Garlic Rasam

Kouzounas Kitchen:

Great recipe by Cooking With Pree. Check out this great food blog. :)

Originally posted on Cooking with Pree:

Poondu rasam

A steaming hot cup of garlic rasam is my kind of comfort food on a cold rainy day. The goodness of garlic in the rasam helps with indigestion and the jeera/cumin and pepper is a very good antidote for common cold. This rasam goes well with rice and potato fry!

Ingredients:

  • gooseberry sized tamarind
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 cup mashed cooked toor dal
  • 7-8 garlic pods
  • 1 tbsp rasam/sambar powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper corns
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil/ghee

Method:

Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract tamarind juice (about 3 cups)

In a pan add the extracted tamarind juice, tomato (chopped/puree) sambar powder, turmeric powder, curry leaves, 5-6 garlic pods, half of the asafoetida and bring it to a boil.

Mean while  powder/coarsely crush…

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Special Ingredient Game: Yiayia Eleni’s Eliopitas

A while back we did a fun special ingredient game and the secret recipe is ORANGE. We all had soo much fun with this and I just noticed this amazing recipe by Greek Wedding Traditions. Check out this recipe below and please make sure to check out the fellow food bloggers who were a part of this fun game! -Cheers

Greek Wedding Traditions: Yiayia Eleni’s Eliopitas Recipe

Posted By: Greek Wedding Traditions 

Yiayia Eleni celebrated her 80th birthday last week and despite not being able to walk very far, she still manages to cook up a storm every day. Eliopitas are Yiayia Eleni’s signature dish and this post written in honour of her passion for cooking.

Eliopitas are little pieces of bread that have been stuffed with olives. Yiayia Eleni told me that she used to make one large olive bread but then over the years, she changed her recipe and decided to make lots of smaller bite-size pieces instead. She said

“even though it takes longer to prepare, people like them better and they can be stored better in the freezer for guests”.

Yiayia Eleni’s Eliopitas are on the table at every special family event. She made them on our wedding day and she makes them for birthday parties, christenings, bridal showers, and funerals. There is always a batch of Eliopitas in the freezer, just in case visitors come around and she will always give you a plastic bag full of them to take home after your visit.

Cooking With Yiayia

This year I started cooking with Yiayia Eleni. She is actually my Yiayia-in-Law and my husband has been suggesting for years that I start “getting cooking lessons” so that I can learn how to cook. So, every so often, I will call up my Yiayia-in-Law and plan a cooking date.

She doesn’t use a recipe, everything is in her memory. I try my best to write down all the steps as we go and I take lots of photos so that I can remember what to do later. However, there is often just a ‘bit of this’ and a ‘bit of that’ style of cooking. Yiayia’s seem to know the measurements of ingredients just by looking and feeling the mixture. So, please don’t rely on this recipe for completely accurate recipe instructions.

Yiayia Eleni is happy for me to take photos of our cooking and share recipes, but she forbids me to take a photo of her face. She HATES Facebook and she would kill me if I posted a photo of her online anywhere. So these photos are just of our hands, the bowls and the ingredients as we baked a batch of Eliopitas.

 STEP 1: SQUEEZE 10 LARGE “NAVEL” ORANGES – TO MAKE ABOUT 4 CUPS OF ORANGE JUICE

First you start with the oranges…

I went to the best market in town to find the freshest ingredients. This was important. However, I accidentally bought the wrong style of oranges and we weren’t allowed to use them. The oranges must be navel oranges. No other oranges were allowed because navel oranges are sweeter.

Use a strainer to ensure that none of the pulp goes in to the juice.

STEP 2: ADD ABOUT 2 CUPS OF OLIVE OIL TO THE JUICE MIXTURE

STEP 3: ADD A PINCH OF SALT AND 1 CUP OF WATER TO THE MIXTURE

STEP 4: ADD SELF RAISING FLOUR TO THE MIXTURE

Yiayia Eleni says that she never counts the flour. She just keeps adding it until it “feels right”. It has to have a certain type of thickness and texture – however I am still learning what that is.

Kneed the flour and the orange juice mixture (water, salt & oil) together in a bowl. Use a bit of elbow grease and get those muscles working because this can take a while.

STEP 5: GLAD WRAP, COVER AND SAY A LITTLE PRAYER

Once you have found that perfect texture the mixture should form in to a ball of dough. Cover the dough with some glad wrap and then put a tea towel or blanket on top of the bowel. Let the dough sit for a while so that it can rise. Say a little prayer and do your stavro.

