Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew in Wine Sauce

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew in Wine Sauce

An awesome recipe for Italian Chicken Cacciatore in a wine and tomato sauce. Best served with Bucatini pasta or wild rice.

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew

From what I understand, Chicken Cacciatore (the Italian Hunter’s chicken) doesn’t exist! At least, not as an official recipe. That makes sense as the purpose of the dish was for the hunters to cook something fast with the catch of the day. So, I am not even sure if chicken is actually involved.

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew

Apparently, the hunters used what they had in the fridge to make a hearty meal. What would you find in an Italian house? Tomatoes, wine, basil, olives. Use all of that, add your meat, put it in the oven and you are done!

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew

Here we are talking about feeding some serious eaters that can appreciate good food. Chicken Cacciatore is a stew (or casserole) dish that needs to be enjoyed by talking the time to appreciate every little bite.

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew

All the flavors from each ingredient are combined perfectly to take you to heaven. But, do you have to use mushrooms? Would the Italians use mushrooms in such a dish? Trust me, the mushrooms are an excellent addition to Chicken Cacciatore. You do like mushrooms in garlic and wine sauce, don’t you? You will enjoy them here too.

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew

Chicken Cacciatore can be cooked in the oven or the stove. I used a nice pot that can go in the oven and left it there for ~ 2 hours so the chicken has absorbed all the flavors and the meat falls from the bone. A couple of hours cooked on low heat would give the same result I guess. However, you can’t get the final browning of the chicken when you let it cook in the oven uncovered.

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew

So, make some nice spaghetti or Bucatini and enjoy this lovely recipe of Chicken Cacciatore!

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew

Italian Chicken Cacciatore Stew
An awesome recipe for Italian Chicken Cacciatore in a wine and tomato sauce. Best served with Bucatini pasta or wild rice.

Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 4 chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks with the skin on.
  • 200 gr of mushrooms cut in half.
  • 1 ½ onion chopped.
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped.
  • 1 carrot cut in cubes.
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped.
  • 2 ripe and sweet tomatoes coarsely cut.
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz) tomato passata.
  • A bunch of flat leaf parsley finely chopped.
  • A small bunch of fresh basil finely chopped.
  • 15-20 pitted olives.
  • ½ bottle of Chianti wine.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika.
  • 1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Wash the chicken pieces, dry them with a kitchen towel and season them with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the olive oil in a deep pot (or Dutch oven) that can go into the oven. Heat up the oil on a medium-high heat. Coat the chicken pieces with flour and fry them starting with the side with the skin on. Cook until nicely brown in both sides and set aside.
  3. Use a wooden spoon and scratch the bottom of the pot to release the sticky bits. Set the heat to medium and add the onion, green pepper and carrots. Add the oregano, paprika and season with salt and pepper. Cook until they start getting brown.
  4. Preheat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius (340 F)
  5. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two while stirring. Add half of the wine and bring it to boil. Add the parsley, basil, fresh tomatoes, olives and passata, season with salt and pepper and give it a good stir. Place the cooked chicken pieces and add the remaining wine. The juices must cover the chicken pieces. If not, add some hot water.
  6. Cover the pot with a lid and let it slowly-cook in the oven for ~ 90 minutes. Remove the lid and let it cook for another 15 minutes to get a nice brown color.
  7. Serve Chicken Cacciatore hot with rice or Bucatini pasta.
  8. Bon appetit!

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Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip

Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip

A recipe for impressive and delicious Moroccan lamb cigars with a yogurt and Harissa dip. A crunchy delicacy with exotic flavors in your plate!

Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip

I have to admit that I didn’t know much about the North-African cuisine. I knew, of course, that there are some common ideas that span across the Mediterranean region, from Morocco to the Middle East. Spices, vegetables and pastries.

Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip

But never expressed the interest to go deeper into that cuisine. Ok, except from the odd couscous and some occasional Lamb Tagine.

Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip

The first Moroccan recipe I tried and was really impressed was the Moroccan spicy lentils soup. What I was missing all this time? That triggered my interest to search for more authentic recipes from this part of our world.

Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip

As I love my pastries, I found out that ground lamb rolled in filo sheets are a very popular dish called simply Moroccan lamb Cigars. Not difficult to make, just cook your ground lamb with all the spices and roll some cigars using simple filo sheets.

Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip

During my short educational trip of Moroccan cuisine I came across the Harissa paste. That was something new to me, I admit it. When combined with some yogurt and lemon juice, it makes a lovely exotic dip for your Moroccan lamb cigars. I should have discovered Harissa paste before, I am sure that I will use it more frequently in the future in my dishes.

Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip

The filo sheets I got were not very wide so I chose to make the Moroccan lamb cigars using a whole sheet. They came out quite long, but that wasn’t a problem. Still delicious! If you prefer, you can cut them in half lengthwise to make shorter cigars.

Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip

Moroccan Lamb Cigars with Harissa Dip
A recipe for impressive and delicious Moroccan lamb cigars with a yoghurt and Harissa dip. A crunchy delicacy with exotic flavors in your plate!

Author:
Cuisine: Moroccan
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 7

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 500 gr (17 oz) ground lamb.
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped.
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin.
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste.
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 egg.
  • 7 filo sheets.
  • 1 cup of Greek yoghurt.
  • 1 teaspoons Harissa paste.
  • Juice from one lemon.
  • Sesame seeds for topping.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it gets soft and translucent. Add the cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon and garlic and cook for ~ 30 seconds while stirring.
  2. Add the mince lamb and season it with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the meat until it gets starts getting brown. Add the tomato paste, give it a good stir, lower the heat to low-medium and cook until most of the juices have gone.
  3. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (360 F).
  4. Add some olive oil in a small bowl and beat the egg in another bowl. Lay one of the filo sheets in a flat surface. Use a kitchen brush and spread some olive oil along the sheet. Spread some of the egg along the edges of the sheet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the lamb mixture close to the top of the filo sheet, leaving ~ 1 inch spacing from the edges. Fold the two long edges as shown in the photo and roll the cigar making sure it’s relatively tight and sealed. Place the cigar on a tray covered with parchment. Repeat with the other filo sheets.
  5. Spread the remaining oil and egg on top of your cigars and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
  6. Bake the lamb cigars for ~ 30 minutes until golden brown.
  7. For the yoghurt-Harissa dip: Add the yoghurt, Harissa paste, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl. Add some salt and mix well. Try it to see if it needs any corrections (more Harissa paste, more salt etc), according to your liking.
  8. Bon appetit!

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Smoked Sausage with Eggplant and Herbs Pie

Smoked Sausage with Eggplant and Herbs Pie

A simple but delicious smoked sausage and eggplant pie recipe. Tasty, crunchy and full of aromas!

Smoked Sausage with Eggplant and Herbs Pie

I was a naughty boy last week. No, nothing serious that needed the police to be alarmed or anything. The weather was nice and we decided to have a barbecue. Lamb chops, chicken wings, pork ribs, turkey burgers, Greek sausages…everything. It was such a feast but too much meat for my liking.

Smoked Sausage with Eggplant and Herbs Pie

In order to clear my sins away, I decided to make a vegetarian pie to keep me going. The guilt of eating lamb chops would go away with some eggplant and zucchini. It was a good plan.

Smoked Sausage with Eggplant and Herbs Pie

Until…I saw that I had some smoked sausage left in the fridge. Damn it! I had to use it. Buy-buy my vegetarian pie, hello my new smoked sausage and vegetables one.

Smoked Sausage with Eggplant and Herbs Pie

Smoked sausage doesn’t need to be cooked a lot, so it’s introduced at the end of the cooking process. I used some potatoes to give it a thicker substance. Potatoes need to be introduced in the beginning, as it takes more time for them to be cooked.

Smoked Sausage with Eggplant and Herbs Pie

This is another pie in my series of pies. I don’t think this one has a special name in the Greek cuisine, I would call it “Everything Goes Pie” as I literally put in there everything I had and could think of.

As a fast solution, I used puff pastry sheets that turn to be quite nice. If you can find a more interesting Filo pastry sheets, you can give it a try.

Smoked Sausage with Eggplant and Herbs Pie
A simple but delicious smoked sausage and eggplant pie recipe. Tasty, crunchy and full of aromas!

