Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Share. Cook. Love: The Cook Book

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories on August 5, 2012 at 15:53

Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Our story began 2005, Feb 14th.

Durban, South Africa.  A Surfer met a Gypsy at Capoeira class.  It was a Monday, after the first day of our third year at University.

7 years later, in the province where it all began, we told everyone we loved to join us for a festival of families, a love

celebration . . . our wedding.

Friends and family came as far as California, Thailand, Belgium and Detroit. And on the Monday before our wedding I was given the most thoughtful and loving gift.

My sister, Koko, compiled a recipe book that she titled:

A collection of recipes on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Share. Cook. Love

The cookbook

Gathered by the women that love you.

As I opened this gift at my surprise Kitchen Tea, it felt as though my heart was reliving my most touching memories-an overwhelming feeling of love washed over me and misted my eyes.  I paged through over 50 recipes of family and friends that represented so many facets in my life.  From friends that were celebrating our marriage from afar, in Brasil, New York, Chicago and Nicaragua- I was able hear their voice through their shared words and recipes.  This cookbook was made for me and the diversity in dishes and loving varieties directly reflected the beautiful community of women in my life.  From dressings, to desserts, every tradition and recipe chosen for my own personal anthology of culinary linguists will be cherished throughout my life.

Now when I am missing my family and friends and want to create and cook from my heart–I can thank everyone who contributed to this emblem of friendship and love.  As a bride, it was a collage of memory that reverberated through my heart and now as a wife, it is a personal love resource from all the sisters and mothers that I get to celebrate with.  I have years of memory and new memories to look forward to, by creating edible creations curated by them.

This is culinary linguists at it’s best: a true example of love.

My family recipe contributors on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

My mom, sister, myself and mamabel

Athena and Chris Wedding Day on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding

Our wedding day June 30th

Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #love

the day before our wedding day

The recipe book on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Diving into the culinary linguists!

Athena and Koko on The Culinary Linguists blog #family

Koko and I in 1984

Athena, Bride to be on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding belindaandAthenakitchenteakitchenteainDurban Wedding Stationary Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding Athena and Chris' reception on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding

A Durban Curry Bunny Chow Heat Feast in Cape Town

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on January 15, 2012 at 09:34

Durban Curry Bunny Chow on The Culinary Linguist Blog #South AfricaClimate change and Durban curry?  What do they have in common?

It’s the only meal that will cool you down when a sub-tropical heatwave rolls through Cape Town.  A humid blanket covered the the whole city.  To survive the heat, we consumed the heat.  We invited our friends and a self-proclaimed Durban curry chef to bring their favorite curry ingredients, unsliced white bread and their swimming costumes.  Together, we sat by the pool regulating our body temperatures until the heat feast began.  Here’s a sneak peak of all the spicy humid harmony that was sprinkled

around the house:

Durban Curry Bunny Chow Pool Party on The Culinary Linguist Blog #South Africa

Pimm’s lemonade and soda

Olives, kuhestan’s persoan pickled lime served with cucumber slices

Banana, coconut sambal

Raita

Onion, tomato, dhania, red/yellow/green pepper/red cabbage with lemon or rice vinegar

Nice ‘n Spicy Natal Indian Masala Curry

Guy cooked for ten of us in two pots, frying the onions in oil until golden brown, together with garlic and ginger and the spices from Nice ‘n Spice.

Keeping it orginal and true to Durban bunny chow, there was chicken and potato added and cooked together to make a nice thick curry stew.

Here is a sample recipe to try at home as per Nice ‘n Spicy spice packets:

1 kg diced beef, mutton or chicken

1/4 cup oil for frying

2 chopped medium onions

4 cloves garlic crushed

1 small piece ginger root grated

10 curry leaves optional

1 tsp salt

1 TB sugar

2 large ripe tomatoes chopped

4 potatoes peeled and cubed

1/4cup chopped coriander leaves

15 grams Nice ‘n Spicy Masala curry mix

Courtesy of www.agnet.co.za/nicenspice

Curry is best if cooked the day before and allowed to develop its full flavour overnight in the refrigerator.  We didn’t wait and left no curry drop behind.  We used bread as our utensils and wiped every flavour from the dishes clean.

