If you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know that I have been creating personal challenges based on a theme to infuse new life into my cooking adventures. Even every day food should always be an adventure either with new ideas, or experimenting with a new cuisine. Every day we should be excited about what we are eating even if it just means making use of a wonderful find at our local markets for our favourite comfort foods.With these personally imposed challenges my own culinary skills have been rejuvenated and back on track and I am once again inspired.
My inspiration comes from so many different places... cookbooks, your blogs, the Internet, magazines, restaurants and friends. With the birth of a New year this is the perfect time to pump up our kitchens into high gear and celebrate cooking!
I would like to invite you to share the "Best Thing You Ever Ate" (recently) with the rest of the blogging world. Is there a dish that you've created or recreated in 2010 that knocked your socks off; or perhaps your mom or dad make the best "something" in the whole world; perhaps you had a dish at a local restaurant that you can't live without and would like to create in your own kitchen?????
Recipe to follow...
Resurrect your best dish or dishes and submit them to More Than Burnt Toast at bestdisheverate(AT)gmail(DOT)com by midnight February 15th. Your dish can be anything from a cocktail to dessert The only requirement is that it is one of the "Best Things You Ever Ate" (recently)!!!!! You can send in a dish that you have previously posted as well but you will need to repost it with a link back to this challenge. Please use the Avatar "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" above, if you wish, along with a little story about why this is the best thing you have ever eaten (recently) and link back to http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com/. I will round-up all of your outstanding dishes the last week in February.
To start us off I am starting with a simple dish that no matter how often I prepare it is always well received. For those of you who read More Than Burnt Toast my love of potatoes is legendary!! L'il Burnt Toast makes these Patates Riganates as well and if the sign of a good dish is by how many times you are asked for the recipe then this is the ultimate!!!!The recipe comes from renowned cookbook author Aglaia Kremezi. Aglaia and her husband Costas Moraitis live and work on the island of Kea an hour's ferry ride off the coast of mainland Greece. Together they run a cooking school Keartisanal on the island with hiking the extensive and well-kept network of trails and ancient old stone-paved paths and old mule roads as a past time. Exploring the island on foot for history and nature walks, snorkelling and visiting local restaurants and artisans, and cultivating instant friendships is what a culinary vacation is all about. I can't believe it has been almost four years since I visited and sat for long hours enjoying local wine and cuisine under their pergola, because it seems like yesterday it is so vivid in my mind.
Kea boasts a long history and despite its proximity to Greece's capital, the island has remained quite unchanged. It has great alcoves with blue-green waters, a rare ancient oak forest nested in the slopes of the tall central mountain ridge, and a mysterious smiling lion carved around 600 BC onto a gray rock the size of a small whale. A rich archaeological past is manifested by the remains of ancient classical cities as well as earlier neolithic settlements. I remember the day I arrived and walked up the long steep hill to the Hora moments from my lodging...a town where no cars are 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 collected from Aglaia's garden, hiking to ancient ruins...and so much more.
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 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 (Aglaia Kremezi's Greek and lemon Potatoes)|
**PATATES RIGANATES (Aglaia Kremezi's Greek and Lemon Potatoes)**
This recipe is excerpted from Aglaia Kremezi's book The Foods of the Greek Islands.
1/2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1- 1/2 tsp 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 ( I throw the lemon skins in as well during cooking)
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 (and lemon skins if using), 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.
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.