Xmas edition: 3 recipes “made in Greece”

It’s this time of the year and among all other things cooking is by all means customarily a must. So, I decided to indulge in a more frivolous post this time and share with you three recipes I usually pick for Xmas or New Year’s Day. I don’t pretend to know the ultimate country of origin of each recipe, of course, I simply post them here as dishes commonly cooked in Greece. The holidays are a good occasion to try them out, but they’re certainly not exclusively festive recipes. I hope you enjoy!

Bougiourdi

Serving: for 4 people

Difficulty: near 0

Things you’ll need:

  • 200g Greek feta cheese
  • (optional) 100g grated cheese of your choice
  • 1-2 peeled tomatoes, preferably ripe
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • ½ tbsp. oregano
  • 30 ml olive oil

Time of preparation: 6min

Procedure: Slice the feta cheese in a few chunks and place it in a small ovenproof dish. On top of it place the tomato/es either sliced or diced, and finally add the bell pepper, also in slices. You can cover with the grated cheese, although personally I omit this step because it alters the feta flavour. Bake it in the oven at 200° C for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano, drizzle with olive oil and serve (either as it is or after stirring it a bit).

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Bougiourdi in preparation

Potato salad

Serving: for 6 people

Difficulty: near 0

Things you’ll need:

  • 6 medium sized potatoes
  • 2-3 carrots
  • a medium sized bowl of snipped parsley
  • 450g low fat mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp. mild mustard
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • salt & pepper

Time of preparation: around 50min

Procedure: Peel the potatoes, cut them in half and boil them until you can cut through them with a knife effortlessly. Then let them cool a bit. Meanwhile you can snip the parsley and grate the carrots. After the potatoes have cooled, cut them into smaller pieces and add salt and pepper to your liking (depending on how salty etc. you want the dish to be). Add 2/3 of the grated carrots and 2/3 of the snipped parsley. Stir the mixture, so that the ingredients go everywhere. Then take a bowl and pour in 2/3 of the mayonnaise, adding 3 tbsp. of mustard (if you prefer more spiciness, add more mustard). Stir the sauce until it’s homogenous and then pour half of it in the vegetables’ mixture. Stir gently, for the ingredients to mix well, but you don’t want the potatoes to become mushed. Add the rest of the sauce and stir again. Finally, pour the mixture into the bowl you intend to serve it in.

Decoration (optional)-mix the remaining mayonnaise and 1 tbsp. of mustard thoroughly and cover the mixture in the serving bowl. For a final touch, create whatever décor you like with the remaining carrots and parsley. Here’s my example:

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A smiley potato salad

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And now on to the dessert…

“Yule log”

Difficulty: 2

Things you’ll need:

  • 125g hazelnuts
  • 200g baking chocolate cover
  • 150g low fat (dairy) cream
  • 250g butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp. brandy (cocoa flavoured, preferably)
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 250g petit beurre biscuits

Time of preparation: around 40min (plus around 2h in the freezer)

Procedure: Put the hazelnuts in a blender and blend them for a while. In a bowl, break the biscuits in half, but try not to crumble them. Break the baking chocolate cover into small pieces and perform the “bain marie” procedure (eg. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxeGUBu1ycA). Then, add the liquid cream to the mixture. Mix them well together, until the mixture is homogenous and set it aside to cool for about 25 minutes.
Continue by adding the cocoa powder, icing sugar and butter in a bowl and mix them well in a food mixer. Add the previous chocolate mixture into this one, along with the biscuits, hazelnuts and brandy and stir gently with a utensil.

Then, spread the mixture on a piece of baking paper and start rolling it with the paper, as if trying to make a tube. Even it out and wrap the ends of the baking paper. Secure the “Yule log” with enough cling film and put it in the freezer for approximately 2 hours. Here’s how it looks when served:

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I hope you enjoy these recipes and have loads of fun making them; Wishing you the Merriest of Christmas and the most fulfilling New Year you can dream of ~~

Cheers,

Constantina

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