Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘family’

Baklava Recipe of Hellenic Cuisine Cook book – Detroit, MI

In Recipe, Stories on July 8, 2013 at 11:45

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The Culinary Linguist Baklava from Hellenic Cuisine

Baklava from Hellenic Cuisine
pic by http://www.foundmichigan.org/
Copyright 1956 Sts. Constantine and Helen Book Fund 4801 Oakman Boulevard Detroit, Michigan

It started with an urgent recipe book search, followed by a Whatsapp message to my mom,

“Hey, I’m making baklava and was thinking about yiayia’s recipe book.  Did you give me a copy?”

My Yiayia Christina was a legendary cook.  It’s a family fact that Yiayia and Thea Toula (her younger sister) were a culinary force.  They created delicious Greek food feasts for our families, fed generations and instilled life lessons like great food is made with love (and a whole lot of butter or olive oil).   Their culinary contributions are found in the 1956 recipe book, Hellenic Cuisine, created in Detroit, MI.  You can read more about the history here.

This collection of Greek culinary tradition displays the way women of St. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Detroit raised funds to make change in their community.

The culinary memory of my Yiayia and Thea live on when I recreate a recipe inspired by them.  Making baklava this past weekend was one of those moments.

It transported me back to the kitchen counters of my childhood, painting melted butter on phyllo sheets and chewing on raw phyllo dough when my mom wasn’t looking.  I always loved the way each baklava diamond was adorned with a clove and that eating baklava for breakfast was totally acceptable. ūüôā

The honey drenched crunch of baked baklava even featured at our wedding.  My mother-in-law had a baklava tasting party to make sure the best one was shared with our family and friends.

To recreate baklava in South Africa meant we adapted a recipe to the ingredients we had available.

We substituted walnuts with ground up cashew, almond, brazil nut and pumpkin seeds.  Raisins and cranberries were chopped in the food processor because we were lazy to pick them all out of the trail nut mix.  Instead of using any sugar, we decided to use a honey and farm butter mixture to paint on the phyllo layers.

We even added organic rose water to the mixture from our friend’s at Kuhestan Farm.  I couldn’t resist dipping uncooked phyllo strips in the honey, butter, rose water mixture while lining the pans with all the ingredients.

In addition to the baklava layers in a pan, I rolled some into baklava cigars for variation of shapes.

In the throws of making the sweet layered masterpiece, my mom sent an adapted recipe from the Hellenic Cuisine cook book that my dad claims,  “Jackie Kennedy had a copy.”

In sharing this recipe with you, I hope you get a chance to make baklava and evolve it to your heart’s desire.

Experimenting with tradition creates new memories.

The Culinary LInguist Baklava Recipe

The Culinary Linguist Baklava Recipe Hellenic Cuisine

Mom’s email:

   By popular demand, here is the baklava recipe:
This is the family’s secret recipe but what the heck, if you don’t share good things what else can we share…..

                       Baklava Recipe

5         cups of walnuts, pecans, pistachio or a combination of two or more
( your choice of what you like best, I like walnuts and pistachio)
3/4      cups of sugar
2 T      Cinnamon
1 T       Allspice
2          Phyllo Sheets
1          Lb. sweet butter (yes, 4 sticks – do not cheat on this, otherwise the
ghosts of the past yiayia’s will haunt you)

Blend first 5 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Spray oil or brush butter a large 15 by 25 inch pan
Apply a sheet of phyllo and butter
Butter 6 more sheets of phyllo and then begin to sprinkle nut mixture between every 2 layers of phyllo until all nut mixture is finished.
Keep 5 to 6 pieces of phyllo for top layer
Cut excess phyllo from edge (leaving 1/2 inch) and fold outside edge under and slice whole Baklava into individual pieces (first rows lengthwise and then diagonally across rows).  Apply 1 clove onto center of each piece.  It looks NICE that way.  Plus it adds some flavor.
Bake in 325 degree oven for about 1 hour.
Make syrup while Baklava bakes.

Syrup:
1  cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes

Or,

Add:
1/4 to 1/2  cup honey And water (after you make it couple of times, you will know which strength of sweetness you would prefer)
Simmer for 5 more minutes

Add:
1   T. Vanilla
1   T. Lemon Juice, 1t of rind
Simmer for 2 minutes

When Baklava is removed from oven immediately spread the piping hot syrup ( it should sizzle)
Allow to cool and store covered in cool place for up to 1 week.

