Today’s dish is simple, light, with delicate flavors of the earth and the sea.

I got a very fresh sea bass and filleted it. The flesh was firm and the smell wonderful! Such a good piece of fish should not be cooked at all! I submerged it for a couple of hours in cold water with the juice of one lemon and a bit of coarse salt, while I was preparing the accompanying ingredient of the dish: a puree of split yellow peas.


As always, I use yellow split peas  («fava» in Greek) from the island of Santorini (Thira) whose volcanic soil produces the best «fava» in Greece. Once the puree is ready, I add lemon juice, finely chopped dry onions, coriander, olive oil, salt and pepper.

I slice the sea bass fillet, and place on top of the puree with fresh coriander.

Enjoy with a glass of asyrtico white from Santorini, and please tell me what you make of this divine dish!

Mediterranean Mousaka with apaki and yogurt

Κυριακή, 5 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2010

Today I want to share a dish that is my own variation of the well-known «Mousaka» dish.

I start with the new ingredient that I add to the dish: apaki, which is smoked pork from the island of Crete.

Apaki is made from lean pork, marinated in pure wine vinegar for three days, and then smoked. It is tender and delicious, the acidity adding to the flavor.

I start the layering of the dish with potatoes, and sprinkle over them chopped apaki. I want the potatoes in order to give sweetness to the flavor and also absorb the liquids of the other layers.

I then add the second layer, which is eggplants, either baked or fried. I do not add any salt.

The third layer is minced meat (half beef, half pork), with herbs (oregano and basil) and small tomatoes from the island of Santorini. I do not add any onion or garlic, as I want to taste the flavors of the meats (minced and the apaki) and the eggplants, without overpowering the dish.

This is the last layer, the eggplants with a bit of grated hard cheese. I personally prefer a rather savory cheese from Greece, called kefalotiri.

Now we come to the second change, I do not add any bechamel, but strained yogurt and a little of grated cheese on top. The historians claim that the bechamel was added to the middle-eastern version of the dish by the Greek chef Tselementes, at the beginning of the 20th century. It makes the dish very rich for my taste. I prefer it with the yogurt.

After baking in a hot (250 C) oven for thirty minutes, the dish is ready. Serve after you let it rest for 15 minutes.

And be generous with the servings, this food rolls!

Enjoy it with a young red wine.

A summertime dish: Trio of Fava, Vlita and Halloumi

Κυριακή, 6 Ιουνίου, 2010

Today I offer to all visitors and friends a panathinaeos original, a summertime dish that will nourish you and at the same time refresh and delight you. In addition to everything else, it is a value for money dish, as its cost is very low compared to its value. And this is something we need very much in a period of crisis!

Fava in Greece is made with yellow lentils, not with fava (broad) beans. These yellow lentils are especially tasty on the volcanic island of Santorini. This packet shown in the photo weights about 500 grams and costs around 10 Euros. But is is worth every penny, as their smoky flavor cannot be found in other fava!

I boil the lentils until they become a puree. I then add some olive oil and lemon and let the mix relax.

Today fava is becoming the key ingredient in a summer dish that is very light and refreshing.

The second ingredient is «Vlita», the summer greens of the Greek countryside, that I just blanch for three minutes and let rest for ten before using them in the trio.

The final step is to compose the trio. Fave is the foundation, vlita on top, capers around the hexagon, and on top and on the sides fried or grilled chunks of «halloumi», the white goat’s and sheep cheese from Cyprus. For added flavor, you may want to season the vlita before with lemon and olive oil. It is a matter of personal taste. Enjoy!

Λουκανικο με Φαβα – Sausage with Fava (Split Peas)

Παρασκευή, 13 Μαρτίου, 2009

Ενα συντομο ταξιδι στη Βορεια Ευβοια στον αγαπητο μου εξαδερφο με κατεστησε κατοχο ενος φρεσκωτατου λουκανικου παραγωγης του.

I went on a  quick trip to North Evia to visit with my cousin. During the visit my cousin offered me home made sausage that he had produced three days before my visit.

