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Monday
Dec 3,2007

1kg (2 pound) piece rump steak
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly cracked black peppercorns

Salt
Thyme and Oregano Butter
100g (4 ounces) soft butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cut steak into 6 pieces. Brush each steak with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Barbecue, pan-fry or grill steaks until cooked as desired. Serve with slices of thyme and oregano butter.

Thyme and Oregano Butter: Beat all ingredients in small bowl with electric mixer or wooden spoon until well combined. Spoon mixture onto a sheet of grease-proof paper in a rough log shape. Fold one side of the paper over roll, then, with a ruler, push against the butter so that the mixture forms a smooth log. Roll the butter in the grease-proof paper, refrigerate.

Serves 6.

Thyme and Oregano Butter can be made a day ahead.
Storage: Covered in refrigerator; Microwave: Not suitable; Freeze: Butter suitable.

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  • Beef and Onion Stew (Stifado)

    Monday
    Dec 3,2007

    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 (2 pound) boneless beef chuck, tip or round, cut into 1-inch cubes
    1/2 cup dry red wine
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground pepper
    1 bay leaf
    1 stick cinnamon
    1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 1/2 pound pearl onions, peeled

    Crumbled feta cheese

    Cook and stir chopped onion and garlic in oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until onion is tender; remove with slotted spoon. Cook beef in remaining oil, stirring frequently, until all liquid is evaporated and beef is brown on all sides, about 25 minutes; drain fat. Return onion and garlic to Dutch oven. Stir in remaining ingredients except onions and cheese. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Add white onions. Cover and simmer until beef and white onions are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon. Garnish with cheese.

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  • Baklava

    Monday
    Dec 3,2007

    Yields 6 servings

    2 pounds phyllo
    2 pounds walnuts, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 pound butter

    Mix together chopped nuts, cinnamon and sugar. Grease an 18-inch baking pan and line with 6 layers of phyllo. Cover with thin layer of nut mixture, then top with 1 layer of phyllo. Repeat until all nut mixture is used. Top with 6 layers of phyllo. Cut into diamond-shaped pieces. Place a clove bud in each diamond shape. Pour melted butter over all. Bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 300 degrees F until brown, then reduce to 250 degrees F.

    Remove from oven and pour cool syrup over all.

    Syrup
    1 cup honey
    2 cups granulated sugar
    2 cups water
    1 cinnamon stick

    2 slices lemon

    Boil for 25 minutes and let cool. Pour COOL syrup over HOT Baklava!

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  • Saturday
    Dec 1,2007

    2 cups uncooked ziti or elbow macaroni
    3/4 pound ground beef
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups grated Kasseri, Parmesan or Romano cheese
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 1/4 cups milk
    3 tablespoons butter or margarine
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    Cook macaroni as directed on package; drain. Cook and stir beef and onion in 10-inch skillet until beef is light brown; drain. Stir in tomato sauce and salt. Spread half the macaroni in a greased 8-inch square baking dish; cover with beef mixture. Mix 1/2 cup of the cheese and cinnamon. Sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover with remaining macaroni.

    Cook and stir milk and butter in 2-quart saucepan until butter is melted. Stir at least half the milk mixture gradually into beaten eggs. Blend into milk mixture in saucepan; pour over macaroni. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees F until brown and center is set, about 50 minutes. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Garnish with parsley if desired.

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  • Athenian Stuffed Peppers

    Saturday
    Dec 1,2007

    1 pound ground beef
    1
    cup rice
    2
      onions, ground
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, divided
    1 1/2 tablespoons salt, divided
    3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
    1/2 teaspoon oregano
    1 egg, well beaten
    8 green bell peppers
    6 cups water
    5 medium potatoes, sliced

    Combine meat, rice, onions, garlic, oil, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, oregano and egg. Wash green peppers; cut and remove seeds. Fill peppers with meat mixture; place open side down in circle in roasting pan.

    Combine remaining ingredients except potatoes; pour over peppers. Place potatoes in center of pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.

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  • Athenian Salad (Salata Athenas)

    Saturday
    Dec 1,2007

    1 medium head lettuce
    1 bunch romaine
    10 radishes, sliced
    1 medium cucumber, sliced
    6 scallions (with tops), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
    1/3 cup wine vinegar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves 24 Greek or ripe green olives 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    1 (2 ounce) can rolled anchovies with capers, drained

    Tear lettuce and romaine into bite-size pieces. Place lettuce, romaine, radishes, cucumber and scallions in large plastic bag. Close bag tightly and refrigerate. Shake oil, vinegar, salt and oregano in tightly covered jar; refrigerate.

    Just before serving, shake dressing. Add dressing and olives to vegetables in bag. Close bag tightly and shake until ingredients are well coated. Pour salad into large bowl; top with cheese and anchovies.

    Yields 8 servings.

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  • Artichoke-Parmesan Phyllo Bites

    Saturday
    Dec 1,2007

    3 (6 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, undrained

    3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

    1 clove garlic, minced

    10 sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed

    Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade; set marinade aside. Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup cheese and garlic. Pulse 4 times or until artichoke hearts are finely chopped. Set aside.

    Place 1 phyllo sheet on wax paper (keep remaining phyllo covered). Lightly brush phyllo sheet with oil portion of reserved marinade; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of remaining cheese. Top with another phyllo sheet; brush lightly with oil portion of reserved marinade. Cut phyllo sheet in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into thirds, making 6 sections, each measuring approximately 6 x 5 inches. Place a heaping teaspoon of artichoke mixture in center of each phyllo section. Gather corners of phyllo over filling, and gently twist to close. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo sheets, marinade, cheese and artichoke mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 14 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.

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  • Apple Baklava

    Saturday
    Dec 1,2007

    Sauteing the apples first to let the water evaporate ensures a crisp crust.

    6 Golden Delicious apples
    6 Granny Smith apples
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    6 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Nut Mixture
    2 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    24 sheets phyllo dough
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons honey

    Apple Layer: Peel and slice apples. Melt butter in Dutch oven over high heat. Add apples, sugar and cinnamon; cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and juices are evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.

    Nut Mixture: Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Trim phyllo sheets to 13 x 9-inch rectangles; cover with plastic wrap. Brush a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan with butter. Place 1 phyllo sheet in pan and brush with some of the melted butter (keep remaining phyllo covered). Layer 5 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with butter. Spread 2 cups nut mixture on top and repeat layering with 6 more phyllo sheets and butter. Spread apple mixture on top; repeat layering with 6 more phyllo sheets and butter. Sprinkle remaining nut mixture on top; sprinkle with bread crumbs and layer with the 6 remaining phyllo sheets and butter. With sharp knife, cut lengthwise through pastry and filling into 1 1/2 inch-wide strips, then cut diagonally at 2-inch intervals to make diamonds.

    Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Drizzle honey on top and bake 5 minutes more. Cool in pan on wire rack.
    Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped or ice cream.

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