This is the dessert you want to share, or invite your friends for a sweet party.

When I was young and energetic, I used to make 5 pans of Baklava and have a Christmas cookie exchange.  This dessert was the favorite and the fastest to go.

Carry on the tradition, but don’t wait for Christmas.  It is good anytime.  Great with Greek/Turkish coffee too.
Enjoy in Good Health and Good Spirits!
Maria

______________________

Hellenic Cuisine cook book baklava pinwheels, The Culinary Linguist

Hellenic Cuisine cook book baklava pinwheels, The Culinary Linguist

The Culinary Linguist-Hellenic Cuisine

The Hellenic Cuisine cookbook seeks to preserve the culinary traditions of ancient and modern Greece. With well over 300 recipes arranged by category, direction have been simplified for the American kitchen. The book blends new and old. Scores of the recipes were submitted in the Greek language and translated.

Real Food Foraging in our Urban edible landscapes.

In Events, Stories, Travel on May 23, 2013 at 16:08

The Culinary Linguist |  Urban ForagingReal food foraging is taking Freetarian tactics to a whole other edible landscape. ¬†It’s not about rummaging through the grocery store’s dump site or scrapping bubblegum off the concrete. ¬†Real food foraging is a learned art: It bridges culinary knowledge, environmental awareness and plant/fungus identification to your own edible advantage. ¬†Growing up with a Greek mom means you are always fed, and digest a lot of culinary knowledge. ¬†One of the innovative skills I learned from her was how to identify food on every corner. ¬†Besides knowing where to eat the best gyros pita, I learned at a young age to identify and protect our urban edible landscapes.¬†The Culinary Linguist |  Urban Foraging

From sidewalk cracks to grassy patches, my Mom taught me that pulling weeds out of the ground could lead to a tasty Vitamin K and A rich dish of boiled lemony greens. ¬†She loved that fact that we never had to buy dandelion greens from Dominick’s-we had them in our city’s backyard. ¬† We lived close to Evanston’s train tracks and Chicago’s Canal. ¬†When developers wanted to build condos there, we got involved and protested. ¬†I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but saving the small forests meant saving the trees I loved to pick mulberries from and preserving a forest floor playground of my youth.

The Culinary Linguist | Save Forests and Urban Forage Save Forests

Living in Cape Town, South Africa reveals a whole new world to me. ¬†In terms of real food urban foraging, it’s bountiful. ¬†We went to Green Renaissance’s curated talk about foraging in our City. ¬†The four speakers shared their local knowledge of each edible landscape they frolick in: Ocean, Urban, Wild, Garden, and Forest.

I’ve posted some tasty recipes in the past about Wild and Real Food Foraging with Mulberries, Grape Vine leaves, Num Nums (Natal Plum), Mushrooms, Mopane Worms, Pomegranates, Prickly Pear and Wild Olive leaves¬†but after the talk on Thursday, I got re-inspired to explore the coastlines and forests of Cape Town’s wild and fertile city setting.¬†The Culinary Linguist |  Urban Foraging

Making Kos‘ Loubie Rusch shared her in-depth botanical knowledge including her tasty jams, jelly and cordial made from indigenious and wild foods around the city. ¬†We came home with Fennel and Wildeals as a generous gift from Bridget Kitley’s Herb Nursery to add to our growing herbal medicine cabinent: the garden. ¬†I nibbled on some sea lettuce from Julian Mori’s portable seawater aquarium and after the talk, we fried porcini and boletus in butter as a tasty snack from Gary Goldman’s mushroom escapades under the pines and poplar of Cape Town’s forests. ¬†Green Renaissance made 30 second inserts of nettle, chestnut and waterblommetjie¬†harvests and recipes along with tips and ideas of how to forage them ourselves, along with a dried porcini gift bag for our attendance. ¬†I was a happy forager foraging the forage talk!

The Culinary Linguist | Figs and Urban Forage The next day, I walked our dog, Lorenzo, through DeWaal park and saw the Waterberry tree was bursting with ripe fruit.  Instead of them staining the concrete in their own natural graffiti style, I will be picking them next time for some Waterberry cordial on these balmy autumn afternoons.

So far, I am happy with Vredhoek/Gardens foraging landscape:

pomegranates, avocados, lemons, guavas, figs can be found just a short walking distance from our house.

