Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fresh Black Eyed Beans (Louvia)

Black Eyed Beans is a very popular dish in Cyprus, especially during fasting periods. Usually Black Eyes Beans are served with chards, canned tuna, black olives and onions. Chard is a green leafy vegetable that is known by several different names. The most commonly used name for this vegetable is Swiss Chard.Other names for chard include Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach and Mangold.Chard is widely used in Mediterranean Cuisine.

Fresh Black Eyed Beans are cooked with green zucchinis and served with fresh green peppers, spring onions, cucumbers and tomatoes. What gives this dish its special taste, is the olive oil and the fresh lemon juice. You can also add salt to taste. This is a
light meal, with great nutritional value.

  • 1/2 kilo of black eyed beans
  • 2-3 medium size zucchinis
  • green pepper
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • spring onions
  • olive oil
  • salt, lemon

Shell the beans, put them in a large pan along with zucchinis, cover with water and let them cook until they become tender. It is a matter of preference really. When they are cooked, drain all water, put them in a bowl, add tomatoes , cucumbers, peppers and spring onions-all cut in small pieces-then add salt , lemon and olive oil, mix well and enjoy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nina's Watermelon Preserves

Fruit preserves are made by cooking whole or large pieces of fruit in a thick sugar syrup.
In Cyprus and Greece, these are called spoon sweets (glyko tou koutaliou) because the
y are served in small plates and they are eaten using small silver spoons. They are all kinds of fruit preserves, each season offers a variety of fruits, like cherries, almonds, quinces, watermelons. Fruit preserves are a very traditional sweet in Cyprus. There is absolutely no way that you visit a traditional tavern in the mountain villages of Cyprus, and not get the chance to taste this divine sweet. When I was a kid, my mother used to make watermelon preserves quite often in the summer, and I remember I used to take a couple of pieces, dip them in a glass of really cold water and eat them. She made watermelon preserve the other day, and trust me, it is not a coincidence that this preserve, is number one on my list of summer fruit preserves.
Making watermelon preserves usually takes the whole day, because there is a special procedure that you follow and the secret for making tasty preseves, probaly lies in the very last step, which is cooking them along with the syrup. So dear Saint followers, buy yourself a quite large watermelon and let the culinary adventure


  • 1 kg of watermelon rinds (they must be quite thick, so if the watermelon you bought is not the right one, keep buying until you get lucky)
  • 1 sachet of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100 g of confectioner's lime

Ingredients for syrup
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 500 ml water
Boil water, add sugar and stir well


Clean watermelon rinds of the green part. The rinds must remain white. Cut in medium size squares, wash them really well and put them in a large pot. Mix the confectioner's lime with water and pour it in the pot. (It must cover all rinds very well). The rinds must stay in the lime for about 3 hours. After that, pour out the lime and wash the rinds thoroughly and put them in a pot, covered with water. Let them cook over medium fire for about 20 minutes. Then wash them and make sure there is hardly any water left in the rinds.You might have to squeeze them in your hands to make sure all water is out. Afterwards, you prick them with a fork to make sure that the rinds absorb the syrup in the last stage. Put them in the pot, add the syrup and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Let it cool and cook again for another 30 minutes. Add vanilla and lemon in the last 5 minutes and stir well. Make sure you stick to the cooking time, it is extremely important. When it cools off, place in sterilized jars and store in the fridge.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kyri's Pasta Bolognese

This is another one of my wife's contributions to the blog. She was again experimenting the other day with pasta ( as you can see from the previous entry, she has a thing for pasta) and what started to be the traditional Italian pasta Bolognese, finally ended up as her her own version of Bolognese with fetta cheese and fresh rocket. Enjoy! It tastes amazingly good!

  • 500g of minced meat
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 250 ml of concentrated tomato juice
  • 2 green peppers
  • 4 large onions
  • 4 large mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100g of fetta cheese mashed
  • bay leaves
  • rocket leaves
  • parsley (preferably fresh, but dry one will do)
  • basil
  • half glass of red wine
  • salt, pepper


Chop onions and garlic and fry them in a large pan. When they become golden in color, add the minced meat. Stir well, let it cook for about 5-7 minutes, and then add fresh tomatoes and concentrated tomato juice. Mix well, let it simmer on medium fire for another 3-5 minutes and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. In the meantime, bring water to boil, add any pasta of your preference, and let it cook for 10 minutes. Serve with red wine.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tavas (stewed lamb or beef)

One of the most popular specialties in Cyprus cuisine is Tavas, stewed lamb or beef with tomatoes, onions and cinnamon. The meat is usually cooked in a clay pot with potatoes, but it can also be served with bulgur rice (see older post).
Lefkara village in the Larnaka district, is famous for its Tava dish, along with the world's well known traditional lace making and embroidery crafting.
Tavas is a very easy dish to cook and tastes great.

