Friday, October 31, 2008
I must admit that a very good friend of ours gave birth this week to twins and visiting her and the babies have taken up some of our time and has in a way prevented me from trying out a new recipe or adding to this blog. Another thing that happened is that we were invited to a house warming dinner of a friend of ours that studied in the United States, and she gave me "the third degree" because I didn't bake or cook anything Halloween related.
The weekend is coming up and I will have enough time to make my Pumpkin Pie and try out another Pumpkin related recipe. So keep an eye on this space......
Monday, October 27, 2008
Koubebia is a very traditional Cypriot dish and there is no mother or grandmother that doesn't know how to prepare them. In Greece they have something similar called Dolmadakia, but Koubebia is Cypriot and basically it is minced meat and rice wrapped in vine leaves.
1/2 kg of minced meat
1 large onion chopped very finely
5 stalks of fresh parsley chopped finely
1 tsp of dried mint (rub between hands to make into fine powder)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of rice
5 tablespoons tomatoe juice
40 vine leaves
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup tomatoe juice
30 ml water
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. If you will be using fresh vine leaves, soak them in boiling water for 5 minutes and then in cold water to stop the cooking process. This ensures that the vine leaves will not tear when stuffing them. If you will be using bottled vine leaves, soak them in luke warm water for 10 minutes.
3.Use one tablespoon of mince mixture for each vine leaf. Place the mince mixture on the edge of the vine leaf and roll slightly to cover the mince mix, fold over the sides of the leaf and then roll again until you have used all of the leaf. Keep doing this until all the mince mix has been used.
4.Take a saucepan that will fit all the Koubebia and pour in 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil. Pack the Koubebia tightly in concentric circles in the saucepan. Continue this until multiple layers are formed and all the Koubebia are used.
5. Pour 1/2 cup of tomatoe juice over the Koubebia and place a plate that fits into the saucepan ontop of the Koubebia to hold them down during the cooking process.
6.Pour 30ml of water over the plate that is covering the Koubebia and close the saucepan with its lid.
7. Cook over low heat for 30-35 minutes. Check if the water and tomatoe juice have been absorbed by the Koubebia every 7-8 minutes. If yes, add a few more tablespoons of water. You will know the Koubebia are cooked by opening one and if the rice is soft(cooked), the Koubebia are ready to eat.
Friday, October 24, 2008
These traditional coffee shops are usually patronized by our fathers and grandfathers, where smoking, playing backgammon and discussing various topics (usually soccer and politics) are at the order of the day. Here, time usually goes by at a more relaxed pace. It is a place were friends and neighbours meet, have discussions and share male camaraderie.
The younger generation also enjoy Greek coffee, but usually at a more trendy upscale and modern cafe in shopping malls or in the city centre. They usually opt for something more trendy and gourmet frappechinos, cafe lattes and cappachinos. For them, the Greek coffee is a quick cheap wake-me-upper which is not drank and enjoyed as it is supposed to, slow and relaxed. Corporate coffee kings like Gloria Jeans, Costa Coffee and Starbucks are doing just fine here.
So here is my little ode to Greek/Turkish coffee.....
To make Greek coffe you will need:
Drinking water at room temperature
Measure the water you will need in a Demitasse cup whic is similar to an Espresso cup and pour it into a Briki (very small saucepan that fits no more than 100ml). then add a heaped teaspoon of coffee and place over medium heat. Add sugar to taste and stir until sugar and coffee is dissolved. This will happen as soon as the water starts to warm up. Stop stirring and wait until the coffee starts to foam slightly and then stir again for a few seconds. Stop stirring. When it foams again, let the foam reach the top of the saucepan and quickly remove from heat and pour into the cup. Enjoy with a cold glass of water at your leisure.
Traditionally Greek/Turkish coffee is brewed in a Briki in hot sand. This makes for a more fragrant better brewed coffee. This coffee can be enjoyed in the following ways according to how much sugar is added:
0.5 tsp - meoliki (little sugar)
1 tsp - metrio (medium)
1.5 tsp - malo gliki (nearly sweet)
2 tsp - gliki (sweet)
2.5 tsp - vari gliki (very sweet)
If anyone is interested in buying Greek coffee, I will be able to send you some. For more details on P&P and prices, send me an email or comment.
This recipe yields 2 servings.
125g all-purpose flour
200g white sugar
2 Tbsp of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2g baking powder
1g ground cinnemon
15g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
3ml vanilla extract
30g finely chopped walnuts
Sterilize 2 (1 pint) straight sided wide mouthed canning jars, lids and rings by boiling for 10 minutes. Keep the lids and rings in the hot water untill needed. Preheat your oven to 165 degrees Celcius.
In a small bowl mix flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon. Set this mixture aside.
In a medium saucepan combine the butter, water and cocoa powder. Heat and stir until mixture is blended well. Pour this into a large bowl.
Stir in flour mixture and blend well. Add the buttermilk, egg, chocolate chips and vanilla and beat untill mixed very well. Stir in the walnuts.
Pour evenly into sterilized jars. Place the jars on a cookie baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Using oven mitts, remove the cakes from the oven, place lids and then the rings to screw them down tightly. Listen for the jars to"ping" as they seal. If you miss it, wait until totally cooled off and press on the top of the lid. If it doesn't move at, it means that it is sealed.
Fudgy Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
For the brownie part:
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons or 110g) unsalted butter
1 12 ounce (340g) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like Guittard or Ghriadelli)
1 1/4 cups (275g) sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (110g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the cream cheese part:
1 8 ounce (225g) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (110g) sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (165 degrees Celsius). Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Place butter and 1 1/2 cups (255g) chocolate chips in a medium microwave safe bowl. (Reserve the other 1/2 cup [85g] chips for later.) Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave for thirty second intervals, stirring after each, until completely melted.
3. Whisk in sugar and salt until smooth; whisk in eggs and vanilla. Gently fold in flour just until smooth (do not over mix). Fold in remaining 1/2 cup (85g) chocolate chips
4. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Set aside.
5. Microwave cream cheese in a small bowl for 30 seconds. Whisk in sugar, egg, salt, vanilla, and flour. Pour over chocolate mixture. Take a spoon and pull chocolate mixture up from the bottom of the pan in about 4 or 5 different places and then, with a spoon or knife, create a swirled effect.
6. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely in pan. (After about 45 minutes, I toss mine in the freezer for 30 minutes to help it along. This will also help solidify the chocolate chips, giving the brownies a nice crunch.)
7. Use parchment paper to lift from pan; peel off and discard. Cut into 16 squares.
Having said that, I must admit that I am starting this blog because I have a love for food.....any food in all its forms, and because I was inspired by many other foodie bloggers. Hopefully this will give me an outlet in showing the world what I like and what I experience concerning food.
I pray to the saints to bless this blog and keep it active.