peach & rosemary preserve

peach, rosemary & white wine preserve... gluten-free

I think I’ve got the canning bug. Although of course I just had to wait until all the good fruits were out of season before I decided I wanted to try to preserve them.

Still, managed to get my hands on some peaches.

Here’s my dirty little secret though. I didn’t reach for those nice, fresh, just ripened peaches with that beautiful yellow coloured flesh…. I wanted my peaches close to death. All soft & squishy. Starting to turn colour. Completely unappetising to eat with that horrendous overly-rippened-now-starting-to-rot mushy thing going on.

Want to know why? These are usually the sweetest & make the best jams. Doesn’t do wonders for my pictures though… but holy toledo Batman, that flavour is GOOOOD!

What I’ve got here isn’t your typical preserve either. I mean, it’s not something I’d put on pancakes in the morning. It’s more for toasted english muffins, or paired with brie & prosciutto. It’s for the more savoury of pairings with the earthy undertones of the rosemary & the slight hint of spice from the pepper corns. Personally, I’d like a little less sugar in the recipe, but then we start getting into the realms of adding more pectin & it’s just not something I want to deal with.

I think maybe I’m going to start going crazy with the preserving process & start getting ready for homemade christmas presents. Continue reading

Hünkar Begendi

…which translated means sultans delight, which is basically a stew on a rich aubergine puree. Traditionally this is made with lamb but i tried it here with beef and it wasn’t a bad substitution at all. This is a dish with a long history and many stories tell the tale of its creation. In the end, all stories have a common happy ending… the sultan liked it, hence the name. Given the intertwined history of Greece and Turkey, the dish has flavors that are very common in this part of the Mediterranean. The roasted aubergine technique used here, is basically used for many recipes like eggplant salad which anyone having visited a Greek island will have tried. The simple tomato beef stew by itself is very common here also, and often enjoyed with either pasta, rice or my favorite… grandma’s extra crunchy fried potatoes and feta cheese.

– mel

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pumpkin and spinach lasagna with italian sausage

Until I made this recipe I never thought about the fact that I never make lasagna. I finally concluded that the reason is a Greek dish my grandmother makes often called pastichio. It is essentially a bolognese lasagna dish but instead of flat pasta we (Greeks) use thick round ones, and instead of multiple thin layers there are only three fat ones… Sauce/ pasta/ béchamel. This lasagna however couldn’t be more different. Multiple layers of interchanging orange and green colour tell a completely different story. I also used an italian sausage that we got from Sienna when we had visited Tuscany for an epic week of gastronomic decadence.

Those beautiful layers first started with a delicious, fresh pumpkinThis is what it looked like after baking. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderfully delicious it was!

– mel

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sweet potato & chickpea soup

 

Two orange coloured soups in less than a week…. shame on me. I’ve also had two orange backgrounds on my desserts…. and the leaves are starting to go orange as well. That’s the leaves on the trees I mean.

…I’m lying about the last one, no orange leaves. Yet.

I’m sorry about all the orange though, I’m not however sorry about the second soup. I make no apologies.

It’s cold, that’s all I’m saying.

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extra creamy pumpkin soup

The cold has snuck up on us without warning & we went from tank tops to sweaters, boots & scarves in the blink of an eye.

The bringing of autumn means it’s time to break out the soup recipes, lots & lots of creamy, delicious, heart warming soups…. & we’re starting it off with a wonderfully delicious pumpkin soup recipe that Mel & I used to make when we had our own little catering company.

Two years ago, for four months, we gave it our all in the kitchen & attempted to cater lunch for the local offices. For a while it was incredible, we were bringing home cooked, exciting flavors to the people near & dear…

Twelve hour days, the vegetable market at 06:00 in the morning, & hours poured over designing new menus every week. We were exhausted but happy beyond belief… then of course greeks remembered that they didn’t want to start thinking about what to eat for lunch at 11:00 & so it quickly crashed & burned. There ended that chapter in our lives.

This soup is one of the very dishes that we used to serve up, & it came from Mel’s incredible creativity. It is truly delicious & I’m thrilled to be sharing it with you now.

Just remember, it is all about the pumpkin & if you don’t have the perfect one…. well then it’s still pretty incredible.

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