Author:
Cuisine: Greek
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 6

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 2 eggplants cut in cubes.
  • 1 zucchini cut in cubes.
  • 2 green peppers chopped.
  • 2 potatoes cut in cubes.
  • 1 ½ onion coarsely chopped.
  • 2 tomatoes cut in cubes.
  • 200 gr (7 oz) smoked sausage cut in cubes.
  • ½ cup of flat leaf parsley finely chopped.
  • 150 gr (5 oz) Feta cheese crumbled.
  • 2 puff pastry sheets.
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Warm up the olive oil in a large and deep pot on medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and fry them until they start getting soft.
  2. Add the eggplant, zucchini, peppers and onion. Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium. Cook them for ~ 10 minutes until soft while stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the tomatoes, the sausage and parsley. Give it a good stir and let it cook for another 10 minutes until most of the juices are absorbed.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the Feta and give it a good stir. Let it cool down for at least 30 minutes. It should be relatively cold when you lay it on top of the pastry.
  5. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (360 F).
  6. Use a medium-large tray and spread some olive oil on the bottom and side walls using a kitchen brush. Place one of the pastry sheets on the bottom, making sure it covers part of the walls. Add the eggplant and sausage mixture and add the second pastry sheet on the top. Fold the sheets nicely so the juices don’t escape from the sides during cooking. Use your kitchen brush and spread some olive oil on the top. Cut the pie in squares making sure you don’t reach the bottom with the knife.
  7. Bake the pie for ~ 40 minutes until golden brown. Make sure you let it rest in room temperature for ~ 20 minutes before you cut it.
  8. Bon appetit!

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Hungarian Chicken Paprikash in a Creamy Sauce

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash in a Creamy Sauce

A recipe for Hungarian Chicken Paprikash with a velvet creamy sauce. A masterpiece of central European cuisine!

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash in a Creamy Sauce

One of the great advantages of my job (despite the fact that it doesn’t pay well) is that I have the chance to visit many places around the globe for conferences, meetings etc. Being a foodie, I always look around and try to find hidden treasures of the local cuisine.

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash in a Creamy Sauce

In my recent trip to Central Europe I had the chance (and honor!) to try the famous Hungarian Chicken Paprikash. Together with the Goulash stew, one of the most popular dishes in Hungary and surrounding regions.

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash in a Creamy Sauce

I was really impressed! Chicken Paprikash is very simple as a concept but insanely delicious. The chicken, usually thighs, is slowly cooked in a tomato and cream sauce with lots of paprika. For those of you who don’t know, paprika is one of the most precious export product of Hungary.

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash in a Creamy Sauce

The choice of paprika makes a big difference in Chicken Paprikash. I strongly recommend to use a Hungarian paprika, which has a smooth and sweet flavor. In my version, I added a bit of smoked paprika too, just for the additional kick.

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash in a Creamy Sauce

Most of the recipes use sour cream but, honestly, I am not a big fan. I find it a bit “fatty” and sweet. Instead I used Greek yoghurt, a smoother and healthier option. Totally recommended!

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash in a Creamy Sauce
A recipe for Hungarian Chicken Paprikash with a velvet creamy sauce. A masterpiece of central European cuisine!

Author:
Cuisine: Hungarian
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 3

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 6 chicken thighs with the skin on.
  • 1 large onion finely chopped.
  • 1 green pepper chopped.
  • 3-4 sweet and ripe tomatoes cut in cubes.
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste.
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika.
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika.
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Wash the chicken thighs in cold water and dry them with a kitchen towel. Season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil in a deep pot on medium heat. Place the chicken thighs in the pot with the skin facing the bottom. Cook for ~ 10 minutes until the thighs are nicely brown in both sides. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and set aside.
  2. In the same pot add the onion and green pepper and cook until the onion starts caramelizing. Add the chicken thighs on top and add the sweet and hot paprika. Season with salt and pepper and give it a good stir. Cook for ~ 30 seconds (not more as the paprika will become bitter).
  3. Add the fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. Add 1-2 cups of hot water (until it covers the chicken) and bring it to boil. Set the heat to low, cover with a lid and let in cook for ~ 90 minutes until the juices have reduced.
  4. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and set aside. Use a hand mixer and create a thick paste with the remaining sauce in the pot. Add the yogurt and stir well. Bring the chicken back to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.
  5. Serve the Chicken Paprikash hot with wild rice or pasta.
  6. Bon appetit!

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Spicy Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)

Spicy Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)

A recipe for traditional Greek spicy meatballs in tomato sauce. It’s the world famous and popular Soutzoukakia.

Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)

Everyone has his favorite comfort food made by the magic hands of his mother. Mine, and a few millions of others, is the delicious meatballs in a rich tomato sauce coming by the funny name Soutzoukakia.

Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)

Soutzoukakia, as the name reveals, has an eastern origin. You can recognize the word “Sujuk” hidden in there, which describes a sausage-like delicacy in Turkey, Middle East and the Balkans. Here, we are not dealing with sausages but rather with spicy meatballs.

Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)

Soutzoukakia came to the mainland of Greece in the last century, after the terrible events with the exchange of populations between the Turks and Greeks. The Greeks living in Turkey brought with them their culinary traditions, especially all the lovely spices and herbs they were used to cook with.

Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)

They key for successful Soutzoukakia is the right portion of spices and herbs. Cumin is a must and should be abundant. A touch of nutmeg and ground cinnamon gives an extra kick but they should be used with moderation, especially cinnamon, as they are extremely strong and can ruin your food. They should be soft so plenty of bread is necessary. A touch of an anise-based liquor (like Ouzo) brings it to another level.

Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)

The Greeks usually make their Soutzoukakia with veal, sometimes a blend of veal with pork. The combination may sound strange but it actually works quite well. If you can’t find mince veal easily, you can use beef of course. At the end, you should have soft and very aromatic meatballs.

Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)

A nice tomato sauce completes Soutzoukakia. I am always using fresh tomatoes together with concentrated paste when I make tomato sauces.. It really breaks the bitterness of the tomatoes in a tin can, which I hate. If you are blessed and you are living in a country where tomatoes are juicy, sweat and full of flavor you can skip the concentrated ones and use only fresh. That’s the real way to do it.

Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)

Greek Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Soutzoukakia)
A recipe for traditional Greek spicy meatballs in tomato sauce. It’s the world famous and popular Soutzoukakia.

Author:
Cuisine: Greek
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 500 gr (17 oz) mince veal.
  • 500 gr (17 oz) mince pork.
  • 6 garlic cloves.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 5-6 slices of toast bread.
  • 2 shots of Ouzo or Raki.
  • 50 ml (1.7 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 ½ bunches (~ 75 gr, 2.5 oz) of flat-leaf parsley.
  • A small bunch of fresh mint.
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano.
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper.
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of salt.
  • 3-4 large ripe and sweet tomatoes.
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) tomato passata.
  • 1 large onion chopped.
  • 50 gr (1.7 oz) all-purpose flour.
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) sunflower or vegetable oil for frying.

Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, one bunch of parsley and mint in a food processor and create a nice paste. Add the paste into a large bowl together with the eggs, Ouzo and spices. Whisk the mixture well. Add the bread and knead well until you have a homogeneous mixture.
  2. Introduce the meats into the bowl and knead well for a couple of minutes so all of the ingredients are mixed well. Let it rest for ~ 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Take a small ball of the mixture and create an elongated but not too thick meatball. Cover with flower and set aside. Repeat for the rest of the meatballs.
  4. Heat up the sunflower oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add the meatballs and fry them until they get evenly brown. When ready, put them on a tray which is covered by paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  5. Add the tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves and the rest of the parsley in a food processor to create a nice paste.
  6. In a large frying pan or deep pot add 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts getting brown. Add the paste from the blender, the passata, the oregano and season with salt and pepper. You can add a bit of paprika and chili powder if you like. Give it a good stir, change the heat to low and let it cook for ~ 10 minutes.
  7. When the sauce starts to thicken, introduce the meatballs in the pan or pot and cover with a lid. Let the Soutzoukakia simmer for ~ 15 minutes while giving an occasional stir.
  8. Enjoy you Soutzoukakia with Basmati rice of mashed potatoes.
  9. Bon appetit!

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Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

This is a very simple and easy recipe for spicy chicken and bean Enchiladas. It’s cheesy, it’s meaty and is awesome!

Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

There are two reason why I decided to make these chicken and bean enchiladas. First, it has been some time now that I have been craving Mexican food. I don’t remember when was the last time I had some. Maybe during my trip to San Francisco, a few months ago.

Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

Second, and more important, Kondje had made a large pot of bean stew and we needed to consume somehow. We ate 2-3 times but there was a lot still left.

Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

I know that most of the people use beans from tin cans when they make Mexican food, especially Enchiladas. Personally I don’t like them. I prefer the food I put on my table to be fresh and homemade. At least I try.

Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

So the bean stew was made in a tomato sauce, similar to a Fasolada soup. The beans gave the Enchiladas a particular flavor.

Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

One of the most important factors for successful Enchiladas is the sauce. I had a quick look around and found this lovely recipe for Enchilada sauce. I have to admit, the sauce was awesome! Thank you Kate for sharing it with us.

Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

So, go ahead and make it. It’s easy, it’s meaty and is a lovely meal for the whole family.

Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

Spicy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas
This is a very simple and easy recipe for spicy chicken and bean Enchiladas. It’s cheesy, it’s meaty and is awesome!

Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 6 skinless chicken thighs cut in small pieces.
  • 8 corn tortillas.
  • 2 cups cooked or canned beans.
  • 2 cups Enchilada sauce.
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika.
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder.
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun spice mix.
  • 200 gr (7 oz) shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack etc).
  • A small bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped.
  • 3-4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and start frying them. Season them with the paprika, oregano, Cajun mix, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook until it starts getting golden brown.
  2. -3 minutes before you remove from the heat, add the coriander and stir well. Try some of the chicken to see if it needs a bit more seasoning.
  3. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (360 F).
  4. Place one tortilla on the working bench and spread some of the Enchilada sauce. Depending on the size of the tortilla, add a tablespoon of beans, a few pieces of chicken and top it with some shredded cheese. Roll the tortilla and place it in a large tray.
  5. Repeat with the rest of tortillas. At the end, pour the remaining of the Enchilada sauce in the tray and top it with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake for ~ 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the tortillas start getting brown.
  7. Enjoy your chicken and beans Enchiladas with Pico de Gallo or rice.
  8. Bon appetit!

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Spicy Turkey Pie with Peppers and Herbs

Spicy Turkey Pie with Peppers and Herbs

A recipe for delicious spicy turkey pie with peppers and herbs. A healthy option for everyday lunch or a starter.

Spicy Turkey Pie with Peppers and Herbs

My obsession with pies is quite obvious from my posts during the last 18 months. Doesn’t matter if it’s a vegetarian (like Spanakopita) or meaty one, I just love the taste of something being sandwiched in filo pastry.

Spicy Turkey Pie with Peppers and Herbs

The passion of Greeks for pies is difficult to describe. There is a pie in almost every table that you’re invited to sit in. They make pies with everything. Even wild greens found in the mountains or in their garden. Or with what was left from the previous day. Everything goes!

Spicy Turkey Pie with Peppers and Herbs

I guess this habit or tradition comes from the years that Greece was a poor country (even poorer than now, if you can believe it) and people had to feed themselves and their families with cheap ingredients that were easy to find. Add a couple of eggs, make the pastry with flour and water and…voila! The whole family is fed.

Spicy Turkey Pie with Peppers and Herbs

This spicy turkey pie is not only easy to make but will also save you from making lunch for a couple of days. It’s quite healthy and nutritious and can please anyone. I used mince turkey thighs as they have much more taste than the turkey breast. If you are after an even healthier option, you can use turkey breast of course.

Spicy Turkey Pie with Peppers and Herbs

The big difference in every pie is made by the right filo that you are using. Let’s face it, the ones you find in the supermarkets can do the job but they are far from…amazing. Puff pastry can be an option and may be is better suited for this kind of pie. Here, I…cheated as I had some traditional filo pastry that I bought in Greece. It’s so great that I fill one suitcase with it whenever I visit Greece!

Spicy Turkey Pie with Peppers and Herbs

Spicy Turkey Pie with Peppers and Herbs
A recipe for delicious spicy turkey pie with peppers and herbs. A healthy option for everyday lunch or a starter.

