Dorothy Eat’s Greek

October 29th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

I have just launched a new site, Dorothy Eats Greek.   Since just eating isn’t enough, I needed another site devoted to all the Greek things I eat!  On this site you’ll find recipes, reviews of restaurants and Greek festivals, and be able to follow along as I work on my cookbook.  I also will be selling Greek cookies and other Greek food products.  Double the food, double the fun!

Also, check out my new Virtual Catering service.  Having people over, at a loss of what to cook?  I can help.  Through Virtual Catering you can email your party details to me and I will provide you with menu’s, recipes, and timelines all designed to give you stress free entertaining.  Click on the link at either Dorothy Eats, or Dorothy Eats Greek for details.

Filed under: cook book, Dimotakis/Calimeris Family Classic, Virtual Caterer

Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Menu…Yes it’s true!

October 29th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

LOVE Thanksgiving.  It’s the one holiday of the year where the one and only reason we gather is to eat.  I know there’s stuff about the Pilgrims in there but it’s really about the food.  Recently my friends at Diablo Magazine contacted me about designing a super simple casual Thanksgiving menu. Click here to see my article.

Zuni turkey Thanksgiving MealThe turkey was inspired by the incredible Zuni Roast Chicken, which is crispy skinned roast chicken served over bread salad.  I think roasting a turkey is the biggest stumbling block for most people and using turkey breast only is a quick, moist, approachable solution.  I kept the traditional flavors in the rest of the menu, simplifying the recipes, and of course including a pumpkin tart for dessert.  In order to make this as stress free as possible I provided an outline of how to put this menu together.  With good organization this menu can be completed in a couple of hours.  If this article and format is helpful to you as you entertain you will want to explore my new Virtual Caterer Services!

What is The Virtual Caterer??

I am often approached by friends and clients looking for help planning dinners, parties, and events in their home.  There are times to hire a caterer and there are times when you are doing it yourself and I am offering my guidance to help you do it yourself.  With Virtual Caterer you are able to fill out a questionnaire giving me the details of your event.  I then create a customized menu with recipes, shopping list, and timelines.   I offer a second package in which I am available via email during the week of your party for last minute questions…or panics!

If you’d like to know more about The Virtual Caterer Packages, click here.

Filed under: Holidays, In Print, Virtual Caterer

Ode to Donna Hay

September 9th, 2013 § 5 comments § permalink

Photo of Pumpkin Cheese Scones, Butternut Squash Chorizo Fritatta, Apple Celery Root Salad-inspried by Donna Hay

I have admired Donna Hay’s work for many years.  For those who don’t know her, she’s the Australian Martha Stewart.  I don’t know who started publishing first but they both have similar styles.  Clean uncluttered magazines with fabulous pictures.  What Donna Hay has over Martha is very simple recipes and her magazines are entirely food focused, she doesn’t spend a lot of  time on other crafts.  Every time I buy one of her magazines I end up keeping it because there are so many good ideas in it.  She’s a prodigious cook book author as well; one of my favorites is Donna Hay: Off the Shelf.  Unlike other cooks who suggest using prepared foods to augment recipes, her recipes are tasteful and appetizing.

With some time to spend in Barns and Noble while Claire was trying on clothes next door at Urban Outfitters I picked up the latest Donna Hay. This issue focused on pumpkin and flourless cakes.  I invited some people over for dinner on Saturday and tried three of the recipes from the current magazine and they were all delicious.

First, I chose the flourless cake that was the cover shot.  Two layers of hazelnut coffee meringue filled with a mocha mousse.  I made the meringues the night before since the cake has to sit for four  hours before being served.  It is outstanding.  Fudgy, chewy, with a touch of crunch from the meringue.  I served it with a dollop of whipped cream.  Layers of hazelnut meringue filled with a coffee mousse inspired by Donna Hay

The next thing that captivated me was the Pumpkin Scones with a ricotta mozzarella filling.  Since the scones are substantial I wanted something on the lighter side to go with them, so I made the Pumpkin Kale Frittata.  The weather has been hotter than hot lately and I wanted something cold and crunchy to finish off the menu so I threw together an Apple, Celery Root, and Parsley Salad.  This recipe is my own and I will include it in this post.

The pumpkin scones are made by making dough with pumpkin, flour, parmesan cheese, caraway, and a touch of buttermilk.  The dough is divided and each half is rolled into a disk.  Place one disk of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet and dot with ricotta and mozzarella, top with the remaining disk of dough, brush with an egg wash, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and caraway seeds, and bake until golden.  The recipe is good but next time I make it I would omit the caraway seeds and sprinkle some salt over the cheese layer before I top it with the final layer of dough.

