Tag: Dairy Free

Stuffed casserole peppers

Stuffed casserole peppers

Although “gemista” (stuffed oven-baked vegetables) are served in every Greek house during the summer, with infinite variations, stuffed casserole peppers can be made all year round. The only difference is that in winter I prefer to fill long red sweet Florina peppers, while in summer…

Skillet calamari with zucchini

Skillet calamari with zucchini

This skillet calamari with zucchini is incredibly fast, flavorful and nutritious. If the calamari is cleaned, it takes only 10 minutes to prepare, it needs very little cooking over a very high heat. My cast iron pan is ideal for this and I am so…

Braised beef with zucchini

Braised beef with zucchini

This braised beef with zucchini (or courgettes if you prefer) is a classic Greek summer dish. By early summer, the farmers’ market stalls are filled with bright green zucchini and sun blushed tomatoes, perfect for this delicious casserole.

This looks like summer Sunday lunch to me

As my grandmother used to make it, it also reminds me of the brightest childhood summers. Joining the family for Sunday lunch after a quick swim sun bleached hair and rosy cheeks, the scent of the sea and Coppertone oil drifting in the air around us.

Although the beef is slow braised until almost melting for about an hour and a half, this can be prepared the night before and chilled. As always allow for a slightly longer cooking time for grassfed beef, making sure Then you can quickly prep the potatoes and zucchini and finish off in half an hour while the rest of the family are washing off the sea salt and hanging out swimsuits and towels in the happy chaos that usually follows a family’s return from the beach.

You will be gently frying the potatoes and zucchini before adding them to the braised beef, to help them absorb the tasty sauce. The potatoes will be almost disintegrating and thickening the sauce, while the lightly fried zucchini will lightly steam on top, perfectly cooked. You can skip this part with very little difference to the potatoes, but the zucchini might become mushy and watery.

The potatoes help thicken the sauce

Braised beef with zucchini recipe

  • 1 kg grass fed beef, in portions
  • 4 tbsp olive oil or ghee/clarified butter
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 500 ml homemade stock, hot
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 gr. tomatoes, grated
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled, in thick chunks
  • 8 medium zucchini, in thick chinks (if large cut in half first)
  • Optional: chopped mint and parsley to serve

Heat a heavy bottomed pan on high heat. Pat down and dry the meat with kitchen paper and season. Add 1 tbsp of the oil to the pan, then brown the meat in batches on all sides. Set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions. Sauté the onion until translucent then add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 30″, then add the meat and juices to the pan. Add enough hot stock to almost cover the meat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and gently cook for 1 hour. Add the grated tomatoes, bring to the boil, then continue to simmer leaving the lid ajar, only partially covering the pan.

In a large frying pan, add the rest of the oil and gently fry the potatoes until they change color a bit. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the pan. Season well and stir through. Add the zucchini carefully to the hot frying pan and gently fry in batches until they get a little color. Remove with a slotted spoon. Once the meat is done and the sauce thick, add the zucchini on top and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the zucchini is cooked through. Taste and season if needed. Serve with feta or kalamata olives and the chopped herbs

Though soft the zucchini keeps its shape, while the meat is soft enough to cut with a fork
Pea soup

Pea soup

This pea soup is fast, delicious, nutritious and is made with minimal effort and prep. We all have days when we just don’t feel like cooking, but still want something healthy, tasty and good value with household staples. I’ve used frozen fine peas here. If…

No-knead turmeric bread with sunflower seeds

No-knead turmeric bread with sunflower seeds

Now that you’ve learnt how to make your own no-knead bread and may even have tried the olive bread with herbs, it might be time to change it up a little with this dutch oven variation for turmeric bread with seeds, a bright yellow crumb…

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, one pan dinner, that is so delicious in its simplicity.

Traditional cuisines have many such little diamonds of recipes to offer, great for both their flavor and their nutritional value through wise combinations. I really feel it is important to bringing them to life in our homes for them to continue to offer comfort and nourishment. As they are not all suitable for commercial kitchen, the only way is to continue handing them down from mouth to mouth or through everyday meals. Traditional recipes might seem simple but that’s only because they have been reproduced and adjusted through generations in times of need and times of plenty, with respect to the ingredients, human labor and nature’s seasonality.

Even though the name Kapuska is Russian for cabbage, the dish is widely enjoyed around the Greek and Turkish parts of Thrace. The Turkish name for the dish, when prepared with meat is Etli Kapuska. It is delicious without it though too and makes for a great vegetarian main or even a side.

If you’re worried if the kids will eat it, ask them to help you out when you’re preparing it. If they’re still wary of new tastes, serve the Kapuska along something they already like. That way they can try as much as they want, without you feeling like you need to pressure them into clearing their plate, or them worrying about displeasing you.

 Recipe

  • 1 medium head of cabbage
  • 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
  • 500 gr. yearling lamb, minced
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tpsp red pepper paste
  • 500 ml homemade stock
  • 500 ml water, hot
  • salt and pepper 

Heat a large, deep skillet. Heat the butter to heat and brown the meat along with the onions. Add the red pepper paste and stir through. Pour in the stock and season. Allow to simmer for 7-8′. Quarter and cote the cabbage, removing any really thick stems. Roughly chop and add to the pan along with the hot water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the cabbage is soft and the liquids reduced. Serve as soon as the liquids have boiled down to a light sauce.

 You can serve it with sumak or hot red pepper and yogurt or sour cream.

  For the vegetarian option simply omit the minced meat and use vegetable stock. For the Lenten option also omit the above and use olive oil instead of butter.

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,…

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 and clear instructions were an inspiration to me. I really felt that following him could make me a very good cook. The most important thing though is his dedication to quality: free range animal products, traditional recipes and balanced dietary choices.

As I was preparing the eggs, I remembered the Turkish eggs I wanted to try and kept putting it off. Mostly, because it involved 2-3 pots as well as poaching eggs, which is not, exactly my strong point. So I thought I’d use the basic principles of Jamie Oliver’s recipe and apply them to Turkish eggs. The experiment worked, it was delicious. In this version the whole process does not take more than 10 ‘-12 ‘ including preparation. This means that you can have them for breakfast even on a weekday, or for a quick meal on a busy day.

Take a look at both recipes and see which one you prefer.

Jamie Olivier’s Mexican Style Baked Eggs

You will find the original here. I’ve made absolutely no changes, because the man is a genius.

Baked Turkish Eggs

  • 250 ml Greek yogurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 large eggs, free range
  • 2 tbsps clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • A pinch of chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to hottest setting. Stir the garlic and a little salt into the yogurt. Lightly grease a small ovenproof dish with butter and spread the yogurt. Make two dents that will hold the eggs. Break break an egg into each dent carefully. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny.

Meanwhile, melt the butter, add the paprika and chili flakes and stir well until incorporated. Take the eggs out of the oven and pour the butter over them. Season with salt and pepper and serve with sourdough bread.

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…