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E.Kolliopoulos's Profile

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relaxed dining in madrid

I will be in Madrid for the next few days and I have a pretty good list of tapas bars to choose from but I would also like some recommendations for a more relaxed dining experience. I am partial to rustic, or traditional with a modern twist and moderate prices. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Nov 03, 2010
E.Kolliopoulos in Spain/Portugal

fruit cobbler recipe

Thanks for this but this isn't the recipe. The one I need is much simpler, just rub pan with butter, place in hot oven, mix equal parts (one cup) flour sugar milk in a bowl with baking soda or powder and I can't remember if there is some melted butter then add to hot buttered pan, pour fruit in the middle and cook-that simple. After looking at your recipe, it must be baking powder I need, but still not sure about the butter. I will post the recipe once I get a hold of my mother! Again, Thank you.

Oct 27, 2009
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

fruit cobbler recipe

I am on the other side of the globe and can't wake my mother up for her cobbler recipe. It is not like most cobblers with a crumb topping or pie crust. This is a cake batter made with one cup of each of the following: sugar, flour, milk and fruit. It has butter, egg and either baking soda or powder not sure. Has anyone heard of this recipe? It results in a chewy edge with sugary crust, and best of all really easy to make. Can anyone help me complete the ingredients list?

Oct 27, 2009
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

A Cook's Souvenir from Greece?

If you will arrive Athens first, near Syntagma Square is a place called Masticha Shop. Masticha is a gum ,or resin from trees that only grow in Chios, and no place else in the world. I would suggest the Masticha liquor that you serve chilled, but for cooks, you can make incredible sauces, like no other. They have a complimentary recipe booklet that you can include in the gift bag.

Sep 03, 2009
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

Alevropita/Flour Pie

Jason, I am in the states visiting family and wanted to make alevropita for them but could not remember the exact amounts in the recipe. I found your question, ao this comes to you late but I hope it will help. The recipes for alevropita on this page are not the alevropita that I love from Yiananna. My first pie was in Ano Pedina, and I actually went in the kitchen and watched the owners mother make a new batch.
I found a great recipe in Diana Kochilas book :The Glorious foods of greece" but I will give you a few tips on top of that recipe.

You must use a "cheap pan" no coated pan as she suggests, I have made it both ways and the best alevropita has a thin crust, which is acheivable with a thin metal pan, also your pan must be large, in Greece we have these great round pans.

The gist of the recipe is you make a pancake like batter-then you pour it in the pan, roll it in the pan until it is coated, put in a whole pound of GOOD quality feta and mix another egg into the remaining batter left in the bowl and drizzle that over the cheese so that some of itis peaking through. The recipe on the internet that you refer to as confusing uses celsius for the oven temperature and 200 grams of cheese? what? and 4 eggs? ony two are needed, one for the bottom and another on top. Get Diana Kochilas book and you will find many recipes from Zagoria. Good luck.

Jan 06, 2009
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

opening ceremony party: any recipes

I would love some ideas for a Chinese inspired opening ceremony party for the Olympics. I live in a country that does not have a lot of Chinese ingredients easy to find. They don't even have egg roll wrappers here. Any ideas?

Aug 06, 2008
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

I have some great ground lamb, now what?

Stuffed grape leaves in egg & lemon sauce:

1 jar grape leaves, rinsed well, stems trimmed
1onion finely chopped
your ground lamb
a good handful of basmati rice
1 bunch fresh mint chopped
to taste fresh coriander chopped
olive oil to drizzle
S & P
2 eggs
2 or 3 tbspns butter

Method:
combine all ingredients except the grape leaves and butter, mix with hands, put teaspoonfuls in grape leaves, fold in sides and roll, place seam side down in a pot lines with lettuce. dot with butter, put an inverted plate over that, fill with water to just cover the leaves, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 40 minutes. Take out plate (I use tongs) make egg and lemon sauce using the cooking liquid left in the pot, pour in sauce and shake the pan till it is thickened (no need to stir). Etsi, Dolmathaki me Avgo-lemono!