STEP 6: PREPARE THE FILLING MIXTURE

While the dough is rising, use this time to chop up the filling mixture. We used about 5 small onions and about 4 cups of kalamata olives that had been strained overnight.

Yiayia Eleni prefers to chop onions by hand rather than using an onion chopping machine. I personally using an onion chopper because I think it’s faster and I don’t cry as much. However Yiayia Eleni says that it’s cheating and that the onions become too juicy affecting the overall flavour of the Eliopitas. So, we chopped the onions and the olives in to very fine pieces all by hand.

Next, add some seasoning and spices. We used salt & pepper as well as cinnamon. Yiayia Eleni uses cinnamon in almost all of her cooking.

Mix the filling together and ensure that there is an even consistency of olives, onions and spices.

STEP 7: PREPARE THE SESAME SEEDS

Boil the sesame seeds in hot water. Strain them and put them on a tea towel to dry out.

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STEP 8: SIT DOWN, RELAX AND HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE

Sit down, relax and have a cup of coffee while you wait for the sesame seeds to boil and the dough to raise. Eat whatever Yiayia Eleni puts in front of you or else she will think that you are sick. IMG_9981

STEP 9: MAKE THE ELIOPITAS

Take a small batch of the dough and roll it in to a ball to ensure that you have the right size. You will get to know the feel of the size of the dough ball after a few practice goes.

Flatten the ball of dough and add a tea-spoon of olive mixture in to the centre of the flattened circle.

Create the Eliopita shape that you are trying to achieve and then roll the Eliopita in to sesame seeds for decoration on the outside of the bread piece.

Put the Eliopita on to a baking tray and continue making little pieces of Eliopitas until you have run out of mixture and dough.

Put the Eliopitas in to the oven on medium heat and watch them. Yiayia Eleni never sets a timer. She stands at the oven and waits for the colour of the Eliopitas to turn brown. She taste tests one to make sure that they are ready.

IMPORTANT TIP: When you place the eliopita on the baking tray, make sure that you have the “joining crack” facing down towards the tray. If you have the sealed side facing up (like I do in the picture above) it will not look nice and the olives might come out while cooking. This photo is an example of what NOT to do!

Step 10: ALLOW THE ELIOPITAS TO COOL AND THEN USE UP THE LEFT OVER INGREDIENTS

Allow the Eliopitas to cool down before serving them or freezing them. Unless you are like my husband and you prefer them straight out of the oven. In which case, grab yourself a plate and start eating.

If you have any left over dough, you can make a flat bread with it. Roll out the dough with a rolling-pin and then scatter some sesame seeds on top. Put the dough in to the oven to bake and then serve it with some butter or jam or tarama or olive dip or feta or whatever you want. Eat.

If you want to freeze the Eliopitas then put about 6-12 pieces in to small freezer bags. (Label and date the bags… that’s my advice) or use a tuppawear container.

Eliopitas need about 1 minute in the microwave on high to heat up again from frozen.

Have you ever cooked with your Yiayia before? Please tell me about your experience in the comments. 

SHARE THE LOVE

Check out the amazing food bloggers below! 

KALI OREXI!! 

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Secret Ingredient Game Challenge: Rizogalo (Rice Pudding)

Hello my lovely foodies! I am back in action, and bringing the AWESOME Secret Ingredient Game Challenge here on Kouzounas Kitchen.

A while ago in my new food group on Facebook, I decided to come up with a fun yet challenging food game where we pick one secret ingredient from a list that I found on the Food Network. Check out the list here.. >> http://www.foodnetwork.com/chefs/articles/50-secret-ingredients.html 

Foodify Food Bloggers:

Nidhi @PlatterJoy Cream-Paneer-PlatterJoy

Check out Nidhi’s secret ingredient recipe. Her secret ingredient is: Ginger and Green Onion Paste

http://www.platterjoy.com/recipe-items/cream-paneer/

Athina @KickingBackThePebbles glazedporkroll04

Check out Athina’s secret ingredient recipe. Secret ingredient is: Balsamic Vinegar

http://kickingbackthepebbles.com/2015/01/27/special-ingredient-game-glazed-stuffed-pork-roll/

Angela @ConstantWining

Check out Angela’s secret ingredient recipe. Secret ingredient is: Anchovies

Gina @WineFoodieLover ginalentilsoupchallenge1

Check out Gina’s secret ingredient recipe. Secret ingredient is: Lemon Juice

http://foodiewinelover.com/2015/01/27/lebanese-lentil-soup-with-lemon/

Natalia @TheGreekGlutton Rusk-Salad-Tomatoes-Olives-Feta-2

Check out Natalia’s secret ingredient recipe. Secret ingredient is: Crutons. 

http://www.thegreekglutton.com/rusk-salad-with-tomatoes-olives-feta/

Kiki @TheGreekVegan 

Check out Kiki’s secret ingredient recipe. Secret ingredient is: Pomegranate molasses.

