Showing posts with label Greek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek. Show all posts

14 March 2013

Crispy Black Cod Fillets with Fennel Tzatziki and Lemony Orzo Risotto

Crispy Black Cod Fillets with Fennel Tzatziki and Lemony Orzo Risotto
With the awakening of Spring comes one of our eagerly awaited rituals. We head to our local fishmongers for sablefish, known by its more common name "black cod." Sablefish is highly prized for its intensely rich, buttery flavour and delicate texture. It is sometimes referred to by the nickname “butterfish.” Although commonly called “black cod,” this deep-sea fish, which can live up to 5,000 feet (1,500 metres) below the sea, is not part of the cod family at all. Old habits die hard. As early as the 1840s, when fishermen from the East migrated to the coast to take up their nets, practically all fish were dubbed cod. Red snapper, black rockfish, blue rockfish and even my beloved Ling cod, which is neither a ling nor a cod, fell to the same fate. Naturally, the name “black cod” was also attached to the sleek and softly textured sablefish, or Anoplopoma fimbria.

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12 June 2012

The British Columbia Food Trail Goes Greek with Spot Prawns with Tomato, Feta, and Ouzo with Skordalia

Spot Prawns with Tomato, Feta and Ouzo with Skordalia

Here in the interior we herald in Spring with tender local asparagus, freshly shelled peas, and crimson stalks of rhubarb but on the coastal waters of British Columbia nothing says Spring more than fresh live Spot Prawns. From May 1 until July 1, we have the opportunity to devour some of the freshest and best-tasting prawns in the world here in British Columbia.  Huge, luscious BC spot prawns are one of the most tantalizing things to be found in the waters around Vancouver. Sweet, firm, peachy-pink and tender, the prawns are sustainably harvested by local fishermen. This means we are able to enjoy eating them well into summer and still feel good about it. With the window of opportunity to enjoy this delicacy being relatively short , rest assured we have rolled up our sleeves and have feasted on local Spot Prawns often. 

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25 March 2012

Black and White Saganaki

Black and White Saganaki
Whenever I venture to one of our local Greek restaurants Saganaki is sure to be ordered at our table. The simplicity of this dish and the incredible impact on the taste buds make it truly memorable. The inspiration for todays lunch came from a memory of a sesame seed crusted version I saw somewhere from Diane Kochilis' cookbook "Mezes." 

According to Greek mythology, Aristaios, son of Apollo and Cyrene, was sent by the gods to give the gift of cheese-making to the Greeks. It was called a "gift of everlasting value", and the value of that gift keeps increasing with age. I know it is appreciated in my kitchen.

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29 January 2012

Greek-Inspired Filo Breakfast Bundles with Roasted Tomatoes for Slow Sundays

Greek Inspired Filo Breakfast Bundles with Roasted Tomatoes
What do you do on a Sunday when you are faced with bits and pieces in the fridge, heading to the store in your pyjamas in a snow flurry is not tempting...and did I mention you are in your pyjamas? Can you think of any more reasons why I would just want to cozy up and head to the kitchen? You have me convinced! Well once again sleepy heads we have embraced Slow Sundays, a new feature here at More Than Burnt Toast.

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15 April 2011

I was Crushed by Lamb Kofta Appetizer with Tzatziki Sauce

Lamb Kofta Appetizer with Tzatziki Sauce

As writers and budding cooks we get our inspiration from many different sources. This recipe idea came from an on-line magazine from South Africa....Crush! Kofta is a minced meat kabob, typically molded into the shape of a sausage and wrapped around a skewer. The texture of the kofta comes from grinding the meat into a paste-like consistency and mixing it with herbs and spices of your choice.

Kofta is nothing new here on these pages but what I loved about this particular dish was the idea of serving these as an appetizer with olive-shaped little meatballs. With Easter coming up it seems only fitting that I share a few of my favourite lamb recipes. I like to use lamb for my koftas and serve these tasty morsels canapé fashion with fresh local crudités, tzatziki for dipping and a cool glass of rosé!

