Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘snack’

How to Make Easy Feta Cheese Puffs Recipe with Greek Yoghurt

In Recipe on January 16, 2015 at 16:57

During the holidays, we get those family season’s greeting cards, pictures of new babies, a synopsis of people’s year  – but my mom, she’s different.  In my Greek-American-South African family, most events and conversations revolve around food, even season’s greetings.

Below is a tried and tested recipe, a season’s greetings -written by my mom.

An easy snack you can make with delicious Greek yoghurt and a sense of humour.  Lucky you, this is a secret family recipe revealed.  Enjoy!

” Wishing you a Gastronomic, Festive, Joyous New Year, with lots of New Experiences.  May this recipe be one of them.
GREEK CHEESE PUFFSHow to make Greek feta yogurt bread balls recipe-The Culinary Linguist
(From the hands of Thea Koula,
My only living, wonderful Auntie,
Who is still the best baker)

•DOUGH•

1 medium tub Greek yogurt

1&3/4 sticks butter – (yeah! I said good puffs, not slimming) – you may cut back on the butter, and add half butter – half extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil.  I wouldn’t – when you SIN – you SIN!!!

One t. Salt or less depending how salty your FETA is.

One tablespoon Vinegar – DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP!!!

1/2 kilo  ( 1 lb ) of self rising flour  (more/less) depending on the weather – (you can use wheat FLOUR and 1 t. baking soda)

Mix above ingredients and let the mixture rest for one, or couple of hours. After some gentle manipulation, (we all need to rest, and fluff up).

•FILLING•
200 gr feta cheese ( 3/4 lb)

1/4 of c of good Ricotta cheese (optional) 

One egg white ( save yolk for glazing the puffs)

Pepper / if you like a peppery taste like I do.

 
Mix well – at this point add whatever other cheeses are hiding in your refrigerator shelves.  Waste not!!!

(OPTIONAL)You may add some spinach or sausage or whatever you wish.

Cayenne pepper, etc.

Take a tablespoon of dough in your hand – spread it with your other hand to an open “like” shell to receive the heaping teaspoon of filling on one side. Then close the other end over the filled end, and pinch the ends together.

Sounds delicious, right? Good eating is a religious experience!!!

Place in a well greased pan, brush some egg yolk (diluted with a sprinkle of water) and use either sesame seeds on top, black sesame, or Nigella seeds to give it a finished touch.
We all look better with some finishing touches.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown at 180 (350) degrees.

Enjoy the homemade goodness that you just created with your hands. (it is almost like birth, only easier, faster, and sometimes more satisfying, and does not talk back to you). OOPS, forgive me my darling offsprings.

How to make Greek feta bread balls recipe-The Culinary Linguist

FYI – if you are in need for some carbs after a hard day’s work- use above dough. Fry it in butter and olive oil. While it is hot, sprinkle some (lots) sugar and cinnamon.  Enjoy the fried fritter with a cup of coffee as you listen to the clouds open up and the angels “sing to thee”.

From the Greek Gypsy
Or, Nomad Retiree a.k.a Mom of The Culinary Linguist  ”

**  If you grew up in a Greek family, you often find yourself giggling at food trends and fads that hype what your grandma’s been feeding you for years.  It’s the way food product companies like to colonise homemade traditional foods and ‘discover’ the next best thing to tortilla chips. ViVA Greek yogurt.

How to Eat and Think about Bug Grub: A Taste of Entomophagy

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories on June 25, 2014 at 16:08

Would you ever say, “I’m a Entomo-tarian and love crickets roasted and tossed in sea salt and cayenne pepper and covered in chocolate?”

How to eat crickets -recipe

Chocolate covered Crickets at Soma Confection Laboratories. Pic by Heather Thompson

Considering bugs as grub gives way for the future of Pestaurants, cricket flour protein bars and stinkbug snacks being served in city centres across the globe.

With two other curious minds, adventurous taste buds and a love for food (with wings), we nibbled on cricket parts and chocolate-covered nosh once living in the wild.  Conversations about insect anatomy, and the future of entomophagy, got me thinking on the topic of the fast frozen-once-hopping jimineys.