Author:
Cuisine: Greek
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 kg (35 oz) mince turkey thigh.
  • 6 filo sheets.
  • 1 red pepper diced.
  • 1 green pepper diced.
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped.
  • 1 carrot grated.
  • A bunch of flat-leaf parsley chopped.
  • A small bunch of fresh dill chopped.
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes cut in cubes.
  • 3-4 sundried tomatoes chopped.
  • ½ cup of white wine.
  • 1 egg.
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) Feta cheese crumbled.
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder.
  • A generous pinch of of dried oregano.
  • A pinch of dried thyme.
  • ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan or pot on medium heat. Add the onions and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until they start getting soft. Add the mince turkey, the oregano, thyme, chili pepper and season with salt and pepper. Give a good stir and brown well the turkey.
  2. When the juices start to reduce, add the wine and cook for a few minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
  3. Add the carrots, parsley, dill and sundried tomatoes, stir well and let it cook for ~ 10 minutes. Give it a stir occasionally and try to see if it needs more seasoning. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool for ~ 20 minutes.
  4. When the mixture has cooled down, add the Feta and egg and stir well.
  5. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (360F).
  6. Cover the bottom and walls of a medium-large tray with olive oil using a kitchen brush. Lay one filo sheet on the bottom and spread some more olive oil. Lay the second sheet, spread some more olive oil and add the third sheet. Add the turkey mixture in the tray and spread it to have an even surface. Add a filo sheet on top, spread some olive oil and repeat with the rest of the sheets. Fold the sheets to make sure the mixture does not leak during cooking. Spread some more olive oil on top of the pie and some water using your hand. Use a knife and cut the pieces you are going to serve the pie making sure that you don’t reach the bottom.
  7. Put the turkey pie in the oven and bake for ~ 45 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Before you cut it, let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Bon appetit!

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Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)

Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)

A lovely recipe for stuffed squid with rice and herbs in tomato sauce. Very popular in Greece as “Kalamaria Gemista”.

Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)

Calamari, together with cuttlefish and octopus, is my favorite seafood. There many ways to enjoy them. When they are small I like them fried, especially when they are fresh. Sometimes you can find a big calamari and grill it. Topped with olive oil and lemon takes you to heaven.

Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)

Squids come from the same family as calamari but…they are cheaper and a bit harder. It’s not easy to find the real calamari where I live so one has to do some sacrifices. In other words, I fooled myself with some squid.

Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)

Stuffed squid is becoming quite popular in Greece lately. The common stuffing is rice and herbs. However, people also use spinach and sometimes mince meat. I followed the first and simple version this time. This is a hearty dish that can feed many people so do not hesitate to make it for a small family gathering.

Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)

The squids I found were quite small so I used 12 of them for ~ 4 portions. If you find larger ones, I believe one or two of them are enough for one person.

Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)

Cooked in the oven, the stuffed squid tenderize and get the flavors and aromas from the herbs and tomatoes. If you are only familiar with the fried calamari they serve in restaurants you will be amazed of how delicious are these little creatures when they are slowly-cooked in a sauce. Yummy!

Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)

Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)

Stuffed Squid with Rice and Herbs (Kalamaria Gemista)
A lovely recipe for stuffed squids with rice and herbs in tomato sauce. Very popular in Greece as “Kalamaria Gemista”.

Author:
Cuisine: Greek
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 12 medium squids.
  • ½ cup of long grain rice.
  • 1 large onion finely chopped.
  • 5-6 spring onions finely chopped.
  • A big bunch of flat-leaf parsley.
  • A small bunch of fresh dill.
  • 3-4 sweet and ripe tomatoes.
  • 2 garlic cloves.
  • ½ cup of tomato Passata.
  • 1 cup of white wine.
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Clean and wash the squids. If they come with their tentacles, chop them and set apart.
  2. Add the fresh tomatoes, half of the parsley and garlic in a food blender and make a smooth paste.
  3. Add half of the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the onion, spring onion and the chopped tentacles (if any) and cook for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Stir occasionally. Add the rice, give it a good stir and cook for a minute or so. Add ½ cup of the wine, give it a good stir and let the alcohol evaporate. Chop finely the dill and the rest of the parsley. Add half of the tomato paste from the blender, half of the passata, the rest of the parsley and dill and season with salt and pepper. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from the heat.
  4. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (360 F).
  5. Use a teaspoon and fill one squid with the mixture from the pan. You should not fill it completely as the rice will expand during cooking. Use a toothpick to seal the opening of the squid so that the stuffing will not come out during the cooking process. Place the stuffed squid on a medium-large pan and repeat for the others.
  6. Add the remaining stuffing from the pan to the tray and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the rest of the tomato sauce, Passata, white wine and hot water so the squids are almost covered.
  7. Cover the tray and let it cook for ~ 40 minutes in the oven. Uncover the tray and let it cook for another ~ 20 minutes until the squids start getting brown.
  8. Bon appetit!

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Black Eyed Beans Casserole with Sausage and Spinach

Black Eyed Beans Casserole with Sausage and Spinach

A delicious recipe for black eyed beans casserole with spinach and Chipolata sausages. Home cooking at its best!

