Category Archives: DISHES

Moussaka

Moussaka

Moussaka is a casserole made by layering eggplant with a spiced meat filling then topping it off with a creamy bechamel sauce that is baked to golden perfection. It is perhaps the most widely recognized of all Greek dishes. Until the early 1900s, moussaka was a more simple dish, using just vegetables and meats. The addition of béchamel sauce is attributed to Nikos Tselementes, a Greek chef who trained in France, and this newer version quickly became a favorite in Greece.This eggplant version is the traditional rendition, however you can also layer in potatoes, zucchini, or whatever vegetables you prefer. It’s hearty and filling so you won’t need many side dishes.

Cheese fondue

Cheese fondue

Cheese fondue is a traditional Swiss dish. Gruyère and Emmental cheeses melted in a fondue pot with wine, garlic, and kirsch. Served with bread and apple for dipping. Contrary to popular view outside of Switzerland, cheese fondue did not originate as an après-ski snack. It’s a hearty peasant dish, using ingredients that were available in the winter: cheese, wine, coarse peasant bread. And since it a traditional dish, it never went ‘out of fashion’ or ‘died out’, as you might think it did if you live in the UK or the US or any place that had the Great Fondue Craze of the ’70s, when a fondue set was a ubiquitous wedding present. In Switzerland, ‘la fondue’ means a cheese fondue and nothing else. Other types of dip-bits-of-food-in-a-communal-pot dishes are specifically called fondue-something, e.g. fondue bourgignonne (bits of beef filet fried in a pot of oil), fondue chinoise (thin slices of beef or other things cooked in a pot of broth), and so on.

Chicken breasts with fennel and rosemary

Chicken breasts with fennel and rosemary

Chicken breasts with fennel and rosemary are so simple to cook and you can be sure that you won’t be dissapointed. The Mediterranean flavors of fennel, garlic, and rosemary are perfect with chicken. The fennel and chicken are sautéed and then briefly braised in chicken broth, which becomes a tasty light sauce. There are three main types of the fennel. Bitter and sweet fennel are both used as herbs. They have pale green, celery-like stems, bright green, feathery foliage and greenish-brown seeds, all of which have a strong aniseed flavour that particularly complements fish. Florence fennel, also called finocchio or Italian fennel, is eaten as a vegetable and has a broad, bulbous base with a mild aniseed flavour. Look for small, blemish-free bulbs that are pale green, firm and tightly packed, which indicates crispness and freshness.

Matar paneer

Matar paneer

Matar paneer is a popular North Indian dish. Paneer is a firm Indian cheese, made by curdling hot milk with lemon juice or vinegar, then straining through muslin, rinsing off in water and pressing into rectangular blocks. It has the unusual properties of being suitable for frying and it does not melt when cooked, but stays in soft, neat little chunks. The use of paneer is more common in Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh due to the prominence of milk in their cuisine. It is sometimes wrapped in dough and deep-fried or served with either spinach (palak paneer) or peas (mattar paneer). Matar paneer is usually served with naan, roti, chapati and paratha but goes very well with rice and pulao also. The mild flavors of the paneer (cottage cheese) marry beautifully with the delicious sauce in this recipe.

Vitello tonnato

Vitello tonnato

There are two versions of vitello tonnato, North Italian dish, both featuring a sauce of mashed tuna and anchovies. In the older, Milanese, version the sauce is thinned the cream; this recipe is for the Piemontese dish, which uses mayonnaise rather than cream. Vitello tonnato is a cold dish. It is served chilled or at room temperature, generally in the summertime, as the main course of an Italian meal or as “an exceedingly elegant antipasto for an elaborate dinner. The dish is allowed to refrigerate for a period up to 5 days to fully develop the flavor. This dish is also the traditional centerpiece of the Ferragosto dinner in Milano (Assumption Day, August 15th).