Fresh herb baked cod with pasta and marinated artichokes is an easy and elegant meal.
Our dining room buffets hold all sorts of lovely dishes, teacups and platters that we have amassed over the years. Whether they were wedding gifts, the result of antique shopping, or things we inherited from our parents who are constantly trying to rid themselves of stuff, we love them all! It has taken us a while, but we finally realize that enjoying these fine things in life means actually using them.
Although we have been known to break out the fine china to serve everything from a simple chamomile tea to fried chicken, sometimes it’s fun to use elegant dinnerware to serve equally elegant meals. With the holidays approaching, we figure that everyone can use an excuse to dust off their best dishes and use them to serve a meal that is impressive in flavour, appearance, and ease! Our herb baked cod with pasta and marinated artichokes is about as simple as a meal can get, making it perfect for fancy dinner parties and also for Monday night family suppers.
We are so happy to have partnered with Montreal based Messara Foods and to have used some of their imported products to create this meal. We think it will become one of your favourites!
Baked squid stuffed with rice and herbs and baked in a tomato sauce.
Καλαμάρια γεμιστά με ρύζι. Greek stuffed calamari is a spectacular meal. If you have never had stuffed calamari we strongly encourage you to give this recipe a try. Calamari were made for stuffing. With their long, hollow (once cleaned) and supple body (which is technically called a mantle), you can easily fill them with an assortment of good stuff. In this Greek stuffed calamari recipe we use rice, some vegetables and herbs to create a wonderful lenten meal.
Greek recipe for octopus in a tomato sauce and small shaped pasta, baked in the oven.
Χταπόδι με κοφτό μακαρονάκι.. There are certain scenes which are immediately recognizable as being part of the landscape and story of Greece. The white washed walls and bright blue roofs of homes in Santorini is one. The expansive aqua-blue sea and pink sand of Elafonisi is another. Donkeys carrying satchels of whatever the mountainous village has to offer. The Acropolis at night. The sunset in Meteora . The dozens of octopus hanging and drying in the sun as if they were freshly laundered button-downs, while the fishermen look on and nearby psarotaverna (fish tavern) patrons rest assured that the menu is certainly fresh.
A classic Greek fish soup made with cod, vegetables and flavoured with lemon
This is one of those recipes that just sounds more appetizing in Greek. Perhaps there is a better translation that we could have come up with, maybe cod and root vegetable bouillabaisse, or seafood chowder with a hint of lemon, but ultimately we decided on the rather unappetizing name of fish soup; this is the literal translation of psarosoupa (Ψαρόσουπα) and we tend to be purists…some of the time. Our tsoureki and feta grilled cheese, our spanakopatata and our Greek-style Cobb salad showcase our freewheeling, wild side…but we digress.
An elegant and delicious way to serve grilled salmon
Isn’t it lovely when you can present a meal to family and friends that makes it look like you either spent hours in the kitchen, or possess master culinary skills? We love that! And we also love to explain to impressed eaters that sometimes looks can be deceiving. Like this cedar planked salmon. The beautiful presentation of this salmon is so simple and so elegant that it can be served on a busy weeknight as easily as it can be served at a fancy weekend dinner party.
A creamy salad made with crab-flavoured seafood and mixed vegetables
This is a tale of two sisters. One sister has, for years, been bringing this seafood salad to every family gathering, holiday celebration and casual potluck. It is her signature dish. “What shall I bring?” she asks, and the answer is usually “Oh, why don’t you bring your delicious seafood salad?”. She agrees and everyone is happy, even the second sister. Sister #2 anticipates this amazing salad while she is busy making a moussaka or galaktoboureko as her contribution; a little tired and maybe frazzled, she is excited to know that there will be seafood salad on the table.
Tiny fried fish that you can eat from head to tail
Summers in Greece mean hours spent in outdoor tavernas, with a clear view of the ocean and the warm sun embracing you. The heat, the pace of vacation life, the hours before or right after the afternoon siesta all contribute to a feeling that time is endless, and life is best lived unhurried. But all that relaxation sure works up an appetite, so that taverna table is usually most often filled with mezes and frosty glasses of ouzo or frappé. Given the scene, some of the best mezes are those that came from the sea you are looking onto. Octopus, shrimp, calamari are always welcome, as are these tiny fried fish.
Shrimp cooked in a rich and spicy tomato sauce with ouzo and feta
In Greek cooking there are a whole slew of dishes which are categorized as saganaki. One of the most popular is cheese saganaki, that meze of fried cheese set aflame with the help of a little ouzo or Metaxa, which causes restaurant patrons to exclaim Opa! in delighted unison. The term saganaki actually refers to the small, two-handled frying pan in which the food is cooked called a sagani, a derivative of the Turkish word sahan, which means copper dish. Remember long ago when we told you that Mia Kouppa would also make you smarter? You’re welcome.
A one skillet meal which is so easy and flavourful that you’ll find yourself making it over and over again.
Any meal that can come together in one pot, one pan or one baking tray is a winner in our books. When that meal happens to be delicious, and also requires little to no culinary skill, you know it’s going to be on the menu pretty often. This one skillet meal of calamari and rice also happens to be perfect for periods of Orthodox fasting, when dairy, eggs and meat are usually avoided, but seafood like calamari is perfectly appropriate.
There is something to be said for the thrill that comes with anticipation. Like looking under the Christmas tree and seeing all of the gifts waiting to be opened. Or carrying home the latest best-selling novel, imagining crawling into bed and cracking the spine. Or marking “X”‘s on the calendar as you count down the days to your holiday. Or opening up your refrigerator and seeing your fish soaking in cold water. What joy!