Our own garden provides comfrey which can be used for EVERYTHING!  Chris makes tea, and a great salve. Let the learning continue HERE 

 

Green Renaissance-Be Inspired to Forage in your City

South Africa’s West Coast Pomegranate and Peppercorn Salad

In Recipe, Travel on March 25, 2013 at 13:05

Peppercorn salad with PomegranatepeppercornsongroundWestCoastculinarylinguistathenalamberisWest Coast South Africa shade in VerlorenvleiPicking pomegranates in South AfricaThe Culinary Linguist's West Coast getaway #bliss

Soul smiles and surf-sore shoulders leave me mindful and replete. A montage of new faces smiling in the heat. Moon memories and salted dreams sail me through the Monday office beat.

¬†Yes, let’s strike out into the open, where wild places await. Let’s turn off the cell phones, leave our city behind. Let’s forget the time, and live by the heat of the earth. Let’s let this be the last update, sent into space.¬†

¬†I’ll be gone for a while, a moment, a week. To a place with a river, long grass and a beach.¬†– Chris Mason, writer, poet, wildlife filmmaker, my husband:)

We set out to the West Coast, Verlorenvlei near Elandsbay (Elaandsbaai).  With family and friends, the rhythm of the day revolves around the wind patterns and the sun’s heat. At nightfall we light candles, build fires and cook up our communal meals of with mains of snoek, crayfish, mutton, or boerewors.

During the early autumn days on Uithoek farm, red fruits become ripe and our little fingers come to collect them.  One of my all-time favorite, is the pomegranate’s regal rubies that continue to bear fruit until mid autumn.  The other is a tree berry that I recognized from knowing it inside a grinder.  The hanging rainbow peppercorn trees are gifts of shade on the Uithoek farm with their big green wispy branches alongside the farm cottages.  The burst of flavor from the tiny rainbow peppercorn is a medley of fragrant clove, frankincense and cardamom resemblance.  I couldn’t resist some country fruit foraging and harvested a few jars to experiment with some new culinary creations and combinations.  I really love the way the pomegranate and rainbow peppercorn are both powerful little kernels of red fantastic flavor accents.

This is my scrumptious salad recipe I’ve been enjoying this week, bursting with tantalizing flavor combinations.

Pomegranate Salad Recipe in South AfricaWest Coast Candlelight feast in South AfricaWestCoastculinarylinguistathenalamberisFeasting by Candlelight on The Culinary Linguist blog



Pomegranate and Peppercorn Salad Recipe:

200 grams of crisp mixed garden lettuce/watercress/beetroot leaves, etc

1/4 cup fresh pomegranate kernels

1/2 tsp fresh rainbow peppercorns

1/8 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup pecans

1 soft ripe plum or small pear

1/8 cup Danish blue cheese

Dressing:

1 TB tahini

2 TB apple cider vinegar

1 tsp hemp powder

In a small bowl add tahini, hemp powder and apple cider vinegar.  Whisk together.  Wash and rinse the lettuce leaves and plum.  Cut the plum in small bite-size pieces.  Crumble the danish blue cheese.  Toast your pecans and pumpkin seeds until golden brown in a frying pan (the pumpkin seeds will start making crackling sound), then remove from the heat.  Cut open the pomegranate and remove the fresh red pomegranate kernels by removing all the white pith that covers and connects the kernels together.  Add all the ingredients together into a large bowl and drizzle the dressing over.  Toss the salad so all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Enjoy the delicious crunch of pomegranates and rainbow peppercorns in this nutritious salad!

Nourishing traditions on The Culinary Linguist's blog

The Culinary Linguist's road trip up the West Coast South Africa #travelThe Culinary Linguist's DIY hammock The Culinary Linguist's relaxing getaway in South Africa

The Culinary Linguist's West Coast relaxing weekend #farm

firemakingWestCoastculinarylinguistathenalamberis

Pickling Green Bean Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day

In Recipe on March 17, 2013 at 22:13

How to Pickle Green Beans on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe
There’s not much that happens on St. Patricks day in Cape Town. ¬†You could go down to The Dubliner Pub on Long Street or wonder if wearing your “Kiss Me I’m Irish Tshirt” from college could get you a smooch. ¬†Growing up in Chicago, I remember the river turned green (or was it always? :0), Irish Soda Bread filled our stomachs and fraternity parties thought green beer kegs would bring all the girls to the yard.

