Category Archives: family and friends

Kotasoupa (Greek avogolemeno chicken soup)

  • 6-8 cups Broth from  chicken or Turkey (simmer whole chicken, or bones from chicken or Turkey just submerged with water, partially covered, on low heat for 2 hours or so)
  • 2-3 cups Meat from chicken or turkey in small pieces to add to soup
  • 4-6 large eggs (depending on amount of broth and size of egg– add an extra for thicker soup)
  • Juice from 3-4 lemon
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1-1.5 cups orzo (depending on amount of broth)
  • Salt to taste

Heat broth to just boiling add orzo, simmer ~15-20 min.  In large bowl, beat eggs well with mixer or whisk until frothy.  Add lemon juice and beat some more–will have pale yellow foam on top.  Add zest.  Ladle one scoop of boiling broth into egg-lemon mixture and beat well, repeat for 5-6 ladlefuls. Pour egg-lemon-broth mixture back into pot with remaining broth and orzo, stir to blend.  Take soup off of heat and allow it to sit 10-15 minutes. It should thicken up some. (Not be watery). When reheating– heat gently–do not boil because the egg will separate. 

From Andromachi ❤️

Vasilis’ Blueberry Muffins

  • 2 cups of flour (loosely packed)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • ~1 1/2 cup blueberries (preferably from the backyard) (if frozen do not defrost)

Preheat the oven to 400 deg F and spray or butter the muffin pan. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt with a fork.  Mix the egg, butter and milk together and then add the wet to the flour mixture. Stir only until the flour is wet–don’t over stir making the mixture gummy. Toss in the blueberries and stir a bit to distribute them.

Spoon batter into muffin pan, filling the wells about 2/3 full.  IMG_2753.JPGBake for 25 minutes–until the house smells heavenly and the muffins are just beginning to brown on the edges. Then serve the warm clouds of muffin with blueberry bursts in them for breakfast in bed for someone you love.

Makes 12 muffins.

Adapted from The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne published 1961

gemista (stuffed tomatoes)

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to put up a recipe for gemista…a classic summer favorite when tomatoes are abundant in August.  This is best made early in the day, the way Greek women do.  It tastes best at room temp or slightly warmed.

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parsley mint and dill

  • 12 medium sized tomatoes (vine ripened)
  • 1 yellow onion finely diced
  • ~1 cup olive oil
  • Handful of fresh mint, dill, and parsley. (can also use basil)
  • ~12 tablespoons of blue rose rice–medium grain. (goya sells it in the states)
  • 4-5 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
  • sea salt
  • serve with good feta

First, cut the top off of each tomato.  Cut around the inside of the tomato and carefully with a teaspoon scoop out

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cut around the inside of the tomato to make scooping out the inside easy

the inside.  Put the inside scooping from six tomatoes in a blender and set aside the inside of the remaining six in a bowl. Be sure to keep the top of each tomato with its tomato.

Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, and the herbs to the tomato scoopings in the blender.  Blend in a few pulses so tomato is smooth but herbs are not totally pulverized.

Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a frying pan over med high heat.  Saute the onion until it begins to turn translucent.  Add the rice (1 tbsp for each tomato) and saute

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mixture of onion, rice and tomato/herbs after sauteing

2-3 min as if you were making risotto. Add the tomato-oil-herb mixture plus about 1/4 of water (to rinse all of the good stuff out of the blender into the pan) and saute another 2 min.

Spoon the rice mixture into the tomatoes leaving about a cm at the top empty.  For medium tomatoes it takes about 1.5-2 tbsp of the mixture.  Place the cap on the tomato and invert in baking dish.  Surround the tomatoes with the cut up potatoes.  in the blender, blend the inside of the six tomatoes that were set aside and pour that plus 1/4 cup of

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tomatoes inverted with cap down, blended tomato poured over potatoes. olive oil drizzled and sea salt sprinkled on everything. ready to bake.

water over the potatoes.  Drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil over all the tomatoes and potatoes.  Sprinkle sea salt over everything.

Bake for about 1 1/2 hour at 350 deg.

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after ~1 hr 20 min in oven.  as it sits to cool down the liquid in the pan will be absorbed by the rice

Halfway through baking move the potatoes around so they roast evenly.  I like it when the tomatoes  just start to brown a little and the potatoes are soft to a fork.  When you take it out of the oven there will be a lot of liquid in the pan.  As it cools the rice will suck up that liquid…yum!!

