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May 08, 2018

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How to Enjoy Kalamon Olive Spread (Tapenade)

 

This versatile, flavorful spread can be enjoyed in a lot of ways.  (Seriously, google it, you’ll come up with over 650,000 results.)

We've narrowed the list down to some of our favorites:

  • spread a little on a slice of baguette
  • add it to hummus and serve with pita, crackers, raw veggies
  • mix it with mayonnaise and use it as a sandwich spread
  • mix it in your favorite pasta, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some shaved parmesan
  • add a small amount to your avocado toast (a little is all you need)
  • flavor your salad dressing
  • mix it into egg salad and add some chopped chives
  • mix it into marinara sauce for instant Puttanesca 
  • combine it with softened goat cheese and toasted panko breadcrumbs and use the mixture to stuff mushrooms; bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees
  • add it to your bread dough for an easy and delicious olive loaf
  • add it to polenta

What's your favorite?  Click on the title of this post, scroll down and let us know in the comments section.

 

March 23, 2018

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Chicken and Pasta (the Greek way)

Hilopites are small, square shaped egg noodles, especially made in Greece.  The pasta can be made from scratch and the recipe is super easy.  (Find it at the end of this post.) 

But you don’t have to do all that... just buy a bag at the nearest Greek grocer.  If there isn't one near you, no problem!  Get some thin or medium width egg noodles, crush them gently while sill in the package or use orzo.  This recipe will work just as well with those substitutions.

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 - 6 pieces of chicken (thighs, breast, drumsticks, bone-in or deboned but remember to adjust cooking time for bone-in pieces)

 2 - 3 cups hilopites, crushed egg noodles or orzo

14 ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes

2 and 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)

I large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon allspice (whole)

all purpose flour

salt, pepper and oregano to taste

 

 

Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large, wide-bottomed pot.  Lightly flour the chicken pieces and add to the pot; brown over high heat a couple of minutes on each side, adding a little salt and pepper as you go.  Don’t cook all the way through.

Remove the chicken to a dish/bowl, cover and keep in a warm place.  To the pot, add one chopped onion and 4 cloves of garlic (minced) and sauté until the onion is translucent and soft.  

Add tomatoes, a teaspoon of whole allspice and salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper is recommended).  Cook for 5 minutes then add one cup of water and the chicken.  Cook until chicken is done (5-10 minutes, depending on whether you’re using boneless or bone-in pieces).

Remove chicken and set aside in a warm place, add another two cups of water to the pot and the hilopites (or whichever type of pasta you’re using) and cook as directed on the package.  (Hilopites usually cook within 5 minutes.)  Add water if the sauce thickens too quickly (hilopites tend to “drink” up the liquid) so that you have a thickened but not “dry” sauce.  Add the 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to finish your sauce.

Serve the pasta and chicken with grated parmesan and a salad of your choice and enjoy!

 

 

Fresh Hilopites

ingredients:

7 cups all purpose flour

1 cup milk

4 eggs

1/2 cup of salt

3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil 

Combine the first four ingredients and half the olive oil adding milk or flour, as needed, to obtain a firm dough.   Once you make the dough, add some olive oil to a work surface and roll out the dough with a long, long rolling pin (my mom still uses a special “broomstick” kind of rolling pin she had made especially for this purpose) Wrap the dough around the pin (you will have many layers) and cut long strips through all the layers.  The strips should be slightly wider than a fettuccini, about the width of your pinky. Then cut those strips crosswise, spread the pieces out on table to dry and ta-da you have hilopites. 

If not using immediately, once thoroughly dried, store your hilopites in an air-tight container in the refrigerator (we keep ours in the crisper).  In addition to the Chicken and Hilopites recipe above, you can use the hilopites in most pasta dishes, especially those calling for a delicate flavor and texture.

 

September 03, 2017

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Summer Quinoa Salad

Love, love, love this gorgeous salad for its textures, colors and balance of flavors.  The silky/crunchy texture of quinoa, the mellow roasted broccoli florets and summer squash, crunch of red onion and tang of feta.  Like so many of our dishes, it can be made a day ahead and enjoyed as a side dish or a main attraction.

Any quinoa will do.  We like the tri-color just for the fun of it.

 

The recipe we put together includes summer squash, broccoli, red onion and corn but you can use the vegetables you like best (or have on hand).  Peppers, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, the choices are endless.  Keep it to three or four and throw in some black beans too, if you like.  Our recipe is more of a loose guide than something written in stone.  

 

Our recipe:

1 1/2 cups Quinoa (cooked for 20-25 minutes (drain and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil and let cool)

Florets from 3-4 stalks of broccoli

1 large or two small zucchini,  cubed

1 red onion, diced

Kernels from two ears of corn (or the equivalent of frozen corn, about 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup crumbled feta (or to taste)

For the dressing:

1/3 cup lemon juice, white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar

2/3 cup oilladi extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon oilladi thyme honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh or dried herbs (oregano, thyme or basil work beautifully with this salad)

Use the herb of your choice, as noted above.  Here we used Greek basil (aka bush basil). The leaves are small and delicate and have a subtle aroma and flavor.  

Cook the vegetables until slightly softened (boil the corn and either sautee or roast the broccoli and zucchini).  Leave the red onion raw.

Combine the vegetables and let cool to room temperature.

Pour the lemon juice or vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey, salt and pepper to taste in a glass jar and cover tightly.  Shake vigorously to emulsify.  (Alternatively, you can simply whisk the ingredients in a mixing bowl.)