Check out the behind the scenes on the slideshow:

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Pink Pancake Recipe with Strawberry and Beetroot

In Recipe on November 17, 2011 at 12:21

Healthy Pancakes on The Culinary Linguist Blog #beetroot

Mickey Mouse pancakes were cool growing up.  I  got to eat dessert for breakfast; sugar-gooey syrupy pancakes with chocolate chip eyes, a cherry nose and whip cream smiles.  These days, I discovered eating pink pancakes are just as fun for breakfast and have a natural sweetness thanks to the sugarbeet and strawberries added in the batter.  By transforming your juiced fiber from your juicer into a delicious batter you can get a nutritious colorful pancake fry-up for breakfast that tastes like dessert but provides you with a wholesome breakfast.  It looks like you are cooking playdough, but I promise it’s tastes much than your days at preschool.

Here is this fun-blushing recipe:

Juice in your juicer:

1 beetroot

6 strawberries

Remove the fiber of the beetroot and strawberries from inside your juicer and place in a separate bowl.Strawberry and Beet Pancakes on The Culinary Linguist Blog #breakfast

Mix dry ingredients first:

1/2 cup flour

2 TB sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup oat milk powder

Then add:

1 egg

Beetroot & Strawberry fiber

Slowly pour 1/3 cup water (or the beetroot/strawberry juice) into the bowl until batter is at a  thick but smooth consistency.

Heat a dab of butter/oil on your griddle and spoon the batter on the surface, spreading it out in the shape you desire. Spread it out to about a centimeter deep and let it cook on one side on high heat for 3 minutes. If it’s easy to slide on the pan, then flip it. This batter is super easy to flip but can burn fast so keep an eye on it.

Frying Note:  Since there is beetroot and strawberries mixed into the batter, the inside layer between the cooked sides will remain soft.  Don’t mistaken it as it being undercooked . . . It won’t become cooked dough because the heated beetroot and strawberry give it the soft gooey consistency on the inside.  When it gets to a golden colour on both sides, consider it cooked.

Here’s the fun part.  When you take it off the heat, spread tahini on top or mascarpone cheese.  Serve with fresh strawberries and your favorite syrup.  I drizzled the famous Prickly Pear for added sweetness. Garnish as you like using fresh fruit.

Strawberry and Beet Pancakes on The Culinary Linguist Blog #breakfast #africa

Sweet Note: The sweetness of the strawberries and beetroot are already in the batter, so add more of less sugar into the batter to your taste.  I like things sweet so adding just 2 TB is enough since I load up the pancakes with syrup afterwards.  Plus if you substitute water for beet-strawberry juice, than the sweet content will be even higher, leaving no need for sugar.

TIP:  These pancakes can easily become savoury, just leave out the sugar.  Enjoy pink pancakes for lunch and add stir-fried vegetables or a lentil curry inside. Yum!

To Cook or Dehydrate: Raw Food Recipes and Creativity

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on November 8, 2011 at 11:54

Rawlicious on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

I just learned how to harvest Aloe Ferox from the ‘cook’ book Rawlicious-Recipes for Radiant Health.  It’s a recipe book that encourages you to make colourful and vibrant food by encouraging you to put aloe in your smoothies, have sprouts as a kitchen staple,  and make edible flower salads that look like birthday confetti.  Who wouldn’t want to pick flowers and eat them too? 

I’ve enjoyed some great raw food dishes from this book made by friends who have created delicious versions of the Mango-gooseberry cheesecake and savoury snacks. The Rawlicious team, Lexi, Beryn and Peter, have put together a beautiful book that makes it fun and intriguing to incorporate raw dishes into your daily graze.  I don’t think I’ll ever substitute pancakes on the griddle for dehydrated ones but I most definitely will enjoy the creativity that goes into making other raw food dishes.  It’s a proudly South African Raw Recipe book that even attempts biltong in the form of aubergine. Props to that! I most definitely am going to try it out and attempt the beetroot ravioli too. I love having a recipe book that experiments with all the possibilities that food in it’s natural element has to offer.  Stay tuned for some posts on making these raw recipes come alive in true culinary linguistic style.

