, so it could be used for the whole lot - from frying the onions to going straight into the oven.

I fried the sliced onions in a little of the oil, until they were soft and put them to one side. I coated the beef cubes in flour. Then, in the same casserole dish, I fried the beef until it was sealed all over.

Add the beef to large frying pan or casserole dish. Place on a high heat, stirring occasionally until meat is sealed.

Add the rest of the olive oil, chopped onions, celery and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.

Add the red wine,
the all spice, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary, cinnamon stick, disolved stock cube and salt and black pepper to taste.

Add the chopped tomatoes, wine, red wine vinegar (go careful on that vinegar) and tomato paste.

The Shallots:
Now, peel the shallots and fry them in a separate pan with a little butter, sugar, salt and pepper until caramelised. When they've nicely browned, put to one side and add these to the casserole about 30 minutes before it's done.

Due to my technical problem of putting in too much wine vinegar, I kept having a taste and I added some water as needed. All in all I think it was in the oven for about 3 and a half hours on a very low heat. As all ovens are different you just need to keep checking that it doesn't get dry, or boil - you just want a nice slow simmer.
Add the caramelised shallots about half an hour before you want to serve.
Remember to discard the bay leaves, cloves, rosemary and cinnamon stick before serving.
I served it with some 'Supposed to Be' Greek Lemon Potatoes.....Another story -Don't think you'd want to know! I wasn't sure if they had oregano in or thyme, so I put in both along with lemon and garlic. Whatever, they tasted fine!
I hope I've got everything I did mentioned - I managed to fall down the stairs the other day and haven't been the same since!
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