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Braised cabbage with lamb – Kapuska

Braised cabbage with lamb – Kapuska

Winter cabbages are so sweet and tasty, especially when braising gives the such a silky taste. Stuffed cabbage leaves may very well be my winter favorite, but we’ll leave those for another day. In this recipe we are looking a a very easy, fast, midweek,…

 Skillet chicken with creamed beat leaves

 Skillet chicken with creamed beat leaves

If you’re looking to add more greens to your plates, this is a great start. Beet leaves are delicious, sweeter than spinach which will score points with the kids and so pretty. Combined with ever popular chicken and cream that makes everything taste better, its a sure thing. I prefer to use free range chickens, here is some more info on that.

I always buy beets whith their leaves as they are a sign of freshness. I slice the bunch of leaves off the beets and give them a quick wash. I then put roll them up in parchment paper with some olive oil, place them in the dutch oven and roast them for about an hour. Once they’ve cooled down a bit, you can easily rub off their skins. You can use gloves or peel them under running water to avoid pink stains on you hands.

While the beets are roasting, I soak the leaves in lots of water with a little vinegar. They ‘re ready after 2-3 washes. I save the tiny tender leaves to use fresh in our salads and braise the larger leaves to make a delicious, creamy side for out chicken. They will seem like a lot but they wilt down to nothing so you can add them in batches if they don’t fit initially in the pan.

The best thing about this recipe is that it can be made in 30′ using a single pot, so you can enjoy it on a weekday without having to wash up half your kitchen afterwards. You are going to need a large pan, I used my Lodge skillet that I am falling in love with. It is so easy to use.

 Recipe

  • 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
  • 4 free range chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp coriander, ground
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 big bunch of beet greens
  • 250 ml stock, hot
  • 1 small potato, grated
  • 250 ml heavy cream
  • Nutmeg

Warm up the skillet on a medium heat. Dry the fillets well and season with coriander salt and pepper. Add half the oil and pan fry for 8 minutes on each side until cooked through. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil and cook the onion until softened, about 5′. Add the garlic, stir through and add the beer leaves in batches to wilt with the hot stock and the grated potato. Allow to simmer for 5′. Add the cream and grate in 1/3 of the nutmeg or to taste and simmer for another 5′. Return the chicken to the pan to heat through and serve.

Whole braised cauliflower kapama

Whole braised cauliflower kapama

Kapama is a traditional way of braising in Greece, by placing a pot on top of a baking tray. I first tasted cauliflower kapama made the traditional way at my Aunt Sophia’s. This is an everyday, simple dish, usually served during the period of Lent…

Greek Sofigado stew with quince

Greek Sofigado stew with quince

Sofigado is a traditional recipe from the Ioanian island of Lefkada made with yearling goat or lamb. Modern versions include beef, but the strong deep-flavored sweet and sour sauce really complements darker red meats. As potatoes used to be scarce towards the end of autumn,…

Olive Bread with herbs

Olive Bread with herbs

When I first wrote about the wonderful no-knead bread dough that waits patiently in the fridge for whenever you need it, I promised you variations like this delicious olive-bread with herbs. It can be a quick snack on its own. If you have 3 minutes more you can also make a perfect sandwich or bruschetta with:

  • Feta and tomato or
  • Cheese spread and red peppers or even
  • Kefir cheese with grilled vegetables

Follow the instructions for the basic dough, which you can keep 10-14 days in the refrigerator. When you want to make some for olive bread, you take the amount you need, roll it out, add your filling and roll it back again. Fold the edges, let it rise and it’s ready to bake! It shouldn’t take you more than five minutes.

See the detailed instructions here:

Ingredients

  • No-knead dough that has fermented for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator
  • Half a cup of Kalamata or green pitted olives, sliced in half or in slices
  • 1-2 pinches of oregano

Every time you want to make bread, you first prepare a piece of parchment with a little flour on your counter. Preheat your dutch oven with the lid on at 230 C. Take the dough out of the fridge. Sprinkle with a little flour, so that the dough does not stick to your hands. Pull out a piece of dough about half a kilo. As the dough is very elastic, it helps to cut it with the kitchen scissors.

