Raise your hand if you love pototoes! You there, in the back, holding a fist-full of french fries, we see you! And we love you! And, we too love potatoes. Whether they are roasted in the oven, bathed in all sorts of beautiful Greek flavours, or boiled and mashed and then transformed into the very distinctive Greek garlic spread called skordalia, we adore them. Potatoes are so versatile, so available, so economical, that it’s no wonder that the rustic cuisine of Greece has taken this commonplace vegetable and made it the star of a stew which we know will find a happy place in your hearts and stomachs.
When we first posted our parents’ rizogalo recipe we explained that this was a food which was so deeply connected to our childhoods that we couldn’t help but find comfort in a bowl of warm, creamy, simply delicious rice pudding. And that is still so true; rizogalo, the way our parents make it (and the way we now make it), is comfort in a bowl.
Our parents make so many types of koulourakia (Greek for cookies that are great for dunking into coffee or milk) that it is almost hard to keep track of them all. To help differentiate one koulouraki from the other, they often refer to a key ingredient. So here, we present to you koulourakia with orange…because, you guessed it, they contain a fair bit of orange juice. They also often refer to different koulourakia by the person who prefers them over all others. So these, along with being koulourakia with orange, are also affectionately referred to as “Georgia’s favourite”.
Some ingredients give the impression that they will be a lot more complicated and costly to work with, than they actually are. A great example of this is mussels. Because we tend to talk about food a lot, we’ve learned that many people have never cooked mussels, assuming that it would be difficult to create a meal with them. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, mussels are an incredible way to present a fancy meal with almost no effort.
Make no mistake, dates feature very prominently in this cake. If you are not sure that you like dates, or if you think that you would not like dates, you should probably give this cake a try. Truly. The only reason you should pass on it is if you are 100%, definitely and absolutely, a date hater. And even then, unless you are deathly allergic to dates (or any of the other ingredients in this cake), you should give it a go. Dates are an incredible fruit, and frankly, we think that this is an incredible cake.