Black Eyed Beans Casserole with Sausage and Spinach

When a busy week is coming, a hearty casserole is what you need. You spend some time in the weekend but you have a healthy and tasty dinner for the next few days. It saves time, energy and, of course, money.

Black Eyed Beans Casserole with Sausage and Spinach

Beans in the oven are not very popular. They are used mostly in soups and salads. However, if they are done properly, they offer a juicy and hearty meal that will impress everyone.

Black Eyed Beans Casserole with Sausage and Spinach

Black eyed beans are a common salad ingredient. I like them because they have this sweet particular taste. They are very nutritious but I have to say that I didn’t gave them much attention until recently.

Black Eyed Beans Casserole with Sausage and Spinach

You will be surprised how well beans and spinach go together. I used fresh spinach this time and I think you should do the same if you can find it. It would be also interesting to add any other aromatic wild greens but it’s hard to find where I live. Maybe I will try it when I visit Greece next time.

Black Eyed Beans Casserole with Sausage and Spinach

The dish could stand alone without the sausages but I wanted to give it a kick. I used Chipolatas but you can use any other sausage you like. Also, you could finish the black eyed beans casserole with some crumbled Feta on top. Yummy!

Black Eyed Beans Casserole with Sausage and Spinach
A delicious recipe for black eyed beans casserole with spinach and Chipolata sausages. Home cooking at its best!

Author:
Cuisine: World
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 300 gr (10 oz) black eye beans.
  • 8 Chipolata sausages.
  • 300 gr (10 oz) fresh baby spinach.
  • 2 medium onions chopped.
  • 6-7 spring onions chopped.
  • A small bunch of fresh dill chopped.
  • A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley chopped.
  • 2 large sweet and ripe tomatoes diced.
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • ½ cup (and a bit more) of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt.
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Add the beans in a large bowl with plenty of water and let them overnight to soak.
  2. Add plenty of water in a large pot on high heat and bring it to boil. Add the beans and let them boil for 5-10 minutes. Drain the beans and add fresh water to the pot. Boil the beans for ~ 40 minutes until they soften and are eatable. Drain the beans and keep aside.
  3. Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large and deep pot on medium-high heat. Add the onion and spring onion and cook for a few minutes until soften. Add the spinach and give it a good stir. After a few minutes the spinach must have softened and reduced in size. Season with salt and pepper and add the dill and parsley. Give it a good stir, let it cook for 3-4 minutes and remove from the stove.. The juices from the spinach will still be there but you will use it to cook the beans in the tray.
  4. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (360 F).
  5. Use a medium-large tray and add the contents of the pot (onions and spinach) to the bottom of the tray. Add the beans on top and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze in the Chipolatas and pour the olive oil together with the tomato paste diluted in one cup of hot water. Add the fresh tomato on the top.
  6. Bake for ~ 45 minutes until the sausages are cooked. You may need to stir a bit your casserole if you see that the top becomes brown too soon.
  7. Bon appetit!

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Shrimps in Tomato Sauce and Feta (Garides Saganaki)

Shrimps in Tomato Sauce and Feta (Garides Saganaki)

A fast but delicious Greek appetizer with shrimps in tomato sauce topped with Feta. It’s the famous Garides Saganaki.

Shrimps in Tomato Sauce and Feta (Garides Saganaki)

When it comes to seafood, Greek cuisine simply excels! As a county which is surrounded by the sea, the Greeks have used its resources to feed themselves for centuries. Naturally, they have developed authentic and delicious recipes by combining local products with fresh seafood.

Shrimps in Tomato Sauce and Feta (Garides Saganaki)

There is nothing (I repeat: nothing!) more pleasurable than sitting in a tavern by the sea and eating fresh seafood with a glass of Ouzo. One of the delicacies you can find is “Garides Saganaki”, which is shrimps in a rich tomato sauce topped with Feta cheese.

Shrimps in Tomato Sauce and Feta (Garides Saganaki)

“Saganaki” is a word that describes something that is cooked in a frying pan. Another famous dish is the Cheese Saganaki, which is fried salty cheese covered with flour and served with squeezed lemon on top. Oh…I am drooling just by writing about it!

