2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup (or more) olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Some water, if needed to thin out the sauce
Place the garlic clove in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Add the walnuts and chop.
Add the washed basil leaves along with the parmesan cheese and some black pepper and puree until finely chopped.
While the food processor is running stream in olive oil until a smooth paste is formed. You may add a few tablespoons of water if you prefer a thinner sauce.
Add salt to taste.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to a week.
1 recipe Basic Meat Sauce, very thick
1 and 1/2 pounds phyllo, thawed and at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
mozzarella cheese cut into chunks
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 177 degrees Celsius.
Cut the phyllo in half while it is still in the package.
Keep a lightly damp towel with a dry kitchen towel handy to keep the phyllo covered so that it does not dry out and crumble. Cover the phyllo first with the dry towel and then with the damp towel.
Layer four strips of phyllo drizzling each layer with some melted butter.
Place a heaping tablespoon of the meat sauce on the bottom and top with a few chunks of mozzarella. Fold flag style and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Continue to do this until all of the meat sauce and phyllo is finished. This batch makes about 12 large turnovers. You can also make these small appetizer sized like my Tiropita/Cheese Pie recipe.
Brush the top of each turnover with the melted butter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
These freeze beautifully and are great to have ready to bake. To freeze, do not bake them. Place them onto a baking sheet and wrap with plastic wrap.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 177 degrees Celsius. Place as many turnovers as you want to serve onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with foil. bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Serve these with a nice soup or salad or as is with a side of Tzatziki Sauce.
1/4 pound orzo pasta, uncooked
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tail on
salt and black pepper, to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
grape tomatoes, halved
4 Kalamata olives, cored and sliced
feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
For the dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 a large lemon
1 tablespoon mustard
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and orzo pasta. Boil about 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan and add shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, pepper flakes, and cumin powder. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side or until fully cooked and pink all around.
Remove the cooked shrimp from the pan and set aside to cool. Chop into bite sized pieces the same size as the vegetables.
Place the chopped cucumber, sliced tomatoes, and sliced olives in a big bowl. Add the orzo and chopped shrimp. Mix well.
Combine the olive oil, mustard and lemon juice in the pan that the shrimp were cooked in. Mix well with a whisk to emulsify.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
Add the crumbled feta cheese along with the dill and mix well.
This salad can be served immediately but tastes even better if allowed to chill in the refrigerator a few hours.
Makes 4 Burgers:
pita bread or hamburger buns (4)
For the burger meat:
1 pound ground lamb 80/20
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
2 cups chopped Chinese eggplant or any eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
For the caramelized onions:
1 red onion, sliced
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
1-2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Toppings and condiments: tzaztiki sauce, ketchup, sliced tomatoes, bell peppers, pickles, feta, French fries
Place the chopped and peeled eggplant in a small pan with some olive oil and salt. Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes until very soft, turning to cook evenly. When the eggplant begins to absorb the oil and the pan is dry add water, enough to just coat the bottom of the pan. Keep adding water as is needed a little at a time so that the eggplant cooks softly. It should not become caramelized or crisp. This way it will melt into the burgers completely. Allow the eggplant to cool completely.
Place the onion slices in another pan with olive oil, salt and sugar. Cook about 10-12 minutes until soft and caramelized around the edges. Add the balsamic vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes if desired, stir well and remove from heat. Set aside.
Combine the ground lamb, salt, herbs, and spices in a bowl. Mix well to incorporate.
Add the cooled cooked eggplant and mix well, mashing it into the meat until well incorporated.
Add the crumbled feta and mix it without completely melting it into the burger meat. a few chunks should remain throughout the burgers.
Divide the meat into 4 equal portions. Form the burger patties. I used my 4 inch round cookie cutter to help form the burgers.
Heat up a cast iron grill pan on high heat. Brush some oil onto it. Place the burgers on the grill. Do not crowd the pan.
Grill the burgers for 5 minutes on each side for a medium well hamburger. Allow the burgers to rest 1-2 minutes after they are grilled so that they remain juicy.