 

Emulsified!

Combine quinoa, veggies and dressing and crumbled feta. Enjoy!

 

 

September 03, 2017

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Tourlou - The Greek Ratatouille

Ratatouille in French, Tourlou in Greek or Briam in Turkish.  It's a classic, versatile dish that works beautifully as a side dish to a meat or chicken main but can stand alone as the main attraction.  Just add good, crusty bread, feta and olives on the side and you're good to go.

Start with onions, garlic and tomatoes and add the veggies of your choice.  The traditional recipe calls for eggplant and zucchini but green beans, artichoke, okra can all be added in or used as a substitute.  

Fresh, ripe tomatoes are best but if they're not available, chopped canned tomatoes (without herbs or salt) do a fine job as stand-ins.

           

 

 

 

Ingredients

1/4 cup (plus more for drizzling) Extra virgin olive oil

5-6 ripe or 28 oz of canned tomatoes

2 - 3 medium onions

5 cloves of garlic

2 medium eggplant

3 - 4 medium zucchini

fresh basil leaves

 

Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

Cut the eggplant and zucchini into large cubes or thick strips.  In a large casserole, toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven.  Stir occasionally until just cooked through (15 to 20 minutes, on average).

While the eggplant and zucchini roast, rough chop your tomatoes (if using fresh), rough chop the garlic and thickly slice the onion.

In a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil, saute the onion 5 - 7 minutes, add garlic and continue sauteing for another minute then add the tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally for approximately 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves.

Lower oven heat to 350 degrees, combine tomato mixture with the vegetables in the casserole and return to the oven for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Serve as a side dish to chicken or meat or as a main course with crusty bread and feta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 03, 2017

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Orzo, Feta and Tomato Salad

Feta, feta and more feta.  Truth is, we eat it year-round but definitely more so in the summer months.

In Greek salad, crumbled over grilled asparagus, in our spinach pie, and served on the side with so many meals.

 

Oh, and dill and lemons.  They seem to make more appearances in the summer as well.

 

This pasta salad is so easy and quick to prepare and looks very pretty, especially if you use colorful tomatoes which are easier to find in the warmer months.

Ingredients (for 8-10 side-dish servings; recipe can be adjusted for less or more servings):

2 cups orzo

3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or any small tomato cut into bite size pieces)

2 cups crumbled feta

3/4 cup chopped fresh dill

3/4 cups oilladi

2 teaspoons lemon zest

salt and pepper (start with 1/2 teaspoon each and adjust to your taste)

 

 

Prepare orzo as directed, drain and rinse with cold water.  

Combine with all other ingredients and serve at room temperature. (The rose, however, should be chilled.)

 

March 15, 2017

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The Fluffiest Pancakes on the Planet

I know, that title is loaded but we promise, it's true.  This recipe uses a "soured" milk and our buttery oilladi extra virgin olive oil for always fluffy, delicious pancakes.

Ingredients:

1 cup milk (any fat content, soy milk is fine)

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (can substitute a white wine or apple cider vinegar but either of those will change the taste of the pancakes which may be fine, just be aware)

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar (optional and wholly unecessary if you plan to serve the pancakes with syrup or jam)

1 egg

2 tablespoons oilladi extra virgin olive oil

 

In a small bowl, combine the milk and the vinegar and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.

In a separate larger bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

in a third small bowl, whisk together the egg and the olive oil until well blended.

After about 5 - 10 minutes, combine all ingredients, whisk until smooth, and let sit for another 10 minutes.  

In a skillet, heat a small amount of oilladi or, if you prefer, a pat of butter (we prefer clarified).

Pour a quarter cup of the batter and cook until lightly browned on both sides and fully cooked through.

Serve with butter, maple syrup, jam or a little powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

February 09, 2017

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Olive Oil Cake and Honey Syrup

It's snowing out.  That means I'll either be making a stew or a soup for dinner... but that's later. 

This is now and I have a jar of NY Buzz honey in my possession , patiently waiting for me to use it in a way that will be worthy of its deliciousness.  

Olive oil cake it is!

Here's a really quick and easy version for you with an absolutely dreamy honey syrup to drizzle on top.

FOR THE CAKE

3 cups all purpose flour (and two tablespoons for prepping the pan)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk (any fat content) at room temperature

1/4 cup brandy or orange liquor

1/4 cup orange juice

zest from one lemon

3 large eggs at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

SYRUP

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

2 whole cloves

2 strips of orange or lemon zest 

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Oil the bottom and side of a cake pan, cut out a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place in the oiled pan.  Oil the parchment paper and dust with two tablespoons of flour.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in one bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine milk, brandy, orange juice and lemon zest.   

In a third, large bowl, combine eggs and sugar and beat with a whisk until smooth.  Gradually add the olive oil to the egg and sugar mixture, and continue beating with the whisk until well emulsified.

Add liquid ingredients to the egg/sugar/olive oil mixture, combine well and then add the dry ingredients, one third at a time, combining well in between each addition.  Don't overbeat, just make sure the ingredients are well combined and the batter is smooth.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for one hour and ten minutes.

While the cake bakes, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, water, orange zest and cloves and bring to a low simmer.  Let it simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cake is done, let it rest for 10-15 minutes.  Place a large platter or cutting board over the cake pan and invert the cake.  Peel away the parchment paper and, using another platter or cutting board (a cookie sheet will do as well) invert the cake again.

Drizzle the syrup onto the cake.

Enjoy!

 

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