Shrimps in Tomato Sauce and Feta (Garides Saganaki)

Garides Saganaki is usually served as an appetizer and easily helps you to drink your first sips of wine or Ouzo. Don’t be scared by the combination of cheese (Feta) and seafood, they actually blend very well together. They key is the addition of a couple of shots of Ouzo or another anise-based liqueur to the sauce. The aroma is beyond any kind of description.

Shrimps in Tomato Sauce and Feta (Garides Saganaki)

In case you have any leftovers (which you won’t), you can make some rice or spaghetti and use the Garides Saganaki as a sauce. You will thank me later!

Shrimps in Tomato Sauce and Feta (Garides Saganaki)
A fast but delicious Greek appetizer with shrimps in tomato sauce topped with Feta. It’s the famous Garides Saganaki.

Author:
Cuisine: Greek
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 15-16 shrimps peeled.
  • 1 large onion chopped.
  • 1 green pepper chopped.
  • 2-3 large sweet and ripe tomatoes.
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • 2 garlic cloves.
  • A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley.
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  • A pinch of dried oregano.
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika.
  • 2 shots of Ouzo or another anise-based liqueur.
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) of Feta cheese crumbled.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Add the tomatoes, garlic, parsley and tomato paste in a food processor and create a coarse paste.
  2. Add the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the onion and green pepper and cook until they start softening. Add the tomato mixture from the processor, paprika, oregano, Ouzo and season with salt and pepper. Give it a good stir, lower the heat to low and let the sauce thickens (for about 10 minutes).
  3. Preheat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius (375 F).
  4. Add the shrimps in the pan, stir well and let them cook for a couple of minutes. Transfer the shrimps with the sauce to a medium tray, top it with the crumbled Feta and cook it in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the Feta starts getting brown.
  5. Enjoy your Garides Saganaki with fresh bread and a glass of white wine or Ouzo.
  6. Bon appetit!

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Spicy Asian Noodles with Shrimps and Mushrooms

Spicy Asian Noodles with Shrimps and Mushrooms

Delicious and easy to make spicy Asian noodles with shrimps and vegetables. You get the taste of the East in 15 minutes on your table.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Shrimps and Mushrooms

I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of Asian food. Don’t get me wrong, I can eat almost everything but I rarely find myself craving some Chinese of Thai food.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Shrimps and Mushrooms

Maybe this is because of the place I grew up. International cuisine was not very popular in the 80’s in Greece. You could find some Italian or French restaurants but that was it. More than 95% of the restaurants offered traditional Greek cuisine.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Shrimps and Mushrooms

As the society started to prosper during the 90’s, people had more money to spend and were interested to try new things. Restaurants with food from all over the world started to open and become successful.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Shrimps and Mushrooms

I still remember the fist time I went to a Chinese restaurant. I was 20-21 years old and one just opened in the city I was studying. I liked the food there but wasn’t really impressed. And that’s feeling I have after several years of trying Asian cuisine. I like it but never really crave it.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Shrimps and Mushrooms

One of my favorite Asian dishes is noodles. Especially if they are a bit spicy. Shrimps go well with it as well as with soy sauce. It’s a hearty meal, it doesn’t take much time and satisfy immediately your need for something exotic. No, you don’t need to visit your local takeaway joint. It’s all done at home with love and fresh ingredients.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Shrimps and Mushrooms
Delicious and easy to make spicy Asian noodles with shrimps and vegetables. You get the taste of the East in 15 minutes on your table.

Author:
Cuisine: Asian
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 400 gr (14 oz) fresh egg noodles.
  • 6-7 asparagus chopped.
  • 200 gr (7.5 oz) mushrooms cut in cubes.
  • 6-7 spring onions sliced.
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger finely chopped.
  • 1 chili pepper finely chopped.
  • ~ 16 large raw shrimps peeled.
  • A small bunch of fresh coriander chopped.
  • 4-5 tablespoons of sesame oil.
  • ½ cup light soy sauce.
  • A handful of sesame seeds.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Add the shrimps in a shallow bowl together with half of the soy sauce. Coat them with the sesame seeds and let them aside.
  2. Use a large wok and add the sesame oil at medium-high heat. When the oil gets hot add the asparagus, onions, chili pepper, mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.
  3. Add the remaining soy sauce and the shrimps. Cook for another 2 minutes while stirring until the shrimps change color. Add the noodles and the coriander and keep stirring for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Bon appetit!

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