Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Good Old Comforting Tuna Noodle Casserole!

  


 

Ingredients:

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 to 2 tablespoons butter to grease a 9x13-inch pan

a 12-ounce bag of dried egg noodles

3 ribs of celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced

2 teaspoons of capers, rinsed and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste.

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup half-and-half

¼ cup white wine

1 pound of tuna canned in water. Drain the tuna and use a fork to flake it.

1 cup frozen vegetables, par-cooked

¼ cup minced fresh parsley

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

About 3 or 4 scallions, sliced

2 cups plain panko bread crumbs mixed with

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

 

Directions:


Heat the oven to 375 ° F and grease the 9x13 pan with the 1 to 2 tablespoons butter.

 

Cook the noodles according to package directions until they reach the al dente stage. Drain and set aside.

 

While the pasta is cooking, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven. Add the celery and onion and cook over medium heat while stirring. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. 


Add the mushrooms and cook while stirring, about another 5 minutes. 


Add the capers and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 ½ minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.


Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, reduce the heat, and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. 


Add the stock, the half and half and the wine, and bring to a boil.

 

Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring until the sauce has thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

 

Stir in the tuna, the vegetables, the scallions, the parsley, and the dill. Taste to check if the seasonings need to be corrected.

 

Add the noodles and toss well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs and the cheese on top, and bake, uncovered, until the tuna noodle casserole is it's bubbly, about 25 minutes.

 

Monday, 23 January 2023

Fillo Cigars: Greek "Cigar" Appetizers with Spinach and Feta Cheese




Ingredients:

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 scallions sliced thinly; use the white and light green parts only 

16 ounces/500 grams spinach, chopped 

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons chopped dill

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 egg, beaten

Olive oil as needed

sesame seeds

16 ounces / 500 grams of fillo, thawed 


Directions:

In a skillet, over medium heat, add the onion and cook for about a minute. Add the spinach and cook for about 5 minutes, until the water from the spinach has evaporated. Add the scallions and stir.  

Remove from the heat, and add the beaten egg, salt and pepper, feta cheese, dill, parsley, chives, and mint. Mix well.

Heat the oven to 375 F / 190 C.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Unfold the fillo. To keep it from drying out, cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Remove one sheet of fillo and place it on a work surface. Brush the top half of the fillo with olive oil and fold the non-oiled half onto the oiled half. Cut the fillo sheet in half lengthwise to create two rectangle fillo sheets. 

Place about a teaspoon of filling on each phillo sheet and roll up into a tight cylinder that resembles a cigar. Place the fillo cigar on the baking pan, seam side down. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Repeat this process with the rest of the fillo. 

Bake for 10 minutes, until the top of the fillo is golden. 

Serve the cigars on their own or with tzatziki sauce. 


Friday, 18 November 2022

Guacamole for the Cilantro-Phobic


Ingredients:


2 jalapeño chiles (seeds removed) roasted, cooled, chopped

1 serrano chili (seeds removed) finely chopped

4 tablespoons finely chopped onion

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1 cup of finely chopped tomatoes

4 avocados

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 tablespoons of lime juice

a drizzle of olive oil

salt to taste



Directions:

Assemble the onion, parsley, chiles, and salt. Grind into a paste.

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and squeeze the flesh onto the paste. Mash the avocados but leave some larger pieces; don’t make the texture too smooth. 

Reserve a tablespoon of tomatoes and a tablespoon of onions  

Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

Top the guacamole with the reserved tomatoes and onions and serve right away.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Pineapple Chicken

 



INGREDIENTS:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
salt and pepper to taste
ounces of fresh pineapple chunks 
1/2 cup of pineapple juice
2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
2 teaspoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of curry powder
4 teaspoons corn starch powder
1 onion, chopped
1/2 red sweet pepper, julienned 
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 serrano chili pepper, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon grated ginger
3 cloves of garlic, chopped 
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup cashews (optional)
basmati coconut rice, for serving



Directions:

  • Wash and dry the chicken. Place it between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound it to an even thickness with the use of a mallet. Discard the plastic wrap. 
  • Slice the chicken into pieces and season it with salt and pepper. Dredge the pieces with about 1 tablespoon of corn starch.  
  • Combine the pineapple juice with the vinegar, soy sauce, and curry powder. 
  • Dilute one teaspoon of corn starch by whisking it with an equal amount of the pineapple juice mixture. Add it to the rest of the juice mixture. Set the juice aside.
  • In a large skillet sauté the chicken in vegetable oil until just about done. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add some more oil and sauté the onions, celery, and peppers.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper slices, and pineapple chunks. Continue sautéing for about 4 minutes. 
  • Return the chicken to the skillet. 
  • Add the pineapple juice mixture and cook until the mixture thickens.
  • Add the cashews, mix, and top with a few sliced almonds. 
  • Serve over coconut rice.




Friday, 7 October 2022

GREEK ORZO SALAD

This plentiful and colourful salad has just the right ingredients to tempt the taste buds: pasta, protein-rich chickpeas, lots of fresh vegetables, briny olives and feta cheese, plus a tangy,  lemony vinaigrette that envelops each ingredient in olive oil deliciousness. I used my best olive oil here, a robust Greek variety, perfect for this dish! No matter the weather, be it snow or heatwave, this salad fits the bill! 

Here's how to put it together:

Ingredients:

1 cup of raw orzo pasta, cooked (it will average two cups when cooked)

1 pound cherry tomatoes cut in half

1/2 of a long English cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced

1/2 or 1 small red onion, diced. Alternately, use one diced shallot

1 yellow pepper diced (or half of one if the pepper is too large)

1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained

1/2 cup Kalamata olives or sundried olives, or a combination thereof, pits removed and cut in half

1/2 cup feta cheese, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley

1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon of chopped mint

2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese

2 cups arugula

    For the vinaigrette:

The juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste 

1/3 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon olive oil for the pasta


Mix all the ingredients except the olive oil. Next, while mixing, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsified dressing. 

 

Directions:

Mix the cooked pasta with about a tablespoon of olive oil and set it aside or cover it and place it temporarily in the refrigerator. For use in this salad, the pasta must be on the cold side so as not to steam the vegetables. 

Into a large bowl, assemble all the ingredients except the cheeses and arugula. 

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently until everything is well mixed.  

Arrange the arugula on a serving platter and mix with the Pecorino Romano cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the salad over the arugula and top it with the feta cheese.

 

Friday, 30 September 2022

Chicken Gyros Salad with Greek Yoghurt Dressing

I love this quick chicken salad that's reminiscent of a Greek chicken gyros sandwich (or a chicken souvlaki sandwich). Leftover chicken can be used here and the chicken can be served on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes, or for a more substantial salad, the lettuce and tomatoes can rest on warm pita bread and then the roast chicken slices can be added on top of the vegetables. 


For the dressing:

1/2 cup Greek yoghurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all of the above and mix to make a dressing.


For the salad:

1 roasted chicken breast, sliced

1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced

 1 or 2 scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped 

Salt and pepper to taste

Romaine lettuce, cut into small pieces

A sliced tomato


To assemble:

Combine the chicken, cucumber, scallion, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, mix gently, and allow the flavours to meld by placing the chicken mixture in the refrigerator for about an hour. 

Serve on top of chopped lettuce and tomato slices. 

If calories aren't an issue, serve on top of pita bread that's topped with lettuce and tomatoes. The pita bread can be warmed in a non-stick skillet that has just a hint of olive oil spread on it.