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I have been away for so long , due to my difficulty to share my thoughts on different sites. Therefore, I thought of gathering them all on https://www.tsu.co/YanSoul . Please follow me there, so we do not lose track of each other.
I have not posted something in such a long time. The truth is that I was busy studying, cooking, enjoying time with my beloved friends in Copenhagen.
Few weeks ago, my mother wanted to send me a parcel with a gift (it was shoes!!), so she asked if I wanted anything from Greece. I asked for two specific spices, because I wanted to make something that we usually eat traditionally on Easter. Well, she sent me mastic and mahlab as I had asked her too ( to be completely honest and pay tribute to my mother´s care for me, she had included so many other stuff that I usually miss, like a stick of lavender from our garden).
So few days ago, I attempted to make tsoureki, some sort of sweet bread. For my family, that is one of the reason to compete, or rather have long discussions about every year. That is due to the fact that there is not a satisfying recipe to make it and since it yeast is involved some times you do not get the results you want. My mother had given me a recipe, though which I altered a bit. It was really successful, so my mother asked for my recipe in return!
The ingredients I used are the followings:
1 cup of warm milk in which I added 150 gr of butter
1+ cup of sugar ( 1 cup is enough, but not for my family)
50 gr yeast ( 1 cube)
1 kg flour
2 tsp mahlab
2 tsp mastic (you can add more, I am pretty sure I did, but this is the safest option)
In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in some water. Add some of the flour and let the yeast be activated for half an hour in a warm place.
Add all the ingredients in a big bowl and stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
The next step is to add the rest of the flour and the activated yeast.
Give it some love and then cover the bowl with a towel. It will take few hours till it is ready but when you thing that the dough has gained some volume, create the shape presented on the above picture, or just give the dough any shape you like. Let it gain some additional volume and then bake in a preheated oven. The temperature has to be around 160 degrees. It will take approximately 40 minutes to be baked.
It is not a simple recipe as one can guess but it is worth trying!
My classmates at Uni really enjoyed it the day after! Morning classes and breakfast is a nice way to start the day!
Finally, it is Spring in Copenhagen, although I believe it won´t last. Due to the difference in the atmosphere I have the feeling that I live in an exotic place and not in a Scandinavian country.
When the weather is good, it is time for fish in Greece.. Usually eating outdoors in one of the nice tavernas by the sea.
For that reason, I decided to cook fish yesterday. Unfortunately there were no lemons in da house, so I was trying to find a substitution for lemon juice..
I had a can of pineapple in my drawer, so I decided that this would be the best option. Usually i put the fish in a hot pan for approximately 4 min. each side and finally I add some lemon juice. This time though instead of lemon juice, pineapple juice was added. Just right before the fish was put on the plate, chive was added.
The garnish consisted of vegetables, slightly cooked with the addition of some butter and slightly fried boiled potatoes. For the potatoes chunks of pineapple but also the juice were used to add some flavour.
Needless to say it was delicious. The fish had that perfect sour taste, that lemon usually adds. The potatoes were slightly caramelised, due to the sugar of the pineapple juice. Garlic of course was added in every stage of cooking, adding some Mediterranean flavour to the ingredients.
Just try it..!
In Greece, salad recipes abound in the cookbooks. One of the many traditional ingredients are lentils. In the old days, people used to combine them with rice, creating a nice meal that most of the times would consist the main course.
I tried to create an alternative recipe today, keeping alive the greek utterance of the dish.
The ingredients are the following:
lentils, rice, peppers, cucumber, fresh celery, salt, paprika, olive oil and vinegar.
Everything apart of the lentils and the rice are raw, that is why this dish is probably a salad.
To be honest, it was the first time I prepared it, given that I am not the biggest fan of lentils. I told my mom and she praised my health eating habits!
What always amazes me is, that as long as olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice is added in a food, the taste is so familiarly greek that makes even the cold Copenhagen feel like my warm hometown..
So yesterday I had an exam, so I came back home tired. I fell asleep having this idea of baking, but no energy at all. Half an hour later, I find myself in the kitchen getting dirty!
I took me some time to make these buns, but they worthwhile.
The ingredients are the following:
500 gr plain flour
1 cup of sugar
50 gr butter
300 ml milk
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp of cinnamon
1 cup raisins
7 gr dry yeast
1 big apple chopped
1 beaten egg
Some additional flour for dusting will be needed.
This is how it is done:
Starting up by heating up the milk.
When the temperature rises, add the butter let them cool down. When it reaches room temperature, add the yeast and stir until it is dissolved.
Peel off the skin of three really small apples or a big one.
Next step is adding all of the ingredients in a bowl.
The dough has to be kneaded,until it becomes smooth and elastic. Then it has to be left to rest until doubles. A good way to promote this procedure is, to put the bowl in the oven while setting the temperature around 30 degrees or lower. This will take about one hour.
When it is ready, divide the dough into small even pieces.
For this a floury surface will be needed.
After rolling them into a small ball, place them on a baking tray. This will be the second time the buns will be resting. For that reason, they have to be arranged in a way that some space are left between them. After one hour or so the buns are ready to be baked.
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes or until they become brown.
As a final step, some glaze can be used. For that, preheat some apricot or orange jam. Pour some of the warm jam over the buns and BANG!
the buns are ready!
I am not gonna write about cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, but vegetables again. Just came back from a trip in Berlin,Germany. I went out a lot and I tried few things I haven’t before, but I felt kind of deprived of vegetables. It is not that my friends do not eat them, but because we were walking the whole day. So now that I am back, I decided to compensate my past self, giving him plenty of vegetables.
I like broccoli and cauliflower and of course I love carrots.. I love all of them so I though of combining them today.
My mother, who is greek and she adds tomato sauce to everything, called me so in order to honour her and due to some lack of imagination I added some tomato sauce as well.
Since I consider myself rebellious, I also added some lemon juice for the sake of being so!
I forgot to mention that the veggies were slightly boiled but they were finished in a pan were same garlic and nice mushrooms had already been slightly fried.
The special thing about dishes like that is, that they are some sort of salad and some sort of sauce at the same time, so they can easily be combined with some past or rice and BAM! you have a new dish!