Roasted Chicken with Chestnuts

Roasted Chickien with Chestnuts

These taste, the beauty and the size are what makes Cretan chestnuts sunning and surprising as nowhere else I’ve seen before.

I knew that many recipes includes chestnuts with poultry so I decided to create my recipe and add a special note, something that would enhance the taste for the dish and would fit with both chestnuts and chicken.

The inspiration came from the souvenir of a Cypriote recipe: Afelia (Αφέλια), a roasted pork recipe with whole coriander seeds. And voilà, I decided to cook this dish with coriander seed and lot of the local Cretan wine (Romeiko).

I prepared only half of the recipe with two big chicken legs only for my husband and me (see picture) and this came so delicious, that a few days later I repeated this dish as described below for our friends. The day after the leftover are even better!

You need

  • 1 chicken (1 ½ kg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • 2 peppers (any color), diced
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup wine
  • 1 1/2 – 2 kg chestnuts, peeled and boiled (should not be overcooked)
  • 1/2 cup water (or wine)
  • salt, pepper to taste

 

Procedure

  1. Wash the chicken, cut it into portions, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cut chicken into portions, remove excess skin (what you wouldn’t eat, but don’t remove it completely) and fat.
  3. Heat oil in the skillet and brown the chicken for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add onion and pepper and cook for other 5 minutes.
  5. Arrange chicken skin side up, onion and peeper into an oven safe casserole.
  6. Add coriander seeds, bay leaf, and wine and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for about 20 minutes.
  7. Adjust chestnuts around the chicken, add water (or wine), if necessary adjust salt and cook for other 20 minutes; don’t stir the chestnuts would break.
  8. Serve warm with rustic bread.

Carob Cake Bars with Walnuts

Carob Cake Bars with Walnuts

At the beginning of October we very lucky to spend a few days on Crete, visit our friends, making excursions and enjoying the warm weather.

Visiting the animal farm of our friend Giorgios and her daughter Konstantina and helping them on beekeeping I noticed some wonderful carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua, commonly known as the carob tree, St John’s-bread or locust bean) full of hanging pods. As I told them my children liked to chew them and telling them that I knew they can be used for cookies and cakes, Giorgios did not think twice and he collected some for us.

Finally a few days later the brown pods had been processed to brown carob powder. The steps: wash, boil, remove the seeds, chop, dry, toast and mill.

Then I had time to create this new recipe and offer some of the bars to our friends. They really stunned about the taste and enjoyed them very much, but they thought I would have bought the four. They were more than surprised I told them that the cakes are product of  THEIR carobs pods from the farm!

We brought the rest of the flour home and I already now I will use it for new recipes.

You need:

Dry ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons carob powder, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cardamom pod, seeds powdered with mortar (or 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder)

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vegetal oil
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/4 milk
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons carob powder, toasted
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • halved walnuts for decoration

Procedure:

  1. In a big bowl combine all dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. In mixing bowl combine all wet ingredients.
  3. Add sifted dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Blend in vanilla and nuts.
  5. Pour batter into oiled 20 cm/8 inch square pan (or round 26 cm/10 inch mold). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool down.
  6. Mix all ingredients for the glaze adding the yogurt stepwise until you reach the desired consistency. Glaze the cake and place in the refrigerator until set and cut into 1 inch squares (or as desired).
  7. If you like decorate with halved walnuts.

 

 

Roasted Pumpkin with Rosemary

Roasted Pumpkin with Rosemary

This rustic, minimalistic but delicious recipe can be used as side dish or as base for a pumpkin soup.

We were used to prepare this in a big skillet or directly under the broiler, but this week we enjoyed it form the wooden fire; this simply placing the fire safe bowl into the wooden oven while the temperature reached almost 400°C. This was fast done, I only had to turn the mold once.

You need:

  • Fresh pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Garlic, optional
  • Olive oil just to toss
  • Really little salt just before serving

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven at max temperature. I possible heat and boiler combined.
  2. Toss pumpkin with rosemary, garlic and oil.
  3. Place them in a mold if possible only in one layer.
  4. Place them in a preheated oven (at max temperature) about 10 cm under the broiler.
  5. Broil until upper surface begins to turn brown.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.

Fall Salad with Quince and Beet

 Fall Salad with Quince and Beet

Take a trip to your local farmers’ market looking for fresh autumn product or better combine harvest products from your garden. You will see, the beautiful fall colors and delicious fall salad filled with seasonal autumn fruits and vegetables like quinces, beets, walnuts, grapes and hearty greens will be the highlights!