Pickle Green Beans on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipeThe greenest thing I’m consuming this year are the efforts of my pickled green beans. ¬†Every year in¬†college, my cousin Chrissy would share her ¬†spicy stock of ¬†homemade ‘Dilly Beans” with me. ¬†I would bring them back to my dorm room at Michigan State University and enjoy every tart spicy crunch I’d pull out from the juice of the jar . ¬†As a student, it was the perfect snack in between classes or to keep you spiced up for studying. ¬†Salt and vinegar dilly beans with a cayenne twist lived happily in my cupboard to replace my Funyun and Flaming Hot Cheeto days.

¬† Now, years later the pickled cravings for that long green bean treat has finally been recreated in my kitchen-thanks to her shared recipe in Share. Cook. Love. ¬†Six bottles of white wine vinegar and eight sterlised jars later . . . I had myself a pickling kitchen station ready to spice up anything green for winter food storage. ¬†Eventhough my St. Patty’s day isn’t filled with shamrocks and parades, I am celebrating my freckles, my family and a green recipe with you.

Chrissy’s dilly bean recipe goes a little something like this:

Ingredients to Pickle Green Beans on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe 2 lbs Green Beans ( in separate jars I also used celery, kale, and broccolli)

  1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I also added tumeric, pickling spice, paprika, whole dried chillies and bay leaves to some jars- getcreative)

Spices on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe 4 cloves of garlic


Cayenne on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe
¬† 4 heads of fresh dill (I couldn’t find fresh dill so I settled for sprinkling dry dill into the jars)

  2 1/2 cups water

 2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar

1/4 cup salt (I used Khoisan’s hand harvested ¬†sea salt but any of your preferred quality salt can be used)

How to Pickle Broccoli on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

 

  1. Wash and trim the beans.  Pack lengthwise into clean sterlised jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.

 2. Add 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder to each jar, one clove garlic and one head dill.

3.  Combine water, vinegar, and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Pour this hot mixture over the beans packed in the jars.  Leave 1/4 head space.

4. Adjust lids and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.  Let is stand for at least two weeks for the flavour to develop.

 Makes about 4 pints.

How to Pickle Vegetables on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

Check out the pickling variety: Kale, Broccoli, and celery

My Recipe Book on The Culinary Linguist Blog #recipe

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

Cape Town’s best pizza: Ferdinando’s (and pet-friendly too)

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Stories on April 16, 2012 at 16:04
Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The Don Ferdinando and BYOB

Build it and they will come. ¬†That is the birth story of Ferdinando’s and their quest to sell 10,000 pizzas.

Our friends, Kimon and Diego have been opening their doors to family and friends for countless fun, vibrant foodie celebrations. ¬†Whether it was a birthday or post-4am Long Street search for food, we always were generously fed. ¬†With Manu Chao pumping through the stereo, you relax and share nourishing homemade food in the comfort of their clementine and paprika painted walls. ¬†I’m now remembering the days before Ferdinando’s: ¬†Diego’s Fish Festival¬†with Octopus potato salad with pots of Portuguese mussels .

Last week, Kimon reminded me, “We haven’t been invited out to dinner in AGES!” ¬†My cheeky response: “Well, can we have Ferdinando’s pizza take-away at our house?” ¬†I’ve learned that friends who build a pizza oven in their own home still want to go to dinner parties too!

Ferdinando's Pizza chef on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

Ferdinando's Pizza oven on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The inside oven

When you’re at Ferdinando’s, you’re eating at the best pizza joint in ¬†Cape Town. It feels like you’re dining or entertaining at home and you forget you’re a paying patron yet there’s a nice feeling knowing you don’t have to do the dishes.

But let’s rewind to April 15th:¬†Kimon’s birthday.

Birthday at Ferdinando’s

We celebrated the official opening of Ferdinando’s-the best Italian pizza speak-easy in town. Everybody and their mom knows it (mine does). ¬†It’s not your average pop-up restaurant. It’s guerilla gourmet. Diego loves creating, Kimon is a creative and together they created a love child: ¬†she’s warm and hot all day long (I’m talking about their pizza oven, guys.)

It’s in their previous dining room, but it all makes sense when you sit around the counter and enjoy the edible doppio zero crust canvas of melted cheese and fresh local and Italian ingredients.