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9 March 2011

Pita Strifti me Solomo: Salmon and Leek Pie with Filo Dough

Pita Strifti meSolomo (Salmon and Leek Pie with Filo

Anyone who's tried a piece of baklava can attest to the magical qualities that filo dough brings to a dish. This special dough, also known as fillo or phyllo is most often used in the pastries and filled pies typical of Greek cuisine. Light, crisp, and delicious, anything made with filo dough is sure to please, but this dough has a reputation for being difficult to work with. It takes a little bit of special handling but the end result is well worth the effort. 

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25 August 2010

More Than Burnt Toast (The Greek Version) Roasted Vegetables (Briam)with Halloumi

Roasted Vegetables (Briam) with Halloumi

Four years ago I took a cab ride with my driver Christos (a young Greek man who promised me the next time I arrived in Greece his English would be improved, I can't say the same for my Greek) to the port of Lavrio south of Athens. From here I was to catch the ferry to the Island of Kea and the islands capital Ioulis my home for the next 8 days. All had been arranged by Aglaia and Costa my friends at Keartisanal where I was attending a cooking school for the best holiday of my life so far!

During my stay at Keartisanal Aglaia Kremezi taught us many enticing traditional and non-traditional gourmet recipes. Aglaia Kremezi is a noted cookbook author, and with her husband Costas Moraitis treat you to 8 glorious days of history, culture and cuisine at their home on the Cycladic island of Kea. They envelope you in family and local life and serve up dishes with the pure and intense flavours from their gardens. The 5 weeks I spent in Greece changed my life forever in many ways.  With the endless azure of the Agean Sea as the backdrop we danced to the strains of bazouka music, sipped on raki and enjoyed good company and good friends.

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18 August 2010

More Than Burnt Toast (The Greek Version) Makes Greek Alevropita

Alevropita (Flour Pie)
I don't know how you feel but time seems to pass me by. It is hard to believe that just four short years ago I travelled to Greece on a 5 week sojourn. For two of those weeks I joined Thordis Simonsen of Astra Tours and several American women, who have since become life long friends, travelling extensively throughout mainland Greece. We spent four days in the Zagoria region where you'll find a landscape filled with fairy tale mountain villages linked by stone-tiled trails and humpbacked ancient bridges. From this vantage point you can hike through the deepest gorge in the world in Vikos-Aoos National Park, wander the cobbled streets of these sleepy villages with their preserved old mansions in the unique Zagorian style and feel like time has stood still.

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13 May 2010

Bouyiourdi the Real Melting Pot


More than three years ago I decided to take the plunge and start my own blog. Throughout the years I have come to know many of you through your own blogs, through e-mails and have even been lucky enough to meet some of you in person. One thing is clear we all love food and enjoy sharing ideas we create with each other. When I want to make something Greek I turn to many of you. Living in the "melting pot" of cultures that is Canada we have learned to adopt many different cuisines from coast to coast. Italian friends had made some crusty, homemade bread for me and I could see a cheesy, gooey blending of cultures in my future. I had been eying this Bouyiourdi meze on Peter's site Kalofagas - Greek Food and Beyond for quite some time. You will find the recipe on his site.

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25 January 2010

Joining the Nation Together with the Olympic Flame we Serve Up a Classic Greek Meal

Souvlakia with Avocado Tzatziki
The sacred Olympic Flame was lit in an ancient ritual in Olympia, Greece, site of the first Olympic Games. After a short run through Greece, the Olympic Flame arrived in Athens, where it was handed over to a representative from Canada. From there, the Olympic Flame made a trans-Atlantic flight and arrived in Canada, signaling the start of the longest Olympic Torch Relay to take place in a single country. The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay began in Canada on October 30, 2009 and will conclude at the Opening Ceremony signaling the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games on February 12, 2010.

