Makes 1 grilled cheese sandwich:
2 slices really good bread (sourdough, French, ciabatta....)
salted butter, softened at room temperature
your favorite shredded cheese (mozzarella, gouda, cheddar)
freshly ground black pepper
Warm a cast iron grill pan over low heat.
Lightly butter all sides of bread.
Sprinkle some black pepper and oregano. Top with shredded cheese.
Top with the slice of buttered bread and season the top with black pepper and oregano.
Grill on the pan for about 4 minutes each side or until golden on top and until the cheese is melted.
Place on cutting board and allow to rest a few minutes.
Cut into bite sized squares.
Add to your favorite soup or salad.
Makes 8 large scones:
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1 and 1/2 sticks butter, diced and cold
1 heaping cup chopped strawberries (about 1/2 pound)
For the glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
The Clotted Cream:
1 cup mascarpone cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the flour, sugar salt and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk together. Place in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal or until pea sized flour coated butter appears.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract until well combined. Add this wet mixture to the food processor and pulse until it all comes together and forms a ball of dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gently knead in the strawberries, about 4-5 times. Be careful not to overwork the dough. You do not want to melt the butter.
Shape the dough into a circle about 1 inch in thickness.
Slice it into 8 equal triangular pieces. Just like you would slice a pizza and place the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
You may also put the scones in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes and shape them perfectly into triangles. This will help them retain their shape when baked and will give them crisper edges. That just means that they will look more perfect.... I don't mind it at all if they spread out a bit and have more of a rustic look. It's up to you :)
Sprinkle some sugar over them and bake for 18-22 minutes (depending on your oven) or until golden.
While the scones are baking, prepare the Clotted Cream:
Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and beat until the mixture becomes creamy and fluffy. This is best made the day that you will be serving it with your scones. It comes together quickly and very easily!
You may also combine all of the Glaze ingredients together in a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
Once the scones are done baking, allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes on a cooling rack.
Drizzle with the glaze and serve with clotted cream.
You can skip the glaze if you prefer them not too sweet.
6 small- medium sized beets, scrubbed clean and tops removed
3 cloves garlic plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup roasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
4 ounces really good feta cheese
3 cups baby arugula leaves
2 cups mixed baby lettuce leaves
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Individually wrap each beet with aluminum foil and place on a baking tray.
Place the garlic cloves with the tablespoon of olive oil in a small piece of foil and wrap. Place on the same baking tray.
Roast the beets and garlic for 45 minutes till one hour depending on their size. They will be ready when they are tender. Check with a knife by cutting through the center of a beet.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
In the meantime prepare the salad dressing by combining the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk to emulsify. Mash the roasted garlic up and whisk into the dressing.
Place the lettuces in a large bowl and pour half of the salad dressing over them. Mix well.
Peel the beets while they are still warm and slice into 6 wedges each. Place them in a large bowl and pour the remaining salad dressing over them. Sprinkle some more salt and pepper on top and mix well. The warm beets will absorb the flavors of the dressing :)
Put the lettuce in a serving bowl and arrange the beets over it. Crumble feta cheese in between the spaces and top with the toasted walnuts.
This salad tastes best served warm.
Makes 2 (12 inch) pizzas:
No Knead Whole Wheat Dough
Homemade Pizza Sauce
Shredded Gouda cheese, or your favorite cheese
Semolina or corn flour (for dusting on the pizza peel or pan)
VERY IMPORTANT: Place the pizza stone in the oven and preheat your oven to 550 degrees at least one hour before cooking your pizzas. Make sure that your oven is clean, to avoid burning the house down :o
The high heat is necessary to cook the dough properly and to get it nice and charred and crispy on the bottom.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, pinch off one large cantaloupe sized ball and cut and separate it into two equal parts. Let it rest for 15 minutes till one hour so that it may come to room temperature and will be easier to stretch.
