Tag: Cuisine

Amazing Au Gratin Potatoes

This is the perfect side dish for just about any meat main dish, from meatloaf t0 leg of lamb. I LOVE scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes. I didn’t used to make them because I worked and would get home so late to be able to put them in the oven and have them cooked in time for dinner, so to me they became a “special” side. Despite having my menu planning help me to know what to prepare when and how to have it ready in time for dinner, in my mind, scalloped and au gratin potatoes are special.

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Sesame Baklava (Baklavas Sousamenios)

Serving this delightful and easy version of baklava – a layered sweet made with thin phyllo sheets – is an old custom on Christmas Eve in Thrace, and other areas of Greece. Made with olive oil, the pastry meets Greek Orthodox Lenten-type fasting guidelines, and it’s a delicious alternative to other versions of baklava, especially for those who avoid nuts.

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Mirepoix [mir-pwah]

In bear bones basic, a mirepoix is onions, carrots, and celery. It is typically used as a base for French soups. Bisque is a French soup, so it stands to reason that the base is going to be a mirepoix.

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Mascarpone Cheesecake with Vanilla Almond Crust

I derived this cheesecake from one I saw on a food show one time. I’m always afraid when I make cheesecake that it’s going to be heavy and dry when it comes out. That’s never happened to me – and this recipe especially is so moist, and so melt-in-your-mouth that during a dinner party Gregg and hosted with four other couples, when dessert was served and everyone took a bite, there was a collective silence, then moan of appreciation. It was amazing and those friends still talk about that dinner party.

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Hot Potato Salad

Because of a really bad incident in WWII with my grandfather’s unit involving some bad potato salad and several resulting deaths, my family members have never been big potato salad eaters.

Apparently, I made this recipe up because it is made and served right away, avoiding any bad spoilage issues. My mom always made this dish to go with barbecued chicken. It is the perfect flavor accompaniment for the tangy smokiness of the sauce. She insists that I made the recipe up one night when she made BBQ chicken. I honestly can’t remember that, and I can’t remember her ever not making it. But I’ve always been very active in the kitchen, so it’s possible that as a child I came up with the recipe.

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Stuffed Grape Leaves with Rice & Grated Vegetables (Dolmathakia Yialantzi)

In a Mexican restaurant, my husband, Gregg, will determine whether he’ll be back or not based on the taste and quality of their tamales. I do the same thing with Greek and Mediterranean restaurants and grape leaves. Grape leaves are an absolute favorite dish of mine. You can easily refrigerate any extra stuffing and use it as a side dish for another meal. The lack of meat, dairy, and eggs makes this the perfect dish for Lent or Daniel Fast. And, notice how I’ve given you yet another wonderful dish with which to use up those zucchini come August?

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Greek Lenten Tomato Fritters (Domatokeftethes)

Tomato fritters are a delightful appetizer or side dish, and a specialty of Santorini, a Greek island known for its tomatoes. The combination of herbs can be adjusted to include dill, parsley, basil, mint, or oregano, depending on taste preference. The recipe calls for self-rising flour. This meatless, eggless, dairyless dish is perfect for Lent or a Daniel Fast. The fresh vegetables in it also make a wonderful summer dish to prepare with the bounty out of a vegetable garden (and, come on – who isn’t desperately searching for zucchini recipes right around mid-August?)

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