Potatoes with Saffron

Potatoes with Saffron

This aromatic potato dish is and excellent  side dish for meats and chicken, but could also be a complete meal on its own along with a good piece of cheese or salad.

Ingredients:

1 kg small potatoes
20 – 25 stigmata saffron soaked
1 glass of white wine Muscat
1 tsp spice grain
some olive oil
nigella seeds for sprinkling
salt

Procedure:

1.  Warm some oil in a deep frying pan or a shallow pot. Cut the potatoes in halh if they are big.

2.  Throw in the potatoes and let them fry. They should all be one layered in the pan.

3.  Cover the frying pan with the lid and lower the temperature so they could become tender inside.

4.  When the potatoes are tender, add the salt, the spice, the wine and the saffron, remove the lid and stir often.

5.  When the wine has evaporated place the potatoes on a platter and sprinkle with the nigella seeds.

Moroccan Potato Casserole

Moroccan Potato Casserole

Herbs and spices can dress an ingredient in the most beautiful attire, making it more attractive, giving it more depth, bringing out its properties. This Moroccan potato casserole works as a perfect example of this; while being a favorite staple ingredient potate doesn’t carry any very defining characterstic.

Ingredients:

6 cloves garlic
salt to taste
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2  bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 buch parsley
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb red potatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
4 stalks celery
1 pound tomatoes,
2 tbsp olive oil

Procedure:

  • Chop the peppers into 1 1/2 inch squares and the celery stalk into 2 inch pieces.
  • Cut the potatoes 1/2 inch thick
  • Cut the tomatoes each into 8 wedges
  • Finely chop the herbs

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)

1. Combine garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, paprika, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor bowl. Process until mixture forms a paste.

2. Add herbs, and pulse a few times to blend. Add lemon juice, vinegar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil; blend. Season to taste with salt.

3. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, peppers, and celery. Season with salt and toss with herb sauce.

4. Transfer to a large shallow baking dish. Scatter tomatoes among the potato mixture. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons oil over top, and cover with foil.

5. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil. Continue baking until vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Falafel

Falafel

Aglaia Kremezi cooks for Sweet Beirut  mouth-watering Falafel. You can find more of her Lebanese and Mediterranean recipes, in her book “ MEDITERRANEAN HOT & SPICY”.

Several authentic ingredients in these recipes are available at SWEET BEIRUT.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves
2 or 3 jalapeno chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup dried chickpeas, preferably peeled, soaked overnight
1/3 cup dried red lentils or yellow split peas, soaked for 3 hours
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fine bulgur soaked for 10 minutes and drained
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 or 3 scallions, including most of the green, coarsely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 ½ teaspoons Falafel Spices
Olive Oil for deep-frying

Procedure:

Put the onion, garlic, chilies, chickpeas, lentils and bulgur in a food processor and pulse to make a paste. Add the baking powder, scallions, fresh coriander, parsley, cornstarch, falafel spices and pulse to chop and incorporate all ingredients. (You can make falafel mixture coarse or fine according to your taste. Wet hands and shape tablespoons of the mixture into balls, then flatten them.

Heat 5cm of olive oil in a deep skillet or small saucepan to 180⁰C and deep-fry a few falafel at a time, so that the temperature of the oil will not drop and make the patties soggy. Remove with a slotted spoon after the falafel turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Tips

The falafel mixture can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days, but omit the fresh coriander and add it only when you are ready to cook, because it discolors quickly.

Potatoes with Saffron

Potatoes with Saffron

This aromatic potato dish is and excellent  side dish for meats and chicken, but could also be a complete meal on its own along with a good piece of cheese or salad.

