Friday, September 2, 2022

Riganada from Kefalonia

Food from the Greek island of Kefalonia and the island itself always mesmerized me.

The last time I was there was far too long ago, a little over a decade, but recipes from the island are often cooked in my home, following those given to me by friends and acquaintances who are from Kefalonia.

 

 

Pastitsada,stewed meat in tomato and spices, will forever be my favorite Kefalonian dish as well as Kreatopita, a luscious meat pie. Riganada is an appetizer, breakfast, snack which isn’t very well known to people who haven’t visited Kefalonia. Beats the Spanish pan con tomate any time of the day if you ask me.

 

 

 

A dish with Venetian influences, as is the case with lots of other dishes from the Greek Ionian Islands, Riganada consists of toasted or dry, stale bread, grated or chopped fresh tomato, olive oil, a little vinegar and lots of Greek wild dried oregano. I rub a garlic clove on the bread because I’m a garlic fiend, but that’s totally optional. Also, some add crumbled feta (the one from Kefalonia is among the best I’ve ever had) or a different white soft goat’s cheese. Your choice.

 

 

 

 

 

Riganada from Kefalonia

Traditionally, Riganada is made with stale, dry bread that is soaked very briefly in water to soften a bit. If your bread is too dry, then you can do this too.

A pinch of crumbled dried summer-savory leaves (throubi in Greek, bonnenkruid in Dutch) to finish the dish, makes it even more authentic, but unfortunately I was out. 

 

 

Ingredients

Toasted or stale, dry bread, preferably sourdough, sliced

Garlic clove, peeled

Juicy, ripe, big tomatoes, coarsely grated or chopped

Red-wine vinegar

Greek Extra virgin olive oil

Greek wild dried oregano

Dried summer-savory (throubi in Greek), optional

Feta or another semi-hard goat’s or sheep’s cheese you prefer, optional

 

Preparation

Take your bread and rub it on one side with the garlic. Pour a little olive oil on top.

Then add the tomato and a splash of vinegar, and drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with lots of dried oregano and a little summer-savory if you have it.

Crumble the cheese on top, if using.

Serve, imagine you have the Ionian Sea in front of you, and devour!

 

 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Double chocolate no churn ice cream

Double chocolate ice cream, of the no-churn kind, because I was in no mood to make custard. Still, this ice cream, which resembles semifreddo, is amazingly good. Creamy, rich and impossibly chocolatey.




I shared this recipe on my instagram account a couple of years back and there were so many people that went crazy about it, I thought I must definitely post it on my neglected yet never forgotten blog too. It took me two years, but I finally made it. Just in time for the coming heatwave.

By the way, if you are in the mood and have the time to make chocolate semifreddo, you can find my recipe here.




 

Double chocolate no churn ice cream


Ingredients

500 g cream, 35% fat

400 g (1 can) sweetened condensed milk

60 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sieved

100 g good quality dark chocolate, at least 65% cocoa solids

Sea salt


Preparation

In a large bowl, using an electric hand-held mixer, whisk cream to stiff peaks.

Add the sweetened condensed milk, sieved cocoa powder and a good pinch of salt, and whisk briefly until you have a smooth, lusciously fluffy mixture. It will be like the fluffiest chocolate mousse.

Empty into a freezer-friendly container.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-seconds intervals, stirring with a spatula in between, so it doesn’t burn and it melts evenly. Add a pinch of sea salt and mix.

Pour the melted chocolate in the ice cream mixture and fold it lightly through so you get swirls and small pieces of chocolate in your ice cream.

Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight. Leave it out of the freezer for about half an hour before serving. It will be much easier to sccop.

Enjoy!


  

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Sparkling elderflower drink

So now that you’ve made your own homemade elderflower cordial, or you just happen to have a commercial bottle of the stuff in your fridge, let’s make the simplest, most delicious and refreshing elderflower drinks.

No fancy ingredients needed nor mixologist degrees. You just take your elderflower cordial and mix it with sparkling water, or tonic if you prefer, and the all-important ice cubes.

You can make it a bit more interesting by adding a splash of lime juice or a few chopped up berries, but you know what? I don’t think it needs it.

 



It’s the most rejuvenating, sweet, non-alcoholic drink that is perfect for summertime.

Now, if you insist on making an alcoholic version, who am I to stop you? Instead of sparkling water you can add sparkling wine, or even gin and a good splash of lemon juice.

Go on, make yourself one, and enjoy!

 



  


Sparkling elderflower drink

The ratio I propose is not too sweet so you may want to play around to find your own preferred level of sweetness for your drink. Also, if you are using commercial cordial, beware that it tends to be sweeter than the homemade one.

 



for 1 drink

Ingredients

5 Tbsp (75 ml) elderflower cordial

13 Tbsp (4/5 cup / 195 ml) sparkling water

Large ice cubes

 

Preparation

Pour cordial and sparkling water in a glass and stir with a spoon. Add ice cubes and enjoy!