30 January 2016

Recipe 30: Corn Pie From Metsovo (Καλαμποκόπιτα Μετσόβου)

This is a very easy recipe from Metsovo, a town in the north western part of Greece.


2 cups corn maze (καλαμποκάλευρο)
4 cups milk or water
1.5 cups kaseri cheese, shredded (you can use cheddar if you can't find kaseri)
1.5 cups feta cheese, crumbled
half a cup butter
1 tsp baking soda, diluted into 2 tbsps of milk
6 eggs
1 tsp cream of tartar (κρεμόριο) or 2 tsps of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

1) Mix the corn maze with the milk in a large pan. Bring to the boil in medium heat, stirring constantly until the mix sets.

2) Take the pan off the heat. Add the butter, the cheeses, salt, pepper and baking soda.

3) Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. Beat the yolks and add them to the mix.

4) Whisk the egg whites and the cream of tartar in a bowl, until the mix becomes a meringue.

5) Add the meringue in the mix and stir briefly so that the mix does not deflate.

6) Empty the mix in a buttered baking tin of around 35cm in diameter. Cook in a pre-heated oven, at 175 degrees, for about an hour.

25 January 2016

Recipe 29: Lamb And Orzo Stew (Αρνάκι Με Μανέστρα Στην Κατσαρόλα)

Today I had some lamb left in the fridge and very few groceries. So I found this great recipe on the internet, to try. The result was a delicious dish, full of intense flavours.

Ingredients (serves 6):

1 kg diced lamb (leg or shoulder)
2 red onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cinnamon
400gr chopped tomatoes (tinned ones are fine)
1.2 litres vegetable stock (see here for recipe)
200gr orzo pasta
2 tbsps olive oil
large handfull freshly chopped parsley

1) Heat the oil in a large casserole dish or pan and brown the lamb pieces (you can do this in batches to avoid the meat sweating). Once the meat is browned, lift out and set aside on a plate.

2) Return the casserole to the heat and add the onions. Cook gently for 10 minutes until softened (add a little water if the casserole looks too dry).

3) Stir in the oregano and cinnamon. Cook for one more minute.

4) Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable stock and browned lamb.

5) Cover and simmer for about 85 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the lamb is tender.

6) Stir the orzo into the casserole and cook, uncovered, for a further 10-15 minutes or until the orzo is tender. Stir occasionally to ensure the orzo does not stick.

7) Next stir in the parsley. Check for seasoning and serve immediately.


  • Once the orzo is tender, it will continue to swell on standing. If you're not serving it immediately, add a little extra water until the desired consistency is reached.
  • You can also freeze it by preparing it up to stage 5. Then leave to cool completely, transfer it into a freezer-proof container, cover and freeze up to three months. To serve, defrost overnight in the fridge. Reheat gently in a large pan and complete recipe.
  • You can also add olives.

24 January 2016

Recipe 28: Spicy Red Pepper Soup (Πικάντικη Σούπα Κόκκινης Πιπεριάς)

After making the Red Pepper and Goat's Cheese soup I became hooked on the texture and taste red peppers give to soups. So I found this recipe on Jamie Oliver's website and decided to try it. It'll go down well with people who prefer a spicier and lower fat alternative to the Red Pepper and Goat's Cheese soup.

Ingredients (serves 4):

3 red bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped, peeled and diced
1 cup of pureed tomatoes
600ml vegetable stock (click here for recipe)
half a cup of single cream
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2 tsps smoked paprika
olive oil
salt and pepper to season

1) Add a couple of dashes of olive oil to a large saucepan. Gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli for about 5 minutes, before adding the chopped peppers.

2) Fry the mixture over a low heat for about 15 minutes or until the peppers are nice and soft.

3) Add the smoked paprika, along with the cubed potatoes and fry for another minute or so.

4) Pour in the pureed tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, then simmer the soup gently for about 15 minutes.

5) Liquidise the soup until it's smooth and silky. Add the cream and salt/pepper to taste.

6) Reheat a little if necessary.

Note: You can also serve this soup ice-cold, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

14 January 2016

Recipe 27: Cheese Soup With Crispy Bacon (Σούπα τυριού με ξεροψημένο μπέικον)

The weather is getting really cold, so I needed an easy-to-make dish that would warm me and fill me up. This is definitely a soup to do that! So lets start cooking without delay!

Ingredients (serves 6):
15gr butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
700gr potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
900ml vegetable stock (see recipe here)
6 rashers of bacon, diced
110gr mature cheddar cheese, grated
50ml single cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1) Melt the butter and cook the onion gently until soft, without colouring.

2) Add the garlic, potatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

3) Meanwhile, fry the diced bacon until crispy

4) Puree the soup with a liquidiser. Add the cheddar cheese and cream, and reheat gently.

5) Stir in the bacon, reserving a little for the garnish. Taste for seasoning and serve with a little bacon.

a) When making this recipe I grilled the bacon and then cut it into rough pieces. This way, the bacon is not too greasy and the larger pieces are chunkier and more fullfilling.

b) You will notice that the soup can be quite thick. If you prefer a thinner texture, pour some milk and simmer gently until it reaches the texture you prefer. You can do the same if you have kept some soup in the fridge and want to re-heat.

10 January 2016

Recipe 26: Pancakes Stuffed With Minced Meat (Τηγανίτες Γεμιστές Με Κιμά)

I doubt there'd be a most popular Sunday meal with the kids, than this one! It takes a favourite snack (pankcakes) and turns it into a proper, filling meal.

This recipe comes from the old Greek area of Pontos (in the southern coast of the Black Sea). The Greek style pancakes (Tiganites) are not similar to the British ones - but luckily, this recipe turns the mix into British style ones. So, lets go!

for the pancake mix
3 cups of milk
1.5 cups flour
4 eggs
half a tsp salt
olive oil 

for the filling
500gr minced meat (you can choose whatever meat you prefer)
1.5 tbs tomato puree
1 onion, finely chopped
60gr kefalotyri cheese (you can also use cheddar, or mozarella), shredded
3 tbs butter
1 glass white wine

1) In a bowl, mix the milk, flour and eggs to make a thin batter.

2) Heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a frying pan. Then spread about half a tea-cup of the mix in the pan and make a thin pancake.

3) Repeat until you've used up all the mix.

4) In a casserole, hear 3 tbsps of butter and saute the mince with the onions.

5) Add the wine and the tomato puree and let the mince simmer for about 5-10 minutes longer.

6) When cooked, add the cheese and take the pan off the heat, stirring well.

7) Take one pancake and spread some of the mince. Then wrap it.

8) Once you've repeated this with all the pancakes, place them in a roasting dish. If there's any mince left, cover them and sprinkle some more cheese on top.

9) Place the dish in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes in medium heat.