Raw Food on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

Do you have any great raw recipes to share?  I’d love to hear your tips, post your links, methods, and pics right here. The food pictures posted are from home gardens in my paternal grandmother’s village, Alepohori, Greece in the Peloponnese.  A place where radiant health is determined by the food you grow and the food you eat.

Raw Food on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

Step by Step-Easy Dolmades Recipe (just like your Yiayia’s)

In Recipe on July 15, 2011 at 13:36

Easy Dolmades on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipeIn less than a month, I’ll be back in Greece buying white peaches from my Yiayia’s (grandmother) neighbourhood laiki (produce market) and learning how to make feta cheese from the thea’s (Aunties) in the horio (village).  But lately I’ve been channeling my ancestors by consuming far too many olives and craving those cultural food comforts like lamb and dolmades.  The craving manifested itself when we decided to have ten friends over to watch some doccies on a projector.  I looked in our fridge and we didn’t have much but some leftover pickled ginger, bamboo shoots, cabbage, carrots, and a jar of vine leaves..

There aren’t many weekends left before we go to Greece, so attempting the dolmades became decided.

When I was fourteen, My Uncle Terry came to visit us from Israel and brought my mom the ultimate gadget: The Dolma Roller.  You place your vine leaf flat and your stuffing in the middle of the gadget, pull a lever towards you and out pops a tightly rolled dolma.  It seemed to work when we tested it out with newspaper and you could even change the size of how thin or thick you wanted the dolma to be rolled.  We were impressed but it was never put to real use, it never made it to the kitchen and was tested to roll other things in the basement.  Dolmades I most enjoyed were at my Yiayia Chrissy and Thea Toula’s house in Detroit, Michigan where they used a lamb/rice stuffing and made an avgolemeno sauce served on top of them.

My grandmother's dolmades on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

YiaYia Chrissy blowing out candles circe 1977

Luckily in Cape Town, you can buy vine leaves and my friend, Frances, brought them over one day thinking they were ready made dolmades. I had made that mistake once before. She left the jar with me and they sat therefor three weeks waiting to be made until there was nothing left to make but these delicious hand-rolled dolmades.  With some research on rolling styles, I managed to make 50 dolmades and created an easy vegan stuffing recipe that can be creatively adapted to use lots of different legumes that you can experiment with.  With the left over stuffing I made vegan patties to cook on the grill.  Scrumptious!  That recipe later….

Easy Vegan Dolmades Stuffing

3 cups rice

1 cup brown lentil

6 cups water

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 small chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped cabbage

1 large grated carrot

50-60 vine leaves

2 large grated onions

Juice of 5 lemons

Lemon slices for the bottom of the pot

Lots of extra virgin olive oil

Makes enough stuffing for about 50 dolmades

Easy Dolmades using a hot box wonder bag on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

The Hot Box

Boil water and put in the rice, lentils, salt and pepper, chopped onion, carrot, cabbage.  Lower to a simmer until fully cooked or put it in your hot box for two-three hours.  I never knew how to cook rice perfectly until I made this hot box.  I think it is a must-have and you save a load on electricity.  While the stuffing is cooking, grate the 2 onions into a pulp.  Add this to your cooked rice and lentils and knead it into the stuffing so it creates a wet dough-like consistency you can form into mounds.  Wash the vine leaves off from the preservative water they are stored in and lay it out flat.

Easy Dolmades rice filling on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipePlace about 2 tablespoons of your stuffing mix by the edge of where the stem would start from the leaf.

How to roll dolmades on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

1 step

How to roll dolmades on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

2. Place the stuffing on the bottom of the leaf and fold the left corner

How to roll dolmades on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

3. Fold the right corner over the stuffing

How to roll dolmades on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

4. Fold the top left corner toward the middle

How to roll dolmades on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

5. Fold the top right corner toward the middle

6. Roll the leaf from the bottom toward the top of the leaf

How to roll dolmades on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

7. Roll it tight into your dolma shape

Fold the left bottom corner of the vine leaf over the stuffing.  Fold the right vine leaf over the stuffing, crossing over the left leaf side. Then fold the top left towards the middle of the leaf, and then the right side toward the middle.  From the bottom of the leaf, roll the covered stuffing toward the top point of the leaf, keeping the roll tight and even. Your dolma has been rolled and is ready to be put in the bottom of the pot. Rolled dolmades on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe Pack the bottom of the pot tightly with all the dolmades. Jo’s Cypriot tip is to line the bottom and the top of the pot with lemon slices so while the dolmades boil, they soak up the flavour of the lemon and vine leaf juice.  Once your pot is packed with the dolmades, pour water about 2 cm over the top layer. Place a plate that fits into the pot cavity to rest on top of the dolmades, then place a bowl on top of that plate with a heavy rock or brick.

