Taditional Greek Kitchen

Kolokithokeftedes

Ingredients - 1 kilo courgettes (zucchini). 1/2 kilo potatoes. 1 kilo onions. 3 medium eggs. 1 cup grated cheese. 1 teaspoon salt. Flour for coating balls. Oil for frying.

Instructions - Boil then strain the potatoes, courgettes and onions. Squeeze excess water through a muslin cloth for better results (you can squeeze out the water using your hands). Combine with slightly beaten eggs, cheese and salt. Shape into balls, coat with flour and fry on both sides until golden brown. Place on kitchen paper to absorb oil. Serve as a starter.

 

Gemista

Ingredients – 6 ripe tomatoes. 6 peppers. a half kilo of minced meat. Tomato juice or tomato puree and water. 2 teacups rice. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. 2 chopped onions. 1 teaspoon chopped mint. One and a half teacups olive oil. Salt and pepper

Instructions – First wash the tomatoes and peppers. Then cut a thin round slice off the top of the tomatoes with a sharp knife and keep them aside. Scoop most of the tomato pulp out, with a teaspoon, and shred it finely. Cut the tops off the peppers and keep them aside. Then prepare the stuffing with the following way: Heat the oil in a cooking pan and saute the onions in it, until they look brown. Add the minced meat and let it saute for 10 minutes, stirring with a spoon all the time. Add the tomato pulp, the parsley, salt, pepper, the mint and some water and let them simmer for approximately one hour. Then wash and strain the rice. Add the rice to the stuffing mixture continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Fill the tomatoes and peppers, which you have arranged in a Pyrex dish or baking pan, with the prepared stuffing. Replace the previously saved tops of the tomatoes and peppers. Pour some tomato juice into the pan/dish and fill the gaps between the stuffed tomatoes and peppers with slices of potato. Bake it in a medium oven for approximately 40-45 minutes. (Note: when you fill the tomatoes, be careful not to overfill them.)

melitzanes papoutsakia

Ingredients - 2 medium onions, finely chopped. 1 egg, slightly beaten. Half kg minced meat. Half cup grated hard cheese. Quarter cup butter. 2 tspns dry breadcrumbs. 2 medium tomatoes, chopped. 1 kg aubergines. 2 tspns salt. 1 cup bechamel sauce. Half tspn pepper. 1 egg, beaten. Chopped parsley. One and a half cups tomato sauce.

Instructions – Brown onions and meat lightly in butter, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook covered for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add parsley, egg, quarter cup cheese and bread crumbs. On the ‘top’ of each aubergine, peel an inch strip from one end to the other and make an incision along this strip to within an inch of each end. Place in baking dish and bake in moderate oven until soft and light brown (about 30-45 minutes). Insert knife blade into incision and stuff with meat mixture. Prepare bechamel sauce. Pour about a tablespoon on top of each aubergine. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese and dot with butter. If desired, add tomato sauce to the pan. Bake in a moderate oven for about 35 minutes.

 

Soutzoukakia

For the meatballs (soutzoukakia)

  • 800g ground beef (28 ounces)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 5 slices of stale bread soaked in red wine and squeezed dry or 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

For the tomato sauce

  • 3 cups tomato juice (passata)
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons green olives, pitted (optional)

 

Rabbit stifado

  • 1 whole rabbit, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 15-16 whole small onions
  • 6 whole cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • flour for dredging
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. of tomato paste
  • + 1 cup of water to dillute it in
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • lots of cracked black pepper

Pre-heated 350F oven

  1. After cutting up your rabbit into pieces, rinse and pat dry and lightly dredge in seasoned flour. In a large, oven safe Dutch oven, add a few turns of olive oil over medium-high heat and brown-off the pieces of rabbit in batches and reserve in a plate.
  2. Turn down the heat and add your wine and deglaze and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pot. Add your rabbit back in the pot, followed by the onions, garlic, dilluted tomato paste, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cracked black pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil and cover and season with salt and pepper. Place in your pre-heated oven (middle rack) and braise for about 90 minutes. Carefully take the stew out of the oven and taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove the lid and place back in the oven for another 30 minutes. This step will cook-off the remaining liquid, thicken and brighten your sauce to a warm, red colour.
  5. Serve each plate with a heap of onions, couple of pieces of rabbit and a spoonful of sauce. Grind some fresh black pepper over top and serve with some good, home made bread and a dry, Greek red wine.

