Greek recipes

Greek yogurt

Rich, timeless and very nutritional

Made of fresh milk curdled and then fermented by means of bacteria, yoghurt has always been one of the finest products of the Greek farming tradition since the ancient times. Thick, creamy and super tasty, the Greek yoghurt is made of pure sheep’s milk in small dairy units. In larger ones, they usually make yoghurt with fresh cow’s milk, be it skimmed or semi-skimmed. They also add ingredients favouring health and growth for kids, or make it with strained cow’s milk (with the fat included ranging from 0%-10%) and milk cream, or even pair it with fruits and cereals as a desert to boost its nutritional capacity.

Over the past few years the Greek strained yoghurt has conquered the world, marking a startling increase in sales in Europe and North America. The Wall Street Journal recently referred to this increase as nothing less but a “craze”!

In the best of health

Indispensable in the daily diet of kids and grownups alike, the Greek yoghurt is an easily digestible food with a very high nutritional value. Rich in calcium, phosphorus, complex B vitamins and proteins, the Greek yoghurt is a valuable ally of the kids in building up a strong body with a reinforced immune system, while it helps everybody’s bowel and overall health.

Wonderful anyway

The Greek cuisine and the Greek yoghurt have been flirting for centuries. They have met in rice dishes and in spicy tidbits. They have made love on grilled and fried vegetablesmeatballs and grilled meat. They have lain amorously as dressing on salads, chicken or beef dishes, as well as béchamel sauce. They have seasoned salty pies, while their offspring, made with garlic and cucumber, is famous worldwide as tzatziki.

In some areas of Greece, yoghurt is served for fresh summer soups. Sweet and tender as it is, it has seducedhoneyspoon sweets, fresh and dry fruits with its divine taste and special texture.

Easy to make

Making your own yoghurt is… a piece of cake! No preservatives and stabilizing substances needed, which means it will be fresh, tasteful and healthy anytime.

Take:

-1lt of milk

-1 rich spoonful of readymade yoghurt

And follow these 5 steps:

1. Heat the milk until it swells. Stir to prevent it from sticking at the bottom.
2. Take it off heat and leave it to reach 45°C.
3. Thin out the ready-made yoghurt in cold milk and then add it to the pot with the heated milk. Stir with a wooden ladle while doing so. Pour the final blend into a clay pot.
4. Cover the clay pot to help it keep its temperature and leave it there for 3-4 hours without moving it.
5. Once cold, keep it refrigerated and consume it within 10 days.

 

Traditional Greek Easter brioche/ Πασχαλινό τσουρέκι

This week before Easter (27/4 this year) in Greece is the strictest in terms offasting. In the middle of all this, making fragrant butter-laden brioche and biscuits is very difficult. If you like brioche you should definitely try the Greek version. It is lighter in taste and if you can find the two traditional spices, mahleb and mastic, it is also very fragrant, if you can’t find them however, substitute with orange zest and cardamom.

Το ξέρω πως κάποιοι από σας νηστεύουν και η εικόνα ενός μοσχομυριστού τσουρεκιού είναι λίγο βασανιστική. Αλλά αν δεν φτιάξετε τώρα τσουρέκια, πότε θα τα φτιάξετε; Πάντως αξίζει τον κόπο και την προσπάθεια. Ειδικά με το μίξερ είναι τόσο εύκολο που θα το ξανακάνετε. Συν του ότι η γεύση τους είναι τόσο ανώτερη από τα έτοιμα που δεν θα χρειαστείτε άλλο επιχείρημα!



Traditional Greek Easter brioche

INGREDIENTS for two large brioche loaves

  • 1 kg strong flour (or extra strong if you can find it)
  • 200ml fresh full-fat milk
  • 250gr sugar
  • 125gr butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 sachet dry yeast
  • 2 tsp mahleb, powdered (or cardamom)
  • 1 tsp mastic, powdered (or 1 zest of 1 orange)
  • almond slivers for decoration
  • milk and 1 egg yolk for the shine

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the milk, sugar and butter in a small saucepan until all butter has melted. Don’t let it boil, because high heat kills the yeast culture.The temperature should be close to body temperature.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, yeast and spices. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and yolks together with the milk mixture.
  3. Mix all ingredients well to moisten the flour and transfer dough to the mixer bowl. Using the dough hook knead well for 10 minutes. If you decide to knead by hand try to follow the basic rule of spreading and folding the dough. While you are doing that all the gluten in the dough will develop and you will get better texture and a more elastic dough. The dough will be sticky, so use some flour to prevent it from sticking onto your working surface.
  4. Form a ball with the dough and cover the bowl with plastic wrap (slightly oiled so that the dough will not stick on it). Let the dough rise for 1.5-2 hours. You can leave it in the fridge overnight if you want to rise slowly.
  5. Divide the dough into two and the each one into 3 pieces. Roll out each of the six small dough pieces and make two plaid-like loaves. Cover with a towel and let them rise again.
  6. In the meantime pre-heat the oven to 180 oC.
  7. If you want them to have a nice sheen on our brioches brush them with an egg yolk mixed with some milk and brush them well.
  8. Sprinkle with the almond slivers and bake for at least 45 minutes or until nice and golden.
  9. Enjoy fresh with loads of jam and butter!