You need

  • 300 g quinces
  • 100-150 ml apple juice
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon quince jelly (substitute maple syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar (best apple vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoon vegetal oil (best walnut oil)
  • 2 pinches salt, or to taste
  • 500 g beets, boiled and peeled (you can buy the ready ones!)
  • 3 cups green salad (I used aragula)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh grapes
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, ready to use

Procedure:

  1. Peel, core and slice quinces
  2. In a saucepot bring apple juice with cinnamon to boil, add quince and simmer for about 10 minutes until just tender. Drain, set aside and reserve liquid.
  3. For the dressing bring liquid to boil and reduce to one third and remove from heat, dissolve quince jelly in it and add vinegar, oil and salt. Set aside.
  4. Slice beets, top with quinces, add two third of the dressing, and toss gently.
  5. Arrange green salad on single dishes, place in the center the beet and quince mix.
  6. Top with onions, grapes (halved grapes berries if to big) and walnuts.
  7. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve immediately

 

Note: if the onions are too strong, place the slices in a bowl with very cold water for about 30 minutes before use.

Persian Style Apple Cake Bars

Persian Style Apple Cake Bars

I discovered this recipe 4 years ago and this is still one of my favorite apple recipes. The reason? It’s fresh, light and almost no fat, the apples are still crunchy, I love the rose water perfume, I can add lot of apples, the thin chocolate topping make this not only more palatable but gives a professional look as well.

Ingredients

Sponge cake base:

  • 4 eggs
  • 125 g sugar
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 75 g flour
  • 50 g cornstarch

Apple layer

  • 1200 g apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 80 g sugar
  • 75 g raisins
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Topping

  • 125 g chocolate glazing

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar until very fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cornstarch and the baking powder. Fold dry mix under the egg mixture.
  4. Cover your square mold of about 30 to 40 cm with baking paper and smear your dough. If you have a mold with removable walls it is easier but necessary.
  5. Bake 12 minutes at 180°C. In the meantime prepare the apples.
  6. Mix the apples, with rosewater, sugar and raisins. Heat in the microwave until hot (it takes about 8-10 minutes). You can do it in a skillet with lid das well.
  7. In a glass combine water with cornstarch and add to the apples mix.
  8. Heat again until it thickens.
  9. When the sponge is ready, take out of the oven, invert and remove baking paper. Place the sponge in the mold again.
  10. Spread the apple mix on the baked dough.
  11. Prepare your chocolate frosting as indicated by the instructions or simply melting in in a bowl placed on a pot of boiling water and brush it on the apples mix.

4 Weeks Australia in Pictures: Adeleide (the Market)

We left the Semaphore area and went to the city again. This time we decided to visit the marked and to enjoy some food.

We liked the market and we enjoyed our lunch with Asian specialties from the food stalls there, that was a great opportunity for some take away food for the next travelling day.

 

Klick here for related posts about “4 Weeks Australia in Pictures”

Melbourne-Lakes Entrance_Wangaratta_Lorne_Warranbool_Kingston____Adeleide

 

4 Weeks Australia in Pictures: Adelaide (Semaphore)

Adelaide is really a big town, but the traffic is so well organized that we had the impression there is a lot of space in this town.

That morning we decided to visit the area of the caravan park near the sea and we went to Semaphore area.

The wind that surprised us during the night was still there, so no bathing day again!

 

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Melbourne-Lakes Entrance_Wangaratta_Lorne_Warranbool_Kingston____Adeleide

 

4 Weeks Australia in Pictures: Adeleide (the City)

We arrived in the afternoon in Adelaide, found our place in the caravan park and went to the city. This was the really first hot day we had in Australia, and we enjoyed the heat. By public transport we arrived into the center and we enjoyed walking around and taking pictures. We crossed many road full of bicycles until we found out that a special event had just found.

Klick here for related posts about “4 Weeks Australia in Pictures”

Melbourne-Lakes Entrance_Wangaratta_Lorne_Warranbool_Kingston____Adeleide

 

Nectarine Cake with Amaretti

Nectarine Cake with Amaretti

This is the perfect recipe for those who love simply, rustic and tasty cakes.

My mother prepared this for us with a lot of love and we still enjoy it though the picture or we make this again.

You need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 100 g butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch
  • 150 g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
  • 15 amaretti cookies, crumbled
  • 500 g nectarines, pitted and cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 2 tablespoon sugar, for topping
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Procedure

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Beat until fluffy eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt.
  3. Fold under melted butter and Kirsch
  4. In a bowl combine sifted flour, sifted baking powder and two thirds of amaretti
  5. Fold dry mixture under the wet mixture.
  6. Pour mixture in a prepared (greased and dusted with flour) baking mold of 24-26 cm.
  7. Drop nectarines on the batter.
  8. Top with remaining amaretti and 2 tablespoons sugar.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden and done (toothpick test).
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  11. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

Grashalms and Morning Thaw

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