The frittata was super simple and super delicious.   You place cubes of winter squash (I used butternut) on the bottom of a pie plate and crumble chorizo over the squash, drizzle oil over the squash and meat, mix to coat the pieces in oil, season with salt and pepper and place in a 375 oven until the squash is tender.  Then mound washed kale leaves that have been coarsely chopped (I cheated and bought cleaned baby kale leaves), top with caramelized onions, and pour an egg custard over and bake for about 35 minutes.  The recipe in the magazine calls for goat cheese but I felt that the cream in the custard and the chorizo made the dish rich enough. Since one of my guests is a vegetarian I made a ramekin of the frittata without the chorizo and added goat cheese to that.  This technique of roasting the ingredients in the same pan as I make the frittata in is so simple that this will be how I make them from now on.

If you find yourself with some time to kill at a Barnes and Noble, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Donna Hay.

 

Recipe

Apple, Celery Root, and Parsley Salad

2 apples, peeled, cored, and cubed ( I used one granny smith and one honeycrisp)

1 stalk celery, washed, sliced thin

1 small celery root, peeled and cut into cubes

2 T chopped Italian parsley

4 washed romaine leaves, chopped

2 T Dijon mustard

2 T mayonnaise

2 T olive oil

1 T chopped chives

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the first five ingredients in a medium bowl.  Whisk together the remaining four ingredients and combine with the apples and celery, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Keep covered and chilled until ready to serve.  Serves 4

Filed under: Desserts and Baked Goods, Entree's, Salads

Learn How to Enjoy Entertaining Part 2

May 29th, 2013 § 4 comments § permalink

On February 20th I introduced you to my latest cookbook project and I’d like to invite you to come along as I work my way through menu’s.,my working title for the book is Entertain With Confidence…what do you think?

Here are two more menu’s that will appear in the book.  I welcome any comments or suggestions you may have about these menu’s, or if you have questions about entertaining, please send them on.

 A Vegetarian Buffet
White Bean Cassoulet with Gremolata Aioli
Roasted Zuchhini and Fennel with Mezithra
Radichhio and Pear Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
Herb Popovers
Lovely Lemon Pudding Cake


A Spring Dinner
Halibut Baked with Tomatoes and Olives
Leek and Asparagus Rice Casserole
Roasted Beets with Garlic and Tarragon
Tender Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Toasted Almonds
Olive Oil Orange Cake with Sauteed Grapes and Cardamom Ice Cream

Filed under: cook book, While the pot simmers or this and that

Fava Bean, Leek, and Fennel Frittata with Kafalograviera Cheese

May 28th, 2013 § 5 comments § permalink

Yep, you read that right, kefalograviera is a Greek cheese, similar to aged ricotta or asiago.  It’s a sheep milk cheese.  For Greek Easter my cousin went to the Greek market in So. San Francisco and called me to ask if there was anything I needed and I asked for a hunk of this cheese.  It’s one you can’t find everywhere and I haven’t had any in years.  It reminds me of trips to Greece when our relatives would give us huge pieces of it to take home.  And we would, wrapped in towels hiding deep in our suit cases.

The fava beans were freshly picked.  We are growing them at Mills College on our campus farm and my boss very kindly picked a bag for me.  I did all the prep the night before so I could quickly make frittata for breakfast.  I had leeks and fennel in the house so I put a generous amount of olive oil in a cast iron skillet and sautéed the leeks, fennel, and garlic in the pan.  I added the fava’s, splashed it all with some cream and simmered until the cream evaporated.  I whisked 6 eggs and poured them into the pan, sprinkled the cheese over all and baked it in a 375 oven for 15 minutes.  I gave myself a generous wedge and paired it with some ripe fresh apricots, melomacarona cookies that Claire brought back from the Oakland Greek Festival, and a great hot cup of coffee.  A perfect Sunday breakfast.

Fava Bean, Leek, and Fennel Fritatta with Kefalograviera Cheese

6 eggs, whisked until well blended
3 T olive oil
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sided
1 clove garlic minced
1 C raw fava beans peeled
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C heavy cream
1 T pesto
1 C shredded kefalograviera (or other hard cheese like Asiago or Parmesan)

Heat the oven to 375.  Place a medium sized oven safe frying pan over a medium high heat, add the olive oil.  Once the pan is hot add the leeks, fennel, and garlic, and sautee several minutes or until the vegetables are tender and slightly browned.  Add the fava beans and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the cream and pesto and simmer until the cream evaporates.  Using a wooden spoon stir in the eggs, turn off the heat under the pan, sprinkle the top of the frittata with the shredded cheese and bake approximately 15 minutes, or until the center of the frittata still jiggles a bit, but is mostly firm.  Let rest about 5 minutes before eating.  Serves 4.