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30 June 2009

Hot Minted Feta with Chunky Greek Salad

Hot Minted Feta with Chunky Greek Salad
Woah is me, my camera is acting up again so periodically I will be offering you dishes from my archives of yet to be published recipes. The long and the short of it is that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Like the time I tried to enter a Spanish Tapas event from Nuria or the Royal Foodie Joust a few days ago. I took photos, they all appeared to be there on the camera disk but when I downloaded them on to my computer they had miraculously disappeared. I guess these events were not meant to be, so I carry on with an on again off again camera continuing to prepare delicious dishes and trying to share them with you. Today I bring you a delicious Greek-inspired salad I tried a few weeks ago. It is topped with pan fried/grilled feta cheese marinated in mint which brought the salad out of the ordinary to extraordinary!!!

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15 June 2009

Greek Burgers with Feta Aioli

Greek Burgers with Feta Aioli
Barbecue season is in full swing and what is more appropriate to serve guests but a juicy grilled burger. They are quick and easy to prepare and require next to no cleanup for the hassle free cooking we enjoy all summer long.

For those of you who follow this blog you will know that I try and cook healthy and delicious meals on a regular basis. Last week Shelby (aka HoneyB) and I teamed up to bring you a week of Cooking Light recipes from this months issue. Sometimes I may fall "off the wagon", so to speak, but it is never hard to climb back on board. The great thing about eating light is that you can still love your food and not give up any of the flavour... just focus on loving food that’s good for you. People like us who really adore food and flavour have a much better chance of eating well, and healthily, and enjoying every minute of it!!!

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25 May 2009

Dinner & A Movie Goes to Greece with Halloumi


This months choice for Dinner and a Movie hosted by Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy and Marc of No Recipes is one of my all time favourite theatre productions... Shirley Valentine. Up until now I have never had the opportunity to watch the movie, but have always enjoyed the play in different cities and with different theatre companies. Shirley Valentine originated as a one-character play by Willy Russell. It is a monologue by a middle-aged, working class housewife from Liverpool, England which focuses on her life before and after a holiday to Greece that changed her life.

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24 February 2009

A Greek Tribute with Rolo me Abelophylla with Avgolomeno

Rolo me Abelophylla with Avgolomeno
One of the perks of blogging is meeting some very kind hearted people who ultimately become your friends. In the two years that I have been blogging one of these people would be Ivy of Kopiaste. On a recent trip to the Central Market in Athens, with her good friend Marianna of History of Greek Food, Ivy thought of me. Even though we are thousands of kilometers away and an 11 hour plane ride from each other our love of food, Greece and friendship brings us together. Thank you Ivy!!!

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19 February 2009

Chicken Gyros

In keeping with my barbecue loving ways and my longing for sunny climates I decided to bring those Greek flavours into my home as I do at least once a week.

Gyro is probably the most often mispronounced food name. Even its biggest fans sometimes don't get the pronunciation exact. Is it a "jee-rohs," "jai-rohs," "gee-rohs?" The correct Greek pronunciation is yee-rohs, ” at least in my best explanation. Or is it a Donair?

Almost every culture has its own version of 'fast food', and in Greece I am giving that honour to the gyro sandwich. Have I eaten enough gyros or donairs in my life to become an expert...well not really, but here is what I do know.

Here in Canada a gyro is quite often made with meat cut off of a big cylinder of well-seasoned lamb or beef. This meat is cooked on a slowly rotating vertical spit or gyro, implying the circular spinning motion of a gyroscope. A gyro sandwich consists of various rotisseried meats, all or none of tomatoes, lettuce and onions, along with a yogurt-based tzatziki sauce. These ingredients are placed on a grilled pita bread and served as a wrap sandwich. The type of pita bread may also vary, from the pocket style to a round flatbread. I am salivating already!!!!