Ingredients:

1 kg small potatoes
20 – 25 stigmata saffron soaked
1 glass of white wine Muscat
1 tsp spice grain
some olive oil
nigella seeds for sprinkling
salt

Procedure:

1.  Warm some oil in a deep frying pan or a shallow pot. Cut the potatoes in halh if they are big.

2.  Throw in the potatoes and let them fry. They should all be one layered in the pan.

3.  Cover the frying pan with the lid and lower the temperature so they could become tender inside.

4.  When the potatoes are tender, add the salt, the spice, the wine and the saffron, remove the lid and stir often.

5.  When the wine has evaporated place the potatoes on a platter and sprinkle with the nigella seeds.

Roast vegetable tart

Roast vegetable tart

This is a wonderful stand-alone starter or main course and also makes a good accompaniment to a plain roast.
Apple tarte tatin is a classic dessert but this sweet savoury take on the original is just as enjoyable.
It can be made in a suitably sized ovenproof frying pan or in individual pans if you prefer. Vary the vegetables according to your taste and what’s in season.

Ingredients:

2 Belgian endives, trimmed

1 carrot, peeled

1 small parsnip, peeled

1 medium turnip, peeled

1 large onion, peeled

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 red chilli, sliced

leaves from 1 sprig of thyme

200g all-butter puff pastry

salt

black pepper

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7.
Cut the vegetables into 3–4cm pieces and spread them on a baking sheet.
Season and drizzle them with olive oil, then roast in the hot oven for 8–10 minutes.
The vegetables should be partly cooked and have a little colour. Leave the oven on.

Melt the butter in an ovenproof pan, then sprinkle on the sugar. Put the cooked vegetables, sliced chilli (deseeded if you like) and thyme leaves on top, making sure to pack the vegetables tightly.

Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick and place it over the vegetables, taking care to tuck it under them around the edges.
Make a few holes in the pastry with the point of a knife, then bake the tart in the oven – still at 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7 – for 20 minutes.
Leave the tart to cool a little before turning out and serving.

Tips

So simple, yet so delicate this recipe will send you straight to heaven

Yogurt Pie with Vine Leaves – Yaourtopita tis Dramas

Yogurt Pie with Vine Leaves – Yaourtopita tis Dramas

A savory yogurt custard wrapped in vine leaves. This unusual recipe was related by women working on a vineyard in Drama, in Greek Macedonia.

Ingredients:

1 pound thick Greek sheeps milk yogurt
2/3 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup finely chopped scallions
2/3 cup chopped fresh dill
2/3 cup chopped fresh mint
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
Sea salt
25-30 vine leaves, fresh or frozen
cup olive oil

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the yogurt with the cornmeal. Add the scallions, herbs, pepper, and salt, and stir well.

 

Oil an oval 12 x 9-inch glass or clay overproof dish and line the bottom and sides with half the leaves. Brush with oil and pour in the yorgurt mixture. Top with the rest of the leaves and brush with the remaining oil. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes, or until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Let the pie cool for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting to serve.  It can also be eaten at room temperature the next day.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon

Try this Boeuf Bourguignon recipe from Michel Roux and let the French Cuisine amaze you one more time!

Ingredients:

1 bottle of red Burgundy wine

700g braising beef (chuck is good but cheek is best)

plain flour, for dusting

vegetable oil

1 onion, peeled and sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

60ml brandy

1 bouquet garni, made up of thyme, bay leaf and parsley stalks

400ml beef or veal stock (see below)

2 tbsp cold unsalted butter

salt

black pepper

Garnish

3 tbsp unsalted butter

12 brown-skinned cocktail or button onions (or small shallots), peeled

12 young carrots, peeled

120g smoked streaky bacon rashers or ventrèche, cut into thin strips

12 button mushrooms, wiped

juice of ½ lemon

Procedure:

Pour the wine into a saucepan and boil until reduced by half. Trim the beef and cut it into 3cm cubes, then dust with flour. Heat a frying pan until very hot, add a dash of oil and brown the beef well on all sides. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Fan 140°C/Gas 3.

Once all the beef has been browned and set aside, discard the oil and add a tablespoon of clean oil, the sliced onion and crushed garlic. Cook until the onion is brown and caramelised, then put the meat back in the pan. Add the brandy, followed by the reduced wine, and simmer for 2–3 minutes.

