15 February 2008

Aglaia Kremezi's Greek Lemon & Oregano Potatoes

Aglaia Kremezi, her husband Costas Moraitis , their friends Kostis and Marcie live on the island of Kea an hour's ferry ride off the coast of mainland Greece near Athens. Together they run a cooking school Keartisanal on the island with side trips for nature and historical walking trails , snorkelling and visiting local restaurants and friends. I can't believe it has been almost two years since I visited.. because it seems like yesterday it is so vivid in my mind. I remember the day I arrived and walked up the long steep hill to the Hora ...a town with no cars allowed. At the top of the long climb was a small taverna where I stopped for a late lunch. I watched the school children walk by with their happy faces, teasing each other and calling out to their neighbours sitting in the restaurant having a visit. This day I had a vegetable dish called Briam made of zucchini, tomato and potatoes. As I sat there watching the world go by I felt like I could be there forever...like I wanted to be there forever. The next eight days on the island were filled with forging new friendships, creating innovative dishes from fresh ingredients and herbs from Aglaia's garden, hiking to ancient ruins...and so much more. I have mentioned this part of my trip on so many occasions I won't bore you with it all again.....



Aglaia says, "Few people can resist these potatoes, which are capable of stealing the show from any food they accompany - so make sure you have plenty for seconds. Although it is served all over Greece this dish is particularly good on islands like Naxos, where the local potatoes have an exceptional taste. On the special days when a leg of lamb or a chicken is roasted, the potatoes are cooked in its juices. If you want to cook this dish using small potatoes, there is no need to peel them, but I suggest that you halve them, because they taste better when they can absorb more sauce." These potatoes are fantastic!!!!!!!!! Exactly what I remember from any Greek restaurant or home I have ever been in !!!!!!!!!

This time around I added a tablespoon of tomato paste to the stock before cooking as a variation of the dish and served them with the dolmades yesterday. These potatoes will whisk you off to warmer climates. Close your eyes and you can hear the calming rush of the sea and if you listen really hard...you can hear bazooka music playing in the background...and maybe the bleat of a far off goat. Is that Kostis coming around the bay in his traditional caique "Soultana"?? Better get ready for another adventure......

**PATATES RIGANATES**
This recipe is excerpted from Aglaia Kremezi's book

3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1- 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup beef stock or chicken stock
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place the potatoes in a single layer in a 13-x-9-inch baking dish and pour the oil over them. Add the garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste and toss well to coat with the oil.

Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes. Add the stock, toss and bake for 10 minutes more. Add the lemon juice, toss and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If you like, preheat the broiler and broil the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sprinkle with the fresh oregano and serve at once.

Variation

Dissolve 1 tablespoon tomato paste in the stock, and reduce the amount of lemon juice to taste. Substitute Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes for the black pepper.

Serves 6 - 8

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

18 comments:

  1. So simple and so flavorful potatoes! YUM!
    Have a great weekend Valli!:)

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  2. Its funny how its the simple foods that take you back. I have a similar feeling about Italy (also potatoes, go figure!), so I can entirely relate. Now you've got me hungry for potatoes and dreaming about a vacation...

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  3. Val is crazy for Kremezi!

    I still get friends & such that ask me me how Greeks roast potatoes...DUH!

    Val sure knows how!

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  4. Oh gosh Val, this is heaven on a plate for sure! :)

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  5. Imagine, when I first came to Greece I hated oregano but now I can't do without it. They are so delicious.

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  6. Congratulations Val, just came over from Jenn's site. You deserve it my friend (and sis).

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  7. Mmmm, fresh oregano. I can't wait til I can pick it from my garden again. Great classic potato recipe. Thanks!

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  8. I love greek lemon potatoes! And I'm with Mike, I'm dreaming about a Holiday now! I need to get away and get myself some sun!

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  9. I'm not a big potato person, except for when dining in my favorite Greek restaurant, because they are THAT good! I'll have to try these at home.

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  10. Thank you again everyone :D These potatoes are truly the real deal :D

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  11. I'm so glad I just discovered your fantastic blog! I just printed out your recipe - these potatoes look divine... I picked up some potatoes from the market this morning, so I'm definitely fixing these for supper tonight! Thank you for the recipe!

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  12. Very interesting recipe. The use of lemon juice intrigues me. I will definitely try it.

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  13. I love collecting potato recipes. Thanks Valli!

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  14. Your post makes me want to pack my bags and head for Greece. These potatoes sound delicuos. I definitely be trying them.

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  15. Those potatoes look good and sound great! I like the idea of baking the potatoes with lemon.

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  16. These look delicious.I spent a summer in Greece as a student so these definately bring back great memories.Love the flavors.

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  17. I must try these potates... if you say they are great, then they must be super. Just bought some in the market. He, he, as you know I love potatoes too!!! :D

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  18. Hey Valli! I'm catching up too haha... my mom used your recipe for the family dinner tonight (total fluke... she wanted Greek potatoes and I was on the computer!) and they're a hit from what I can hear! Keep up the great blog!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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