Stretch each portion of dough into a 12 inch circle. Use your hands to stretch it. NEVER USE A ROLLING PIN!!! Stretching the dough by hand keeps it nice and light. Stretch it around using your fists while turning and stretching the dough. Careful not to tear it. It may not look like a perfect circle the first try, but it doesn't matter. It will still taste delicious.
If you have a handy dandy pizza peel, dust it with some semolina or corn flour to prevent the dough from sticking and allowing it to transfer onto the pizza stone easily. If you do not have a pizza peel, you can use the back of a round or rectangular baking sheet.
Place your stretched out pizza dough onto the peel or pan and spiral one or two ladles of pizza sauce over it. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt over it. Transfer it carefully onto the pizza stone in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until the crust begins to brown.
Remove the crust from the oven and sprinkle as much cheese as you like. Return to the oven and cook 3-4 more minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Turn the broiler on for the last minute of cooking to get a nice char on the edges of the crust, just like a N.Y pizza!
I bake bread very often. Especially since I've discovered that you can make delicious and hearty homemade bread without kneading it. One of my favorite bread baking books is: "The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Fracois. Buy it on Amazon :) (They are not my sponsors, I just love sharing great news!)
Here is my no fail easy recipe for a light whole wheat bread that tastes just like it came from a fancy bakery! It's crusty on the outside and warm and comforting on the inside. My recipe contains half unbleached white flour and half stone ground whole wheat flour. You can use all whole wheat flour if you prefer. Just keep in mind that your bread will be more dense.
This is the basic recipe that you can use to make so many different breads, such as:
whole wheat pizza,
Tiropsomo (feta bread)
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
To make beautiful homemade bread here are some tips that are very important:
1) Use the best quality flour you can buy. I love organic unbleached white flour and organic stone ground whole wheat.
2) Keep a pizza stone or tiles in your oven while baking the bread. I keep these in my oven all the time. Even during the clean cycle! Taking these out will cause them to crack.
3) Keep a cast iron pan on the bottom rack of the oven when preheating and during baking. This will create a crusty exterior that cannot be duplicated any other way. I bought mine for under 20 dollars over 10 years ago. Such a great investment!
That's it. Now here's the recipe that makes 3 one pound loaves:
3 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached white bread flour
4 cups warm water, or more if needed (100 degrees)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 heaping teaspoons yeast
Mix the yeast in the warm water.
Place the flour and the salt in a pot, large bowl or bucket. It should be able to hold 6 quarts. Mix well with a whisk so that the salt gets incorporated.
Add water and yeast mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or with your hands. You do not have to knead this dough. Just mix until everything is incorporated making sure that the dough stays wet and sticky. Add 1/4 cup of water if needed. If you are using half whole wheat flour, you will need to add water.
Once it is all mixed, cover loosely leaving some room for gases to release. Leave it alone to rise, undisturbed for about 2 hours.
Put the container in the refrigerator and let it rest overnight.
The dough will stay fresh up to 8 days. It's a good idea to make a double batch if you plan on making fresh bread often during the week. The longer it stays in the refrigerator the more sourdough flavor will develop.
Check out my other bread recipes that I have listed above! You can create your own versions by adding your favorite herbs to this recipe. Get creative and make this hearty bread for yourself and your loved ones!
Big, chunky chocolate chip cookies are very popular these days and for a really good reason. They're to die for! Here's my version of this all time favorite dessert that you can make with children.
Makes 10 Big Cookies:
3 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (half pound) at room temperature and soft
1/2 white granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
1 cup white chocolate chips (you may substitute walnuts or pecans)
Sift the flour, salt, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder together in a large bowl.
Beat the butter with both sugars until thick and creamy.
Add the eggs and beat until creamy.
Add vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Make sure to mix the mixture with a spatula if you are using a stand mixer and it has gotten stuck to the sides of the bowl. Mix it well.
Add the sifted flour in three batches just until incorporated. Do not over mix otherwise you will have tough cookies.