Pour everything into a cast-iron casserole dish, then season and add the bouquet garni and stock. Bring to a simmer, skim well to remove any surface scum and cover loosely with a lid or greaseproof paper. Place in the oven and cook until the meat is tender – this should take 1½–2 hours, depending on the cut. Leave to cool, then take the meat out of the dish and set aside. Skim to remove any fat, then pass the liquid through a sieve into a pan. Boil until it thickens to a sauce, then add the meat. Cover and chill until needed.

To prepare the garnish, melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and add the onions, seasoning, 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the beef and 4 tablespoons of water. Braise the onions until they are shiny and cooked through. Put the carrots in a pan with just enough water to cover and most of the rest of the butter. Season and bring to a gentle boil, then cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are tender and shiny with butter. Brown the strips of bacon in a frying pan. Sweat the mushrooms in a little butter until cooked but still firm and add seasoning and lemon juice.

To serve, gently reheat the boeuf bourguignon on the hob while you prepare the garnish. Add a couple of knobs of cold butter to enrich and shine the sauce, then garnish with the onions, carrots, bacon and mushrooms.

Tips

Take the dish to the table with the pot for everyone to admire, then serve in wide bowls.

Chios Mastiha Cream

Chios Mastiha Cream

Ingredients:

• 3 egg yolks
• 100 gr. Sugar
• 4 oz. Chios Mastiha liqueur
• 2 gelatin sheets, 7 gr. each soaked in water to soften
• 420 gr. cream cheese
• 2 Tbsp. strained yogurt
• 8 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
• 300 ml heavy cream, whipped stiff
• Fresh strawberries for garnish
• 4-6 Tbsp. strawberry sauce or coulis, for garnish
• 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Procedure:

1. Beat the egg yolks, sugar and Chios Mastiha liqueur in a double boiler until the mixture is creamy and pale.
2. Melt the gelatin in a little water over low heat in a small sauce pan and beat it into the egg mixture. Add the cream cheese, yogurt and mint leaves.
3. Whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold it gently into the mixture. Pour into individual moulds and chill for at least four hours before serving. To serve, turn onto a plate and decorate with a few strawberries, strawberry sauce and balsamic vinegar.

Bourdeto

Bourdeto

Bourdeto is the most famous fish dish of Corfu. It is made with different sorts of fish (scorpion fish is said to be the best) cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, with or without potatoes.

Ingredients:

5 scorpion fish, cleaned
4 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp.  of tomato paste
2 tbsp.  of hot red pepper
150 ml olive oil
100 ml water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp of sea salt

Procedure:

Heat the olive oil in a pot and add onion, red pepper, and salt. Sauté until the onion starts to soften. Dissolve the tomato paste in a little water and add to the pot. Continue cooking until the onion becomes soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the water and when it comes to a boil, add the whole fish, larger at the middle and the smaller at the sides. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice, remove from the heat, and serve.

Baked French Potatoes and Rocket

Baked French Potatoes and Rocket

This baked potato side dish is interesting because it is a mix of fresh and baked ingredients. Like a salad it is served cold or a room temperature, and great accompany to grilled fish. Α glorious journey for your palate.

Ingredients:

1 kg potatoes
5 carrots, cut in two or three pieces
1 garlic head
¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon juice
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 bunch rocket
200 gr goat cheese of your choice
sea salt & black pepper to taste

Procedure:

  • Cut the carrots into two or three pieces each.
  • Wash the potatoes and sterilize them by immersing in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cut them in half.
  • Put the garlic in cold water for a minute and separate the cloves, without peeling them.
  • Place the potatoes unpeeled and cut in half into the crockpot and wet them with olive oil
  • Intersperse the carrots between the potatoes and add the unpeeled garlic cloves.
  • Add the rosemary leaves and the caraway seeds, salt pepper and one lemon juice. Mix the vegetables, making sure the spices are distributed well.
  • Cover the crockpot and bake for 45 minutes
  • When cooked, allow to cool in the fridge. Once cool but not necessarily cold, add the rocket  and goat’s cheese. Mix well.
  • Serve room temperature.

 

Tips

Buy the potatoes and the carrots in season and organically grown, as the quality of the side dish will be many times better!