Diego and his fire

Since Kimon’s birthday, we have brought numerous friends and my whole family to get in on this bubbling pizza sensation. ¬†We even included our puppy, Lorenzo who loves his older cousin, Ferdinando: the boss, the due√Īo, the dog, the inspiration for the pizzeria’s name. ¬†Any comments, concerns, complaints? ¬†Talk to him.

Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

No doggie bags at Ferdinando’s

Ferdinando's Pizza menu on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The beginning of the pizza quest

Ferdinando’s Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

My Mom and Pops, self-proclaimed pizza lovers and global food critics, rate Ferdinando’s pizza ¬†top-notch. On their world tour, they ate at Ferdinando’s at least once a week in June and July to keep their winter fingers warm and their stomachs lined with Grizzly and Shanico’s. ¬†It was the only way to make it through the Cape Town frigid rain and wind-warm up by the wood-burning oven and digest the best immune boosters: Extra garlic four cheese pizza and don’t pass on the Tiger Sauce!

My brother-in law, Billy, specially requested a beef calzone from Diego (there’s nothing this oven can’t do.)

Ferdinando's Pizza calzone on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The Winter Calzone

My sister, Koko, said ¬†“Yes” to the mozzerella baby (Kimon’s term for eating copious amounts at Ferdinando’s pizza). ¬†Koko used to pick the cheese off her pizza in the 90’s before we had any awareness of Vegan and Lactose-Intolerance diets. ¬†One night at Ferdinando’s pizza can make any Vegan beg for a French Prince. They even make Gluten-free-dom crusts!

Koko eating her share of mozzarella and camembert

And so the love saga continues. ¬†Kimon and Diego love Ferdinando, we love them AND their pizza-oven addition. ¬†We’ll keep supporting them even after the 10,000th pizza is sold and sit down to joy with a reservation for 2 and 1/4, Chris, myself and pup, Lorenzo.

Athena and Chris at Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

Pizza is love yo

Call Kimon or Diego for your own¬†mozzarella baby with Tiger sauce for any Wed, Thurs, Friday Evening 6pm-10pm. And book on Saturdays for your own foodie celebration for 15 or more. ¬†On Monday and Tuesdays, they’ll be eating at our house ūüėČ

CONTACT:Kimon at Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

Mr Diego il chef +27 843519248; miss Kimon the artist +27 847710485.

What to Eat when Visiting Greece’s villages: Nourishing Food Traditions

In Stories, Travel on February 5, 2012 at 13:24

Greek village food on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece   Summertime and road tripping lead to some of my favorite food adventure memories.  In Greece, you can drive on national highways and come across Greek village tavernas that serve greek horiatiki salads under grapevines.  Roadside stalls are piled with local fresh, dried, and preserved food that have been made and celebrated for centuries.  Tradition, food sovereignty, and pride for fresh Greek food is celebrated in most Greek villages you visit.  It certainly reigns true in the Greek village of my Greek summer food memories, Alepohori.  My grandmother, Yiayia Chrissy was born there, and I have grown to know the similar tastes and smells she must have enjoyed in her youth. From the chestnut tree forests and oregano-lined mountains, everything was grown organically and families shared the fruits of the Arcadian soil.  Visiting Alepohori today provides me with hundreds of simple food pleasures.  Today, I am sharing a few of my many favorites that you can enjoy.

1. Drink Ouzo. ¬† If you can find local and homemade, even better. ¬†In the village, drinking ouzo is pastime and for some . . . an immune booster ūüėČ You could claim that walking down to the tavern or to your neighbour’s house for ¬†glass of ouzo on the hill is the reason why people live to 100 here, not to mention consuming a fresh medley of mezedes everyday. ¬† If you like to enjoy long afternoons with traditional tiny plates of food and company from your neighbours, drink ouzo.

Greek Ouzo on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

2. Pick figs and eat them.  If you are lucky enough to be in Greece during the months of July, August, September then you will be in wild food harvesting heaven.

Greek figs on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

3.  Keep an eye out for summer fruit trees.  A simple mountain walk in the afternoon will lead you to picking fresh public produce from the fruit trees.  Below is a modest harvest of bite size Grecian yellow plums.

Picking plums on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

Greek food on The Culinary Linguists blog #GreeceGreek village cats on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

4. ¬†Visit the local cheese dairy and choose the best tasting Feta made from Goat’s milk. ¬†If there are different cheese varieties, buy a small portion of Manouri cheese and fry it up on a skillet at home.

