This minestrone is a more wintery version of the popular soup with pumpkin and mushrooms However, I suspect minestrone soup can have as many variations as the combinations of vegetables and meats that can be found in a refrigerator. It’s a soup that reminds me …
I have been meeting the most wonderful people from all over the world at the Onion Athens‘ cooking workshops over the past few months. I adore sharing traditional Greek recipes just as much as learning participants favorites too. Just last week Garry and Cindy mentioned …
It’s a great blessing to have friends who share your interests, especially when they’re willing to share their own experience. Calliope comes from small Stomio Larissas in central Greece and is fortunate to receive regular reinforcements in the form of food parcels from her village. As the closest that I have to a home village is in Ireland, the whole process seems magical to me.
The parcel put exotic ingredients to shame. When it arrives, we have nettle risotto, all kinds of pies and the amazing Kaniokes. You see, Calliope, always generous, has moved beyond prepared dishes, and is now sharing with me raw ingredients to play with. A little like preschoolers share their playdoh. A little package with a quick tip “they’re like crayfish with almost no meat, don’t bother saving it. they just make a delicious pasta sauce.”
The biggest hurdle being of course that we have no idea what they’re called. The come by disparaging nicknames like: crazy shrimp or sand crayfish. Until I found this article by Kali Doxiades that revealed the secret: Kaniokes in Greek or canniocchia, squill or Squilla_mantis
I decided to make giouvetsi, an orzo pasta meatless casserole with their broth to accompany our fish. Next time they’ll become bisque. It is impossible to describe the taste of this dish. Every juicy bite was so full and delicious.
For the broth
- 2 tbsps Olive oil
- 800 gr. Kaniokes
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 250 ml wine
- 1 tbsp parsley stalks, finely chopped
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 200 gr. tomato, grated
- 1 liter of hot water
For the Giouvetsi
- 500 gr. Orzo pasta
- 2 tbsps Olive oil
- 300 gr. tomato, grated
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 4 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
For the broth, heat a large wide saucepan over a high heat and sauté the kaniokes with oil until they turn red, about 3′-5 ‘. Add the onion, carrots and garlic and sauté for another 5’. Add the wine and allow to evaporate. Add the parsley stalks, the bay leaf, the tomato and the hot water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, press down on the shellfish with the potato masher to break the shells and impart more flavor to the broth. Strain by pressing well so as not to waste a drop.
For the giouvetsi, sauté the garlic in the olive oil, for 20″ and add the tomato, salt and pepper and the strained broth. Bring to the boil then allow to simmer about 15 ‘ uncovered, while boiling the orzo in salted water for half its cooking time and strain well. Add the orzo to the sauce, stir well and simmer for the remaining cooking time. Let it stand covered for a few minutes Serve with parsley and some olive oil.
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, …
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 yearling goat is almost legendary amongst gourmands who will travel to charming villages where it is still prepared in tiny local tavernas. Its flavor is incredible, as is its nutritional value. It needs careful handling in cooking, a little more patience, that is to say. It is also necessary to source a trustworthy producer who breeds grassfed pastured animals and offers them at all ages. The obsession with suckling meat is costing our pocket, the planet and the variety and enjoyment of our meals.
Many years ago, we found ourselves in Agios Georgios Nileas, a beautiful small village of Pelion. n the menu of the local taverna, I saw the name “Tragopoulo-young goat” for the first time. As genuine Athenians we asked what this is. I won’t forget how much trouble our polite waiter had to explain the term to us without telling us stupid. “Erm, so… It’s like a goat? only small” using hand gestures with the explanation to get through to us. It was a delicious dish and the quote remained as a private joke in out family.
We were introduced to “Provatina” (ewe’s meat) with pasta by my father, who used to take us to various tavernas around outer Attica for this special meze. We got well acquainted with the rest such as yearling lamb or goat e when due to some allergies we had to seriously review the quality and variety of our diet and the origin and production methods of the ingredients.
This recipe is adapted from that of Mr. Petretzis for beef stew here. It’s amazing.
- 2 tablespoons of clarified butter
- 3 large onions, sliced
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 1 kilo of yearling goat, in portions
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 150 ml red wine or 70 ml balsamic vinegar
- 500 gr. grated tomato
- 2 tbsps honey
- 1 liter of bone broth hot
- Salt and pepper
- 400 gr. orzo pasta
- 2 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
- Kefalotiri or feta cheese, for serving
- Parsley, finely chopped, for serving
- Grated lemon zest, for serving
Dry the meat with a paper towel. Heat a flameproof casserole on high heat, add the butter and brown the meat well, in batches if necessary. Set the meat aside while covered. Add the onions and leeks to the casserole and stir, about 5 minutes until they soften and color. Add the meat back with the cinnamon, laurel, cumin and tomato paste. Stir well for 1-2 minutes and add wine. When it has evaporated, add the tomato, the honey and 250 ml of the hot broth. Cover and let it simmer for 1 1/2 hour to 2 hours on a very low heat.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. When the meat is ready, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Add the orzo, 750 ml hot broth and the lemon thyme and stir. Cover the pot and bake in the oven for 20′ to 30′. Uncover and bake for a further 15 minutes.
When it’s ready, you leave to stand for 10 minutes. Serve with small bowls of kefalotiri, feta cheese and parsley with lemon zest to add to the plate.