Tag: GF

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…

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,…

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…