fish baked in aromatic parcels

We are always excited to be in the kitchen and cook… for us, for other people, or even for our dog. Even making fried eggs makes me happy. However, there are some cooking sessions that stick with me for a long time and put a smile on my face. It can be for a number of reasons, like the first time I was hired to cook alone for 20 people.

This recipe is in my special list because of the way I incrementally acquired the ingredients without having planed it at all.

So the story starts with our standard, twice a week trip in to the town center which is at the port where we stock fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers market. Depending on the weather there are sometimes, early in the morning, a few small fishing boats docked along the pier which is exactly next to the road we drive on. So when we spot them we always check them out. This time, one of them had three, nicely sized fish that we bought right away. This doesn’t happen very often because the Aegean is not like the big oceans… it’s a lot warmer and shallower and the fish mainly caught are small to medium size from sardines to red snappers. So having bought the fish along with our weekly shop, we head home.

The island we live in has an abundance of two things growing everywhere in the wild: Caper berries and fennel. Both go well with fish, but because caper berry season is over, I chose to use the fennel seeds. I cannot describe how much more fragrant the fresh un-dried seeds are compared to the store bought, and you get them in various stages of maturity… I even use some of the flowers from the fennel plant. So off I went for a walk in the fields with the dog to cut some stems, and 20 minutes later I was back with a handful of seeds. Now, all that was left was some lemons from the lemon tree. Ohh and because i was watching a Jamie Olive episode a few days before, I was a bit influenced by his obsession with chillies and added some chili infused olive oil that Lauren made.

The smell that came from that parcel was amazing, and I recommend this recipe especially to people that don’t like fish very much.

– Mel

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creamy lemon & thyme pasta bake

Ahhh… back to our favorite combination, cheese & a starch. Before we went gluten free, I had a favorite italian pasta place I used to eat at where I always ordered the same ravioli dish time & again. It had an amazing cheese & lemon filling, with thyme & a creamy sauce. However the place fell victim of the curse that seems to be plaguing me… the very same curse that is causing all my favorite places to close down. I need to stop picking favorites it would seem.

…I don’t want to get into making homemade ravioli with gluten free flours just yet, I’m lazy & it’s going to take a lot of experimenting. So I’ve taken a different approach to get a similar result & this is what I came up with.

– Mel

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stuffed onions

While I was writing this recipe, I was getting that feeling of deja vu… A quick look to our recipe archives and the feeling was confirmed… apparently we like to stuff things. Vine leaves, pumpkins, peppers you name it… Lauren even stuffed a cookie inside of another cookie!

That sounds strange but anyhow we specialize in stuffing as it seems. Maybe we should call ourselves “Whatever’s Stuffed” or “We Stuff Everything” or something along those lines.

This recipe is essentially a steak with caramelized onion and a side of basmati rice… but all conveniently packed in one nice little package ideal for easily feeding many. Enjoy and stuff you next week.. erm I mean see you next week…

 – mel

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chicken burritos with guacamole and sour cream

Why is it that some of our favorite foods from any cuisine always have one thing in common? Some sort of bread-like product wrapped around a filling… burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, tacos, souvlaki, pizza -in a way, if you make it a calzone- and my favorite, Peking duck with pancakes. This week we are making burritos, a mexican dish we all know but rarely consume outside the USA or Mexico.

By the way, I would like to say that although I prepare my posts Lauren always screens them before she, and only she can press the publish button… today I did it myself, let’s see what happens….

– mel

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chicken fajitas with guacamole and sour cream

Why is it that some of our favorite foods from any cuisine always have one thing in common? Some sort of bread-like product wrapped around a filling… burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, tacos, souvlaki, pizza -in a way, if you make it a calzone- and my favorite, Peking duck with pancakes. This week we are making burritos, a mexican dish we all know but rarely consume outside the USA or Mexico.

By the way, I would like to say that although I prepare my posts Lauren always screens them before she, and only she can press the publish button… today I did it myself, let’s see what happens….

– mel

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