water tagged posts

Happy Thanksgiving – Cranberry Sauce

DSC_7837 - Version 2

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The highlight of the thanksgiving holiday is of course the thanksgiving dinner. It is a staple all across the United States, and although the turkey is the star of the table, there is plethora of side dishes that complete the feast and are equally important. Potatoes, stuffing and the cranberry sauce. The last two actually, are almost exclusively consumed during only that dinner. Stuffing and cranberry sauce. The stuffing is a very complex and diverse dish, ranging from the cornbread, that seems to be the most common, to rice stuffing, that I make and is the best. But cranberry sauce is as simple as it gets. It is also vegetarian, dairy free, gluten-free and all-alergens free, making it safe for everyone. It is tangy enough to add and extra dimension to every meat, even the bland and boring turkey. The acid wakes up the taste buds, changes the pH and enhances the flavor. Although important, it is the one item that almost always comes out of a can. And it is a shame. Cranberry sauce is easy to make and since it is part of the Thanksgiving celebration we should take the time to make it at home.

Read More

Simple Syrup

DSC_7445

If you need to add a sweet element, but the temperature required does not facilitate the melting of raw sugar, simple syrup is the way to go! Like most Greeks deserts, simple syrup is applied to a large variety of sweets like baklava and galactoboureko. In America, simple syrup is the common sweetener for iced tea and coffee. Simple syrup is also on of the best ingredients for cocktails. Syrup brighten ups the flavors and take the sharpness of harsh liquor.

Read More

My mom’s Pizza

DSC_6207

Today the 13th day of October it is my mom’s name day. It is a typical Greek traditional celebration to celebrate the day of the saint or martyr that you are named after. So today it is my mom’s day and we are celebrating by making the best pizza ever. It is all that my mom’s cooking is all about simple ingredients, simple flavors that they highlight and accentuates the taste of simple ingredients, like feta and tomato. And this is the bottom line of the greek cuisine: simple ingredients brought together in a simple manner. So this sort of pizza is just that. And I call it sort of pizza, because it does not share anything of the typical pizza characteristics, sauce, melted cheese, thin crust. It is on the contrary puffy, with just tomato and feta a non melting cheese. I am making two version the original and still king, my mom’s and mine a more gourmet take on it. So let’s get started.

Read More

A Greek Coffee Named Frappe

DSC_5191

If you are greek, probably you should not read this post. This is about the most common way of Greeks to enjoy the neurotoxin also called caffeine. And as all simple things each one has a way of enjoying it, and even worse a way of making it. Being an unconventional coffee this one imposes a whole new set of layers to personalize it. So again, if you are greek, skip this, you will probably disagree with what I say and How I make it. If you insist in reading please go ahead on your own risk. This is different from all other coffee, because it is made with instant coffee.

Read More

My Grandma’s Cured Olives

DSC_0088

This is the fourth significant recipe towards the countdown. In a way it is one more tribute to my island. It is the traditional way we are curring the green olives. And this recipe is from my grandma. The one person that knows how to make them perfect. She is making them every year for more than 50 years. This particular variations in Crete are called tsakistes ( τσακιστές ). This means crushed. You used to take the olives, and crush then with a rock or a small hammer, enough to crack open the meat of the olive. More on why later. They are served with lots of lemon and sea salt. My favorite treat since I was a kid.

Read More

On the Foundation of Any Serious Meal: Bread

DSC_4295

Bread is the quintessential food item; The base of every civilization; The ultimate utilization and refinement of grains. It is the beginning and the end each meal. I know too much to tell, but imagine this world without bread. Bread through the history of the humanity has been the solely energy source. In ancient Egypt the slave working in the pyramids were fed on bread onions and garlic. In Greece there is a saying that describes friendship that goes like “We ate bread and salt together”. Bread and salt. Bread the basic food. The elemental food source. Salt the most precious commodity.

Read More

Lemon(Lime)ade as mama used to make… (and she still does)

DSC_4198_2

A hot summer day there are very few things that can beat the refreshing taste of lemonade. It is not only the aroma of the lemon but also the sour and sweet that battle on your tongue for the last word. It is also the cold liquid, very often sparkling, liquid that accommodates such an event. There are many recipes for lemonade, but the one that is the most close to my heart is the one that the best cook I know used to make. That is my mom. The best lemonade period. Why? Well it is so simple! No need to make syrup boil the juice. A few simple ingredients and that’s all. Although I added a few tweaks myself, just so it can be closer to what I like the recipe is mom all over. There are no long introduction, or history about it… It is a lemonade that’s all it is. Actually to be precise I should call it citrusade. It can be done with all citruses that are unpleasant to the taste, lemons, limes, grapefruits, pergamont etc. All you need is sugar (and love, but that is not a real ingredient). So here, since the lemons are a bit of season I chose to go with limes, that are also of season but cheaper.

Read More

Chai the Elixer also known as Tea

DSC_0684

It is the least, utopia, to try to condense the history of the tea, to a blog post. It is the one beverage that is second in consumption world wide; second only to water. It has a rich history that implicates, Chinese dynasties, India, the British and the West India Company. It’s story is lost in the centuries. It’s benefits are flooding the internet. The ways to make it, are as many as the people on this earth. Why tea is so historic, controversial and mystical? Well these are the things we will try to address. This, while making some nice tea.

Briefly; te...

Read More

Pork Tenderloin: Spice Galore

DSC_0274

This post, long due but finally here never the less, it is not so much about the tenderloin, which is a great piece of meat but mostly for the propper use of spices and marinates/brines. I have spoken about it before but there still some miss conceptions and hazy teritory. And what a better way of talking than a nice juice piece of meat. And soon enough we will see that the selection of the meat was even more suitable.

Read More

The perfect Martini

DSC_0242

About the martini I have already spoken. A whole series of posts targeting the 7 drinks that a bar tender has to master to consider himself an mixologist. Knowing how to make it and mastering is two different things. It is what makes a Martini, a good Martini, or a great Martini. I am not going to talk about the history of the Martini. I have all you need here. Today I am going to show you, how to master (hahahaa, like it is easy) more like how to make a good martini.

Read More