Η θεα ειναι βορινη, οι ογκοι ειναι Φθιωτιδα

Η θεα ειναι βορινη, οι ογκοι ειναι Φθιωτιδα - The view is North, the hills are on Fthiotis

Το λουκανικο ειναι φτιαγμενο με σπαλα χοιρινη, κρεμμυδι, κρασι, αλατι και πιπερι.

The sausage is made with pork neck minced meat, very little fat, onions, wine, salt and pepper.

inhouse1

Στην καταλληλη θεση - The sausage in its drying position

Αφου το γευτηκα δεοντως στο σπιτι του, ψημενο στο τζακι, με την επιστροφη μου στην Αθηνα φροντισα να επαναλαβω την τερψη με διαφορετικο τροπο.

We tasted it grilled by the fireplace, and it was delicious, albeit a bit dry due to the fact that there is not enough fat in it.  So upon my return to Athens with a nice piece of sausage, I was determined to cook it in a slightly different way.

Στο τζακι

Στο τζακι

Το λουκανικο αυτο ειναι σχετικα στεγνο, αφου ο εξαδερφος δεν εβαλε πολυ παχακι, κ ετσι τοι κρεας κυριαρχει στη γεμιση. Παντρεψα λοιπον την υπεροχη φαβα της Σαντορινης με το φρεσκωτατο και υγιεινωτατο λουκανικο του εξαδερφου, και ιδου το αποτελεσμα!

My recipe is combining the taste of Santorini split peas (fava) with the sausage cooked in a tomato and green peppers sauce.

Φαβα Σαντορινης

Φαβα Σαντορινης

Η φαβα της Σαντορινης ειναι ενα αριστουργημα! Εχει πλουσιο αρωμα, υφη και  συμπυκνωμενη γευση, πολυεπιπεδη. Ειναι η πιο ακριβη, αλλα το αξιζει (περιπου 10 ΕΥΡΩ το φακελλακι).

Το σημαντικο στην ετοιμασια της φαβας ειναι να πηξει σωστα και να μην κολλησει. Θελει πολυ ανακατεμα προς το τελος και χαμηλη φωτια. Και καθολου βιασυνη!

The «fava» coming out of the island of Santorini is the best! Full of flavours, beautiful deep golden colour, and of course it is the most expensive of all!

fava_ready

Η φαβα της Σαντορινης εχει αυτο το βαθυ χρυσαφι χρωμα, που ταιριαζει απολυτα με τη γευση και τα αρωματα της!

In preparing the «fava», we need to be very careful to stir the fava in the pot and keep the heat low. The reward is the brilliant texture and the aromas coming out of the «fava»!

sausageΚοβουμε το λουκανικο σε μετρια κομματια και το μαγειρευουμε με πιπεριες και ντοματα.

Slice the sausage in medium sized chunks and cook in a tomato and green peppers sauce.

sausage_cookingΘελει πολλη ωρα στην κατσαρολα, με σιγανη φωτια, για να διαπερασουν οι χυμοι τη γεμιση του λουκανικου και να γινει λουκουμακι λαχταριστο.

Keep the heat low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for a long time, so that all the flavours get inside the sausage mix.

Το μαξιλαρακι της φαβας

Το μαξιλαρακι της φαβας

Η φαβα πρεπει να εχει κρυωσει οταν σερβιρεται στο τσερκι.

Απλοχερα σκορπιζουμε απο πανω τα λουκανικα και την αχνιζουσα σαλτσα με τις πιπεριες και τις ντοματες, κι εχουμε το πιατο μας!

Before serving make sure the «fava» is cool and be generous with the serving of the sausage and the sauce on top of the «fava».

Σερβιρισμενο απλοχερα

Σερβιρισμενο με απλοχερια

Προκειται περι συνδυασμου γευσεων που απαιτει σεβασμο και αυτοσυγκρατηση!

Απολαυστε με ενα ξινομαυρο κρασι.

Enjoy the dish with a well bodied red wine!

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