Filed under: Breakfast Diaries

Pressure Cooker Asian-Style Beef Ribs

April 10th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink


Ok, the actual recipes says Asian-Style Boneless Beef Ribs, but they didn’t have any boneless ones in the market today, so I made them with bone in.  And really, where’s the harm? Having the bones in meat adds so much flavor.  This is the second recipe I’ve tried out of Pressure Cooker Perfection by America’s Test Kitchen, and they aren’t lying, it is perfection!  The only issue is my pressure cooker, as they warned in their evaluation of pressure cookers in the book, it scorches, and it sure does.  Since I was aware of the problem after my whole chicken experiment I was super careful this time, kept the heat very low, but after the allotted time all the ribs were scorched on the side that touched the bottom of the pot.  However, like with the chicken it only imparted a mildly smokey flavor, it didn’t ruin the dish.  The recipe is super simple and after 35 minutes under pressure (yes a reference to Queen, with David Bowie…the original version), the ribs came out a deep mahogany and are friggen delicious!  I almost never cook Asian food because I never think my results are good enough, but these ribs are the real deal.

Next risotto…and if the risotto scorches, I may revisit the idea of buying a different pot.  Unlike chicken and ribs I don’t think a smoky flavor will improve the risotto any.

Filed under: Favorite tools, Reviews

Hot Fresh Bread from Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin

April 4th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Recently my sister-in-law Liz mentioned that she had just finished Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin and said it was one of her favorite books.  I hate to admit that I was unfamiliar with Laurie Colwin who was a novelist and food writer.  Since this book was published in 1988 which was a hot time in the food world, and Ms. Colwin was NY resident it is filled with the culinary trends and nutritional wisdom of that decade.  I lived on the east coast in the early 80′s during the Silver Palate heyday, and worked briefly for Martha Stewart before anyone knew who she was and this book is a perfect reflection of the food and entertaining of that time.

There are several recipes I’m intrigued with and will try, but being one to never pass up hot fresh baked bread I decided to start with her bread recipe from the Bread Baking Without Agony chapter.  I love baking bread and do not think of it as an agony producing task.  I can understand how it can appear overwhelming and I fully appreciate efforts to make it fast and easy.  This recipe is very simple and according to Ms. Colwin it’s full proof.  It’s equal parts of white flour and wheat flour (I used spelt flour because I digest it better), with a touch of wheat germ and salt.   In a separate container combine yeast, milk, and water and mix that into the flours.  Kneed the dough until smooth and place in a bowl covered with a towel and set it aside and go about your business.  Whenever you get home, or have time, punch it down, cover and let rise again.  When ready to bake, heat oven to 450 and shape the dough into a baguette.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, slash in three or four places with a knife and brush with water and bake.  Her instructions say to bake 450 for 30 minutes and 425 an additional 20 minutes, which from all my years of baking is an excessive amount of time.  My loaf was done in 30 minutes and was beginning to burn on the bottom.

The recipe produces the right textured dough, a dough that is slightly sticky and soft, easy to kneed.  I started it in the morning and then ran errands, I didn’t get home until almost 5:00 and the dough had doubled in size, which is what it should do.  I punched it down and had a snack.  By that time I felt I had waited long enough, so I fired up the oven and shaped the loaf.  As mentioned, I let it bake at 450 for 30 minutes, but 20 minutes would have been perfect.  I was patient and let it sit before diving in.   It’s important to let bread sit until it’s warm before eating since cutting the bread hot will dry the bread.  After Herculean effort of waiting 20-30 minutes I decided it was time to taste it.  I couldn’t decide between olive oil and vinegar and butter, so I split a piece in half and had half of it buttered and the other half dipped in oil and…it was good, not the best bread ever, but a good solid pleasurable loaf of bread.  Pleasurable enough for me to eat about 1/4 of the loaf in a matter of minutes!  If you’re someone who’s not confident with your bread baking skills this recipe is for you.

What are your experiences with bread baking, or do you have questions on how to bake a better loaf?  Let me know in the comments section, I’d love to hear form you.