Kiki will share her Greek Sangria, Mavrodaphne wine, Metaxa brandy, pomegranate & orange juice, pomegranate seeds and pomegranate molasses.

http://thegreekvegan.com/

**I will be updating this post as food bloggers will be posting their links shortly. Please stay tuned in for that. Thank You! 

Rules:

We had to choose 5 ingredients of our very own and then 1 more ingredient from the Food Network secret ingredient list. We went by alphabetical order in our FB group, that way it was fair to pick the secret ingredient. :) I believe it was very challenging for all of us to find the perfect recipe while only utilizing 6 ingredients, but I think we all did it! We actually all rocked it, and I am proud of everyone!! Each of these recipes you will find are either sweet or savory. I decided to do a savory Greek dessert which I added a twist to.

Rizogalo Twist (Greek Rice Pudding With A Twist)

Difficulty:  Easy

Servings: 4-6 

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~Traditional rizogalo is served with cows milk, and sometimes eggs. I wanted to try out a different version of rizogalo with coconut milk, and make it Vegan friendly since I am doing a Vegan Challenge in our group this Wednesday! Stay tuned in for that. ~

Secret Ingredient: Arborio Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1.2 cup Arborio Rice
  •  2 Cinnamon Sticks
  •  4.5  cups Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  •  1 tablespoon Vanilla flavoring
  • 1 lemon- reserve peel/ zest

Method:

  1. In a large pot, heat the milk and rice over medium heat. Stir constantly until it begins to come to a simmer.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks, and lemon peel and zest.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and keep stirring. Cook for about 30 minutes until the rice is tender.
  4. It is important to keep an eye on this yummy mixture, as it can burn quickly on the bottom of the pot.
  5. Remove from heat, and discard the lemon peel, and cinnamon sticks.
  6. Add the sugar, and vanilla flavoring.
  7. Ladle the rice pudding into 5 large ramekins.
  8. Chill in the refrigerator overnight. Serve with a dash of cinnamon over the top. I like to jazz it up with some lemon zest as well.

Kali Orexi! 

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Greek Dinner Around The World

~Greek Dinner Around The World 2015~

It’s that special time again where we gather our family and friends & celebrate our Greek culture around the world! Join us tonight, simply  #GreekDinner on any of your social media sites. Enjoy some ouzo or Mavrodaphne with some Greek Mezes. I was lucky enough to do this two years in a row now and many great people have been involved. Some of those people I have mentioned below!! Check it out and I would like to THANK Keri Douglas from 9MusesNews for putting on this great celebration for the 2nd year in a row. :) Grab your feta & kalamata olives, and lets dance!!

**Enjoy some nice Greek music this evening!! >>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNruCj6nFcI

** Greek Dinner 

~Greek Dinner Friends From Around The Globe~

Eleni – Greece-My Easy Gourmet 

Athina- Greece- Kicking Back The Pebbles

Sia- Australia- Greek Wedding Traditions

Katie- California- Katie Aliferis

Nidhi- India- Platter Joy

Gina- Florida- Foodie Wine lover

Katina- Chicago- Journeys With Katina

Kiki- Massachusetts – The Greek Vegan

Mary- California- California Greek Girl

Rena- Greece- Eat Greek Flavours

Diana- California- @dmoutsop

Ekaterina- UK- The Greek Wives Club

Yiannis- Greece-Stayia Farm

Check us out on Facebook Greek Dinner Around The World>>https://www.facebook.com/GreekDinnerAroundTheWorld

What did Kouzounas Kitchen bring to the #GreekDinner…… We brought dolmades filled with rice, onions, garlic, cranberries, tomato sauce, and spices. Greek Salad which my family ate soo fast, I couldn’t take a photo of it. :(

Dessert: Baklava & Rizogalo

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Happy Greek Dinner to you all and KALI OREXI!! 

