Greek potato salad

The simplicity of Greek cooking

If you were to search for a potato salad in the world wide web, you would find yourself tangled in a long list of recipes with a million and one variations. The Greek potato salad however, in its traditional version, is a humble and simple dish. Perfect for the BBQ season that here in Athens was official started with Easter. Let’s go make it. Continue reading

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Chocolate tsoureki, 2 ways

get ready for some serious food porn

Tsoureki, our sweet Easter bread is by far the most popular treat during Easter. Traditionally, we use mahlep and mastic in the dough as flavourings. But then here comes the chocolate and who can resist chocolate? Not me, for one. I tried out two versions of chocolate tsoureki, a fancy with chocolate cinnamon filling braided into an infinity knot and a chocolate in disguise tsoureki, that looks plain and normal but hides a ready-made praline filling. They are both ace!

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Spanakorizotto, a recipe from Mazi Restaurant & a giveaway

I visited Mazi restaurant a few weeks back when visiting London. It certainly left an impression on me, it was not just the excellently grilled octopus or the devilish jars of yumminess. You rarely find Modern Greek cuisine so imaginative and so well executed. Drawing inspiration from traditional Greek dishes, at Mazi restaurant you will find great cooking technique and also great atmosphere to enjoy them. Of course, for anyone already acquainted with the restaurant this is old news. The exciting part is they have collected all their best recipes in an amazing new cookbook, called Mazi: Modern Greek cuisine. There is spanakorizotto recipe below along with a book giveaway for one lucky reader. Continue reading

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Giant beans bake, gigantes plaki

Greek classics

gigantes sto fourno @eatyourselfgreek

There are some recipes that are so simple, you never give them a second thought. Giant beans bake, gigantes sto fourno is just one of these. In all the time I have been blogging, I never thought of bringing this Greek classic into the list. Here we are though: giant beans bake – gigantes plaki, a super easy recipe. Continue reading

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QUEEN OF TARTS… (Off with that slice!)

chocolate and rasberry tart @eatyourselfgreek

I promised you dessert last week. And I kept my word… I know the Lent has officially started so…apologies in advance. A couple of weeks back in London, I didn’t really have to try hard to convince Eugenia about my choice of dessert.  Uttering words such as: “chocolate, tart, with ganache and raspberries” was a quick and easy sell. “Get on it”, she said. I was only happy to oblige.

Head straight to the chocolate raspberries tart.

chocolate and rasberry tart by Konstantinos

Why I love this chocolate raspberry tart: interestingly it comes in a rectangular shape, breaking the ‘round pie’ conventions. Upon showing up in the middle of tables, peeps go “wowzers”! What they are looking at is a huge shiny chocolate slab decorated with neat lines of loudly pink raspberries. You’re now probably thinking:  “Oh, I need to buy a rectangular tart dish for this!” Trust me: it is money very well-spent. You will be making this tart again and again and again.

If you like things organised neatly (or have OCDs…seriously!) this is the recipe for you. It’s positively your own work of art. If you bestow on (your) kids the grand duty of decorating it, they’ll love it! And there’s always an opportunity for ickle fingers to get stuck in chocolate ganache, ready for slurping.

chocolate and rasberry tart by Konstantinos @eatyourselfgreek

Also interestingly, (almost delightfully), this chocolate raspberry tart can flirt with a variety of fruits for topping: raspberries and/or blackberries, strawberries, green and black grapes, cherries (no stones…). I’ve tried them all. Just be creative. The result will be equally stunning. I’d stick to small ‘bite-size’ fruits and avoid larger or sliced fruits.

chocolate and rasberry tart by Konstantinos @eatyourselfgreek

I like baking and I spend a considerable amount of time looking up recipes. Whilst surfing I stumbled upon the chocolate raspberry tart recipe by Heather Christo™ and couldn’t take my eyes off it. I have made it countless times since I discovered it, without failing once! It is very easy. I’ve adapted the original recipe a little. After a few goes, I decided I’d like to mix dark and milk chocolate to balance out the sharpness and acidity of the berries. I’ve worked out the metrics for you. It’s for 6 to 8 people, by the way. On her site, Heather Christo™ has taken step-by-step photos (she’s that NICE!), which are a great resource.