Brush the buns with some of the oil from the onions and heat on the grill pan until heated through.
Place the burger on the warm bun, top with the caramelized onions and your favorite condiments. My tzaztiki (yogurt and cucumber) recipe is a must with these!
This bread really is outa of this world delicious. You MUST try it once!
Makes one loaf:
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 and 1/2 cups tepid water
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Sesame seeds (optional)
Begin by proofing the yeast. Combine the yeast, water, and sugar and mix. Set aside about 8 minutes until the yeast is activated. It is ready when a puffy cloud forms over the water. Your yeast is good and ready!
Combine the flour with the salt in the bowl of a tabletop mixer and mix the ingredients to combine. Add the yeast mixture and the olive oil. With the dough hook attachment, knead on low speed for 7-8 minutes.
This can also be done in a large bowl by hand. The kneading time will increase to 10-12 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with a kitchen towel or with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise until doubled in size. This takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. It may take longer if it is cold in your home.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, 260 degrees Celsius.
Tip: If you have a cast iron pan and a pizza stone place the cast iron pan on the lowest rack of your oven and the pizza stone in the middle rack. Place them in the oven while the oven is cold so that the pizza stone does not crack. Let them warm while the oven is preheating. Doing this will help you create bakery style bread rings. Crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.
Punch the dough down and form into a ball. You may also form it into a baguette. I prefer the round shape.
Place the formed dough onto a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover with a clean towel. Set aside to rise about 30 minutes. It will almost double in size.
Brush the top of the dough with water. Make 4 decorative slices on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
To create a nice crusty top, pour 1 cup of ice water in the cast iron pan to create steam. Place the baking tray with the dough on it on the middle oven rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, 232 degrees Celsius. Let it bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the bread from the pan and place directly onto the pizza stone and bake 5 more minutes. This will make the bread have an extra crispy crust.
Allow the bread to rest at room temperature at least 30 minutes before slicing. This will allow the steam to distribute throughout the bread and create a very moist interior.
Warm the bread in the oven for 5 minutes before slicing.
For the custard:
5 egg yolks plus 2 whole eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate , melted
For the garnish:
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
1/8 -1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
mini chocolate chips, optional
Prepare a double boiler by bringing some water to boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a simmer. Place a heat proof bowl over the saucepan. Make sure that the water does not come in contact with the bowl.
Place the eggs, yolks, granulated sugar, and salt in the bowl. Beat with a hand held mixer about 5 minutes or until pale and thick. This can also be done with a whisk. It may take up to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a table top mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar until it begins to thicken. Add yogurt or sour cream and continue to beat until thick and fluffy.
Combine 1/3 of the whipped cream into the egg custard mixture to lighten it up with a whisk.
fold in the remaining whipped cream until well combined. There shouldn't be any white streaks in the mixture. If needed, whisk it to smooth it out, but try not to overwork the mixture so that it does not deflate.
Line a loaf pan (9inch x 5 inch x 3 inch) with plastic wrap.
Pour half of the cream mixture in the loaf pan.
Place the melted chocolate in a plastic bag with the tip snipped off. Drizzle half of the chocolate over the cream.
Pour the remaining cream over the chocolate and swirl the remaining chocolate on top of the cream. Use a knife to create a swirl pattern. Let the knife go all the way through the pan down to the bottom so that the chocolate in the center gets distributed evenly. These chocolate swirls will become crunchy nits of chocolate once the ice cream is ready.
Place the loaf pan in the freezer and let it set overnight or at least 6 hours.
To create the garnish, combine the chocolate with the cream and melt either on top of a double boiler or in the microwave.
Whisk until smooth and shiny. If it is still too thick add some hot heavy cream to it and whisk.
Take the semifreddo ice cream out of the freezer and invert onto a platter. Discard the plastic wrap.
Drizzle the melted chocolate mixture over the ice cream and garnish with mini chocolate chips.
This tastes best slightly softened. It will soften when left out at room temperature about 10 minutes.
Slice and serve! Enjoy!
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!