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**Thank you to everyone who was involved in this special evening, and I hope we can carry on the Greek Dinner Around The World next year! – Cheers, Kouzounas Kitchen

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~Spaghetti Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce With Sauteed Garlic Cauliflower~

Can I just start this post off with…. I LOVE PASTA!! I mean I was raised in a Greek household, and if we didn’t have pasta at least twice a week, something was wrong. :P I have been experimenting in my small kitchen for quite some time trying to come up with unique pasta recipes. Some of you might have rememberred I shared an interesting Japanese-Italian Pasta recipe a while back. Surpisingly enough the flavors were outstanding. Check out the recipe below.

>>>>>>http://kouzounaskitchen.com/2014/10/26/japanese-italian-pasta-dish-happy-pasta-day/

This time I decided to combine a vegetable with my pasta, and the results were great! Something different, and a must try for those who love cauliflower. I added a nice tomato vodka cream sauce, and for the cream I used Chobani Greek yogurt.

Spaghetti Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce With Sauteed Garlic Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 White Onion (diced)
  • 1 Head Of Cauliflower cleaned (chopped)
  • 1 Can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Vodka
  • 1 Pound spaghetti
  • 1 Cup of Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • Garnish: Parmesan Cheese/ Fresh Basil

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat, and add the garlic, onion, and cauliflower. Sautee for about three minutes, or until cauliflower has a golden color.
  2. Add the tomatoes, and vodka, bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Next, prepare the spaghetti according to the package directions.
  5. Once the spaghetti is ready, drain, and add the pasta to the sauce.
  6. Add the Greek yogurt, and mix to combine.
  7. Serve with Fresh parmesan cheese & fresh basil.
  8. I guarantee your taste buds will thank you!! :)

Kali Orexi!

Thank you to Chobani for letting us be a part of the #MadeWithChobani on Twitter!

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2015 Youverlakia (Greek MeatBall Soup)

Introducing the new and Improved youverlakia!! Youverlakia is basically a Greek meatball soup with an egg and lemon broth base. You might recognize the egg & lemon broth as avgolemeno. :)

This soup is hearty, delicious, and really nice to enjoy on a cold evening. My father grew up with this soup, and of course his was the traditional kind with beef as well as onion, celery, and rice. I decided since we are in the New Year why not jazz it up a bit and try out some new ingredients.

Kouzounas Kitchen’s 2015 Youverlakia Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 lemons ( reserve juice)
  • 3 large eggs
  • Avgolemeno Sauce :
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch fresh oregano
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 cup chopped bok choy
  • 1 large egg
  • Ground pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. chopped anise
  • 2 tbsp. chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 finely chopped white onion
  • ⅓ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 lb. ground turkey/ beef

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine: Meat, rice, onion, garlic, cumin, dill, anise, parsley,salt, pepper and egg.
  2. Mix all ingredients very well.
  3. Place flour on a plate and form meatballs in your hand and gently roll into the flour.
  4. Place the meatballs in a large pot and pour the chicken broth over them.
  5. Add in the chopped bok choy.
  6. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.
  7. In the meantime prepare the avgolemeno .
  8. In a large bowl add the eggs and whisk until nice and frothy.
  9. Add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
  10. The meatballs should be ready by now, and prepare to combine the avgolemeno with the meatballs.
  11. This is a very important process:
  12. Take two half cups of hot broth and quickly whisk the broth into the avgolemeno sauce.
  13. Be sure to do this quickly as the eggs can cuddle if you don’t. Add the avgolemeno mixture to the meatballs and mix to combine.
    Serve with some warm ciabatta bread.
    Kali Orexi! Bon Appetite! :)2015/01/img_3426-0.jpg
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Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Kouzounas Kitchen:

One of my fellow food bloggers made this!! Isn’t it marvelous, and tasty?! :)

Originally posted on Foodie WineLover :

Spaghetti alla carbonara

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In my house, life is a combination of magic and pasta, as beautifully quoted by Federico Fellini.

I have many versions of pasta recipes in my repertoire, however this one is very special, because the origin is from beautiful Rome, one of my favorite cities in the world.  I am happy to share with you Spaghetti alla Carbonara.  Mirco di Trizio, an aspiring Roman chef, provided me with the main ingredients, the ratio and method of cooking. I put it all together and kitchen tested it. The result was this creamy pasta that screamed deliciousness in every bite.

Serves: 4   Degree of difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb. of Spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb. of pancetta, chopped (guanciale is preferred but hard to find in the US.)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely…

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