Mar 10, 2008
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

egg lemon sauce

Dear wdames,
Usually when using egg & Lemon sauce in Greek cooking, it is using with a dish that you would use the cooking liquid with (as opposed to just chix stock). For instance with youvarlakia; rice and meatballs, there exists a good amount of fat in the cooking liquid, this together with the starch of the rice, makes a perfectly thickened sauce. If you just want to make the sauce alone, you should add corn starch. Avgo-lemono doesn't always have to be thick either. Whenever I make chicken soup, I do an avgo-lemono with it, not to thicken, but for added flavor. The avgo-lemono will only be as good as the cooking liquid you are using. It goes great with stuffed grape leaves, mine always comes out very thick every time. With other dishes such as pork with stamnagathi, I have experienced the sauce to be a little too thin, in such a case I would add a little flour or corn starch. Good luck, and give it a chance, avgo-lemono is my favorite! PS: always good to add fresh dill.

Mar 10, 2008
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

Black-eyed peas: a trick to prevent graying?

Some months ago I read about a trick to keep black eyed peas from turning gray during cooking. Alas, now I can't remember the method or where I read about it, does anyone know about this?

Thank you.

Mar 10, 2008
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

In Athens Dec 30 - Jan 4

Dear Alexia,
The taverna in Galaxidi is Skelatobraxos (skeleton rock), it is on the sea road and is very easy to find. The owner will sit down at your table and after you give him your order, he will correct you and tell you what you should have, now we just tell him to suggest for us, he asks us if we want fish or meat then he gives an excellent menu.

This last time we went, we found a place we like just as much and their stuffed onions (the specialty of Galxidi) were actually better than skelatobraxos. I unfortunately cannot find my notes to give you the name of the taverna, when I do I will post the info. It is not at the seaside, it is on the main road that goes through town to the sea road and is a dark and cozy place, no outdoor seating.

I hope your parents will stay at Hotel Ganimede, it is so charming and serves a great breakfast in the courtyard.

If your parents go to Ioannina they must take a few days to go to the nearby region of Zagoria, I think it is one of the most incredible places on earth and the food there is outrageously good, the best hortopita I have ever had. I will get from my cousin the right Kaimaki (masticha flavored ice cream, a must) place in Ioannina and if you are interested in Zagoria I will give you excellent recs there as well.

Regards,
Elizabeth

Feb 10, 2008
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

In Athens Dec 30 - Jan 4

Dear Auramay.
Just saw your post, if you have not yet planned your dining I have a few suggestions. In Exharkia my favorite taverna is RIFIFI, It is modern greek, get the cod with skordalia and horta it is so good. Rififi is on Emmanuel Benaki just behind Plateia Exharkia, it is actually on the corner of the the foot path that starts in the plateia next to Flocafe and Benaki.

Kuzina is in a touristy section but is very good, get the lambshank in fava puree if they are serving it. It is on the pezodromos behind the monastiraki station that leads to Thissiou, there are dozens of places along that row, but it shpouldn't be so hard to find.

Para Pente and/or Kolias are the place to get fish, owned by the same family. The places are across the alleyway from each other, Kollias traditional old style fish taverna but everything is perfect, and Para Pente is very modern, you don't order anything they just bring platters of five items at a time to your table, when you are full tell them to stop. don't miss the dessert. both of these places are nearly impossible to find, they are in Pereias, your concierge should know about Kolias, it is the best traditional seafood taverna in Athens some say. I couldn't vouch for that as I don't frequent fish places often, due to over fishing and astronomical prices.

We are leaving for Galaxidi in the morning and will be hiking a path that goes through Delphi, I have a great recommendation for a Galaxidi taverna but think it may be out of your way!

Hope you get this on time, sorry about the hazy directions, I know the concierge at King George in Lekavittos knows about Kolias, he got some out of town guests there before my husband and I could find it!

Good luck and xronia polla.

Jan 01, 2008
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

Cake flour in Greece?

Does anyone know what cake flour is called in Greece?

Dec 10, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

Cuts of Beef in Greek

right you are Laurie, I have mixed up the word psaronefri with the term youbleia or something to that effect which is the name of the dish as described above.

Dec 09, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

Cuts of Beef in Greek

Doughgirl,
Meat Squared was excellent, though I did not have the tbone. I had paidakia (lamb ribs) and they were great, The fries were similar to pomme frites as I recall.

I would not reccommend my butcher, as the way he cut my rack of lamb was close, but still not correct, and I could have used a meat cleaver to chop the lamb ribs from some common bone that I didn't know about that runs along the meat side of the ribs. The meat itself was perfect though. He is in Labrini, which is the neighborhood close to me, I am in Kypriadou, which is close to Patissia.

Your best bet is to make friends with a Greek woman in your nieghborhood who loves to cook. That is when you will get all the right recs for your area, the best fourno, butcher, best wines etc.. I have been very lucky this way, and my friend Popi has taught me everything! She actually made a beef wellington with the bon filet I told you about.

Apparently that is how they refer to it here and I have know I dea what it is. At first I thought she was saying "Bone Filet" but figured she must be calling it bon filet. Almost everyone we know, including my husband went to French schools and on to Paris for college. Must be that French influence. We are going to their house this evening and I will ask her what part of the cow it is.

Psaronefri is not a cut of meat it is a traditional meat dish. Popi made it for us once. It is pork and lamb mixed with garlic, graviera and some other seasoning then baked in cooking paper. Quite good, but as I stated in the last post, I was a little creeped out by the bone fragments. So I suppose if you see psaronefri at the butcher it is the meat for that dish.

At the Alpha Beta I have seen Osso Bucco pre packaged as Osso Bucco, so it shouldn't be too hard to find. Could you recommend a recipe for that?

I have never really had a good "steak" in Europe and I think it has to do with this lack of aging. What I would give for a ribeye! I go back home for a visit in January and my husbands boss opened a restaurant that serves "air aged" beef. My husband said it was the best steak he has ever had. I am on pins and needles...errr or as we say here, pos kai pos!!!

Get the Bon Filet and try it, it is the best thing I have had to a filet, very lean yet tender, Popi's wellington was really good, even medium rare in the middle. I will do the same thing and try to get it to rare, but I might freak out my Greek guests. Popi says you can usually only get Bon filet at the beginning of the week as it is one of the few meats you don't cook all day and a lot of greek women who work make week night meals of it.

In another post..."Cornmeal and tarragon", I sent you a list of tavernas I would reccommend, I noticed I forgot to enter the adresses, if there are any you want to try, just ask and I will get them for you. Still interested in Kritikos, what neighborhood is it in? I will check the Athinarama this week.

A tip, if you like beans. Now is the time to get (dried) beans from Drama. Apparently the best. I just bought some in Pilio last weekend (thanksgiving) and am making Fasolatha as I write!!

Filakia,
Ebeth

Nov 30, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

Cuts of Beef in Greek

After trying to find a rack of lamb here, then trying to get the butcher to "french" it(I literally had to get behind the counter and show him what I wanted), I learned to just use the cuts they have. They really go at the meat here too with the cleaver which is a problem for me as I hate to eat shards of bone...blaaa.

I think if you go to an upscale neighborhood such as Kolonaki or Kifissia, you would be more likely to find certain cuts of meat. A friend told me they don't have aged beef here in Greece, so finding a nice tender filet might be a chore. For something close try the "Bon Filet" as they call it, I have no idea what it is, but it was grilled for me almost rare, with a baked potato and salad as an "american meal" by my host.

Also have you tried the restaurant "Meat Squared"? I ate lamb ribs there but I saw a T bone that looked like something from the flintstones.

regards,
Ebeth

Nov 29, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

CORN MEAL AND TARRAGON IN HELLAS

Dear Doughgirl,

I have just now seen your email, I don't check this site as often as I should. Yes I would love the address of Kritikos if you can find it, or at least the neighborhood. I will give you a few reccommendations that mostly, my beloved food savvy cousins have turned us onto here and I hope you will be as pleased as I have been. I have not been yet to the high end restaurants myself, as the dollar being so weak (my husband works in the states but through the internet from here) I can't justify the cost currently!

There is a place in the center which is unfortunately touristy, just behind the monastiraki train station called Kouzina. They make a great lamb shank propped up haughtily on a sublime bed of fava puree. I have only been there once, with 6 others, so we ordered a lot and every dish was superb.

In Exharkia, on Benaki, just behind the plateia Exharkia is probably my favorite Athens taverna of the season. RIFIFI. Order the fried cod (they don't over cook the cod!!!) with horta and skordalia. The potatoes are so good you will giggle and they have these little whole fried shrimps with a nice dipping sauce that were great. We usually start with the filo wrapped fetta drizzled in honey. The house salad is great as well. The house wine is just about the best I have had in the way of "Xima".

O VOURGIAS is a Cretan taverna that is out of this world. If you are someone who longs for ambiance with your food such as I, this place is for you. The only time to go is in the winter. Vourgias goes to Crete in the summer and it won't be fun. Imagine sitting by the soba (woodburning stove) eating fried wild mushrooms, homemade pies, noodles cooked in goat broth with the butter cream and a loukaniko that I can only describe as tasting like a homemade slim jim, all the while being saranaded by vourgias on the lira and many other musicians who just pop in and jam with him. We have actually seen psaradonis there. This place makes me cry with sentimentality every time I go and I do not exagerate.

Kollias and Para Pente are tavernas you should not miss, though finding them is nearly impossible, and having some sherlock Holmes DNA in your blood could be helpful. They are both in some obscure neighborhood near Peireas. Driveme.gr gave at best expressionist styled directions, I was laughing hysterically as we made endless circles in the area, but was filled with new found awe for my husband who so brilliantly found it. Kollias is supposed to be the best seafood in Athens. They espouse "a culture" of seafood. The son and daughter of the owner of Kollias, opened a place called Para Pente in an alley across from Kollias and I loved this place...possibly more? Oh I don't know. They start you with espresso cups filled with fish broth that might be the most perfect fish broth I have ever tasted. Then they bring large platter with five items (you don't order anything in this taverna) one might have Squid ink risotto, mussels in tomato cinnamon sauce, marinated hyacynthe bulbs, shrimp saganaki and who knows what else. you just keep the platters coming until everyone at your table is sated. Don't skip the dessert platter.

On Saturday afternoons we sometimes go with cousins to "H Avli tou Antoni" Some famous dessert chef (Stelios?...Not sure) owns this with his brother. It is in Nea Makri and they have a veal with smoked eggplant cream which is more like a smoked eggplant bechamel that is so good I wake up dreaming about it, then crave cigarettes...when I don't even smoke, okay I will jsut say it, if great sex were a food, it would be this smoked eggplant bechamel.

There are some more places, but I should get better directions and even names, but I hope this makes for some good dining in the mean time. I will check this more often, would love to know if you are learning Greek and how that is going, is your husband Greek? What is the story there. I have some tarragon just starting on my balcony, it is a winter herb, and my momma brought me cornmeal in June, but it is not as corny as I remember. I am thinking your very first email was correct and that they just made the filo dough with smigdali. I have just learned to make homemade filo dough, so will try it and let you know the results.

Must go and study my Greek lessons. Thank you for your reply.
And please, any foody suggestions I want.

Yours,
Ebeth

Nov 28, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

does this recipe qualify as one of those dishes that are better the next day?