A Turkish Doner Kebab or Gyro is slices of marinated lamb, mutton, beef, veal, or chicken which are stacked on a vertical spit and roasted at a vertical grill. It is served as a type of sandwich stuffed into Turkish bread, rolled into flat bread, or laid on top of diced flat bread with a sauce. This type of sandwich has been known, and sold on the streets, by the people of Greece, the Middle East, and Turkey for hundreds of years. In Greece I found they usually add french fries and sometimes mustard inside their gyro as well for a "full meal deal". If you're lucky you can get this type of donair here in Canada too!!! Greek historians believe that the dish originated during Alexander The Great’s time, when his soldiers used their long knives to skewer meat and kept turning the meat over fires.

My version is made with marinated chicken breasts, so we do get all the flavours reminiscent of a true gyro without having to try and replicate the meat. This is something I make often all year round... and talk about fast!!

Before I move on to the recipe I have a few orders of business. I have been the recipient of a couple of awards this week.

The first is the "You're a Sweet" bestowed upon me by my good friend and blogging sister Ivy of Kopiaste. Thank you so much Sis, I think you're the sweetest too with one of the biggest of hearts out there!!!

With the help of Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen , the three of us have been working hard to pull together the BloggerAid Cookbook.

The second is from Gloria of Cookbook Cuisine and Foods and Flavors of San Antonio. Her cookbook is coming out this month so check it out. She has been a major influence on the cookbook project as well!!!

I am giving both of these awards to my friends out know who you are...who have supported me and brought a little sunshine into my life each and every day.

So, without further adieu ..on to the recipe because I have to type up a few resumes for friends and get on with my next project.......

**Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce and Feta**

2 T garlic, minced
2 T fresh thyme, minced or 1 T Greek oregano, crushed
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T cracked black pepper
zest and juice from one lemon
pinch of salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Tzatziki sauce (recipe follows)
4 large pita bread rounds
1 heart of romaine lettuce, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, halved and sliced
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled feta cheese


Place boneless chicken breasts in a shallow glass container. Season with thyme or oregano, pepper, garlic, oil, lemon (juice and zest), salt and olive oil. Distribute the seasonings evenly over the chicken breast by rubbing well. Allow to marinade in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Clean the grill well with a grill brush. Once the grill is clean rub with an oiled paper towel. Heat the grill on high for 5 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and place on prepared grill. Discard remaining marinade. Cook chicken until juices run clear, about 8 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from heat, and allow to sit about 10 minutes before slicing into thin strips.

Place pita rounds on the grill, and cook for about 2 minutes, until warm, turning frequently to avoid burning. Stuff pita pockets with chicken, toppings and tzatziki to serve.

**Tzatziki Sauce**

2 medium size cucumbers
400g strained yogurt
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. wine vinegar
a little salt
fresh chopped fennel fronds or dill
Peel cucumbers and grate each one length-wise with course grater. Salt, allow to drain and press out excess liquid from grated cucumbers. Peel garlic cloves, remove sprout if it exists and crush them. Mix cucumber, garlic, vinegar and salt. Fold the yogurt and the olive oil into the mixture. Best Blogger Tips

18 February 2009

Taste of the Mediterranean-Pastitsio Venetsianiko

Mediterranean-Pastritsio Venetsianiko

Tony from Olive Juice highlights fresh and colourful Mediterranean flavours through his event Taste of the Mediterranean . It’s a food blogging event sponsored by and each month, a journey and celebration of each dish takes place, focusing on a popular dish from each of the regions of the Mediterranean.This month's event is being co-hosted by Peter at Kalofagas. So check it out!! Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a Greek island.

Tony says, "Imagine a culinary getaway with all your food-blogging friends to all the hot spots around the Mediterranean. It’ll be like island hopping, but better - country hopping!"

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6 February 2009

Val's Wanna-Be Greek Burgers... Take Me Away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wanna Be Greek Burgers
Usually by February I am ready to start shedding my winter coats, boots and gloves. The only problem with that is that the weather here in the "Great White North" simply doesn't care to co-operate. Instead of warm days with daffodils peaking their cheerful heads through the sun-drenched earth we have bleak, snow covered mountains and frozen ponds. Cry me a river...if it wasn't frozen of course:D

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28 September 2008

**Orzo** for Ovarian Cancer

Orzo with Zucchini, Dill and Feta

This is a post that is full of information but mentions many of the things that are dear to my heart. I hope that you take the time to read this post thoroughly and have a chance to visit each of these sites that I feature here. So get comfortable, adjust your chair...this may take a while.