Lamb Kleftiko

Ingredients – 1kg boneless lamb, cut into cubes. 1/4 cup olive oil. 2 large onions, peeled and coarsely chopped. 4-6 spring onions, trimmed and cut into thin rounds. 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced. 1 and 1/2 cups fresh peas (or frozen and thawed). 250 grams kefalotiri cheese (or any hard white cheese), cubed. 2 medium tomatoes, cored and sliced. 2 teaspoons oregano. Salt and pepper.

Instructions – Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and brown the meat on all sides over high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and saute the onions, spring onions and garlic until soft. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut 6 large sheets of aluminum foil or parchment paper. Distribute the lamb, vegetables and cheese cubes evenly among them. Season with salt and pepper. Top each with 2 slices of tomatoes and a little oregano. Seal each “parcel” either by folding it at the top to close thoroughly, or by tying it with a cotton butcher’s cord. Place the parcels in a roasting pan and bake at 350F for about an hour. Serve immediately.

Gigandes

Ingredients – 1 pound of yigandes (or big lima beans), soaked for 12 hours, drained. 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced. 2 medium onions, finely chopped. Half a cup of olive oil. 1 pound of ripe tomatoes, peeled, finely chopped (or 16oz. of tinned chopped plum tomatoes). 2 small beef stock cubes. Salt and freshly ground pepper. 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped. 2 cups of water (one and a half cups if using tinned tomatoes).

Instructions – Put the beans in a pot with enough cold water to cover well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer until just soft throughout but not quite cooked, approximately 50-80 minutes, depending on the beans. Drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil with a wooden spoon until soft. Add tomatoes (if using canned, add all liquid as well), boullion cubes, salt, pepper, parsley, and water, and allow to boil gently for 10-30 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Place the beans in an flat oven-proof dish, pour tomato mixture on top, stir and spread mixture out evenly. Bake for one and a half to two hours, or until the beans are soft. (Check the dish during cooking and if needed, add a small amount of boiling water.) The dish should look crispy on top. Remove from the oven, cover, and allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pork meat with peppers

Ingredients – 2 tbs olive oil. 1kg shoulder of pork cut into 2.5cm cubes. 1 onion, chopped. 2 peppers any colour, sliced. 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped. 1/2 cup red wine. 1/2 cup of water. 1/2 tsp salt. 1/2 tsp black pepper. 1/2 tsp ground cumin. 1 tsp of oregano.

Instructions – In a sauté pan on a medium heat add the olive oil and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the pork and cook for 20 minutes. Stir it occasionally until it begins to brown. Add the wine. Simmer for another 20 minutes. Add half a cup cup of water and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the salt, peppers and chilli, and cook for 10 more minutes. If you feel it is getting too dry add a little water. Add the black pepper, cumin and oregano. Stir in to the pork mixture and cook for a final 3-4 minutes.

Pastitsio

Pastitsio, greek recipeIngredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (or ground lamb, or a mixture of both)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14 oz. can tomato puree or sauce
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (or Kefalotyri if available)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • 1 pkg. #2 Macaroni for Pastitsio (500g)- available at Greek or ethnic groceries. You can substitute ziti or penne
  • 4 egg whites (reserve the yolks for bechamel sauce)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • For the bechamel sauce:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 quart milk, warmed
  • 8 egg yolks, beaten lightly
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Note: Cut pasta like ziti or penne can flatten more than the long Pastitsio noodles, which tend to get twisted when layered. I suggest cooking 2 lbs. of cut pasta to ensure that you have adequate coverage of the pan. If you prefer, you can scale that back to 1 lb.

Mousakas

Mousaka Traditional recipe

Ingredients

  • 3-4 eggplants, about 4 lbs. total
  • 1 lb. potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or lamb)
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 cup tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 egg whites, lightly beaten (reserve yolks for bechamel)
  • 1 cup grated Kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese
  • Bechamel Sauce:
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk, warmed
  • egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg