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“Revithokeftedes” chickpea patties

“Revithokeftedes” chickpea patties

The island of Sifnos is known for it’s “revithada” a chickpea stew slowly baked in a clay pot overnight with just the pulses, onions and a little olive oil. The resulting dish is so good, it has earned a permanent place on Sunday’s family table […]

Fast Mussel Spaghetti

Fast Mussel Spaghetti

The best seafood is fresh! Agreed, but come Tuesday afternoon, counting down the minutes, the seconds until dinner time, the best seafood fast and readily available. So fresh shelled mussels in the refrigerator or in the freezer (if you have thawed them) is a delicious, […]

Lasagne

Lasagne

We are all true lasagne lovers in this house. Love the rich flavor, the soft, melting texture, the wonderful aroma as it is gently cooking away in the oven. A great dish for the young and old, even young toddlers, for any occasion.

What I like most about is being able to make it as a quick midweek meal, with a tiny bit of planning ahead. I almost always double the Bolognese recipe below and freeze half. Then just quickly make the
Béchamel sauce while the oven preheats, put it together with the defrosted sauce and oven ready sheets, then pop it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. You could also freeze the Béchamel sauce but it only takes minutes to make so it never seemed like a huge time saver to me.

For the Bolognese sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 125 gr. button mushrooms, chopped
  • 500 gr. minced beef
  • 300 ml dry red or white wine OR 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 300 ml homemade stock
  • 500 gr. tomatoes, grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

In a large, wide pan sauté the onion, carrot and celery stick for 5′. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for another minute. Then add the beef and brown over a high heat. Add the wine, then add the tomato paste, tomatoes, thyme and season. Simmer gently covered for an hour or until the sauce is reduced. Stir in the parsley.

For the Béchamel sauce

  • 1 l milk
  • 3 onion slices
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsps butter
  • 4 tbsps flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • Nutmeg

Pour the milk into a saucepan with the onion slices, peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring almost to the boil, remove from heat and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes. Strain.
For the roux, melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until cooked but not coloured.
Remove from the heat and gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Season lightly.
Return to the heat and cook stirring until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Simmer very gently for a couple of minutes.

For the Lasagne

  • 12-15 sheets oven ready pasta sheets
  • 3 tbsp of Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven. Spoon a third of the Bolognese sauce over the base of a greased flameproof dish. cover with a layer of pasta, then a layer of sauce. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with a layer of of white sauce to cover the lasagne completely. Sprinkle over the Parmesan then bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

Grilled Talagani with chutney

Grilled Talagani with chutney

The Talagani is a cheese closely related to the traditional Greek Mastelo, Formaella and mostly with the Cypriot Halloumi. It is produced exclusively from sheep’s and goat’s milk and, like its cousins, has a robust texture that allows you to grill it even straight over […]

Pumpkin, apricot and almond Chutney

Pumpkin, apricot and almond Chutney

Chutneys have only recently become popular in Greece, although dried and fresh fruit are used often in dishes and some traditional fruit leathers might be served with cheeses, the concept of savory marmalade, as I often have to describe it, is still quite new. When […]

Irish stew with goat

Irish stew with goat

Slow cooked, winter dish to warm up our hearth and our hearts. Served from the pot family style with rustic bread and its thick gravy. Perfect to relax, strengthen and comfort us until the days grow longer again.

It is impressive how much two cuisines from opposites sides of Europe can be. Yet there are Greek and Irish dishes with striking similarities such as Moussakas and Shepherd’s pie or the Greek goat stew and the Irish Stew. This stew is made with all different kinds of stewing meat and root vegetables but traditionally preferred are mutton lamb or goat with potato, onion and broth. Older animals are preferred since they were mainly bred for their wool and milk. They give a much richer flavour and are more nutritious however but they require patience and careful cooking.

Here we try a version with more vegetables but also with a trick to make the dish more presentable for Sunday lunch. The goat needs slow and low roasting, which harder vegetables like carrots and parsnips or turnips can withstand, if they are cut into chunks while enriching the taste. Potatoes would end up half dissolved. As they don’t have much flavor to impart but rather absorb, we can keep them aside and add in the form of a topping towards the end.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kilo of goat with bone in, in portions
  • 1 onion
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 celery stalks or half a celeriac root
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1.5 liters of homemade broth , warm
  • 2-3 potatoes

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Coarsely chop all vegetables except the potatoes into chunks. Brown the goat in a well-heated flameproof pot and set aside. Return the pot to a medium heat and sauté the onion, leeks, celery, carrots, and parsnip for 5 minutes. Towards the end, add the garlic and the finely chopped rosemary and the meat. Pour over 1 liter of broth, cover and put in the hot oven for 1.5 hours until the goat is tender.

Cut the potatoes into 1 cm slices. Uncover the pot and add enough hot broth to cover if needed, season with salt and pepper, then cover with the potato slices. Press them a little into enter the broth, then lightly grease. Bake covered for 15′ then uncover and bake for another 15′, until the potatoes are golden and cooked through.

“Youvarlakia” soup with meat dumplings & yogurt

“Youvarlakia” soup with meat dumplings & yogurt

Youvarlakia is a traditional Greek soup featuring meat dumplings with rice and an “avgolemono” (egg and lemon) sauce. I had never tasted them growing up in Greece, since my expat Irish mom didn’t even know them. As I have no childhood memories, I felt quite […]

Salmon & purple broccoli tray bake

Salmon & purple broccoli tray bake

Fresh wild salmon is almost impossible to find in Greece. As most fish grow thinner in winter, frozen salmon fillets are a quick and reliable source of ω3 fats and are usually perfectly paired with winter broccoli. Purple broccoli is available at farmers’ markets from […]

Pumpkin soup with Ginger

Pumpkin soup with Ginger

While chicken soup is the consolation prize during the winter’s viruses, this pumpkin soup is for cold blustery days, that feeling you might be coming down with something, even to cheer you up with its vivid color and its sweet and spicy taste, guaranteed to brighten the dark winter months.

In our house there is always homemad bone broth hanging around the kitchen, sometimes simmering for hours on the hob, others counting days down in the fridge, always waiting patiently in the freezer. Our magic kitchen genie always ready to to impart flavour and enrich all our dishes. This soup does not ask for much, a few roughly chopped vegetables and some broth, prepped in 5-10 minutes and then gently simmering away. It’s very simple, but so very rewarding.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
  • 800 gr pumpkin or butternut squash, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 4 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger grated or 1 tbsp dried
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 pinch of cumin
  • 1.5 liters of homemade broth
  • Salt, pepper
  • For serving: crème fraîche or yogurt

In a large pot, sauté the of onion, leek and carrots in oil over a high heat for 5′. Add the pumpkin and spices and stir well. Sauté for another 2′ and then add the broth. Cover and simmer for 40 ‘ until the carrots are well softened. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 3 minutes.

Serve with rustic bread and a spoonful of crème fraîche or yogurt.

“Giouvetsi” goat & orzo pasta

“Giouvetsi” goat & orzo pasta

Giouvetsi is a traditional Sunday family dinner dish, typically made with stewed meat baked in a clay pot with orzo pasta. Though in modern years veal is the meat most commonly used, yearling lamb or goat were the traditional choice. The full sweet taste of […]