My love for “how to” and DIY in culinary arts has led me to simmering  Mopani worms and foraging fresh sea vegetables. It’s my quest for promoting variety in our appetites, being a MacGyver in the kitchen and working with what you have and what is presented to you.  But will the high in protein, beneficial fatty acids, essential vitamins and micronutrients in insects become primary ingredients in our morning porridge?  I can see a future in dipping celery sticks in smoked paprika chickpea grasshopper pâté .

When will people from different hemispheres be sharing bug-eating habits?  Will you eat insects from your garden instead of using insecticide?

 Insects as a food source has been practiced for many generations in various parts of the world, and people are beginning to see past the gross factor.

Environmentally, insects take up less space, reproduce at a faster rate and have a better feed-to-meat ratio when compared to cattle and other alternative meat sources such as ostrich, goat, and pork.  Insects for human consumption could help in solving a wide range of ecological, economic and health related issues and concerns in our world of food production and nutrition.

But will you add it to your grocery list?

Will you start farming organic crickets instead of building a chicken coop?

As we continue to urbanise but become more wise and sovereign in our food choices, this may be your answer.

And people keep asking me, “So what do crickets taste like?”

This batch was a crispy, smokey grass with a chilli-chocolate punch in your mouth.  But if you’re looking to build your muscles, beetles are your super power protein source.

Stay tuned for Entomo – recipes as we expand our culinary linguistics together:  A Chocolate Confectioner, Agroecologist and a Culinary Nomad.  If you are chomping at the bit:  Eat a Bug Cookbooks are already on the shelves at an Amazon near you.

entomophagy in chocolate and spices How to eat crickets in chocolate -#theculinarylinguist

Crickets collected by AgroEcologist/Entomophager: Zayaan Khan.

How do crickets taste like in chocolate -#theculinarylinguist

Pop, Crunch and Chocolate with a side of Coco-nutty bar chocolate bar.

How to Harvest Seaweed: Superfood Nutrition from our Ocean

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories, Travel on May 16, 2014 at 13:44
Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed Some seaweed varieties on the Cape Peninsula


Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

 

   Edible Sea Vegetable: SeaWeed

confess, my kitchen turns into edible science experiments almost every day. Seaweed is my new ingredient in the kitchen lab. Once you get to know the nutritional facts and the familiar taste of popcorn it has when nori (a type of seaweed) is roasted on the fire, then you’ll definitely give this superfood a chance.  When I first moved to Cape Town, I was mesmerised by the huge kelp forests that were washed onto the shorelines.  On low tides, I observed the variety of seaweeds that clung to the rocks and naturally wondered, “Can we eat that?”  You’ve probably already have if you’ve gone to a sushi joint or visit the snack aisle at an Asian supermarket.  When we see an ingredient in it’s natural state – outside of a food product/market/restaurant, we’re often surprised by how it grows, what it looks like and what it may actually taste like?  This is what I call the spark of our own natural whole food education, also known as the moment when our culinary linguistics expand.  I’m a self proclaimed phyco-nerd. Phycology: Greek φῦκος, phykos, “seaweed”; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of algae and was so happy to find fellow wild food foragers on the Cape Peninsula.

Beyond Basic Nutrition: Seaweed Benefits

Contains vitamin B12 (which is rarely found in plants)

  • Rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese (overall 13 vitamins, 20 amino acids, 60 trace mineral elements)
  • Highest source of plant protein and zero calories
  • It’s fiber is helpful for the digestive system, making you feel full and satiated
  • Contains iodine which aids the function of the thyroid to release iodine in our blood to help prevent disease.  Our bodies don’t make iodine so we have to get it through our food – why not seaweed?
  • Reduces water retention and contains higher levels of calcium than beef and cow’s milk
  • Natural occurring sodium that resembles human amniotic fluid
  • Alkalinizes and purifies blood as it’s chemical composition is similar to the plasma in human blood
  • Optimum nourishment for hormonal, lymphatic, urinary and nervous systems

Marine Flora: Wild and Crazy? 

  I was honestly hesitant to harvest seaweed in South Africa before doing a bit of research.   I needed a bit of local knowledge to boost my confidence and to verify that I wasn’t the only crazy who wondered about eating ocean algae.  If people in other parts of the world have seaweed-based cuisine, why aren’t we eating it here?  Has there ever been a history of it in South Africa?  Stay tuned for more about that in a future post.

