Showing posts with label Greek food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek food. Show all posts

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fish Soup & Kalamari

Found an irresistible special on a chalkboard menu today: fish soup or ψαρόσουπα-- with carrot, potato, just a bit of flaky white fish and lots of fresh lemon.
It may have had a little tomato, or okra, for flavor. Or saffron. It was not pureed, but not too chunky. I had καλαμαράκια and pita bread on the side.
This is my favorite taverna in Astoria: Tiny, nice menu with a few twists, the server with hazel eyes always calls me sweetie, and today he's playing the best acoustic rebetika. Antiques and old photos on the shelves, below wood beams. Νow playing: "Φεύγω, γιασου γιασου!"
This fish soup recipe is quite simple.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lovin' Avgolemono

A funny video on egg-lemon soup, that therapy for the soul with a heavy twist of citrus. It's the latest from a cheesy, local Greek kid with a good sense of humor named Sotirios, or "So Tiri" which is Greek-English for "So Cheese." (His last video featured feta and a goat.) With apologies to the Fugees and praise for his grooving grandmother or Yiayia. The intro lyrics:

You know I like feta and bread,
But I also like avgolemono.
Let’s go to eat!
I went to my Yiayia’s
For her to fix me something to eat
She cooked pastitsio (Greek lasagna)
But I was still hungry.
Avgolemono. Fix it for me please.
It’s the only soup that I love.
Put a carrot in the water,
Two carrots and a little celery
In about an hour it will smell great
You mix in milk and eggs,
At the end you put in rice, and squeeze two lemons … 
Bean soup, lentil soup, get out of here!
When I go to bed, you’re always on my mind,
And when I get up? Avgolemono.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Cooking Odyssey

UPDATE 2/2014: The Cooking Odyssey went into a third season, with a new chef. For PBS reruns via Create TV, listings may be here.

PBS is hosting a Greek cooking show called The Cooking Odyssey, shot in Greece and an eco-friendly American studio kitchen. Host and Chef Yanni is an Oxford PhD in molecular epidemiology. Which guarantees you won't get botulism trying to make his yogurt in your own κουζίνα. I met the jovial producer George Stamou last week, who got funding from corporate sponsors. He had no luck with the Greek government, which probably would have pushed a national dandelion diet as part of its economic austerity plan.
Chicagoans will only get to see the show via the Milwaukee PBS station the next five Saturdays at 2:30 p.m.; New Yorkers can watch it on WLIW Channel 21 for the next three Saturdays at 11:30 a.m., and then the schedule is odd. A second season is in the works. Looks like the first season's recipes are from islands, and they trekked to Metsovo, arguably the cheese capital of Greece. I recently got to try Odyssey's "cheese mousse" -- not for lent, but might be good for Easter dessert, and very simple!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spice on Netflix!

Netflix makes the movie "A Touch of Spice" available next week. It's a sad, romantic story about the definition of home, and what it means to leave it. Home, in this case, was Greek Istanbul in the 1950s, told through the eyes of a spice-seller's son. This subtitled movie, called "Politiki Kouzina" in Greek, isn't perfect, but the storytelling really moved me when I saw it in a Manhattan cinema last year (see my earlier post and link to YouTube). But none of my friends could see it -- until now!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yogurt Cotton Kandaki

Yiayia would have been perplexed at yogurt-and-lemon-infused cotton candy, but boy, that's the tastiest, most inventive Greek sweet I have consumed in ages.
And it just might be Lenten, too. Karidopita, baked with real honey to connote the consistency of flourless chocolate cake, but with the taste of walnuts and spices, cannot be Lenten!
Those desserts capped an otherwise just-okay meal last night at Anthos, the midtown restaurant opened by a guy named Michael Psilakis, one of New York's most celebrated new chefs since Mario Batali. Inventive twists on Greek themes are his thing; he also runs Kefi on the Upper West Side. My peeve: his salads are unpleasantly salty. No matter. The New York Times loves him Q&A here and review here, and Esquire named him Chef of the Year. He still buys tea and spices in Astoria, for the photographers anyway. I don't know how he'll do in Midtown in a recession, especially with a $35 prix fixe promo.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Manti & Yogurt!

Little dumplings filled with a beef-onion-black pepper mix are called manti in Turkey, and I'm serving them tonight with a garlic-yogurt sauce.
We didn't eat these delicious-but-heavy dumplings growing up. Finding them was tough, even in New York City. But I discovered home-made manti at a deli in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where the halal butcher and proprietor, Ali, also makes bastourma, a reddish, cured meat. Ali was kind enough to give me a little of the paprika-red pepper spice I need to add flair to tonight's table and I bought some sour-cherry preserves. Mmmmm.
Ali is from near Bursa and says the peaches in the area are huge, and that people love to eat chestnuts, which he conveniently provided in candied form in a tiny $10 jar at the cash register.  

Friday, June 6, 2008


There's a Greek woman named Popi Gavales in Brooklyn Heights who can be found each June under a festival tent making loukoumades.
She's among the few who still make these honey-dipped fritters with her hand, squeezed with a fist, aided with an oiled spoon and then quickly tossed into a hot vat of cholesterol goodness.
The recipe is simple: egg, milk, butter, flour, water, yeast and a little salt. Still hot, dipped in honey and topped with cinnamon -- you won't need dinner!! And at $2 for a bowl of five, economical too. Many cultures along the Silk Route make a version. In India, called Gulab Jamun, they can be flavored with rosewater.
In Brooklyn, making donuts for the Glory of God requires Popi's unflappable personality, given hours of standing, bouzouki music blaring, Kyria Evangelia fretting about the sticky bloopers, and the likes of me shooting photos. So make Popi proud: get yourself to a Greek festival this summer and eat up, before the machines take over.
Popi's outdoor kitchen was at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Brooklyn Heights, which is still playing host to the Greek Orthodox who lost their church on 9/11.