  • 1 kg lamb or beef cut in cubes
  • 8-10 large onions cut in 4 pieces each
  • 5-6 potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp cummin, crushed
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4-5 tomatoes cut in medium size pieces
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 4-5 tbls vinegar
  • 1 tbls salt
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • corn flower oil


Fry the meat in a pan until it becomes golden colored , drain it and then place it in large pyrex (must have a lid). Fry the onions in the same pan, then put them in the pyrex along
with all other ingredients. Mix well and cook for 1 hour at 190-195 Celsius.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Sushi is one of my favorite Asian cuisine foods. My wife and I enjoy having sushi once every couple of months. There is a nice restaurant we like going to, we usually choose the "all you can eat buffet". I attemped making sushi myself only once in the past, but the other day I had the urge to make sushi and so I ran to the fish market for fresh salmon, took out my sushi recipes, put on my apron and voila..... Here's the outcome.....Enjoy!
I must warn you that making sushi is a bit complicated....but once you try it for a few times, you can become a pro! The ingredients costed approximately 20-25 euros and they are enough for a sushi platter for two people.
All the recipes and every other information regarding sushi, can be found in the recipe book Sushi, Made Easy (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York)

All sushi has a base of specially prepared rice, and complemented with other ingredients. Sushi is made with white, short-grained, japanese rice mixed with a dressing made of rice vinegar, sugar and salt.

Ingredients for rice

  • 460 g short grain rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
Vinegar mixture

  • 75 ml rice vinegar
  • 15 ml mirin (sweet wine , made from glutinous rice, used for cooking purposes, can be found in all major supermarkets that sell international food)
  • 45 ml sugar
  • 30 ml salt

Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Drain for an hour, then place the rice in a pot with tight fitting lid and add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Lower the heat and steam for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove the lid and cover the pot with a kitchen towel. Let stand for 15 minutes. While the rice is cooking, combine the vinegar mixture ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove the mixture from the heat and cool. Spread the rice evenly over the base of a shallow, wooden bowl. Run a spatula through the rice to gently separate the grains and slowly add the vinegar mixture at the same time. The rice should not be too moist. Fan the rice until it reaches room temperature. Keep it in the wooden bowl, covered with a clean cloth, until ready to use.

Ingredients for sushi rolls (Maki)

Rolling sushi takes practice. It looks simple, but trust me is not. You need a bamboo rolling mat, which is made from skewer-type bamboo sticks woven together with string.

Hosomaki is a slender , rolled sushi, boasting one to three ingredients.

  • 500 g vinegared rice (shari)
  • 5 sheets seaweed (nori)
  • rice vinegar
  • wasabi
Ingredients for fillings

  • tuna or salmon ( must be really fresh, for aesthetics and hygiene reasons)
  • fresh onions
  • lettuce
  • avocado
  • omelette (2 eggs, dash of salt, 10ml water, 15ml sugar, 5ml soy sauce, 25ml sake, oil for cooking)
  • cucumber
  • carrot
  • roe


Place a sheet of nori onto the mat. The rolling mat must be dry and placed on a dry chopping board. Moisten your hands in vinegared water and make a bowl out of half a cup of prepared rice. Place this ball on the nori and spread it out carefully. Spread it gently, do not push it down onto the nori. Keep about 12 mm free of rice on the far end of nori to seal the roll.
Place a dab of wasabi on your inded finger and run your finger along the rice, from left to right in a straight line. This line should be at the end closest to you. Place the fillings for your roll on top of the wasabi, and wet the exposed strip of nori with rice vinegar. Lift the front of the bamboo mat closest to you. Roll the maki by pressing the mat down firmly on the nori. The nori will stick to itself when the roll is complete. Shape the ends of the rill so that no rice will fall out and then ler the roll to rest for a minute or two. Moisten a sharp knife with vinegared water before cutting the roll into four or six neat pieces.
( I know that by now you will be completely confused and think that rocket science is easier than making sushi rolls. Trust me it is easier than it sounds, and it is extremely helpful if you could observe someone making these first and then attempt to do it yourself. I watched a few shows on BBC Food before attempting to make these rolls.

Eating sushi

Pour soy sauce in a little bowl, add wasabi to taste, mix well and dip sushi into soy sauce and enjoy. You can also have pickled slices of ginger in between bites to cleanse the pallate. Beverages to accompany sushi are green tea or sake, both to be served warm.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Finnish Pancakes

This is an extremely easy recipe to make especially for sunday breakfast. And it tastes great!


4 tbsp melted butter
3 eggs
2 cups milk

1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
maple syrup


Preheat oven to 200 celsius. Pour butter in a 9 x 16 inches baking pan (not smaller, trust me it won't work!). Whip eggs in a large bowl, then all other ingredients and mix together. Pour into the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Pour syrup and serve!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kyri's Broccoli and Chicken pasta

My wife Kyri, is not what we would call a good cook. Unlike me, she is not fond of cooking, she gets bored easily and she can't improvise....She is aware of this and she often says "Well, I'm a career woman....". I have to give her credit for one thing though....She knows how to make the best pasta with white sauce ever.....She makes it with veggies and the other day she added chicken in it and it was divine....So this post is dedicated to my career woman!