Gemista is best prepared early and then served at room temp or heated a little.  Serve with slices of a good feta to eat on the side.  Fresh corn on the cob goes great with it.

Adapted from Andromahi 🙂 who makes the most amazing gemista!

 

Bulguropita

This is like a tembelopita but with more body…very tasty.

  • 1 c bulgur
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 c flour
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 1 lb feta crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Warm the milk in microwave or on stovetop and then add the bulgar. Allow the bulgar to sit in the milk for about an hour.  It should absorb the milk.

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. Spray 9×13 pyrex pan with cooking spray.  Combine the flour, baking powder, eggs, oil, and bulgar.  Stir in the crumbled feta.  Bake in a 9×13 in pyrex for about 40 min until golden brown on top and bottom.  

From Andromahi ❤

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Politicos Halvas

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 10-12 whole cloves
  • cinnamon stick
  • zest of one lemon (can use orange)
  • 2 cups farina
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • cinnamon and powdered sugar for serving

In a saucepan combine the sugar, water, cloves, and cinnamon stick.  Cut the zested lemon in half and toss that in the water mixture too.  Heat until it just boils and then remove it from the heat.

In a soup pot heat the olive oil until it is hot.  Add the farina and stir continuously until the farina begins to toast and gets slightly browned.  Keep stirring otherwise it will burn.  Once the farina is toasted add the syrup (strain off the lemon, cloves and cinnamon stick) about 1/2 cup at a time.  Be careful, it will sizzle and splatter when the syrup is added.  Stir well and the farina will absorb the syrup.  Continue adding the syrup in batches until all the syrup is absorbed.  Stir in the almonds and lemon zest.  Keep stirring and the farina will gather into a solid mass.

Press the farina into a mold or bread loaf pan (or just shape it yourself on a plate).  Invert the mold or pan to release the cake.

Serve generously sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar.

I was inspired to make this after a taverna at Sounio served it complimentarily to us after a great fish dinner on a moonlit night.

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❤ from Andromahi……

Papoutsakia (little shoes)

  •   4 small eggplants (4-5 inches)
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely minced
  • 1 lb ground lamb or ground beef  (can use finely minced mushrooms for veggie version)
  • 2 med tomatoes or 1 large (grated to remove skin)
  • 1/3 cup wine (red or white doesn’t matter)
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 recipe bechemel 
  • grated pecorino

Cut the ends off of the eggplants and cut the eggplants in half.  Cut a wedge out of the middle of each half that is about 1 cm deep and 3 cm wide and set the middle aside . IMG_1920

Drizzle both sides of eggplants with olive oil, place in a 9 x 13 pyrex pan and roast eggplants skin side up at 350 deg for about 15 min while you do the rest of the recipe.  Finely dice the inside of the eggplant.  Heat about 4 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat and saute onions.  Once onions begin to soften add the eggplant and saute a few more minutes.  Add the ground meat and press with the back of a wooden spoon to break into small pieces as it cooks.  After cooking the meat onion mixture for about 7-8 min add grated tomato and wine.  Sprinkle a little cinnamon and salt and pepper over the meat.  Turn heat down to medium/medium low and simmer until liquid mostly evaporates.

Prepare the bechemel.

Spoon the meat mixture into the eggplant halves evenly.  Generously spoon bechemel on top of the meat.   Sprinkle with pecorino.

Bake at 350 deg for about 50 minutes until the bechemel is golden brown and the eggplants are easily pierced with a fork.

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I did this batch with three eggplants, so they were very full!!

Cheesecake—really really good cheesecake!

  • 1/2  package of plain graham crackers curmbled
  • 6 Tbsp butter melted
  • 2 pkgs Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • lemon zest from half a lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup of fage 2% greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375 deg. Combine the crumbled graham crackers with melted butter and mix very well.  Press graham crackers into bottom of pan (8 in spring form pan or pie plate).  Combine cream cheese, eggs, 3/4 c sugar and lemon zest in a bowl…mix with beater on low until smooth.  Pour the cheese mixture on top of the graham cracker crust.  Bake for 20 min and take out and cool for 10 min.  Combine the greek yogurt and remaining sugar.  Carefully spread yogurt mixture on top of the cheesecake after it cooled for at least ten minutes.  Bake for 15 min more.  Take out of the oven even if it is a little soft.  Cool and then refrigerate overnight.  This tastes way better the second day, so it is worth the wait!

Adapted from Shula Chen 🙂