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest  I took my mom, one of my favorite foragers for whole foods, to Scarborough to learn more about the beautiful seaweed varieties available for us to harvest responsibly.  In the quest of learning to harvest wild food, you also develop a respect and knowledge for conserving the ocean environment.  I’ve found that becoming more aware of what makes a healthy flourishing balanced ecosystem allows me to make more educated decisions about harvesting and foraging wild foods in nature.

 Some Foraging Facts

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Seaweed skin mask

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Wrack-the beginnings of seaweed coleslaw

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Scarborough coastline in Western Cape, South Africa

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Rinsing and preparing after the harvest

The Good Hope Nursery in Scarbororgh did such a great job in creatively sharing their experience in sustainably harvesting, tasting and creating with ocean seaweed.  It was great to ask questions while enjoying the cosmetic and nutritional benefits of this sea vegetable.  We were greeted on the shoreline with seaweed scones and spoke about the red, green and brown varieties of seaweed below our feet.  Snippets of seaweed varieties such as kelp, wrack and ulva were gathered to ensure regrowth, conservation and abundance for our ecosystem (about 1/3 of what was growing on the rock near the tideline.) No random bits of floating seaweed was harvested, only healthy clean varieties that were attached to ocean rocks.

Edible Science: Seaweed Recipes

 Since that positive coastal foraging experience, I’ve been able to share what I’ve learned along the way, convincing brave and even unadventurous eaters to enjoy the tasty healthy benefits of sea vegetables.  On a recent trip to Elandsbaai, we harvested, rinsed and tossed nori in a bit of olive oil before placing it on a wood-burning fire.  The result was super flakey, crunchy, tasty green seaweed snack.  Get creative and incorporate seaweed in any of your favorite recipes for extra added health benefits. I’d love to hear more about what you discover.

Seaweed Recipes: Superfood Nutrition from the Ocean

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Good Hope Nursery’s Chocolate Agar Agar and Candied Kelp with Ice Cream. YUM! Sign up for their foraging course.

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

That’s me in total seaweed face mask bliss. Rejuvenate, revitalise. Is there nothing seaweed can’t do?

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

A young culinary linguist exploring the texture of kelp. Wait for bath time! Yes, with seaweed:)

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Seaweed couscous salad, mussels, kelp and avocado salad, wrack coleslaw . . . the feast continues.

Resources:

Easy Spicy Zesty Sweet Chickpea Salad Recipe

In Recipe on June 27, 2013 at 14:34

Easy-Pineapple-Carrot-Chickpea-Salad-The Culinary-Linguist

What happens when you juice pineapples, carrots and fresh green serrano chiles?

A spunky zesty salad with sweet and spicy flavours can be created to fuel you through the day.   Last week, we bought lots of great farm produce from the City Bowl Market.

Back at home, I put pineapple and carrots and threw in a couple fresh green serrano chiles into the juicer to see if anything would come out.  Some great juice was made, but the pulp left inside was looking equally nutritious and delicious.

Spontaneous creations is how I would describe my kitchen technique.  I love creating recipes that make ordinary whole foods into unique delicious dishes.  Like James Beard once said, “When cook, you never stop learning.  That’s the fascination of it.”  With any chance to experiment in my kitchen with fresh ingredients, I let the space between mistakes and alchemy emerge.  Adding chiles into the juicer seemed natural and somehow, necessary.

I’ve shared some fun recipes before that have worked out great like: Strawberry-Beetroot Flapjacks, and Banana-Pecan Sorbet.  When creations in the kitchen lead to easy vibrant dishes, I get excited to share them with you.  Here’s what happened when I decided to juice green chiles with pineapples and carrots:

 The Spicy Zesty Sweet Chickpea Salad

Instead of throwing the pulp from the centrifugal juice extractor away or into your compost bin, try adding it to recipes like this one:

Juice and fiber of three medium sized carrots

 Juice and fiber of half a small pineapple

 Juice and fiber of two green serrano chiles

 Juice of and fiber of large lemon and zest

500 grams of sprouted or cooked chickpeas  (garbanzo beans)