ImageGreek food and cheese on The Culinary Linguists blog #GreeceImage

5. Pick fresh tomatoes from the vine and prepare a traditional Greek village salad:

 Greek salad recipe

2 large tomatoes (cut into bite size chunks)

Put in a medium-sized bowl and add salt to taste.  Toss the tomatoes so the salt draws out the juices.

Add a half a long thin cucumber (cut into half slices)

1/4 of red onion (cut into thin slices)

1/2 green pepper (cut into thin slices)

Mix the salad together.

Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the salad and a pinch of fresh or dried oregano.

1 slice of your fresh feta cheese (portion to your desire)

Place feta on top of the salad and sprinkle more oregano and drizzle more oil.

Add 5-7  marinated olives to the salad.

Grab forks and dive in.

(Note: Once you’ve finished you salad, leave an extra piece of Greek village bread and soak up all the golden juice: salt, tomato juice, oil and oregano, leaving your bowl clean.

Greek salad on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece #recipe

6.  Visit the local farms in the village.  Most are private plots and operate on biodynamic systems that yields incredible organic produce, beautiful to photograph and even tastier to eat straight from ground.

Greek food and natural farms on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

Greek food and honey on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

Be sure to taste honey made in the Peloponnesus mountains

Greek food on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece
Greek men on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece
Greek child on The Culinary Linguists blog #GreeceGreek donkey on The Culinary Linguists blog #GreeceGreek Sunflower on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

7.  Find out where your honey comes from.  Greek honey is so fragrant that getting a chance to see where all the flowers are in bloom makes your next spoonful a visual and sensory treat and a proud locavore.

Greek bread on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

8. Buy Greek village bread.  Next to Alepohori, there is another village, Blakhokeresia, that makes delicious authentic bread.

9.  Learn from your grandmothers.  Every house you visit, or path you cross is an opportunity to learn, taste and enjoy traditional and personal Greek food favorites.  Practice your culinary linguistics and enjoy the range of hospitality that is shown through the food and culture.  Greek village woman on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

10.  Share a delicious Greek village lunch feast with family and neighbors.  Digest it all by taking a nap-preferably in a hammock, underneath the chestnut trees.

Greek food on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

Souvlaki, rice, Greek Salad, baked lemon oven potatoes, sauteed tomato and green beans and anything else that may get piled onto your plate. It will be tasty!

Greek food and village on The Culinary Linguists blog #Greece

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 ‚Äėn 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 ‚Äėn 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 ‚Äėn 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 ‚Äėn 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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Keep it Fresh with Juice and Beets

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on November 10, 2011 at 13:15

When my amigaFresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice, talented singer/songwriter,¬†Ernestine Deane, was preparing to migrate to Germany, she generously gave her juicer a new home, which is now my new favourite kitchen instrument.¬† Up until Ernestine’s last week in Cape Town, the Le Dou MagiMix spun out delicious alchemy for her family, most importantly fresh orange juice to keep the immune system boosting during the last winter months in the Cape Town peninsula.¬† Now that oranges are less in abundance and spring has come into play, the iron and folic acid powerhouse: beetroot is added to every juice mix I make. Find out more what beets have to offer at: Juicing for your Health.Fresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice

The recipe below is my morning favourite.  Rich in beta-carotene, anti-oxidants and iron . . . It makes me feel that I’ll never have to wear blush again if I keep consuming such colourful produce. Turn up the volume to soulful dub while you juice your carrot sticks and beets.  It will brighten your insides and out: Play it here and wash your veggies nice.

In your juicer:

Six whole carrots

1 beetroot

Six strawberries

Healthy Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice #recipe

Chop some fresh mint for a natural mouth freshener while you gulp down the goodness.

Makes almost a pint of juice!  Chug it down.

Dankie Erniewam! x

TIP: Juice the carrots first and remove the carrot fiber from the juicing blades and place in your garden compost.  The worms will thank you. Then juice the beetroot and strawberries and save the fiber so you can later transform it into a scrumptious breakfast. (I made pink pancakes with it.)  Stay tight for that yummy post soon.

Fresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice #recipe

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‚Äôll be back in Greece buying white peaches from my Yiayia‚Äôs (grandmother) neighbourhood laiki (produce market) and learning how to make feta cheese from the thea’s (Aunties) in the horio (village).¬† But lately I‚Äôve 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‚Äôt 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‚Äôt put to waste, the agitation caused by boiling water won‚Äôt 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.

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