Can’t Get to Greece? Eat Your Way There

Dulles, VA (PRWEB) September 15, 2004

For those from Greece, celebrating their homeland is an everyday occurrence. “Everything in Greece revolves around food,” says television chef Georgia Sarianides, author of the new cookbook “Nosthimia!: The Greek American Family Cookbook.” “I was born and raised in Greece, but I am an American now, a Greek American. My recipes are the best of both worlds: Greek with an American twist, just like me.” Georgia shows readers how to bring Greece to their kitchens.

In “Nosthimia!” (Greek for “delicious”), Georgia Sarianides adapts healthy and delicious Old World Greek recipes to new American ingredients and lifestyles with her unique blend of zest and humor. As a mother of four and with a full time career, Georgia plans meals that are healthy and don’t require hours in the kitchen. She emphasizes the use of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and olive oil—all healthy and delicious. Sprinkled among the 185 mouth-watering recipes, Georgia includes family stories, cooking tips, and customs from the Old Country.

Try the following recipes from “Nosthimia!”:

Georgia’s Special Spinach Triangles (Spanakopitakia)

“Spanakopitakia is one of the most popular meze from Greece. It can be served hot or cold.”

Ingredients:

2 to 2 ½ pounds fresh spinach

1 cup olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

½ cup chopped scallions

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

½ cup chopped fresh dill

2 large eggs

½ pound feta cheese, crumbled

½ cup grated kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese

1 pound fillo dough

Olive oil, for brushing the triangles

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the spinach very well and drain it in a colander. When it has drained completely, chop the spinach very thin. In a large saucepan, heat ½ cup olive oil and sauté the onion, scallions, dill, and parsley for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir the mixture together. Lower the heat and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a colander to drain any liquid, then place spinach mixture into a large bowl and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, stir in the feta cheese, sprinkle with the grated kefalotyri and a little salt and pepper, and mix the ingredients well. Unroll the fillo dough and keep it covered while working with 2 sheets at a time. Brush each one with oil, then stack one on top of the other. Cut the fillo into 5 long strips. Place 2 teaspoons of the spinach mixture in the middle bottom of each strip, then fold the right corner up and to the left, to form a right angle. Continue folding like a flag, making each into a triangle. Place the triangles 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Brush the tops with oil and sprinkle with a little water. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield 2 to 2 ½ dozen

Delicious Pork Kabobs (Xirina Souvlakia)

“This is a delicious dinner to enjoy with family and friends.”

Ingredients:

3 to 3 ½ pound lean pork, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes

Oil to brush grill

2 medium green bell peppers, cut into 1 ½ inch squares

1 large onion, cut into 1 ½ inch squares

12 cherry tomatoes

Marinade:

¼ cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup white wine

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves, crushed

salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Put the pork in a large bowl. To make marinade, combine oil, lemon juice, wine, garlic, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Pour over the pork and stir to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 12 hours. Preheat and oil grill. Remove meat from marinade, reserving the liquid. Thread pork, peppers, onions, and tomatoes on metal skewers, leaving space between each piece. Cook, turning occasionally, for 12 to 15 minutes until pork is tender. Remove from the grill, arrange on a platter. Serve with red wine.

Serves 5 to 6

Secret Kiss Kourabiethes Cookies (Kourabiethes Gemisti Me Sokolata)

“These are the most delicious cookies. You have to try them!”

Ingredients:

1 cup blanched almonds

1 pound pre-whipped unsalted butter

2 egg yolks

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

3 tablespoons ouzo or Brandy

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (approximately)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 bag (6 ounces) Hershey milk chocolate Kisses

3 cups confectioners sugar, for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly roast the almonds in an un-greased skilled over low heat until they are a very light golden brown; chop and set a side. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, egg yolks, sugar, ouzo, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat for 10 minutes until smooth and creamy. Sift together the flour and baking powder, then slowly add 2 cups of the flour and the almonds to the batter and knead by hand. Add remaining flour in ¼ cup increments until just enough flour has been added to make the dough silky and smooth. Let dough rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Remove wrappers from the Kisses, shape 1 tablespoon of dough around each chocolate, then roll to make a ball. Be sure to cover each chocolate piece completely. Arrange on un-greased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cookies are a pale yellow color. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes, then place cookies on aluminum foil and sift confectioners’ sugar on them until they are completely covered. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes. Place each cookie in a paper baking cup, and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Yields about 2 ½ to 3 dozen

A graduate of The Culinary School of Athens, Georgia Sarianides has always been passionate about Greek food. She has owned and operated several successful restaurants in America for 28 years, she has been running her own cooking school for 5 years, and she has been teaching cooking classes for 8 years. For the past 5 years, Georgia has been on a weekly cable television program that she created, “Cooking with Georgia.” She is the author of The Best of Greek Cuisine (Hippocrene Books, 2001). She has been featured in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Greek American News, and The New York Times. Georgia lives in Franklin, MA with her family.

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