Ingredients (4 servings)

2 large onions chopped
fresh onion chopped
2 medium size green peppers cut in small strings
1 medium size orange or red pepper cut in small strings
3 large mushrooms cut in small pieces
canned corn
1 medium size broccoli
500ml fresh creams
60g butter
3 chicken breasts soaked in soy sauce for a couple of hours
salt, pepper, maggi cube
chopped parsley
white wine, half glass


Add butter in a large pan and fry for a couple of minutes. Add onions (not the fresh ones) and let them fry until they get a golden color. Then add peppers, mushrooms, corn, let them cook for a while and then add chicken (make sure you dont drain the soy sauce,it adds to the taste), salt, pepper and wine, mix and let them cook until chicken becomes light brown.
Then add fresh creams, stir well and right before it starts getting thick, add the broccoli and the fresh onions. Sauce needs another 5-7 minutes to cook in low heat.
The right time to start boiling the pasta is right before you add the fresh cream to the sauce mixture. Make sure you make the pasta (penne or any other kind but spaghetti) in a really large pot because you will need to pour sauce in it. Pasta needs ten minutes to cook (add salt or maggi if you like), drain water and add sauce in pot. Sprinkle the parsley, stir well and serve......

South African Milk Tart (Melktert)

Dear Disciples, sorry for the long silence. The Saint has been resting, recharging batteries and now is back for new adventures. Many followers have been requesting to post South African recipes. This is the beginning for the South African Cuisine Journeys with one of my favorite recipes, my mom u
sed to make this when we were kids and I love it. Making it this morning, brought back so many memories from my homeland......

Ingredients for the base

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 egg beaten
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup caster sugar

Ingredients for the filling

1 1/2 eggs beaten
1 1/4 tbsp flour
1 1/4 tbsp corn flour
2 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter
4 1/2 tbsp sugar

Method for Base

Beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs and then all the dry ingredients. You now have a crumbly mix that you press into a pie dish (see picture in oven).
Bake at 170 degress Celsius for 15 minutes.

Method for filling

Boil Milk. In a different pot beat egg and sugar. Add flour and corn flour, then milk and let it cook until it thickens. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Pour into baked shell and sprinkle over nutmeg and/or cinnamon. Refrigerate.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Eliopittes Xoriatikes(Olive Pies)

There are a lot of different ways to make olive pies,( eliopittes in Greek). In a previous posting, you can find the Rustic Olive Pie, which is a very well known way of baking an olive pie, this time I am posting another one of my favorite olive pies, baked in a traditional way, with whole black olives in it which gives it such an excellent taste. In the old days, Cypriot housewives used to bake this particular pie in a traditional oven, lighting pieces of wood and branches for fire.
For now, a conventional gas or electric oven will do. Enjoy!


  • 1 kg of bread flour
  • 12 g of yeast
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • half a cup of black olives with pips
  • fresh mint
  • 125 ml of olive oil
  • 375 ml of lukewarm water


Put flour in a large bowl, add yeast and water and knead very well for about 15 minutes until you have a very elastic, not too thick dough. Let it stand for about one hour. Add olive oil, knead well, then add mint, chopped onion and olives. Knead again very well, cut the dough in the size of a tennis ball and knead it in an oval shape until you use all of it (see picture). Cook for 10 minutes in 195 degrees Celsius, and then for another 15 minutes in 185 degrees Celsius, until you get a golden , brownish color.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nigella's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

Nigella Lawson without doubt makes the best chocolate cakes.....My wife lives for chocolate and every time I make any of Nigella's recipes, I think our marriage is revived....
This is the first time I make the Dense chocolate Loaf cake and let me tell you this much......yummie! I found this recipe at http://bakingforthecure.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/dense-chocolate-loaf-cake/
(Just a quick reminder....My famous Guiness Cake is a Nigella recipe too).

  • 225 gr. soft unsalted butter
  • 375 gr. dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 gr. best dark chocolate, melted
  • 200 gr. plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 250 ml. boiling water


Use one 23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.

Put in a baking sheet in case of sticky drips later, and grease and line the loaf t

in. The lining is important as this is a very damp cake: use parchment, Bake-O-Glide or loaf-tin shaped paper case.

Cream the butter and sugar, either with a wooden spoon or with an electric hand-held mixer, then add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well. Next, fold in the melted and now slightly cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but being careful not to overbeat. You want the ingredients combined: you don’t want a light airy mass. Then gently add the flour, to which you’ve added the bicarb, alternately spoon by spoon, with the boiling water until you have a smooth fairly liquid batter. Pour into the lined loaf pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170 degrees C./ gas mark 3 and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so an inserted cake tester or skewer won’t come out completely clean.

Place the loaf pan on a rack, and leave to get completely cold before turning it out. (I often leave it for a day or so: like gingerbread, it improves.) Don’t worry if it sinks in the middle: indeed, it will do so because it’s such a dense and damp cake.


This is not part of Nigella's recipe.

  • 85g chocolate coarsley chopped
  • 3Tbsp icing sugar
  • 3Tbsp (42g) unsalted butter
Melt chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in the icing sugar. Stir in the butter little by little.