Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Watermelon, feta and sumac salad

I made this salad the other day, actually on my Name Day, on a whim, after inhaling the sweet aroma of a freshly cut watermelon and wanting to eat it right then and there but not on its own. Yes, it was my Name Day, and one would assume that dinner would have been something fancy yet this, this was all I was craving and wanted.

 


Fresh, crisp watermelon dripping with pink-reddish juices, salty feta, fiery red onion, exotic, zingy lime juice, rich, smooth extra virgin olive oil, bright, fresh mint and a beautiful little concoction of sea salt crystals rubbed together with some ground, lemony and tart sumac sprinkled over the whole salad.

Had it with some Cretan barley paksimadia and was as happy as I could ever be with my Name Day dinner. 

 

 

 

Watermelon, feta and sumac salad

Feel free to make this salad your own by adding ingredients you have on hand and prefer. I would also go for some olives, especially green ones which I love, or capers, and surely, a few ripe, cherry tomatoes would be great here too.

 No amounts given because salad. Do your thing.

 

Ingredients

Watermelon, juicy and crisp, freshly cut

Feta, Greek of course, gently cut with your fingers into small pieces

Red onion, thinly sliced

Lime juice, freshly squeezed

Extra virgin olive oil, Greek of course

Fresh mint leaves, picked and torn

Sea salt crystals, I use Maldon

Ground sumac

 

Preparation

Take a large platter and arrange the watermelon pieces. Squeeze some lime juice over the fruit, to enhance the sweet flavor and scatter the onions around. Add the feta. Drizzle with olive oil. Rub together in a small bowl the salt and sumac, and sprinkle it generously over the top. Add more sumac if needed and finish with the mint.

Enjoy immediately.

 


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Tiramisù ice cream

Hello hello hello!

Long time no see!

Hope you are all well, friends.

For those of you not following me on instagram, you may have been wondering where I’ve been these past three years. Well, I had a baby! Aris was born on 5 July 2019, he is two years old now, and what can I tell you, time flew.

 


As you can understand, the blog and cooking in general had, and has, taken a back seat, to say the least. Cooking to feed my toddler is like a full time job, with five meals a day, so I don’t really have the energy to cook elaborate dishes that would be of any interest to you, the dear readers of this little blog of mine.

Even when I do manage to cook something of notice, alas, there’s rarely time to take any decent photographs or write down the recipe, and to be honest, sitting down to write a blog post seems difficult and time-consuming. So what’s changed and I am here now? A reader told me the other day how much she misses my recipes and posts here on my blog, and apart from being flattered and touched, it also made me want to revive my blog as soon as possible. I said to myself: “You need to get back!”. In order to do that, however, something has to change, so I decided to keep my posts short and sweet and I do hope that you will still enjoy them.

 


So, here I am; with a recipe for this gorgeous tiramisù ice cream that’s utterly delicious. It has a mascarpone, Kahlua and brandy base and a mocha syrup that runs through it, making it incredibly luxurious. It’s creamy, smooth, rich, sweet but not cloyingly so, and the syrup is sticky and shiny with an intense coffee flavor. Theres something you need to know about this ice cream, though; the alcohol content is high! Not that that’s a bad thing, eh? Considering we are still going through a pandemic, a little booze will definitely not hurt us.

Hope to be back soon with more recipes, as I have already started photographing and cooking a bit more, and yes, damn it, it’s good to be back.

 

 

 

 

Tiramisù ice cream

This is the prefect ice cream dessert. It contains the sweetness, the booze and the coffee you need after a meal, all in one. 

 

Yield: about 1 kg

 

Ingredients

for the ice cream

450 g mascarpone

125 ml cream, full-fat (35%)

125 ml whole milk

130 g caster sugar

Pinch of sea salt

60 ml Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur)

40 ml brandy

for the mocha syrup

100 g caster sugar

80 ml agave syrup

50 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder

125 ml strong espresso (already brewed coffee), or 125 ml water mixed with 1 Tbsp espresso granules)

½ tsp pure vanilla extract or paste

 

Special equipment: food processor, ice cream machine

 

Preparation

for the ice cream

In a food processor, add all the ingredients for the ice cream and puree until the sugar is dissolved and you have a smooth mixture. Empty in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until it has really chilled. Then, churn in your ice cream machine following the manufacturer’s instructions.

for the mocha syrup

As the ice cream base is chilling in the fridge, make the mocha syrup.