Add the chocolates and mix until incorporated.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and divide the cookie dough into 10 equal portions. I like to do this with an ice cream scoop. Then I also like to just spread out parts of it slightly with my fingers to create an uneven surface while still leaving the center part thickest. DO NOT Flatten them out!!! They're supposed to be thick and gooey! (watch the YouTube video)
Allow them to cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes so that they can set and so they stay nice and thick in the oven.
While they are cooling in the refrigerator, Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes or until they have just turned golden brown around the edges and on the ridges. They will be barely cooked in the center. Check them at the 15 minute point. DO NOT OVERBAKE!!! It is better to under bake these than to over bake. My oven takes exactly 16-17 minutes. Also, be sure to bake these in the center of the oven. Arrange your oven rack in the center and bake one tray at a time for great results.
Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet.
Serve warm with a glass of cold milk :)
This recipe makes about 1 and 1/2 cups:
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Heat the cream in a small sauce pan until it comes to a boil.
Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and allow to sit for about a minute to soften the chocolate.
Stir the mixture with a small whisk or a spatula until all of the chocolate melts and the chocolate becomes smooth and shiny.
If there are still some bits of chocolate that have not completely melted (this is common in the winter when the temperature is cool inside the house) pop it in the microwave for no longer than 5 second intervals at a time. You may also continue to melt it over a double boiler. Be careful not to burn the chocolate!! There's nothing that can fix burned chocolate :(
Ganache thickens as it cools. If you have any left, refrigerate it and make chocolate truffles the next day or put a spoonful in a cup of hot milk for the best hot chocolate ever!
Makes about 10-12 eclairs:
1/2 cup water
2 ounces unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups all purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
Chocolate Sauce for dipping:
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Vanilla Pastry Cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir quickly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a nice dough that comes away from the saucepan . Remove from the heat.
Transfer the dough to another bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with an electric hand mixer to incorporate each one before adding the next. Mix it until it's nice and smooth.
Use immediately, while it's hot! Place the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a plain, round 1 inch tip.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pipe out about 10-12 oblong shapes about 3 to 3 and 1/2 inches long. Smooth the points and tops by wetting your fingers and rubbing over the eclairs to shape them.
Bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake about 35 more minutes or until golden brown and puffed. They should feel light and hollow when done baking.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
Slice the tops off and allow to cool. This will allow the steam to release so that they do not deflate or become soggy inside.
Cool completely for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, make the chocolate sauce by bringing the heavy whipping cream up to a simmer.
Pour over chopped chocolate and let it sit for a couple of minutes to soften. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
Sometimes (especially in the colder months) the chocolate needs more "help" to melt. Pop the mixture in the microwave 7 seconds at a time, whisking each time until it's completely smooth and melted. Careful not to overheat it. Chocolate burns easily!! :o
Allow the chocolate sauce to cool and thicken on the counter for about one hour.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a big star tip with pastry cream.
Fill the eclairs generously. Dip the tops in the chocolate sauce.
Allow the chocolate to set if you can resist :)
This dessert tastes best the day it is prepared.
Serves 4-6 (depending on how much you can resist chocolate)
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee or instant espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Combine the milk, salt and coffee powder in a saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cream until thick. Add the cornstarch and cocoa powder and whisk very well to combine.
Slowly pour a cup of the hot milk into the chocolate and egg yolk mixture to raise the temperature (temper) and whisk it well. Add some more milk and then pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook over low heat, whisking constantly until thickened. This will happen in a few minutes so Do Not Step Away from the saucepan!! Once thickened, it will resemble the thickness of mayonnaise.
Remove from the heat and add chocolate, butter and vanilla extract. Whisk well until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Pour into serving bowls or into one big bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow the pudding to chill 4 hours or overnight.
Hi, I'm Dimitra and welcome to my blog! Here, I'll teach you just how much fun and easy it is to please a crowd with my versions of Greek classics. Kali Orexi as we say in Greek!