Turlou Turlou (mixed up vegetables)

This is a summer dish, but because of the winter we’re having so far I think I need a taste of summer. Turlou turlou means “all mixed up” in Greek. This resembles a vegetable casserole, similar to Briami or French Ratatouille, or even a Sicilian Caponata. Moms version is done in a pot on the stovetop instead of the oven. Even though my father was a hunter and liked his wild game this happened to be one of my dads favourite meals. I use cilantro here but flat leaf parsley is more common. You can omit the beans if you cannot find them, also I use a chilli for some heat and squash but again it’s not that traditional. Classic Mediterranean Diet food, (olive oil, veggies, tomato, herbs). This is a very healthy meal as a meal in itself or a side or appetizer for fish, chicken, rice, pasta or even a salad of mixed bitter greens. Allow the eggplant to be the star here… should be the most important vegetable in Turlou Turlou. Okra, sweet potato, cauliflower and a few other veggies would all work but I’ve personally never tried them. Have fun a please comment. Thank you.

Ingredients

2 zucchini
1 large eggplant
2 tomatoes
1 small butternut squash
2 red or orange bell peppers or combo
2 large carrots
2 small potatoes
1/2 cup large frozen Lima beans
1 onion chopped
12 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
Pinch of sugar
Olive oil
Handful chopped cilantro leaves
3-4 fresh basil leaves torn
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 birds eye chilli smashed (optional)

Instructions

Wash all the veggies (tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, carrot, peppers, squash, potatoes) and chop into 1″ cubes but DO NOT peel the skin off any vegetables. Set aside cubed veggies in a large bowl tossed with a couple big pinches of sea salt and a couple glugs of olive oil. Using your hands mix everything together until well coated in oil. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, add the a coating of oil and begin to fry the onions and half of the garlic. Toss in half the veggies and begin to gently stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes until all the veggies have had a chance to touch the bottom of pot and are well coated in the hot oil-onions-garlic. Add in the remaining veggies and keep stirring gently for a few more minutes, now add the remaining garlic, sugar, tomato paste, oregano and chilli pepper if using. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot and allow to steam for about 15-20 minutes. Uncover pot and mix the veggies, add the herbs and using a fork pierce a bean, potato or squash to make sure that they have softened to your liking. Turn off the heat and if mixture is too dry mix in a little water, taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. If you want it to be oily, add more raw extra virgin olive oil or to preferred individual serving plates and garnish with more herbs.

You will not be disappointed with the sweetness of this wonderful food. Serve hot or cold or even at room temperature, cut up a bunch of crusty bread and let people at a party help themselves to some turlou turlou. Other serving suggestions that will compliment include cheese plates, crackers, smoked fish. Alternatively you can take leftovers and purée in a processor and there you have it: “veggie dip”

20140115-012009.jpg

20140115-012302.jpg

20140115-012314.jpg

Advertisements

Bruschetta Sandwich

Tomatoes are in season right now, as everyone is getting the last ones off their garden vines. Bruschetta is awesome and very good for you, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil… WOW simply amazing, sweet, acidic tomato, garlic and earthy fruity olive oil and herbs inside whole grain bread and maybe a grating of cheese. You could also throw in same mescaline mix or salad greens.

Ingredients:

2 ripe medium size tomatoes
1 garlic clove sliced
4-5 leaves fresh basil torn or chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste
3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Couple drops balsamic vinegar (optional)
Grain bread or whole wheat buns
Grated cheese: Parmesan, mozzarella

Cut tomatoes in half and then slice or dice as to your preference, put in a bowl with remaining ingredients except for bread and cheese, mix well. Spoon tomato mixture on top of a slice of bread or in between buns open face sandwich, grate cheese on top and toast sandwiches in oven for 5 minutes.

Serving should make about 4 sandwiches

20131014-004915.jpg

Risotto with sardines

This is just a very basic risotto recipe and then just add a can or two of sardines depending on serving size and who may prefer the canned fish. Alternatively you could use canned tuna or salmon. You could use sardines packed in oil, but I like the ones in water then I can use my own Greek extra Virgin olive oil. There’s so many options as you could use sardines in sauce with the chilli pepper for a spicy kick.

Ingredients:

2 cups Arborio rice
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil plus more for finishing
1 tsp sea salt
1 celery stock very finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 shallot minced
6 cups of low salt veggie stock or chicken stock
1 tbsp dried basil
1-2 cans of sardines packed in water drained and chopped
1 lemon cut is wedges
Parmisano cheese optional if not using lemon

In a medium size pot heat the 6 cups of veggie or chicken stock/broth until hot and keep it warm, on the other burner heat the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter over medium heat add the celery and shallots and garlic stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes, add the rice and toast for a few minutes constantly stirring, now add salt, basil and 1/2 cup of hot broth, continue to stir, as soon as you see liquid evaporating in rice add 1/2 cup of broth at a time until rice is al-dente and creamy about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat stir in remaining tbsp butter and cheese if using, taste rice and adjust seasoning if needed. Cover pot of risotto and let sit for 5 minutes while getting table ready with the sardines, olive oil, more cheese, bread etc. plate risotto and allow people to help themselves to sardines, olive oil, lemon or cheese.

