Delicious Mediterranean Calamari (Fried Squid)

Calamari is a surprisingly easy meal to prepare. In this video Eva shows us how to properly clean and cook the squid. Calamari is wonderful as an entree or as side dish and is amazing with home-made tzatziki. Be sure to fry the squid right before you serve the meal, as it best eaten immediately.

1 box of frozen squid
Enough flour to dip the squid
Vegetable oil for frying
Fresh lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper

Allow the squid to defrost. Clean and cut the squid into small pieces or rings. Cut off the tentacles and body, and be sure to discard the backbone, ink sac, sand sac, and innards. Wash squid thoroughly and place on a strainer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the fridge for a few minutes. Dip the squid in flour and shake off excess. Heat a large frying pan with vegetable oil. Fry the squid in small batches and cook until golden, turning over. Place calamari on a paper-towel lined plate. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and serve with tzatziki sauce.

Next time on Thursday for Dinner: Spanakorizo (Spinach & Rice)

Indian Potato Curry Recipe

This is a very simple reciepe to make a delicious potato curry or sabji. This sabji can be slightly modified to be made with or without a gravy. With a gravy, this dish goes great with rice, roti or even some toast. Without a gravy, this dish makes a great replacement for roasted or mashed potatoes usually had with dinner. Today we will be making this potato sabji with a tomato based gravy. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 large potatoes peeled and cubed
1 tomato diced
4 cups water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 chunk jaggery (see video for visual)
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp shredded ginger
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp ground corriander and cumin powder mixture
handful cilantro
pinch asofotedia powder (Hing)

Steps

  1. In a pot, heat oil on high.
  2. Add the mustard seeds into the oil and allow them sizzle. Turn the stove down to medium.
  3. Add the asofotedia powder and turmeric.
  4. Add the potatoes and water (Note – I have estimated 4 cups, ideally, you want enough water so that the potatoes are almost completely covered). Turn the stove up on high.
  5. Add the salt, jaggery, chilli powder, ginger, corriander/cumin mixture and tomatoes. Stir.
    Leave the stove on high and the pot uncovered, bring to a boil.
  6. Once at a boil, turn the stove down to low-medium, bring it down to a simmer and partially cover. Allow about 20 minutes to pass, stirring occassionally.
  7. Pick up a piece of potato with a spoon, and check to see that it is tender and cooked through.
  8. Turn off the stove and add the lemon and cilantro to garnish.

Green Beans w/ Potatoes, Wine, Tomatos & Onions (Fasolakia me Patates)

Green Beans with Potatoes or ‘Fasolakia me Patates’ in Greek is a vegetarian village classic Eva (and other Greeks) grew up with. As with many of Eva’s dishes, this recipe requires only a few simple ingredients and makes a great meal or side dish. Keep in mind the length of time the beans need to cook depends on not only your beans, but also how soft (or crunchy) you want them, so be sure to sample them as this delicious dish is cooking.

Flat green beans
2 medium sized potatoes
1 cup crushed tomato or tomato juice
1 medium sized onion
1/3 cup of water
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 table spoon of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 cup of white wine

Cut the edges off the green beans and slice each down the middle leaving the ends still connected. If your green beans are narrow, there’s no need to slit them down the middle. In a separate bowl, peel the potatoes and chop them into fours. Chop the onion and fill a cup with either crushed tomato or tomato juice.

Preheat a large pot on the oven at a high temperature. Once sufficiently heated add 1/2 cup of olive oil. Allow the oil to heat up and add the chopped onion. Saute the onions slowly till they receive a light brown color. Once ready, add the beans to the pot. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium and allow the beans to cook for roughly 5 minutes.

At this point add a table spoon of salt, a pinch of pepper and 1/3 cup of water. The water is necessary to allow the beans to precook before we add the tomato juice. Cover the pot and allow the beans to cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. During this time stir the beans periodically until the water has completely evaporated.

At this point add 1/2 cup of white wine, the potatoes and the crushed tomato (or tomato juice). Work the ingredients together and cover the pot. Turn the heat on the stove to low and cook the beans till they become soft. This should take approximately 20 minutes. That said, periodically come back stir the contents and test to see how the beans are coming along. When the dish is ready all the juice should have evaporated with only the oil remaining.

Enjoy!

Chicken with Tomato Sauce (Kotopoulo Kokkinisto in Greek)

This dish is a guaranteed family favourite! It is made with only a few simple and healthy ingredients and takes less than an hour to make. It is absolutely delicious and one of our favourite comfort foods. We grew up on this dish and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. This dish is usually served with rice but feel free to substitute the rice for pasta if you prefer.

  • Chicken legs and thighs (about 8 pieces altogether)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 3-4 tomatoes chopped (or 1 cup of tomato sauce)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ glass of wine (Eva’s uses white wine in this recipe but you could also use red wine)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of rice

Before you begin to prepare the dish, wash the chicken thoroughly; remove the skin and season with salt and pepper. Allow to stand for about an hour. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and place the chicken in the pot and cover with the lid. Cook the chicken for a few minutes, turning the chicken over a couple of times. Add the wine, garlic, onion, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and allow the chicken to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the tomatoes to the chicken, and turn the heat to low. Allow the chicken to simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the rice. Use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice and be sure to wash the rice thoroughly. Bring the water to a boil, add the rice, some salt, a dash of olive oil and cover with a lid. Lower the heat and allow the rice to cook for about 15-20 minutes.

To serve, place one cup of rice on the plate and add a couple of pieces of chicken. Pour a large spoonful of the sauce over the rice and chicken and serve with your favourite side dish.