Filed under: Reviews

Whole Chicken in a Pressure Cooker

March 29th, 2013 § 4 comments § permalink

All of us food bloggers are in a tizzy over the new book from America’s Test Kitchen called Pressure Cooker Perfection.  Pressure cookers are not used as much in America as they are in other parts of the world, I think we are still kind of afraid of them based on stories of them exploding.  Today’s pressure cookers no longer explode and they really are the best pot for cooking highly nutritious food quickly.

I bought my pressure cooker quite a few years ago.  Another cook where I was working at tje time, who grew up in Indonesia raved about pressure cookers.  She insisted that the Kuhn Rikon was the best, so that’s the one I purchased, only to find out that it did not rank well in America’s Test Kitchen’s exhaustive research! I’ve only used it a half a dozen times over the years.  Even though I’ve been assured they’re safe now, it still kind of scares me, plus since my kitchen is so friggen small, like many pieces of lesser used equipment it’s hard to get to.  However after reading about this book on Nom Nom Paleo’s site, I immediately went to Amazon where I ordered the book which arrived at my house with the light of internet within 48 hours.  I must say, everything in the book looks delicious and the cooking times are crazy short!

Since I have an obsession with the perfect roast chicken that was the first recipe I decided to try.  It’s a very simple preparation, brown the chicken, remove it, and sautee the onions and garlic, add some flour, wine and broth, and reduce a tad, add the chicken, cover bring to high heat and cook 25 minutes!  Release the valve and remove the lid, let the chicken sit a bit and reduce the sauce some more if you’d like it thicker (I did), and voila you have a moist delicious chicken with a lovely sauce.  The flavors are deep and rich and since the chicken is cooked whole there’s the benefit of the nutrtiion of the broth that comes from cooking with bones.  While purchasing my chicken I couldn’t resist the fresh artichokes, so we had it with artichokes.  The recipe called for fresh or dried rosemary and I have some lovely dried rosemary which was purchased at our lovely new spice shop in Oakland called Oaktown Spice Shop.  Ordinarily I’m not a fan of rosemary, but this is cracked rosemary and it has a very gentle flavor.  And the critiszm of my Kuhn Rikon pot was well founded, America’s Test Kitchen noted that it’s extra thick bottom makes it tend to scorch, and it sure did!  I had a quarter inch of scorched onions when I removed the chicken.  Luckily it cleaned up easy and didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the chicken or the sauce, I removed the sauce to a clean pan to reduce and in the end it gave a mildly smoky flavor to the dish.  If this inspires you to try a pressure cooker the top rated most which was the best buy according to America’s Test Kitchen is the Fagor Duo 8-Quart Stainless Steel, it retails for around $100.00.

I can’t provide the recipe since it’s in a published book, but stay tuned as I cook my way through the book.  I can’t wait to try making risotto in it, or mashed butternut squash, or the smokey beef brisket.  It can be a one pot meal, like the crockpot, only waaaaayyyy faster but with no loss of nutrition…or at least that’s what they tell us!

Filed under: Reviews

Cinnamon Challah Bread Pudding

March 26th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

You gots to LOVE bread pudding!  What can be easier, save up bits and pieces of bread in the freezer and when you have enough, whip together a custard, pour it over the bread and bake and in 45 minutes or so you have a warm satisfying dessert or snack.

Recently we were on a toasted challah with goat cheese and apricot jam kick.  It was a steady breakfast for a couple of weeks.  But challah ends do not make good toast, so I saved them until I had enough.  I buttered a loaf pan, tore the bread into chunks and packed them into the pan, poured an eggy custard over and now I have a whole new meal with those bits and pieces of bread.

Heat oven to 350

2 T butter to butter a loaf pan
2 T sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
4 chunks challah or other bread (I had the ends of two loaves of challah)
4 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1 drop almond extract
1 drop orange extract
1 C milk

In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon, set aside.  Butter a loaf pan and sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar on the bottom.  Tear the bread into large pieces and pack it into the loaf pan.  In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, extracts, and sugar together until well blended. Whisk in the milk and pour the custard over the bread, pressing down to completely submerge the bread in the custard.  Place in a preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until the pudding wiggles only slightly when you jiggle it.

If you want an extra smooth bread pudding bake it in a water bath, and increase the baking time to an hour.

Serves 6

Filed under: Breakfast Diaries, Desserts and Baked Goods

Check out the Recipe Index!

March 26th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We now have organized over 100 recipes in our Recipe Index!

Check it out at: http://whatsdorothyeatingnow.com/recipe-index-2/

Filed under: Photos, Uncategorized, While the pot simmers or this and that