it was my name day and I was planning a relaxed, unambitious post about the wonderful things an English couple who live in Ikaria do with pebbles from the beach, when all of a sudden the famous Jamie Oliver, after his visit to the Chiapas last month, landed on the island to look into our cooking and shoot scenes for his next show!!! I am still and always a bad cook (my only improvement has been towards safety but unfortunately not towards taste) so don’t be afraid, I am not going to go crazy about recipes. I do think, however, that the island has a wealth of natural, healthy foods and natural and healthy ways of cooking. But I am not going to go crazy about that either. This was planned to be a relaxed, unambitious post, and a relaxed, unambitious post it is going to be. I’ll just push Nik and Stef’s stones a bit to the side and make room for a few pictures of Ikarian food from Jamie Oliver’s instagram, plus a few shots with heavier stuff taken in Ikarian restaurants by adamansel52, a ‘food tourist’ who toured the island last month. Move your mouse over the photos to read the descriptions. Scroll down to find a surprise. Nothing to do with food! It’s just another Ikarian summer drawing near!!!
(Very simple, quick and easy to make, suitable for any occasion : from name day celebrations to weddings; also available in some kafeneia in mountain villages of Ikaria in the evenings of summer.)
3 cups of bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
Vegetable oil, for frying
1. To prepare dough : In a medium-size bowl, sift together flour and salt to make a well in the center. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and add to flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until a thick batter forms, adding a little more water, if necessary. This should not be a dough, but a thick batter that falls off the tip of the spoon. Cover and let rise for 2 hours, until doubled in bulk.
2. To prepare syrup : About 30 minutes before frying loukoumades, combine water, sugar, and honey in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. In a large heavy pot, heat 4 to 5 inches of oil to 360-365 F. Take 1 heaping teaspoon of the dough at a time and push it into the hot oil with another teaspoon. The loukoumades will expand and puff up and rise to the surface of the oil. Remove with a slotted spoon when light golden brown in color. Drain on paper towels and douse, while still warm, with syrup. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve warm as a snack.Yield: 2 to 3 dozen
(This is Diane Kochilas’ Panhellenic Loukoumades recipe. But …hehehe… there is a much simpler & faster version… Find out about it on your own. Dough explosions in hot oil are to be expected, so I don’t take the responsibility to tell you -hehehe)bon appétit
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Loukoumades for wedding meal, eeh? I hope you didn’t make them the fast way. They become too spongy and give a stomach ache.
I’m trying to joke but I can’t. When is the last post in this blog? All of a sudden I got nervous.
Monday November 20, 2006 – 10:24pm (EET) Remove Comment
Hi buds! It’s me Nana. I’ve taken over and everything will be just fine, round or square as you like it.
Eleni is «brooding». She says hello.
Wednesday November 22, 2006 – 12:43pm (EET) Remove Comment
I like it triangular and rotating Nana, like a hologram. Anyway, she knows our thoughts are sizzling through the atmosphere and round the planet.
Wednesday November 22, 2006 – 06:32am (PST)
SKILLET MEDLEY OF EGGPLANTS AND ZUCCHINI, IKARIAN STYLE-a soul warming country dish-—————————-
3 to 4 long thin eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices
1/2 cup olive oil
4 to 5 medium onions, peeled, halved and sliced
2 to 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
3-4 plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, and sliced (with juice)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1. Douse the eggplant slices generously with salt and let them sit in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse them thoroughly afterward, drain and pat dry:
2. In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion slices. Stir to coat and soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the skillet and stir gently to coat with oil. Add the tomatoes and stir. Season with garlic, salt and pepper. Cover the skillet, lowere heat to low, and let the vegetables cook slowly until they are soft and have almost fallen apart, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the cover, season with oregano, and cook the mixture down until pan juices have almost evaporated, another 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
1. No mumbo-jumbo! This genuine Ikarian dish was recorded by Diane Kochilas and published in her book «The Food and Wine of Greece -More than 250 Classic and Modern Dishes from the Mainland and Islands of Greece»,1990, St. Martin Press, New York. The author cites her source, a certain Argyro from Rahes Ikaria, who I assume, is the photographer Christos Malachias‘ wife.
2. Unfortunately we couldn’t have all the ingredients fresh out of an Ikarian garden as Diane suggests. Eggplants and zucchini we bought from the market at a rather high price because their season is past. We were able to find good natural tomatoes though, and Nana is always well provided with excellent olive oil from Crete.