If you have followed my blog for a while you have heard of my love for all things Greek. This started years ago in the 80's when as a young bride we visited a Greek restaurant in Penticton, British Columbia. I had never tried Greek food before that enchanted evening, but, my husband was a pro with a Greek uncle in Montreal. We sat in an outdoor courtyard with a warm evening breeze, white washed walls and some excellent Greek wine and my love affair started there and then and has grown to a fever pitch.

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2 September 2008

Bifteki Yemista: Stuffed Burgers with Feta & Herbs

What's in a name?

As you can see we couldn't wait to dig in no matter what this dish is called!!!!I had read that this is often translated in Greek restaurants as "steak". But while it is definitely made of beef it is more of a burger than a steak....although what about Salisbury Steak which is also made of ground beef? I am also told that this is not the case so I'll go back to being confused...wink...wink...

I do know that "Yemisto" is Greek for "filled" or "stuffed". Take away the feta cheese, and you have just bifteki.

It is not quite a burger and not a steak burger because this requires a least in my humble opinion....which leads to more confusion...insert photo of Val scratching her head here. The bottom line is I will have to have the opinion of my Greek friends for this one because I also sometimes see it as biftekia with an "a" as well. (I am a little less consfused thanks to my blog sister Ivy who tells me biftekia is plural..yay I can have more than one!!!!!)

Nevertheless...whatever you want to call it...or not... it is a wonderful addition to any meal!!!!! I will stick to "Stuffed Burger with Feta and Herbs".....Val's translation.

The recipe calls for grilling but the bifteki can be cooked on the stovetop as well. It's the perfect meal for the last few warm summer evenings of the season.

**Stuffed Burgers with Feta & Herbs (Biftekia Yemista)**

2 pounds of lean ground beef
1 medium onion, grated or minced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of dried Greek oregano
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs
1/2 pound of feta cheese, finely diced
1 tablespoon of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup of spring onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced

Yogurt Feta Sauce

1 cup of strained yogurt
1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Work together by hand until well blended. Form into 12 thin patties.
In a small bowl, combine the feta, parsley, spring onions, and garlic, and stir until well blended.

Using 1/2 of the filling mixture place a spoonful of the cheese mixture in the middle of 6 of the meat patties. Place the remaining 6 patties on top, pinching around the edges to seal well.

Mix the remaining 1/2 of the stuffing mixture with 1 cup strained yogurt asndf 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Grill the burgers over medium coals for 6-10 minutes per side and serve with the herb yogurt.

Alternative cooking method: Heat 2 T of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet and cook the burgers over medium heat for 6-10 minutes, testing for doneness.

Serves 6

I also saw a similar bifteki on the blog Porcini Chronicles . Check it out. You will be glad you did!!!!!!!!! Best Blogger Tips

15 August 2008

Mini Greek Meatballs for Taste & Create

For those of you who frequent my blog you know that I never miss the Taste & Create event which gets bigger and better each and every month. It is the brainchild of Nicole (aka Myamii) over at For the Love of Food . I love to visit her site for all the delicious recipes and tidbits of helpful information. She even has an on-line store with wonderful kitchen gadgets and gourmet foods. If you haven't had the chance to visit this very busy woman please take the will be glad you did.

The premise of the Taste & Create event is simple... we are paired with another blogger... we choose a recipe from their delicious posts...we prepare the dish... and then... blog about it. I love this event because I am able to showcase someone else's blog, a favourite dish or just rave about a blogging friend. The blogosphere is filled with delicious recipes that are piling up waiting for me to try. It's time to get some of them out from the blogosphere and into my kitchen!!!! Taste and Create allows me to to do just that each and every month!!! What could be better!

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