In a medium-sized saucepan, add the sugar, agave syrup, coffee (or water + coffee granules) and cocoa powder, and cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture begins to slowly boil. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, and then remove the pan from the heat. Add the vanilla and stir. Empty the mixture in a clean bowl and allow to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until the syrup has really chilled. In order to use it, it needs to be really cold, as it is easier to hold the swirl and not dissolve in the ice cream base.

Note: use only ¾ of the mocha swirl in your ice cream because it’s a lot. The rest you can keep in an airtight container in your fridge for about 2 weeks and you can use it in your coffee, in smoothies, over other ice creams or pancakes or waffles, you name it!

Mixing the two ice cream components

Right before the ice cream is churned, add a generous amount of the mocha syrup at the bottom of a container that you will use to store the ice cream in the freezer. I used enough syrup to cover the bottom of my container. Then add a generous layer of the churned ice cream on top. Continue alternating layers of syrup and churned ice cream, finishing with the mocha syrup. I made 6 layers of mocha syrup in total (so 5 layers of churned ice cream). Don’t be tempted to mix the layers together or stir to do a marble effect like you would with cakes because the ice cream will turn out a weird color without the distinctive ripples thus without distinctive flavors.

Cover the ice cream either with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the freezer until the ice cream firms up.

Keep it in the freezer for a week or so.

 

 

• Barely adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Egg-in-a-hole with charred red peppers and parmesan

The first time I ever saw egg-in-a-hole was in the film Moonstruck, one of my favorite films of all time. It was when Olympia Doukakis cooked breakfast for herself and her on-screen daughter and protagonist, Cher.




That close-up of the eggs being cracked into the cut-out hole in the bread, sizzling in the skillet with what I presume was red peppers on the side and then served on top, was the first time I’d ever experienced food porn. Mind you, I was quite young when I first saw the film and despised eggs at the time, but I was inexplicably intrigued. What was this? Why haven’t I seen it before? Why haven’t I eaten it?





Some years later, when I was all grown up yet still never having tasted egg in a hole, I attempted to recreate it; I have been making it ever since.




It’s a straightforward and simple dish, ideal for brunch or breakfast, especially after a night out drinking, lunch or light supper.




I kept the red peppers from the original dish in the film, which I charred, but also slightly jazzed it up with the addition of garlic and parmesan cheese. The flavors are simple yet so satisfactory. The savoriness of the eggs —cooked however you like, even though runny would suit the dish best— and the smoky quality of the charred peppers, the umami flavor of the parmesan, the earthiness of the whole-wheat bread and the rich smoothness of the butter, is all you need to have a delicious tasting dish that you can enjoy any time of the day.









Egg-in-a-hole with charred red peppers and parmesan

I prefer using whole-wheat bread or rye, preferably sourdough, as it has more depth of flavor, but any country style bread will do. Please don’t use sandwich bread though, it doesn’t do this simple dish any justice.




Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
2 thick slices fresh, whole-wheat bread (from a crusty loaf, not sandwich bread)
1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ long red pepper, cut into strips
1 garlic clove, minced
2 medium-sized eggs
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A handful of finely grated parmesan


Preparation
Butter the bread slices generously on both sides with the softened butter and using a round cookie-cutter or the rim of a small glass, cut a hole in the center. Keep the centers; you will cook them as well.

In a medium-sized frying pan, non-stick and big enough to fit the two bread slices comfortably, add the olive oil and heat over a medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the pepper strips and cook them, stirring often, until they start to caramelize and char around the edges. Be careful not to take them too far and burn them because they will taste too bitter. About a minute before they are done, add the minced garlic and sauté, stirring continuously. Transfer peppers and garlic to a bowl and set aside.


Keeping the pan hot on the stove, still over a medium heat, add the buttered bread slices, arranging the centers you had cut out around the edges of the pan. Cook one side of the bread until a bit crusty and golden, for about 2 minutes, and then flip it over. Immediately break the eggs into the holes of the two bread slices, put a lid on the skillet (any lid you have that fits the frying pan will do, it doesn’t need to be tightly sealed), and cook until the eggs are done to your liking. For the yolks to stay a bit runny, they’ll need about 4 minutes.

Transfer to individual plates, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the charred peppers on top. Finally, sprinkle with the parmesan and eat immediately.