Roasted red pepper feta dip

In Greek this dip has been referred to as kopanisti. This dip is simply amazing, I have made it for parties and people wanted to lick the bowl. The sweetness of the bell peppers, smokiness from the grill and the contrast with salty feta cheese and the spicy chilli pepper gives it a kick. I’ve given out the recipe to several friends, if you like it spicy add more chilli peppers alternatively you can use pickled pepperoncini or even pickled banana peppers for the heat, or just leave it out if you prefer without spice. The dip really can go well with crackers, pita bread, veggies or even chips or crisps.

Ingredients:

2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers
150g. Greek feta or goat feta cheese
1 small chile pepper
pinch dried Oregano
50ml extra virgin olive oil or more as needed, try and use Greek olive oil
handful of fresh basil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Put peppers on the grill or oven broil for about 10-15 minutes turning often to char the peppers all around. When done transfer to a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap while they are still piping hot- allow the peppers to steam for 15-20 minutes. When the peppers now have steamed and have cooled down enough to handle take off the stems scape out the seeds and peel off and discard the charred skin. If needed rinse the peeled peppers under cold water. Combine all inqredients in a food processor except olive oil and pulse until well combined. Transfer to a bowl stir in oil until desired consistency is achieved. Can store in the refrigerator for one week in a sealed container but I think once you taste it it won’t last the day.

20131020-185741.jpg

20131020-185816.jpg

20131020-185911.jpg

Advertisements

Grilled Sardines

Fresh Sardines are hard to find, but frozen ones are available at fish markets and some grocery stores.

Ingredients:

One package frozen whole sardines, there’s usually 12 in the pack, each are about 6″ long or fresh ones if available.

For sauce:
Juice from one large lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch dried chilli flakes

If using frozen fish allow to thaw.
Take the sardines and rinse in cold water, if you would like to keep the heads on that’s fine, I like to cut the heads off at the gills and discard the head.
With a sharp knife score the body of each fish 3-4 times about 1″ inch apart for each score. Place fish on one layer on a tray.
Prepare the sauce by combining all the other ingredients and mix well.
Pour half of the sauce all over the sardines and mix sardines well to coat with hands. allow sardines to marinade to 30 minutes.

Prepare BBQ for grilling by preheating for 5-10 minutes on medium to high heat. Brush grates with oil.
Slowly place each fish on grill and careful not to let flame catch on fish. Grill fish by turning once 3-4 minutes per side. Fish is ready when meat easily flakes off with touch of a fork. Once ready place fish in serving platter and drizzle remaining sauce on the sardines.

Serving combinations include:
Crusty Bread
Cheese
Olives
Beans
Red wine such as Pinot Noir

20130929-233436.jpg

20130929-233454.jpg

20130929-233514.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