So all your hard work of rolling each dolma by hand isn’t put to waste, the agitation caused by boiling water won’t disturb the dolmades that are securely weighed down by your plate, bowl, rock combo. Place the lid on top of the pan and boil the water on medium heat for an hour, or place in the handy little hot box and open up two hours later…

If there is left over water, drain it and place your steamy dolmades onto a platter.  Pour the fresh lemon juice over the them while they are still hot and then drizzle lots of olive oil to make them shine.  I wanted to take a picture of the final platter, but in 10 minutes, between 12 of us, all the dolmades were eaten and enjoyed. I was hoping there was going to be leftovers, so next time I’ll have all my sisters over to have a troop of us rolling the dolmades for us to eat and take home.  I definitely will be making these babies again, seeing they were so simple to make and with the help of the hot box, it made it super economical to make. Can’t wait to be eating mezedes in Ellada!  If I were to open a sidewalk cafe, it would definitely be made up of mezze platters featuring these super simple lemony scrumptious vegan dolmades.

Communal Meals and Charcuterie at Glen Oakes Guest Farm

In Friend's Kitchens, Stories, Travel on July 6, 2011 at 16:50

Have you ever stayed in a stone cottage with pigs and sheep as your next acre neighbour? In Hemel an Aarde Valley, there is a pig farm.

Eight of us spent an electricity-free weekend on a farm greeting free-ranging piglets and making communal breakfast from the farm’s fresh eggs (and guess where the bacon came from).  A year ago, I wouldn’t have eaten pork or thought spending a weekend on a pig-raising farm was going to be so much fun.  I have a childhood memory of seeing my first live pig at an Illinois Country Fair.  The hog walked around a small ring and then laid lazily on his side until people voted on what colour ribbon he would receive.  He could have been related to a rhino and I was mesmerised by his size and demeanour.  This time around, I was mesmerised by healthy active pigs in their free-ranging environment.

In the Hemel-and-Aarde Valley, on Glen Oakes farm, we walked along the paths and dirt roads that wove through the pig’s grazing range.  We stopped by the fence to get a closer look at the tubby mammals and two large female pigs boldly came up to greet us. “You’d think they like their ears scratched but they love their eyes to be tickled” Julie explained, the owner of Glen Oakes Farm.  At the main house, Julie tallied and weighed our choices of Richard Bosman charcuterie, “You’ll see that the coppa is so well marbled which is due to our pigs having lots of space and room to roam around.”  It was the first time I was on a pig farm, witnessing the condition of the pig’s home, meeting the chocolate brown breeding boar, Major, and then consuming the charcuterie made from the raised pig’s at the Glen Oakes farm. Here’s more on the free-range to charcuterie story.

It was a fascinating full food cycle that turned the weekend into a foodie affair.  We roamed right back to the stone cottage with our basket of charcuterie, waving past the piglets and female pigs and made a platter of the chorizo, fennel sausage, cheese and artisan breads in front of the fire. We were truly consuming ethical charcuterie, except for our vegetarian Inge who proclaimed her clear conscious to all of us:) She took beautiful pictures of the surroundings with medium format film.

Our foodie night affair commenced with Three bean Raw Cilantro Salsa, Garlic Artisan Ciabatta, Butternut Soup, Fillet with Tomato Balsamic Relish and a handmade Lemon Tart.

Andrew’s plate

Breakfast was a mosaic of fresh fruit, grapefruit-orange cocktail to quench, farm scrambled eggs, slow roasted cherry tomatoes and rye bread from jason bakery.  Sixteen hands all contributed to fabulous feasts of farm fresh produce.  A love for slow homemade food was celebrated and spoke a language of appreciation for communal meals shared by friends, chew by chew.  Glen Oakes Guest Farm was also an inspiration and a positive example of how ethical food practices are an essential element to our food democracy.

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