Place it on the floured surface and very quickly fold the edges towards the center, going around to form a ball. Turn the ball over with folds under it and sprinkle with flour.

The dough is very soft. So, very roll it out into an oblong shape, approximately 2-3 cm thick.

Spread the olives and oregano over the whole surface.

Roll up the dough carefully, without pressing it too hard.

Fold the edges of the roll inward and turn it over with the folds downwards.

Turn the loaf with your hands around the sides, to give it a round shape again and let it rise for 40′.

Before baking your loaf, carve a deep cross into the dough with a sharp bread knife and sprinkle with flour. Prepare the the spot where you will put down the hot dutch oven and make room for the hot lid next to it. Take the pot out of the oven using gloves. Set it down in a safe place, take off the lid and leave one glove on the lid (otherwise I tend to forget how hot it is and grab the lid with bare hands). Holding the parchment paper taut with both hands, transfer the loaf as it is into the center of the dutch oven carefully. Use GLOVES to cover it and put it back in the oven.

Bake covered for 20′ and for a further 10 minutes without the lid. If you are making a larger loaf, adjust the baking time by 5′. The maximum baking time, if you use all the dough, is 30 ‘ covered and 20 ‘ without the lid.  

Baked eggs in two ways

Baked eggs in two ways

I was very lucky to see a recipe of Jamie Oliver’s for baked eggs on Sunday morning. I happened to have all the ingredients for the Mexican version and decided to try it. I admire him incredibly for his quality, well-designed recipes. His simple presentation…

How to always have nutritious pulses handy

How to always have nutritious pulses handy

When preparing beans I usually soak and sprout twice the amount needed for my recipe. Leftover pulses are stored in the freezer for immediate use in another recipe. What does “sprouting” mean? First, I wash the pulses well. Then, I soak them in plenty of…

How to have fresh bread every day

How to have fresh bread every day

There must be a Dutch oven or no-knead bread recipe on almost every self-respecting food blog or site. When Mark Bittman first mentioned Jim Lahey’s recipe, in 2006, in the NY Times, it became one of their most popular articles. The use of the Dutch oven radiates heat while keeping in the moisture of the dough. This helps create the wonderful crust found on breads baked in professional steam ovens.

Whenever I made this bread I was delighted with the result and played with various variations. However, when play soon became necessity when I needed to go dairy -free because of my kids’ allergies. Food labeling was so tricky, that I only ate what I had made with my own two hands.

A few years later I learnt about Artisan Bread in Five from a friend. It was a similar recipe but the bread was baked on a pissa stone and emptying water in a hot baking pan in a preheated oven was involved. With my natural clumsiness, I immediately knew that any attempt to do so would lead me straight to the ER. However using a Dutch oven was suggested as an alternative.

What impressed my though was their claim that you could store their dough up to 14 days in the refrigerator without any problem. This meant that by preparing in a large amount of dough 5 minutes, we could have fresh bread, pita and even pizza base every day with very little fuss.

Bread with 10 days maturation dough

I’ve tried the recipes above for at least a week in the fridge and they do keep well, you can experiment with whichever you prefer. My favorite version is as follows:

  • 700 gr. warm water
  • 10 gr. active dry yeast
  • 1 kg of flour
  • 15 gr. salt

You can find the Artisan Bread in 5 method for the Master recipe here. Their books are quite interesting and I’ve certainly made good use of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book.

Soon you will find recipe variations with olive bread, chocolate and nuts, turmeric and pizza. If you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll find out soon as they are ready.

http://manacooks.com/el/kolokythosoupa/
“Lemonato” Beef with broccoli and lemon sauce

“Lemonato” Beef with broccoli and lemon sauce

In the midst of this constant barrage of information on modern nutrition, the value of vegetables remains constant and undeniable. In the traditional Mediterranean diet, we very often see imaginative combinations of vegetables with (sometimes only a little) meat or fish, depending on the season…