3. The recipe worked! No big deal. It was easy -much easier now for me because I don’t smoke and don’t go absent-minded and talk about this and that and miss the right timing.
4. For a wine to go with Soufiko, Diane suggests an Ikarian muscat or ordinary Retsina. But we said that any good wine is good. I had half a glass of beer and it was fine.
5. We didn’t serve it with rice (pilaf) as the author says. It would be too vegetarian and we have hard-working men in the house. So Nana put half of the Soufiko in a pan and scrambled eggs in it. It was «Soufiko-Scrambled Eggs» and the boys loved it!
6. Bread is essential.bon appétit.
So the boys loved it? Soufiko with eggs was the only Soufiko I knew. We put slices of sausage or lard in it too.
Diane is a friend and Argyro is a relative. Your assumption about her was correct.
Oh yes… Bread is ESSENTIAL.
What’s for next week? What about a pie? What about pork with fennel? This is my favourite Ikarian dish. There is no fennel here now but you may find some in Athens.
Μμμμ… yum… Χοιρινό με Μάραθα : our own fricassée
Saturday November 11, 2006 – 10:20pm (EET)
Does Diane still run her Villa Thanassi? I met her a few years ago and had a lovely meal there – I have her books and the best Greek (some say only!) recipe I do is based on her spanakopitta!
Saturday November 11, 2006 – 11:43pm (GMT)
PS The Soufiko sounds wonderful. I am inspired to try this also. Will let you know how I get on, minus the sausage and lard – sorry Angele, I’m a veggie!
Saturday November 11, 2006 – 11:45pm (GMT)
Hi Jude! I’m happy that you were interested. But it has to be extra-extra good olive oil. All these Greek «ladero» (cooked w «ladi» =olivoil) dishes are based on this.
saucage slices and lard? bliah…
Pork with fennel is a good thing though. Yes it can be like a «fricassée» -the scientist here says…
Sunday November 12, 2006 – 03:50am (PST)
When dry, polish them with very little olive oil.
Add a daisy.
Now everything is «village» : the eggs, the dye, the bowl (made of local clay in a local pottery), and my tablecloth (woven on a local loom). Only the tea came from China.
NOTE: They told me that the eggs like this do not smell of oignons and tea. I am not in position to confirm this, though. I haven’t tasted them yet. We are not supposed to crash and crack our eggs before the priest sings ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ (Christ Resurrected) at midnight sharp. But they look good, don’t they?
Très *village* ? muddy and dirty and cracked (and my kitchen was a mess). But at least the came out R-E-D ! So I love my Easter eggs ! I’m not going to show them to the nice person who told me what to do, though. I’m afraid she will scorn or scold me.
But I can show them to you…
!!! ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ !!!
Ahh red eggs!! This is one of the very few Greek traditions that has survived to my generation (4 times removed from Greece). Every Easter we’d gather round the family table with the red eggs and crack them together in a sort of tournament, all the time saying «Χριστος ανεστι» «Αλιτος ανεστι» (no idea if that spelling is correct).
Unfortunately this is as close as I’ve been to red eggs for many years since my schools have given the Catholic Easter off as a holiday, but not the Orthodox one.
Happy Easter, El & all.
Sunday April 23, 2006 – 11:44pm (EDT)
The Orthodox Easter school holiday in Greece is 2 weeks !!!
Jealous, eh? Well, don’t be. It’s like in theocratic regimes. I return for those long religious holidays, the schoolchildren have to attend long, boring and absurd Religion courses for several hours a week. Parent have to declare that they are e.g. Buddists or Marxists, so that their kids are excused from attending them.
Meanwhile yesterday we had the craziest 12 hour long parties (and I can hardly make out what I’m typing right now)
Monday April 24, 2006 – 02:58am (PDT)
They look superb! Αυγα Πολλά!
Monday April 24, 2006 – 05:37pm (BST)
Happy Orthodox Easter!
But when Condi gets to Athens, maybe someone can throw some rotten eggs her way, or a cream pie maybe…
Tuesday April 25, 2006 – 09:39am (PDT)
Flying red eggs would «write» on the TV cameras. No doubt the city will be under martial law, worse than during the German occupation.
Tuesday April 25, 2006 – 11:00pm (EEST)
Step 2When the water has turned dark red, take the eggs out.
Leave them on a plate to dry. Do not sweep with a towel.
but did the egg flesh smell of the tea and the oignons afterwards or not?
Tuesday April 25, 2006 – 12:14pm (EEST)