Gigantes/Yiyantes (Greek Giant Baked Beans)

This is a nutritious and wonderfully satisfying vegetarian dish. The name ‘yiyantes’ comes from the Greek word for giant (‘giant beans’). Yiyantes can be cooked a couple of different ways, and in this recipe Eva shows us how to prepare these giant beans in tomato juice baked in the oven (plaki-style).

3 cups of large lima beans (yiyantes)
½ cup of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 pieces of garlic, finely diced
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
2 cups of crushed tomatoes, or tomato juice
Salt and pepper

Place 3 cups of washed lima beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Allow the beans to soak in the water overnight. Drain the water and pour the beans into a large pot of boiling water and blanche them for about 5 minutes.

In a large pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onions. Add the garlic, carrots, salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

After about 5 minutes of boiling the beans, remove them from the heat and drain the water. Place the beans in a large pan. Add the tomato sauce to the beans. Add 4 cups of water and mix well to ensure the tomato sauce is evenly spread.

Allow the beans to cook in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees.

Serve as a side dish or as the main meal. Enjoy!

Irene’s Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a layered pasta casserole, also known as “Macaronia tou Fournou” (pasta cooked in the oven). It is a very popular dish throughout Greece and is the perfect dish to make for a large family gathering or party, as it yields a large number of pieces. Pastitsio consists of layers of pasta, a layer of ground beef, and a thick béchamel sauce. Traditionally, a dash of ground cinnamon is added to the ground beef, but in this recipe Irene has chosen to omit the cinnamon. Feel free to add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the ground beef if you like.

For the pasta
2 packages of ‘Pastitsio’ pasta, #4
2 egg whites
About ½ a cup of Parmesan cheese

For the ground beef
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 bulbs of minced garlic
1 small chopped onion
2 pounds of lean ground beef
1 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoons of ground pepper
1 teaspoons of oregano
300 ml of tomato sauce or 2 cups of chopped tomatoes

For the béchamel
5 cups of milk, warmed to room temperature
½ pound of butter
½ cup of all-purpose flour
A dash of salt and pepper
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon of paprika

Cook the pasta for about 8-9 minutes in a large pot of salted water.

In another large pot, heat the oil over low heat. Over low-medium heat, sauté the garlic and onion for about 1-2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until the meat has browned. Add the salt, spices and tomato sauce, and continue to stir the meat until it is cooked. Set aside.

Drain the pasta. Once the pasta is back in your pot add 2 egg whites and stir the pasta. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to the pasta.

Brush the bottom of a large pan with olive oil. Place half of your pasta in the large pan. Make sure it is spread out evenly. Add another sprinkle of parmesan cheese to the pasta.

Spread your ground beef sauce over the pasta. Add another layer of pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

To prepare the béchamel, melt the butter in a large pot at low heat. Once the butter is melted, slowly add in the flour while continually stirring. Slowly add in the milk and continue to stir the sauce until it is smooth. Add salt and pepper. Once all lumps have been smoothed out, remove the sauce from the heat and add in 2 egg yolks. Stir well.

Add the béchamel sauce over the pasta. Be sure to spread the sauce out evenly. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Add a sprinkle of paprika if you like.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let the pastitsio stand for 10 minutes to cool before you cut into squares.

Enjoy!

Eva’s Classic Moussaka

Moussaka is a layered casserole made with layers of eggplant, meat, and a béchamel sauce. In this video, Eva shows us her slightly healthier take on this classic Greek dish. Rather than frying the eggplant, Eva broils the sliced eggplant in the oven for 10 minutes on each side. Her recipe also calls for sliced potatoes to serve as the base of the dish along with the eggplant.

For the Base:

  • 9 Indian eggplants
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup of parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs

For the Meat:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 quarter cup of onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 quarter cup of freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 fresh tomatoes chopped or the juice of ½ can of tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Béchamel sauce:

  • ½ cup of butter
  • 2/3 cup of flour
  • 3 cups of warmed milk
  • 3 eggs

Slice the potatoes and eggplants into ½- inch slices. Place the slices on an oil pan in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip the eggplant and potatoes and cook the other side for another 10 minutes. Once eggplant is ready, remove from the pan and let them dry on paper towel.

To prepare the meat:

In a large skillet over high heat, add the olive oil, ground beef, onion, and garlic. Next add salt, pepper, and parsley. Once the meat has browned add the tomato juice. Let the meat cook until all the juice is gone. Be sure to stir the meat continuously. Once the meat has cooked, set aside.

To prepare the béchamel sauce:

In a medium pot, heat the butter and mix in the flour. Add 3 cups of milk to the mixture. Stir continuously as the mixture begins to thicken. Once the mixture begins to boil, it will thicken. If you find that your mixture is lumpy, simply strain it. Once the sauce has begun to thicken, remove it from the heat.

Now that you have prepared the vegetables, the meat, and the sauce you can now begin assembling the moussaka.

Preheat the oven at 325 degrees.

Lightly brush a medium size pan with olive oil. Place your potato slices on the bottom of the pan. Next, layer the pan with about half of your sliced eggplants. Next, spread about half of the shredded mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Next, add the cooked ground beef. Spread the mixture evenly onto the cheese.

Place the remaining slices of eggplant over the meat. Spread the remainder of the mozzarella cheese on top of the eggplant.

Before you add your sauce to the moussaka, fold in 3 beaten eggs into your béchamel sauce. Once the eggs are mixed in, pour the sauce evenly over the moussaka. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and about half a cup of breadcrumbs over the moussaka.

Cook at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Enjoy!