Garlic oil

The oil will have a warm and soft garlic taste and is great served with some bread, pepper and salt. You can spread the cloves out onto a toast. I also use it in dressings or to bake with.

Garlic oil

1 or two garlic heads

Olive oil

Herbs like thyme or a green pepper

Peel all the garlic cloves and gather them in a pan. Cover the cloves with oil, add the herbs or a pepper and bring the oil to a soft boil. Take the pan from the fire and put it back on it when the bubbles went away. Do this three times and after the third time, leave the pan on your smallest fire. You cook the cloves in the oil until they are entirely soft and slightly browned.

Keep the oil in a clean jar.

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Santorini, Greece!

Santorini, our second destination, is a different story than Naxos. Everyone knows the pictures of the sunsets and the white house’s on the edge of the cliff with the blue roofs. Well, that’s how it’s like, just like in the picture, really beautiful.

We ate the most beautiful Santorini fava (split peas) and a delicious garlic spicy tzatziki.

 

Tstock. Who would have thought that an ordinary split pea could make such a nice mezze.

Fava

Yellow split peas

Finely chopped onion

Finely chopped garlic

Pepper, salt

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Boil the peas with the onion and garlic in chicken stock until soft and squashy. Be aware that it doesn’t cook dry because the peas will soak up the stock and they inflate. Also try not to use to much stock so you don’t have to strain the peas in the end, you lose lot’s of flavor by doing that. Mix in the lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. Serve warm with a little onion on the side.

 

 stuffed tomatoes.

 

Stuffed tomatoes

Ripe but firm tomatoes (2 pp)

Rice, long grain or short (I made it with long but ate it in the restaurant with short, both were good)

Onion

Garlic

Olive oil

Dille

Parsley

Basil

Oregano

Pepper salt

Raisins and pine nuts (optional)

Small pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Cook the rice and strain. Cut the onion and garlic fine and bake in a skillet with olive oil until soft (you can add the raisins and nuts if you use them). Now go wild with the herbs, it should be well flavored, it is nice if you have fresh herbs but you can replace most of them with their dried variant if you have nothing else. For the quantities you should really use your taste buds.

Cut the head of the tomato and spoon out the seeds, keep aside. Brush the tomato with oil, fill them with the rice and place on a baking sheet. Put a spoonful of the tomato juice on top and place the head back on the tomato.

Bake in the oven on low temperature (150-160C) until nice and warm. Don’t leave it in the oven to long because the tomato would become to soft and falls apart.

 

Jerusalem Bagels

I had such a hard time finding a good recipe for Jerusalem bagels on the internet. I finally found one in my book of new Israeli food which is a good recipe, except for the tiny fact that the recipe does not contain salt…

In the times I forgot to add salt to my bread I was very disappointed, as the result it a bland and boring bread. The recipe I post here is the one found in the book plus salt, and I also use another method to shape the breads.  These bagels taste better when eaten right away, and are best fresh from the oven. The secret ingredient is powdered milk. I bought it especially for these bagels and it really makes a difference.

They are great to eat warm out of the hand with just some za’atar to dip.

The picture above was taken on September 2008 in Jerusalem, Jaffa gate, where these nice bagels were rested on the stones.

To make 3 big bagels

300 gram bread flour

10 gram fresh yeast

20 gram sugar

30 ml oil

1 heaping tablespoon powdered milk

180 ml lukewarm water

Sesame seeds

1 egg (to make eggwash)

Mix the first six ingredients into a smooth and slightly sticky dough.

Transfer it to a bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled in size

Flour your worktop, divide the dough into three equal parts and roll them into balls. Flatten the balls and press your thumb through the center to make a hole. Gradually expand the whole by rolling your fingers through the hole until you have a nice and thin bagel.

Put some baking paper on your baking tray and arrange the bagel in the oval shape on the paper. Remember that the bagel will double in size again so you should space them and also make sure the whole in the middle is big enough (as you can see in the picture, that’s where I went wrong a bit). Mix the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the bagel with it, generously cover the bagel with the sesame seeds, the egg wash works as glue . (you can use much more sesame seeds than you see in this picture)

Cover and let the bagel rise again until doubled. Preheat the oven to 180C(350F). Bake the bagels for about 15 minutes or until golden with a bit of darker under sides.

Let them cool slightly before you attack. If you want them to be softer, let them cool down under a kitchen towel.

Caramelized Shallot Galettes

If you have ready made puff pastry in your freezer or fridge these galettes are easy made bites. With a little salad next to it, they can serve as a starter. I still use the premade pastry to make my quiches and galettes but I will try to make my own some time soon. It is just more convenient to make these things in large quantities and I don’t have a freezer to keep it in. But enough with the excuses, the next short crust pastry of puff pastry recipe is going to be a homemade one.

Caramelized Shallot Galettes

Makes 4

4 shallots

4 slices puff pastry

1 ½ tablespoon blue cheese

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon balsamico

Pepper/salt

Clean the shallots and cut them in half. Warm oil, balsamico, honey in a pan and place the shallots in this mixture with the cut side down, season with pepper, salt and the dried thyme. Cover with a lid and let this stand on the lowest fire for about 15 minutes, if you think they are getting to dark without being soft enough, just add a little bit of water.

Place the pastry on a baking sheet and cover with little chunks of blue cheese.  When the shallots are soft and the cut side browned, place them with the cut side up in the middle of the pastry, roll the edges up.

Bake in the middle of the oven on 200C until golden brown.

Roasted Garlic

There are many good things I can say about garlic but the main thing is; it is delicious and healthy at the same time.  Garlic and onion are used as a basis for many dishes but can also be great stand alone. I made this the other night for some friends, we had a nice ciabatta to spread the garlic on, I should have made more, it is so easy and disappears so fast.

You can keep it in the fridge and add it to other dishes as well. You can also mince it into a paste and serve it like that but I like to scoop out the toes and spread it on the bread myself. Of course this is not something I invented; it is a very well and wide spread phenomenon but just for the few who are still unaware of this heavenly treat.

garlic

Roasted garlic!

garlic head(s)

olive oil

dried herbs like thyme or rosemary

pepper and salt

Cut of the end of the garlic so you display the top of the toes. Take away some of the paper skin. Put a layer of olive oil in a little baking dish, sprinkle some herbs, pepper and salt and put the garlic head with the cut side down in the oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and put in the oven for about 40-60 minutes on 200c. When you take it out of the oven, let it cool down before serving. If you don’t have a little baking dish, just make a little package of aluminum foil and pack the garlic head in there with the oil and herbs.

garlic2