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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 31 March 2018
14 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 31 MARCH 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Tips to get you through the last week of Lent W hile for the Greek Orthodox Church the Lenten period lasts for seven weeks, most people choose to fast the last week leading up to Easter. It is when devotees around the world withdraw from several pleasures of the body and mind in preparation for the resurrection; to receive the blood and body of Christ in the early morning hours of the Paschal Sunday, the most sacred observance of the Greek Orthodox calendar. Even though the 33 days before Easter call for a vegetarian, and on the last week even vegan, diet, for the strongest at heart, the abundance of meat-free recipes in Greek culture ensures Lent does not take such a toll on our day-to-day lives. The food is cooked on certain days if one goes by what the church tells us. Holy Thursday is a day no cooking is done, only the boiling and dying of the red eggs. Today, the Lazarus Saturday, the faithful can have oil in their food and wine. Orthodox Christians can have food that does not include animal products. On Good Friday and Holy Saturday they should not have oil or wine. Here's a couple of delicious go-to Lent recipes from two of our favourite food bloggers: REVITHIA STO FOURNO – BAKED CHICKPEAS BY KIKI VAGIANOS A cast-iron pan is a great option for this dish or, of course, the more traditional clay pot if you're lucky enough to have one in your kitchen. The cast iron heats every bean through to creamy perfection and, I swear, bakes the flavours of the onions and rosemary right into each pea. Truth be told, this is a flexible recipe in terms of bakeware as I've used a regular old 9×13 cake pan many times with great results. Ingredients: • 450g dried chickpeas (soaked and boiled until tender) or 4 x 425g cans • 1/2 cup olive oil • 2 cups reserved boiling liquid from chickpeas or liquid from can • 1 tbsp dried chopped rosemary • 2 tsp salt • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper • 2 ½ cups caramelised onions Method: Boil soaked chickpeas for one hour until tender. Reserve two cups boiling liquid before draining. You can do this up to three days ahead and keep both cooked chickpeas and reserve liquid covered in the refrigerator. When ready to bake: Layer bottom of casserole dish with caramelised onions and crushed rosemary, salt, pepper. Layer cooked chickpeas on top. Add reserved boiling liquid and oil. Stir gently to just combine. Try to leave onions on the bottom. Cook for two hours loosely covered in 200°C oven and then uncovered for additional 1/2 hour (total cooking time 2 1/2 hrs). For the caramelised onions: • 1.5kg sweet white onions • 1/2 cup olive oil • 1/4 cup orange juice • 1 tsp salt • 1 tbsp brandy Method: Combine sliced onions, orange juice, olive oil and salt. Cook onions in baking pan at 100°C, covered tightly, for one hour. Uncover, stir and continue to cook with lid half off for another two hours. Stir halfway through. At the end of three hours, stir onions and add a tbsp of brandy to deglaze the pan. You can store cooled onions covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. BRIAMI, THE GREEK RATATOUILLE BY ELENA PARAVANTES RD Briami is basically chunks of vegetables cooked in olive oil, and it belongs to the lathera family. But you don't just add any vegetable you want, there are certain vegetables that are used: potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, onion, tomato, sometimes okra and capsicum. Ingredients: • 4 medium potatoes • 1 cup tomatoes (chopped or sliced) or cherry tomatoes • 3-4 eggplants • 4-5 zucchini • 1-2 onions • 2 peppers (optional) • 3 cloves garlic, chopped • 2 tbsp tomato paste • about a cup of olive oil • about a cup of water • 2 tbsp dry mint • 2 tbsp oregano • 1/4 cup parsley • salt/pepper Method: 1. Preheat oven to 180°C 2. Cut potatoes and eggplant in about 5 cm pieces, the zucchini in 1 cm slices. Cut the onion into quarters and, if using, the capsicum into slices. 3. Pour all the vegetables in a large bowl. Add garlic, mint, parsley, oregano and mix. 4. Mix the tomato paste with a bit of water (1 tablespoon) and add to the vegetables. 5. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup olive oil and mix well. We usually do it with our hands. 6. Add salt to taste and pepper, and mix some more (I add very little salt and add more if needed when serving). 7. Transfer the vegetables to a large, shallow pan, it should be able to fit all the vegetables in one layer.
24 March 2018
7 April 2018