Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘honey’

Baklava Recipe of Hellenic Cuisine Cook book – Detroit, MI

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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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. 🙂

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.

Morning Power Smoothie with Baobab Fruit Powder

In Recipe on September 8, 2010 at 16:05

A morning smoothie that uses super-powered natural foods to the best of their ability. You’ll consider fruit and nut gathering as a hobby after making this potion.

Baobab Smoothie on The Culinary Linguist Blog #smoothie

Ingredientes:

1 cup Oats (ground)

2 cups water/tea

1 TB wheatgrass

2 tsp Maca

2 TB flax powder

1 TB hemp powder

1 TB baobab fruit powder

1 TB unheated honey

1/2 TB coconut oil

10 almonds

4 medium sized pitted dates

2 frozen bananas

Garnish: Raw Bee Pollen, Cacao

The story:

The Coffi Thermoazzo.  I bought the saucy little number at a China Shop in Kalk Bay.  I loved the look of it, the old 50’s candy red and white, it was only R25 and it still worked eagerly.  Now it is my most prized appliance to assist in the random grind of the kitchen.  It barely grinds coffee beans these days though, but can grind and finely dice many other things.

This is what is it used for in the morning potion:

-Grind a cup of Oats.  Grinding a cup of oats is an easier and fresher way to give your smoothie a dairy-free base. Instead of adding two cups of water to the base I sometimes add cooled green or rooibos tea for extra bonus anti-oxidants  rather than just plain ol’ agua.

Next, adding all these powders, proteins, grains and nuts completes this potion into a full vitamin meal.  Your morning potion will naturally sustain your energy through the first quarter of your day.

Why the potion is so deliciously fine?

Baobab Fruit Powder: The baobab tree found in Southern Africa is pure magic. So being able to have access to it as a local product makes my heart sing louder. The powder forms naturally inside the fruit. It’s rich in anti-oxidants (said to be more than double compared to cranberries and pomegranates, and three more times than blueberries). It contains pectin, which enhances the prebiotic bacteria in the large intestine, similar to what homemade yoghurt does for the body.  Plus its a source of iron, potassium, magnesium which promote a healthy body PH.  The main thing for all non-dairy or low-dairy eating habits: Baobab contains higher levels of calcium than milk and far easier to absorb and digest.  I apologise in advanced if you don’t live in Southern Africa and may not have access to the fruit of the African Baobab, but if somehow you want or need a care package, let me know:)

Hemp Seed Powder: No they don’t contain THC, and yes this seed is highly misunderstood. Yet, let’s get over that and focus on the bonus features.  Hemp seed contains all 10 essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.  Proteins found in hemp seed manufacture antibodies and support liver and kidney health. The fiber in hemp seed keeps colon health in check and overall its a great aid muscle building and energy booster.

Maca: It comes from the Andes, super expensivo here, but nonetheless it was worth trying once and it lasts a long while. Its a root which always harbours fine minerals and vitamins that lead to overall health benefits than defaults.  Plus, its a natural aphrodisiac.   It balances hormones and increases energy, endurance and strength.  The legend is Inca warriors used to eat Maca before going into battle.  Well, why not put this in your morning potion?

Virgin Coconut Oil: a spoonful of this stuff is medicine! Virgin means it hasn’t been heated which means all the goodness hasn’t been lost due to heat.  Coconut oil does goodness outside and inside the body, so don’t worry about the saturated fats it has cause all the acids like lauric acid prevents high cholesterol and blood pressure. There is so much going on when you enjoy coconut oil, I suggest your do research to convince yourself and enjoy it inside and out! And if you don’t end up using it for recipes, your epidermeris layer will appreciate it.

Almonds: the lovely wonder nut. Nuts are high in essential fats and protein giving you energy, supplying your body with fiber and good doses of Vit E, plus it gives your  smoothie a crunch.

Dates: The sweet taffy of the palm. My favorite is when the processor doesn’t quite chop everything fine and I get a big chunk of the chewy date at the end of the smoothie. YUM!

Bee Pollen: New to this, but am loving it.  I feel like a   wannabe bumble bee or hummingbird, reaping all the benefits of flowers.  Do people harvest flower nectar? hmmm, anyway, more research to be done about pollen but the health benefits are convincing and the taste is scrumptious.

Unheated Honey: I love honey so much I just checked out a book on how to be an apiarist in southern Africa.  Unheated honey is used to get the maximum goodness from what honey provides.  Honey is used as a natural energy boost. And if I were to rewrite Mary Poppins, it would be just a spoonful of honey, makes the medicine go down.

Bananas: The potassium, the vitamins oh my.  Peel them when they’re brown, freeze them, and there you go: instant frozen smoothie elements that all frozen delicousness.

Cacao: An excuse to make this potion more like a dessert for breakfast? Natural boost of energy and anti depressant, pus a good natural appetite suppressant. No

Wheat Grass: because it’s green it must be healthy?  Well if you put too much your smoothie will taste straight up like you chowed a piece of lawn in solidarity of free-range cows.  So Go easy with this. I used a powder which seems to be very potent. I’d rather be chopping it from a wheat grass tray but I’m not speaking that green thumb kitchen garden language fluently yet. It’s the colour of Ninja Turtle ooze without the toxic waste.  Overall, wheat grass assists in overall gastrointestinal health.  The chlorophyll is a potent antioxidant, assists in anti-inflammatory, antibacterial red blood cell boosting.

So the list of what all these positive elements give is enough to say yes to this green morning potion.  At least for me, I will happily guzzle this a few times a week when I’ve got those frozen bananas around.

Maybe you can’t stand banana and used more frozen dates, or strawberries. Please share other elements or flavours you substituted with the ingredients.  Would love to learn!

%d bloggers like this: