Thursday, July 16, 2009


I can't decide what to make for supper! Do I go with a lentil & rice dish and some sort of pan-fried chicken breast? Or do I venture out of familiar territory with a green bean and chicken thigh kokkinisto, à la Maria?

I've also got to get off my ass and clean out my fridge and take stock of my pantry. I suppose that starts with washing the mason jars...sigh.

In other news, we got a huge shipment of treats from my aunt Renna in Chania last week, so now I have Greek honey, Greek oregano, paximadia from the village bakery, delicious dried figs...awesome! I had to laught though, there was a bag of loukoumia in there, which expired at the end of June (it took this package three months to get here, for ridiculous reasons I won't get into) but I've been eating anyway. Obviously food colouring in Greece does not represent the same flavours as it does in North America: sure, the yellow was a citrus flavour, but the pink? It took me a moment to decide why my mouth tasted like soap, until I realized that the flavour was "rose". Having had roses in edible form for the first time when I was in university (a coworker once made candied rose petals at the historical village where I worked), I'm still not really used to the idea of something that tastes like perfume in my food. I've had rose loukoumi before (a chocolate-covered Turkish brand), but it's not at the top of my list. The green was even more of a surprise for me - one would think...lime? Sour apple? Mint? Even perhaps pistaccio? But nooooo, it was mastiha (gum mastic), which is another strange, herbal flavour that I didn't really experience until I was well into my twenties.

So I have a bag of mediocre quality bulk-section-at-the-grocery-store loukoumi (Turikish delight) in rose, mastic, and...other mystery flavours. Which I probably shouldn't even eat because they're like three weeks past their expiry date. So why am I craving them right now? Hmmm...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Double post: asparagus & mushroom orzotto with pan-fried chipotle steaks, and beef/lamburgers

This is a two-parter, because I rarely get this thing to myself (my laptop is in the shop so I have to share with Chris).

Earlier in the week I read all of Elly's blog, and decided to make an orzotto with asparagus...I followed a recipe I found elsewhere which called for five cups of broth and one cup of white wine, but I didn't have any wine, so I went with six cups of broth (from bullion cubes...I know, I suck, but why buy or make broth when you can get bullion cubes?). Anyhow, I would definitely wait until I had wine if I was going to do this again, because it was a little too salty.

Basically, I fried some onions and garlic, toasted the barley for a bit, and then added broth two laddlesful at a time till it was cooked. I fried the asparagus and mushrooms in some butter in another pan and then added them to the barley, and finished it off with some asiago (the current parmesan-esque cheese I have in the house).

Doesn't it look good? For the main, I rubbed some steaks with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and some chipotle hot sauce (it was either Tabasco brand or a Sobey's brand one, I've been using both lately), then pan fried them in some more olive oil.

Yummy. These steaks were especially tender. We only ate half of each, and the next day I put sliced steak on top of the left over orzotto we ate for lunch, and the steak was STILL juicy the next day post microwaving.

....ok, I was going to discuss the lamburgers in this post but Chris' laptop is really annoying (weird things keep happening while I type, as if the cursor had a mind of its own), so I'll save that post for another day!