1 finely chopped fresh red pepper

1 finely chopped red onion

1 diced roma tomato

Salt, pepper and cumin to taste

Handful of fresh cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped dhania

Handful of coarsely crushed unsalted cashews

2 Haas avocados

Easy-Pineapple-Carrot-Chickpea-Salad-The Culinary-LinguistJuice the carrots, pineapple, chillies, and lemon in a juicer (with any centrifugal, one-gear, etc).  Empty the juice into a large mixing bowl, and scrape the pulp from inside the juicer into the same bowl.  Add the diced tomato, red pepper, chickpeas, onion, salt, cumin, pepper and lemon zest into the bowl with juice and pulp.  Mix well and let it sit and marinate for 20 minutes.  Mix dhania into the salad, leaving some leaves for garnish.

Cut the avocados into half and remove the flesh from the avocado shell.  Slice the avocado into long slices.  Scoop the salad into the halves of the avocado shell as an appetizer serving bowl.  Place avocado slices and dhania leaves on top as garnish.  Enjoy!  The salad can definitely be stored in the fridge and be enjoyed the following day.

Tip:  It’s best to stir in the dhania and avocado when you plan to serve and eat it immediately.

Recipe: How to Make Spring Roll-Nori Wraps

In Recipe on May 19, 2013 at 01:19

The Culinary Linguist | How to make for Spring Roll Nori WrapsThis Nori (seaweed) wrap recipe is an alternative to spring rolls.  It’s perfect for getting a balance of essential vitamins into your diet.  It’s also delicious and beautiful to share at picnics and parties.  It pleases: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and my dad who likes to live on garlic and lamb chops will even chow these as a snack.

 Be creative with your ingredients and substitute with what you have fresh around you and what’s in season.  I used what was at the farmer’s market and what happened to be growing in the garden, and fresh ingredients already in our kitchen.  Perhaps drinking 8 glasses of water a day isn’t necessary when we eat predominantly fresh and raw meals throughout the day.  This recipe won’t disappoint.

What you need:

 Packet of  10 or more Sushi Nori (Seaweed) Sheets.

Put in a food processor or finely chop:

1 medium sized red pepper

1 medium sized yellow pepper

1 medium sized carrot

1/2 cup sprouted mung beans

5 baby broccoli stalks

5 small kale leaves (dinosaur or black)

5 Nasturtium leaves

1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves and stalks (dhania)
The Culinary Linguist | Use Fresh Ingredients for Spring Roll Nori Wraps

Optional ingredients:

Avocado (add it later instead of putting it in the processor)

1/2 apple to add a juicy sweet taste

1 TB Korean bean paste for a savoury flavour

1/4 cup cooked rice vermicilli noodles

1/4 cup fresh papaya or mango (not too ripe)

Any type of sprouts: sunflower, lentils, etc

* If you add tomatoes or lemon juice, the moisture from the filling will cause the nori sheet to be too wet and break.  If this happens, just double the nori sheets.

 The Culinary Linguist | Use Fresh Ingredients for Spring Roll Nori WrapsDipping Sauce:Add ingredients together and whisk until smooth:2 TB natural peanut butter

2 TB Mirin sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1/4 tsp fresh green chili (optional)

Take out one sheet of Nori paper and lay it down on the smooth side of a plate.  Take about 1/3 cup of the finely chopped vegetables and spread it around on the bottom half (4 inches-10cm) of the nori, leave an inch (3 cm) on each side.  There should be about 5 inches of clean nori on top.  Fold the 3 cm on each side towards the middle of the nori sheet and start rolling the length of the nori towards the top keeping the filling tight and together and the sides tucked in.  Essentially it is a similar technique to roll a spring roll or burrito.   As the nori sheet rolls to the top, and the filling is wrapped under the nori, dampen the top of the nori that is laying flat on the plate and roll the rest of the nori toward the damp part, sealing the roll into a perfect little edible nori wrap.

The Culinary Linguist | Use Fresh Ingredients for Spring Roll Nori WrapsTo skip the rolling technique, make a cone out of the nori and then spoon and pack the finely chopped vegetable filling inside.