Serves 6 or 4 with leftovers

Depending on the rice you have broth leftover as after rice has cooked not all of the soup stock was needed.

20131008-000500.jpg

Calzone

I love calzone as much as I like pizza, it’s a pizza that’s filled, kinda like a pizza pocket or a closed pizza. Sometimes these are called a Panzarotti which is the kind that is sometimes deep fried. Make it yourself and you will be amazed how easy and fun, besides tasty. This is something that takes a bit of time, so it’s a good Saturday or Sunday afternoon fun, get the kids involved, they love rolling out the dough.

Ingredients:
For the Dough:
3 ½ cups of All Purpose unbleached Flour
1 cup fine semolina flour
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1 tbsp of active dry yeast
Extra flour for rolling out dough

Note: if using whole wheat flour, add a tiny bit more salt and a bit more water.

Put the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and allow for yeast to foam for about 5-7 minutes. In a large bowl sift both flours, flax and salt, make a well in the flour and pour in the olive oil, foamy water and mix with a wooden spoon, or a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix dough until it comes together. Begin kneading the dough on a liberally floured surface. If dough is too wet keep adding flour until dough becomes soft and stretchy ( knead for about 10 min.). Put dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a wet tea towel or plastic wrap, allow dough to rise for at least one hour in a warm place. Prepare filling ingredients while dough is proofing.

Punch down dough on a floured surface, knead dough for few more minutes. Cut dough into four equal balls or three equal balls for three large calzones, put dough balls back in oiled bowl and cover again until ready to roll out.

Roll out dough ball one at a time on lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to about 10 inch diameter like pizza put filling as a topping only on half the pizza, (see below for filling suggestions) fold over other side to make a half moon, crimp the edges well to seal calzone. Using the point of a knife make a few holes in the top of calzone so steam can escape.

Heat pizza stone or tray to 400* and place calzone in centre of oven, cook for 15-20 minutes until dough is golden brown and remove from oven when done, allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving as it will be very hot. When ready to eat a drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of fresh parsley or basil is a good option.

Suggested combinations for filling:

One large tablespoon per item, maybe two tablespoons for dominant topping or your favourite ingredient, I think it’s better to overfill than to under fill as once it cooks it will puff up and may seem hallow if under filled.

Passata tomato sauce with pinch oregano, salt and olive oil
Sliced fresh mushrooms
Mozzarella cheese grated
Chopped pancetta or ham

Marinated artichokes
Pickled pepperoncini peppers
Drained capers
Pesto sauce
Goat cheese
Sundries tomatoes

Sliced tomatoes
Bocconcini cheese
Fresh basil
Roasted red peppers
Pitted Kalamata olives
Olive oil

Passata tomato sauce
Broccoli florets
Fresh spinach leaves
Minced garlic
Sliced zucchini
Feta cheese

Small can tuna drained
Chopped celery
Aged cheddar cheese
Fresh dill

You could have a party, double or triple dough recipe and put out variety of toppings and let people make there own.

20131004-233057.jpg

20131004-233137.jpg

20131004-233202.jpg

20131024-225300.jpg

Grilled venison

Growing up my Dad was a hunter, we got used to wild game. My family always knew where our food came from, either from dads hunting, the market, or the farm. Not did I only aquire a taste for wild game but I also realized that hunted animals living wild eat their natural diet, not a factory farm. You could easily use this recipe for beef, lamb or pork but try a game meat if you can hunt (pardon the pun) down a supplier. Look for a high end butcher shop.

Ingredients:

Venison, elk or moose (chops or steaks)
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
One lemon
Sea salt
Cracked pepper
Olive oil
Dry red wine (Chianti preferred) decanted
Pinch per steak of dried sage or oregano
Pinch per steak of crushed fennel seed

Put chops or steaks in a tray to marinade, add olive oil, and other ingredients except for the wine, salt and lemon, try using your hands to rub in the minced garlic into the meat fibres. Allow meat to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes. If preparing chops hours ahead of time refrigerate meat until ready to cook but allow to come to room temperature 30 minutes before hitting the grill.

Light a propane or charcoal BBQ at high heat for 5-7 minutes. Using a cloth oil the grill. Just before cooking now add a splash of wine and salt to each steak then add the steaks to BBQ, cook meat about 3 minutes per side until desired donness is achieved. Medium to medium-well is probably best. Transfer cooked meat to heated plates or a clean tray and squeeze of lemon juice to taste and a drizzle of olive oil if preferred. If not serving straight away cover meat with foil until ready to serve but keep warm.

I think the best way to enjoy grilled meat is with a glass of red wine, a side salad or steamed or boiled greens, kale chips and other steamed veggies. Hit the salad or veggies with red wine vinegar, lemon and oil as this will compliment the meat.

Enjoy, try it out and leave a comment

20130927-223330.jpg