Tag Archive | Greek

Lent Potato Salad (39p)

greece-flag-17A hot (or cold) potato salad inspired by a recipe on Giota Nikolau’s ′Grandma’s Food′ blog, a site which has many wonderful recipes. It is all written in Greek, but with help from Google translate and the wonderful photos on the site, her recipes and ideas can be followed.

It is still Lent in the Greek Orthodox church calendar, their Easter day being Sunday 19 April, making this their Orthodox Holy Week and a time of fasting – no meat, fish, wine, oil, wine, dairy or eggs, so my version of the recipe almost meets the criteria, bar the splash of oil for frying and knob butter for flavour.

Ingredients (serves four):

  • Three baking-size potatoes.
  • One onion, red or white.
  • Dried oregano.
  • Tin of beans – I used a tin of Flageolet beans that I found at the back of the cupboard, but would normally use the cheapest kidney beans, or indeed anything suitable hanging around in the cupboard or fridge that needs using up – some fresh green or string beans, for example.
  • Salted butter.

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Method:

  • Slice the onion up and fry until soft and translucent, then put it aside. Don’t over-fry the onion, keep it a little al dente.
  • Peel and chop the potatoes into inch-sized lumps, then simmer them in a saucepan for 15-20 minutes until soft. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t dissolve and you end up with a watery potato soup.
  • While they’re simmering, empty the can of beans, rinsing them under the cold tap, and add them to the simmering potatoes half way through.
  • When the potatoes are ready, pour off the water and transfer to a bowl, sprinkling in a pinch of dried oregano.

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And that’s it. Makes about four portions. Serve hot in a bowl with a good knob of  butter on top, or can be eaten cold.

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Estimating electricity use and washing up costs, and with a mug of Earl Grey tea, that’s a meal for about 39p.


 

Pheasant in a Creamy-cheesy Greek Sauce with Greek Salad

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This is no. 5 in my ‘101 Things To Do With a Dead Pheasant‘ quest. The sauce recipe was inspired by Patra Martios at faghta-giagias.blogspot.com. (Google couldn’t translate the page very clearly, so the sauce is very much a ‘based on’ creation, plus my own version of Greek salad.)

Not one of my budget recipes. Even if made with chicken or some other bird, still pricey, although the sauce goes a long way and eeks out the limited meat yield when cooking a pheasant.

Clipboard02Pheasants were, incidentally, known by the Greeks from ancient times. Originally an Asian species, they were traditionally said to have been introduced by traders via the Black Sea city of Phasis, hence ‘Pheasant’, but they probably arrived in Europe in prehistoric times by a variety of routes.

They were imported and bred in Britain in large numbers only from about 1100 AD (although visiting Romans a millennium earlier must have been familiar with the bird and may have brought the odd one over). Today, pheasants breeds very happily in the British countryside, although the majority one sees while out are captive-bred and released for shoots – there are, amazingly, tens-of-millions released each year.

INGREDIENTS

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THE MEAT

  • Pheasant (or chicken / duck / goose / guinea fowl / quail / ostrich / pterodactyl / whatever), cooked, broken into small pieces and well-fried in a small amount of olive oil with a sprinkle of all-purpose seasoning.

THE SALAD

  • Tomato – any well-flavoured ones, like home-grown, cherry or beef tomatoes.
  • ½ a red onion.
  • ½ a cucumber, peeled.
  • A pepper (any colour).
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • ½ a lemon.
  • 75 g feta cheese.
  • Dried oregano.
  • Rocket.

Sliced up the tomatoes, finely chop the onion, chop up the pepper and cucumber, break the feta into rough cubes. Mix together (not too violently, or you’ll pulverize the feta) in a bowl with a fistful of rocket leaves, a splash of the olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and good pinch or oregano.

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Put this in the fridge while you’re making the sauce.

THE SAUCE

  • 150 g of unsmoked bacon, finely chopped.
  • ½ a punnet of mushrooms.
  • 100 ml double cream.
  • 100 ml milk.
  • Good splash of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 50 g grated parmesan cheese (or the strongest hard Cheddar you can get). This costs a bit, but it is worth it for the flavour. Don’t buy cheap or powdered Parmesan, it tastes horrible.
  • Ground black pepper.
  • Cornflour.

Finely chop and fry the bacon.

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Thin-slice and cook the mushrooms on a moderate heat until all the moisture has bubble off – no oil needed, just let them bubble away in a non-stick frying pan until (almost) all the water has boiled/steamed off. They’ll reduce down to about ¼ of their original volume and have a rich flavour.

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Put the bacon, mushrooms and everything else together in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring slowly, to melt the cheese in. Add a heaped desert spoon of cornflour until it is a moderately thick sauce consistency. If it goes too thick, stir in some more milk.

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Fry a small handful of the meat with a dollop of the sauce.

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On one side of the plate make a bed of rocket leaves, putting the meat/sauce mix on top, with the Greek salad on the other side.

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Happy to say the whole thing turned out well. Most delicious. The sauce, if thick enough, can also be used as a toast topping.