Place dipping sauce in a small bowl.  Cut the spring roll nori wraps in the middle and arrange them on a plate or platter with the dipping sauce.  Taste one and then serve them immediately!

How to Cure your Own Olives in Brine: Greek Yiayia Style

In Recipe, Stories on April 25, 2013 at 19:45

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The Culinary Linguist-Homemade-How to Cure Olives-Pickle and Marinate

Olives in Athen’s Greece Farmer’s Market

 

Mom would say, “Only eat 8 olives a day, honey.”  But it was too easy to devour the salty Grecian delights by the dozen. With crusty brown sourdough bread and green virgin olive oil on a flat side plate, nothing satisfied me more than eating Yiayia’s Kalamatas olives in the middle of Chicago’s winter.  To this day, I have a plate solely dedicated to olives and their pips and snack on these pickled fruits year round (and still by the dozen).

Growing up, I’d spin the bottom  shelf of the  cupboard to reveal  Yiayia’s hand-picked, home-cured Kalamata olives.  Purple, green and maroon olives floated in one gallon glass jars of oregano, thyme, vinegar and oil.  As a kid, I was powerlifting  the heavy 2 gallon olive jar off the bottom shelf and onto the counter in order to dip my tiny fingers into the oil and vinegar brine to search for the juiciest olives.  As I got older, I’d use an oversized spoon to fish for the tangiest Kalamatas, and strain the brine from the spoon to reveal my bite-size snacks.  When May arrived, it got harder for the spoon to fish for olives at the bottom of the jar.  I’d spend the whole year snacking on the cured fruits and diminished our Greek food provisions we would smuggle in from Greece.  The empty olive jar was an indicator that it wouldn’t be long before we would pack our dresses and sandals for the summer at Yiayia’s house.  Mom would pack a suitcase within a suitcase when we travelled to Athens.  In August, we would return to Chicago with more olives to fill the jar, and enough oregano to make the beagles sniff us out as drug smugglers.

Now, when May arrives I pick 10-20 kilos of Mission Olives around Cape Town, South Africa.  My childhood love for enjoying home-cured olives, fills my own cupboards with a cultural joy and salty olive treats to share in memory of my grandmother’s tradition.

Every step of the curing processes makes me wonder of when and how people discovered this ancient practice.

My Grandparents in Greece, 1930-40', Athena and Elias

My Grandparents, Yiayia Athena and Papou Elias Soupos

My Greek grandmother Athena culinary traditions

Greek love under the olive groves

Mission Olives in South Africa on Francolin Farm

Mission olives growing on branches in South Africa

Was it Athena’s olive tree branch that broke off during an autumn storm?  The branch that fell into the river bed and carried it for weeks into the salty estuary of Poseidon’s sea.  For weeks it may have soaked along the shores until a small family fishing boat arrived near Kalamata and came across the curing olive fruit branch floating in the water.  If they tasted the divine harmony of the Greek Gods’ elements and discovered that the olive fruit tree was not just best for oil, wood and shade, but for it’s fruit too, then let that be the start of a nourishing tradition.

I have been learning about the whole benefits of the olive tree itself recently when I’m not making up mythological stories of food origins. 🙂

With all its rich phytonutrients and phytochemicals (phyto stems from the Greek word-plant), the medicinal compounds from the leaves, fruit, roots and stems, play a major role in fighting bacterial and viral infections/disease as well as boosting the immune system to prevent and treat flus and colds.  The olive tree’s ancient medicinal presence is found in many religious texts such as the Qu’ran, Torah and Bible, and continues to feature in Internal Medicine Journals today.

The oleuropein (the bitter substance in olives) has been founded to inactivate bacteria, and display a number of other benefits in pharmacology research.  Essentially, it is an herbal powerhouse effective for infectious and chronic health conditions.  I like to use olive leaf extract or make olive leaf tea as a preventive agent in my overall health.  Olive leaves are now a staple in my cupboard alongside cured olives. I’ve found ways to use olive leaves in many everyday uses by sprinkling the leaves in salads, porridge, soups, and breads.  Don’t be surprised if I post an Olive leaf smoothie in the near future. I promise it wont be bitter!