chocolate and rasberry tart @eatyourselfgreek

For your showstopper chocolate raspberry tart you will need:

Ingredients:

For the chocolatey biscuity tart shell:

  • 100gr all-purpose flour
  • 100gr icing sugar
  • 35gr cocoa powder
  • 225gr very cold butter, cut into little chunks
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 125gr dark chocolate
  • 125gr milk chocolate
  • 170gr double cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 350gr fresh raspberries

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C and butter the tart dish.
  2. In a food processor (unless you’re good at making it by hand), combine the flour, cocoa, the icing sugar and salt and give it a slight whiz to mix. Then add the butter chunks and pulse until the dough comes together in a big clump.
  3. Remove the blade, grab the dough and transfer to the tart dish. Use your fingers press and stretch the dough patiently to all directions until you have an as equally thick as possible shell. You can use the back of a wooden spoon to shape it.
  4. Put in the oven (middle shelf) and bake for 10’-12’.
  5. Take it out of the oven and place on a flat and heatproof area.  By this time it will look like the dough has slid back. There will probably be bubbles. Take a fork or toothpick and gently poke a few holes to release the steam; with the back of a wooden spoon press the dough back to reshape the shell. We’re not looking for a geometrically perfect shell, ladies and gentlemen.  Just make sure the dough is evenly distributed around. Usually the corners come out thicker – just a heads up!
  6. Put back in the oven and bake for an extra 5’. Take it out and if required, repeat the fork/wooden spoon process, if needed for the last time. Then let it cool down completely, ideally by an open window. By the time you’ll make the ganache it will be good to go.

Now to the ganache…tada-dada:

  1. Break both chocolates into small pieces in a heatproof bowl.
  2. In a small pot pour the cream and vanilla essence and bring to a gentle simmer. Whisk regularly to stop the cream from sticking to the bottom.
  3. When it starts bubbling gently, pour over the chocolate in the bowl and start whisking it into the hot cream.  As soon as it starts melting add the butter and keep whisking, until the ganache is soft and silky.
  4. Pour the ganache carefully into the cool shell and gently spread it evenly with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon. Let it stay for 10’-15’ until it has set and firmed up a bit.
  5. Show time folks! Take the raspberries (or whatever fruits you have chosen) and stick them lightly into the ganache in neat and nice rows. Re-position if you should, step back and…voila!

chocolate and rasberry tart @eatyourselfgreek

Looks great, huh? Go grab your phone for a snap before you stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours at least, before you slice and enjoy.

Tip: you may want to take the chocolate raspberry tart out of the fridge 15’ before slicing. It’s easier to slice the tart shell this way without crumbling it 🙂

Good bye for now…

From London with love,

Konstantinos and Eugenia

 

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Cottage pie, cooking with friends

cottage pie

January has given way to February and despite the tentatively longer days, it’s still freezing in London Town making everyone sink into their scarves while praying for Spring. With the weather being so cold and of course wet (ugh!), it’s still comfort-food time. And when one of my favourite people (and favourite food blogger!) is in town for even more exciting projects (food photographers of the world be very scared!), it goes without question I grabbed the opportunity to cook for Eugenia and have my food feature in and be photographed for Eat Yourself Greek. Wouldn’t you??? Continue reading

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The Best Modern Greek restaurants in London

top 5 Modern Greek restaurants in London

Here I am again, writing from London. Spending a little longer than usual, it allowed me to explore the great food scene. London has amazing tasty nooks and corners where you can indulge yourselves in International cuisine. Greek restaurants in London rarely made it in the top of the list go to places. Luckily, this is no longer the case. Greek cuisine is on the rise, many Greek delicatessen offer products from small Greek producers and what’s more exciting original Greek dinners. The concept is all about sharing, plates will come out mezze style so that you can enjoy the delectable dishes in good company. So, here I am sharing with you my experiences of Greek restaurants in London. I visited the Modern Greek restaurants that have opened in the last five years or so. Judging from my experience, you should definitely put them on the list. Continue reading

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