Food from Many Greek Kitchens
Tessa Kiros was born in London to a Finnish mother and Greek-Cypriot father. She grew up in South Africa and has since travelled the world learning about diverse cultures, traditions and tastes. She has worked in restaurants in Australia, Greece, Mexico and at the famous Groucho Club in London. She and her husband call Italy home.
No one captures the spirit and soul of a place quite like Tessa. Her bestselling cookbooks Twelve, Falling Cloudberries, Apples for Jam, Piri Piri Starfish and Venezia have taken lovers of food and armchair travellers on adventures in her favourite places. Who better than Tessa to take you on a colourful and magical journey into the kitchens of her friends and family, cataloguing the traditional Greek foods for festivals, feast days and fasting in her own enchanting way.
Published by Murdoch Books. RRP $69.95.
Available from Accoutrement.
Check MOSMAN 2088 MAGAZINE for more recipes from Accoutrement every month.
Tomatokeftedes: Fried Tomato Balls
Tomatokeftedes: Fried Tomato Balls - Makes about 15
300g lovely ripe red tomatoes (about 3)
70g (1 small) red onion, roughly chopped
3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped mint
100g (1 2/3 cup) plain all-purpose flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
olive oil, for frying
Cut the top hats off the unpeeled tomatoes and discard. Slice the tomatoes into 6 wedges then chop each wedge into 4 or 5 pieces. Scrape off the board into a bowl but leave behind the excess juice. Add the onion, mint and half the flour to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and knead in well. Leave for 10 minutes or so to soften.
Make a paste with the remaining flour, the baking powder and 80ml (1/3 cup) of water. Add to the bowl and mix in well. Heat olive oil to a depth of about 1.5cm in a large non-stick frying pan until very hot.
Scoop up a good tablespoon of the mixture and with another spoon, scrape this into the hot oil in lovely irregular fritters. Fry a few at a time, turning them over when golden to fry the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and serve on a clean plate.
Arni Lemonato: Lemon and Oregano Lamb
Arni Lemonato: Lemon and Oregano Lamb - SERVES 4 to 6
375ml (1 1/2 cups) fresh lemon juice (6 to 7 lemons)
125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano
1.5 kg leg of lamb, bone hacked in one place and hinged, so it fits in the dish
1.2kg potatoes, cut into nice big chunks
Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano with 375ml (1 1/2 cups) of water in a large non-corrosive baking dish. Rub the lamb well all over with salt and black pepper and put it in the marinade.
Turn it over a couple of times to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning it frequently throughout your waking hours.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Cover the lamb with a sheet of baking paper and then cover the dish tightly with 3 layers of foil. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the lamb over, cover again and reduce the heat to 150ºC.
Bake the lamb for another 2 hours. Now turn the lamb gently as it will be very tender. Add the potatoes to the dish and sprinkle a little salt over them. Cover again and bake for 2 hours, turning the potatoes once during this time. Remove the foil, shuffle the potatoes and put back in the oven at 200ºC.
Roast the potatoes until a little golden here and there, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest the lamb for 5 minutes before serving..
Galaktoboureko: Custard Phyllo Pie
Custard and Pine Nut Tart - SERVES 12
120g unsalted butter, melted to golden
12 sheets phyllo*, at least 30 x 38cm in size
1 long strip of lemon peel
75g fine semolina
4 egg yolks, plus
2 whole eggs
1.5 litres (6 cups) milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a nice grating of fresh nutmeg
To make the syrup, put the sugar and lemon peel in a small saucepan and add 185ml (3/4 cup) of water. Put over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
For the filling put the sugar, semolina and cornflour in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add all the eggs and beat until thick and pale. Heat the milk, vanilla and nutmeg in a large saucepan to just below boiling.
Add a ladleful to the eggs and mix in. Add another ladleful, mix, and continue until all the milk has been added. Scrape back into the pot and return it to the heat on low for 5 or 10 minutes, whisking often until it is very thick and nothing sticks to the bottom.
When it’s thickened and glooping and is just at the point before boiling, remove from the heat.
Have the phyllo sheets ready, covered by a tea towel to prevent them drying out. Brush the base and sides of a 22 x 30cm ovenproof dish with butter.
Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on your work surface and brush with butter. Cover with another sheet, brush it with buter and continue in this way until you have a stack of 6 sheets. Lift them up and fit into the buttered dish, covering the base and sides.
Press them gently into the corners of the dish to make a nest for the filling. Pour the filling on top and smooth the surface.
Make another stack of 6 buttered phyllo sheets. Lift this onto the pie, covering the filling. Press the two overhanging layers of phyllo together, trimming these to a couple of centimetres. Roll these edges over on themselves to seal the filling in.
Using a sharp knife, gently score the top pastry into 12 pieces, only cutting through the top sheet or two of phyllo. Flick a little cold water here and there (to prevent the phyllo curling).
Bake until crisp and golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, rest for a couple of minutes then pour the syrup over the top, covering all the pie. Now leave for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the syrup to settle as the pie cools.
Will keep for a number of days if left, covered with a tea towel, in a cool dry place (not refrigerated).
*Note: The phyllo sheets need to be large enough to cover the base and sides of a 22 x 30cm dish. If yours are smaller, use more sheets and cut to fit.