Makes about 4 cups:
½ medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, whole
¼ cup olive oil
1-pound canned tomatoes (preferably San Marzano tomatoes)
½ pound jarred, drained roasted red peppers
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 teaspoon sugar or honey (optional)
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Approx. ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs: basil, parsley, dill
Combine the olive oil, onion, and garlic in a saucepan or pot and cook over medium-low heat until soft and golden. About 10 minutes.
Smash the garlic.
Add the tomatoes, peppers, salt, black pepper, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook over high heat until the mixture boils. Cover and reduce the heat to a low and cook for 25 minutes or until the tomatoes and peppers break down and the mixture is nice and thick.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Add sugar if desired and mix well.
Stir in the chopped herbs.
Cool completely and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
This sauce can be used to cook chicken, fish, eggs, or to use as a dip. Enjoy!
Makes enough buttercream to fill and frost an 8 inch three layer cake or 24 cupcakes
1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Begin by making the pastry cream. It will be a major ingredient in the vanilla buttercream that will create a very creamy, rich, buttercream, much like French buttercream. The pastry cream can be made up to 2 days in advance.
In a saucepan, bring milk and salt to a simmer over medium heat.
In the meantime, combine the sugar, corn starch, cream and egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk together for a few minutes until thick and pale yellow.
Slowly, pour the hot milk in the egg mixture one ladle full at a time while whisking.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until thickened.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Whisk well.
Place the pastry cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For a quick cool, fill a large mixing bowl with ice and place the bowl with the pastry cream over the ice. Mix with a spatula every 5 minutes. The pastry cream should be ready to use in 15 minutes.
If the pastry cream was made a few days ahead and is very cold, either microwave it at 10 second intervals until it reaches room temperature, or place it in a warm water bath. This can be done by placing the bowl with the pastry cream in a larger bowl filled with warm water.
It is crucial that the pastry cream and the butter at the same temperature in order for the buttercream to be ultra smooth.
Also, when the pastry cream is made ahead of time and is refrigerated it will thicken and seem hard. Beat it in a tabletop mixer until smooth or by hand. If necessary, add 1-2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and beat until smooth.
Place the butter, salt, vanilla extract, and confectioners sugar in the bowl of a tabletop mixer. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
Add the pastry cream to the butter mixture in 2-3 batches. Beat until, thick, creamy, and very smooth. About 3-5 minutes.
This basic recipe can be used to make so many different flavor variations:
Chocolate hazelnut buttercream: add 1/2 cup or more of your favorite chocolate hazelnut spread to the buttercream and beat to incorporate.
Almond buttercream: Substitute 1 teaspoon almond extract for the vanilla extract
Coffee buttercream: dilute 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules to 1-2 tablespoons water and add to buttercream. Beat to incorporate
Fruit flavored buttercream: Add 1/2 cup or more of your favorite fruit jam to the buttercream and beat well to incorporate
Chocolate buttercream: Add 12 ounces melted chocolate to the buttercream and beat well to incorporate
The options are endless but, one thin is for sure. We have been using this delicious recipe at our bakery for the past 10 years and everyone loves it. It is velvety smooth, creamy, and delicious.
2 cups granulated sugar
6 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt (optional)
Place sugar in a heavy bottom pot that also has high sides. This sauce bubbles vigorously as it is cooking so do not use a very small pot.
Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and becomes an amber color. You may stir and swirl it around to help it melt.
Add the butter and mix well. Wear oven mitts while doing this as it will heat up to be extremely hot and will bubble up vigorously. Whisk until the butter melts into the sauce.
Pour the heavy cream very cautiously as the same vigorous reaction will take place. Cook the sauce stirring until smooth.
If some crystalized bits of sugar remain, pass the sauce through a strainer before putting it in a storage container.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Add sea salt if a salted caramel flavor is desired.
Store in the refrigerator and reheat before using.
Makes almost 2 cups:
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 clove garlic
1/4 - 1/3 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
2-3 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt (optional)
pinch of ground sumac (optional)
salt, to taste
Stir the tahini paste well before measuring it. The oil tends to rise to the top of the container.
Place the tahini paste in a mixing bowl along with the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix well.
The mixture will begin to thicken and sieze up. Don't worry!
Grate the garlic into the sauce and add enough warm water to mix it into a smooth paste. Add as much water as you like to achieve your desired consistency. Thick tahini sauce is great if using as a sandwich spread. Thinner tahini sauce is great for drizzling over foods or as a dressing.
When desired consistency is reached, taste for seasoning. Add more lemon juice and/or salt.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley. Sprinkle some sumac over the sauce and serve.
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.
Makes about 16 cups:
3 potatoes, washed and scrubbed well
3 carrots, washed and scrubbed well
4 celery stalks
1 bunch parsley
1 onion, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 quarts of water
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place all of the veggies, salt, pepper, and turmeric in a stock pot. Bring to a boil.
Simmer with the lid on the pot for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Strain the vegetables and adjust seasoning if needed.
Nothing comes close to the comforting flavor of homemade chicken stock. Yes, the boxed variety is readily available and is great to keep in your pantry, but homemade is definitely the best!
It is a labor of love so, take out the biggest stock pot you have, or 2 and make enough for the freezer.
Here's what you will need:
1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds), washed
about 16 cups cold water
1 onion, halved
2 celery ribs
6 cloves garlic
2 or more teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Place everything in the stock pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a low simmer and cover. Simmer for 2 hours.
Remove chicken from pot and. Take all of the meat off of the bones and set aside.
Place the bones back in the pot. Remove the veggies from pot add 3-4 cups more water. Simmer the bones between 3-6 hours. The longer the better. This will release the marrow and make it more flavorful.
Remove from heat and pass through strainer.
Once cooled, skim fat from top and package in freezer safe containers or make your favorite chicken soup.
Makes 2 Deep Dish Pie Crusts:
1 pound unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups all-purpose flour
Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth in a tabletop mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the flour in thirds until incorporated.
Collect all the dough on the counter and form a round ball. Cut into two equal portions and form each part into a round. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes till 1 hour to allow to rest and harden a bit. This dough can be stored in the freezer up to one month.
To form a pie crust, lightly dust a work surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out to about 13-14 inches in diameter.
Fold it in half to transfer it onto a 10 inch round by about 2 inch deep pie pan. Open up the dough to cover the pan. Fold the edges under that are hanging out of the pan. Crimp to form a decorative pattern.
Freeze for at least an hour before filling with your favorite pie filling. You may wrap the frozen prepared pie crust in its pan with plastic wrap and store in the freezer up to a month.
These are great to have on hand! Make a bunch and enjoy delicious pie all year round
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!