I am cooking a traditional Greek veal "stew" served over pasta for tomorrow, if I cook it today is this one of those recipes that would be better the next day? Or should I prep everything so when I get home from the beach tomorrow I can throw it all together in time for my dinner guests? The ingredients are very simple: large chunks of veal, a small amount of grated onion, 2 pounds tomatoes, garlic and a cinnamon stick. Why are some dishes better the next day?

Jul 28, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

Meal in Athens during 4 hour Layover?

If you speak Greek, I might possibly find something for you, in a nieghborhood not far from the airport, but if you do not, the chances of you being able to communicate with a cab drive the directions, which will inevitably be a labarinth, would not be advisable. Let me know and I will look in Athinorama for a taverna with good reviews in a nearby neighborhood. But I can't promise much! Also what time of day? and what day? these are important considerations for traffic.

Jul 07, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

Favorite egg recipes?

egg on shredded wheat:
toast buttered, salted and peppered "bricks" of shredded wheat in the oven. Meanwhile soft poach the eggs, add a bit of the poaching liquid to the shredded wheat and top with the poached egg, salt and pepper. The yolk coats the shredded wheat and it is crunchy and chewy. very good

Jun 19, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

Do stuffed tomatoes/peppers freeze well?

I just made stuffed tomatoes and peppers with rice / mushroom / herb filling. would love to put some back for mothers day when my parents come to Greece for a visit. Do they freeze well, and if so how to reheat? Need some input, thank you in advance!

E.Kolliopoulos

May 09, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

Showing up empty-handed to dinner

When guests ask what they can bring, I always say, yourself ready to be pampered. That said, I assume they will bring wine. I believe too if the guest brings flowers, the etiquette is that they will cut and vase them for the hostess. I loves my wine but I love waking up the next morning to a beautiful vase of cut flowers (I am lucky as the guests who do bring me flowers are considerate to the style of my home-modern- and bring simple lilies or tropicals). Once a couple brought a pastry shop dessert. It did not go with my theme, but I served it anyway, in place of the more simple dessert I was planning to serve (greek yogurt and spoon sweets). I think it's best to appreciate those we honor and lose the ego. My self I always bring wine, and sometimes a small vase of simple flowers. The hostess can decide to put it on their bedside table or an end table. The flowers shouldn't be brought as a centerpiece. Knowing the wine will likely be consumed that evening, or some other evening, the flowers are a gift for the host/ess to enjoy the next day afterall the hard work.

Apr 17, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Not About Food

thai green chili paste recipes in Greece

I am looking for recipes with Thai Green Chili paste, my mother sent me a jar, however I am unable to find any Asian markets here that have a lot of the ingredients in traditional/authentic Thai food, and fear I would not be able to serve a full Thai meal for a dinner party. I would like to introduce flavors that my Greek guests are not accustomed to so I am thinking about a mix of Mediterranean/Asian flavors? Is this crazy? Doable? Fusable? Your thoughts and/or suggestions.

PS: I have an excellent Thai Green Chili chicken curry recipe and could use this, but what to put with it? Some sort of stuffed leaves?

Regards,
E.Kolliopoulos

Apr 17, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

poppy leaves anyone?

I went to the farmers market this morning and found a large bunch of poppy leaves. My friend, who oddly enough is named Poppi, says she uses them in her hortopita (greens pie) then freezes the rest for later use. She also told me not to use too much because they make you sleepy. Does anyone know of any recipes for poppy leaves? I am wondering if I could make a tea as a home remedy for insomnia. Could I use in salads? Have not found anything on the web, hoping someone can help me out.
Regards,
E.Kolliopoulos

Apr 14, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

CORN MEAL AND TARRAGON IN HELLAS

Dear Doughgirl,

Thank you for your excellent tips. My mother is bringing tarragon seeds in May when she comes to visit. I have found out that, like cilantro, you can get fresh tarragon once in a while at the laikis, though I have yet to see it and I moved here in August. Tarragon in Greek is estragon by the way. I have been dying to make a lemon tarragon dip with the yogurt here which seems to be made by angels in heaven...and I am not even religious.

In Zagoria it was definately a course corn meal in the hortopita and not simigdali. I did however try the simigdali and it wasn't right, no corn taste. Mind you, they only sprinkled the cornmeal in the bottom of the pan and on top of the dough. I heard they do not use corn meal as it is a reminder of the hard times under occupation, however I am not convinced this is true.

I go to Messogeaia all the time, the one in Plaka is on Nikis street! I love their "homemade" filo for a quick pie, they carry some of my favorite wines, I usually get some Raki from him when he has it, and I love the tiny olives among other rare items like buffalo meat and the baby walnut spoon sweets.

I will check out Bahar and degustibus, thank you. Also, if you live here, would love to exchange taverna suggestions, I have a few to be sure.

I will write tomorrow or the next day a review of the loukoumades at Ktistakis which I found out about on this site. Possibly one of the greatest sweets experience I have had, they were so good, I had to give them away for fear of eating them all in two days!!!

Also, I agree with your last statement, it seems to be part of the culture to not try anything from tavernas to doctors without a good recommendation. I am thinking of putting together a book of recommendations to keep around my house, as everyone has the best dentist, the best hair stylist and so forth. I have not once been disappointed, and in fact went to get my haircut without a rec the other day, and it was a nightmarish experience. Note: never describe the haircut you want using hand gestures, the results can be disastrous! Can't wait to be fluent.

Again thank you for the tips.
Regards,
E.Kolliopoulos

Mar 28, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Europe

Help with recipes using yogurt

Go to a Greek imports store and get a jar of spoon sweets, any will do: cherries, apricots, tomatoes, eggplants, what have you, on a plate dollop the yogurt on one side, and pour the spoon sweets on the other, serve with walnuts or hazelnuts sprinkled over. I do this as a dessert course, just before fresh fruit. I put the plate in the middle of the table and give everyone a spoon. I get more compliments with this dish than any dessert I have ever fussed over.

Mar 14, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

fresh baby fava beans in the pod: recipes please

Thank you both Kagey and Old Spice. Both I will try, as the Fava'skeep getting better looking every week I go to the public market (or laiki here). Will report back the results.
Regards,
E.Kolliopoulos

Mar 14, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

fresh baby fava beans in the pod: recipes please

When you are lucky enough to get them young, the string is not an issue, I should say too that this was served with a side of Greek yogurt. To come close to Greek style yogurt use on part strained whole milk yogurt to one part sour cream. I served it on the side and it was luscious with the fava's, tender and had the the surprise of the fava bean inside, cooked perfect, al dente. Think Zots for adults!

Mar 14, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

fresh baby fava beans in the pod: recipes please

I did it, I tried the fried Fava pods, or broad beans. Very good, this sounds sooo strange, but the taste was a sort of corn tortilla taste. I suppose this is from the "cotton" in the pod. It was so good, and as you said "showcased" the taste of the broad bean.

I found a recipe for stewed whole fava beans that I really liked; lemon, dill, onion garlic water. I kept back the most tender beans and a day later made the fried favas'. I used a batter with equal parts flour and soda water with stiff egg whites folded in after the resting period. Success.
Regards,
E. Kolliopoulos

Mar 12, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

fresh baby fava beans in the pod: recipes please

actually this is a great idea. Sometimes when I find them at the market, most are too big to use with the pods, this will be a great way to use the small handful or so I might gleen from the larger pile! There is a light batter people use here that uses soda water, I will definitely use this next time. There is nothing like the taste of the whole fava bean, and this is exactly the type of recipe that would compliment the clean green taste of the pod.

Efkaristo (thank you) Rabaja.

Feb 28, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking

fresh baby fava beans in the pod: recipes please

Thank you, I will let you know how it turns out, I had not thought of the lemon zest before. I wish I could find fresh tarragon in Greece, I think it would have been excellent.

Feb 28, 2007
E.Kolliopoulos in Home Cooking