Πασχαλινό τσουρέκι

ΥΛΙΚΑ για δύο τσουρέκια

  • 1 κιλό αλεύρι σκληρό (ή extra δυνατό αν βρείτε, που έχει επιπλέον γλουτένη και βοηθάει στην “λαστιχωτή” υφή)
  • 500μλ γάλα φρέσκο ολόπαχο
  • 250γρ ζάχαρη
  • 125γρ βούτυρο
  • 2 κρόκοι αβγού
  • 1 αβγό ολόκληρο
  • 1 φακ. μαγιά σκόνη
  • 2 κουτ. γλυκού μαχλέπι, κοπανισμένο σε σκόνη
  • 1 κουτ. γλυκού μαστίχα, κοπανισμένη με λίγη ζάχαρη σε σκόνη
  • φιλέ αμυγδάλου για τη διακόσμηση
  • γάλα ή άλλος ένα κρόκος για το “γυάλισμα”

ΕΚΤΕΛΕΣΗ

  1. Βάλτε το γάλα, τη ζάχαρη και το βούτυρο σε ένα κατσαρολάκι και αφήστε τα ζεσταθούν σε μέτρια φωτιά μέχρι να λιώσει το βούτυρο. Προσέξτε μην βράσουν, γιατί η υψηλή θερμοκρασία θα σκοτώσει τη μαγιά. Πρέπει το μίγμα να είναι χλιαρό, κοντά στη θερμοκρασία σώματος.
  2. Ανακατέψτε σε ένα μεγάλο μπολ το αλεύρι με τη μαγιά, το αλάτι και τα μυρωδικά και ρίχτε μέσα το γάλα και τους κρόκους με το αβγό χτυπημένα.
  3. Πλάστε λίγο με το χέρι να υγρανθεί όλο το αλεύρι και μετά βάλτε το μίγμα στο μίξερ. Με το εξάρτημα γάντζου ζυμώστε για περίπου 10 λεπτά. Διαφορετικά ζυμώστε καλά με το χέρι πάνω σε καλά αλευρωμένη επιφάνεια, απλώνοντας και μαζεύοντας τη ζύμη συνεχώς. Όσο το ζυμώνετε θα νιώσετε τη ζύμη να μαλακώνει καθώς αναπτύσσεται η γλουτένη. Η ζύμη κολλάει λίγο στα χέρια οπότε έχετε το αλεύρι κοντά σας.
  4. Μαζέψτε τη ζύμη σε μπάλα, σκεπάστε το μπολ με πλαστική μεμβράνη (λαδωμένη από μέσα για να μην κολλήσει στο ζυμάρι όταν αυτό σηκωθεί) και αφήστε το στην άκρη. Η ζύμη θα διπλασιαστεί σε μέγεθος σε περίπου 1.5-2 ώρες. Μπορείτε να την βάλετε και αποβραδίς στο ψυγείο να ανέβει σιγά σιγά.
  5. Χωρίστε τη ζύμη στα 2 και μετά το καθένα στα 3. Πλάστε το κάθε κομμάτι να γίνει ένα μακρόστενο “κορδόνι” και πλέξετε τα ανά τρία σε δύο μεγάλες φρατζόλες-πλεξούδες. Αφήστε τα τσουρέκια να “ξεκουραστούν” για μισή ώρα (σκεπασμένα) και προθερμάνετε το φούρνο στους 180 oC.
  6. Για να γυαλίσουν από πάνω και να ομορφύνουν αλείψτε με ένα μίγμα από γάλα και 1 κρόκο αβγού. Μπορείτε αν θέλετε να τα διακοσμήσετε και με φιλέ αμυγδάλου.
  7. Ψήστε μέχρι να ροδίσουν (τουλάχιστον 45 λεπτά) και απολαύστε τα!

Magiritsa (Mayiritsa)

the soup of Easter

Materials

1 lamb pluck
lamb casings (enterakia) (optional)
2 bunches green onions
1 to 2 lettuce
½ bunch dill
½ cup. rice for soups
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
juice of 1 or 2 lemons
Salt and pepper


Outturn

Chop the onions, dill and lettuce. Blanche the pluck and lamb casings (after wash thoroughly inside and out) for 5 to 10 minutes. Chop all of them. Heat olive oil in a skillet and roasted the pluck and enterakia. Add 4 to 5 cups hot water and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add vegetables and rice, salt and pepper and simmer until cooked rice. Remove from heat. Beat the egg, slowly add the lemon juice and then little by little gravy from the food. When the lemon sauce is hot enough  throw it in the pot and stir. Serve hot.

Taramas (Fish roe salad)

snak for ouzo

Ingredients

1/2 jar (4oz.) Tarama or Mullet Roe 1/4 cup water
1/2 loaf stale white bread juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. very fine minced onion (optional) 1/2 cup olive oil

Soak the stale bread thoroughly and squeeze out the excess water. Pick out the white pieces to make about 11/2 to 2 cups and discard the crust.

Put the Tarama in a bowl and crush the little eggs with the back of a spoon. Slowly mix in the water and add the pieces of bread while continuously crushing and mixing. Alternately add small amounts of oil and lemon, mixing until it has all been incorporated and stir in the onion. The Taramosalata should be smooth and salmon pink in color.

Susie’s Note: You can use your mixer for this instead of using a spoon. Some people also prefer to use fresh boiled potatoes that have been mashed instead of the bread. Try it both ways and see what you like.

by Maria Missokalou – Vlachou Maria

Saffron-Spiced Chicken with Brandy and Cloves

Ingredients

For 4 servings

  • 1/2 cup Greek extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds (1 1/2 kilos), cut into serving portions
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound (400 gr.) fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. of saffron powder

Preparation

1. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide pot over high heat and sear the chicken to brown.

2. Reduce heat to medium, add the onions, and cook all together until the onions soften.

3. Add the garlic and stir for one minute.

4. Pour in one cup of water, cover the pot, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, basil, cloves and butter, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

6. Add the brandy and the saffron, cover the pot, and simmer another 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is tender.

7. Serve and enjoy!

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One Response to Greek recipes

  1. tan Ann jee says:

    Yes! Finally someone writes about green energy options.

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