For now, I would like to share some delicious combinations of flavours I’ve added to my curing olives over the years.

But first, there are a variety of ways to cure olives.  Check out the Australian Olive Grower Issue #4 for some inspiration.

For the past three years, I have been roughly following a water bath recipe given to me by Francolin Farm.

1. After picking your olives, place rinsed olives in a net bag (the ones you store onion’s  with) and put into a bucket and cover with water. Don’t pack olives too tightly and take care not to bruise them.  I place my olives in a cooler box because it has a spout I can lift open to let the water drain. Some people save water by placing the olives on top of the toilet basin where fresh water gets drained everytime you flush.  Others just fill their bathtub and drain it daily.  It would be nice to find some use for your greywater (olive water) in your garden.  If water shortage is an issue, fill jars with 50% salt and 50% olives.  Gently turn and toss olive jars daily for 2-3 weeks.  Rinse salt and fill jars again with 1 part salt and 10 parts water (see below for olive marinade flavours.)

2. Change water once or twice daily for 2-3 weeks. Simply lift the net bag with
olives out of the bucket and pour off water and replace in fresh water. Taste after two weeks and continue if it is still too bitter.

3. Dissolve 500 grams coarse salt in 5 litres boiling water. Allow to cool.
This mixture is sufficient for approx 2 ½ kilos of olives. Leave olives in this
brine solution undisturbed for one week. Taste, if bitter replace with fresh
brine solution and leave for a further week.  I like to use non-iodized salt or kosher salt.  The other ratio to use is 1 part salt to 10 parts water.

4. Rinse olives several times with fresh water. Cover with brown vinegar for
24 hours. Pour off vinegar and expose the olives to air overnight or a few hours
till dry.  This brings the colour of the olives back to a deep purple/black.  You may notice they lightened in colour when they were soaking.

4. Pack olives in clean warm sterilized jars. Pour over 25 ml olive oil per
jar. Make a brine of  300 grams coarse salt to 4,5 litres water (or 1:10 ratio). When brine mixture boils pour in 250 ml wine vinegar.  The vinegar is not necessary, but many people love the taste of red wine vinegar instead of the rich olive taste.  The art is getting all flavours to balance, in true Grecian culinary wisdom -Everything in Moderation. Pour hot brine mixture over  . . . . .  But wait!  This is where your creative olive marinade flavours get to feature.

Let your imagination go wild.  In addition to your brine (whether it is the vinegar and salt, or just 1 part salt to 10 part water ratio.  The salt ensures that the olives cure without bacteria growing and spoiling the fruit.  If you notice some white film, don’t stress.  You can scrape it off or leave it to add flavour as some people believe.  Before filling the jars with olives, add your favourite pinches of spice and intuitive amounts for your olives to marinate in. Then, place olives into the jar, filling the jar to the brim. Pour your salt brine over and seal jar immediately whilst the liquid is hot. Some people pour oil over to seal the jar.  This is optional.

Olives in a Moroccan marinade

Olives are tossed in salt, lemon, bay leaves, pickled garlic, and rosemary in a barrel marinade

Some flavour marinades I’ve done in the past:

Smoked Chipolte Chili Powder and Rosemary

Mustard Seeds and Laurel Leaf

Greek Traditional: Lemon Juice, Lemon Rinds, Rosemary and Garlic cloves

Herbaliser: Basil, Oregano, Lemon and Thyme

Nasturtium and Peppadew

Lemongrass and Ginger

Cumin seeds, Cayenne and Lemon

Miso and Ginger

Celery Seeds, Bay Leaf and Tarragon

Sage and Rainbow Peppercorns

Acha Masala

Smoked Paprika and Lemon Slices

Lavender Flowers, Cloves and Cumin

Cardamom, Peppercorn and Cinnamon

Red curry powder and Turmeric

Carraway Seeds, Celery and Carrot

Spices and Herbs to put in Olive marinade

Food as our medicine: Herbs sold at in Athens, Greece Farmer’s Market

Olives sold in Athens, Greece

Different types of Olives: Brined, Pickled, Dried, Salted, Cracked, etc.

Share your olive marinades and enjoy!

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

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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

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!

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