main courses recipes

crispy & creamy onion & cheese pie
crispy & creamy onion & cheese pie

ONIONS are not just something to be added to dishes as a flavoring. They can be the star of the dish because they’re flavor bombs, especially after partly roasting.  Just as a PIE CRUST is not just a bland vessel to contain the pie fillings because it too can make the dish memorable, through its exceptional (and hopefully not soggy)...

20.02.2021
seafood vol-au-vent puff-pastry starters
seafood vol-au-vent puff-pastry starters

Are you feeling the 2020 Christmas and/or Holiday Season spirit yet ? I know what an unusual year it has been for all of us. I wish things had been different but they’re not. But all is not lost. You can try to bring that holiday joy back, even though the preparations for this year’s joys will be limited to smaller numbers and smaller...

19.12.2020
triple-moussaka (with the braised & shredded «kokkinisto» triple-meat sauce)
triple-moussaka (with the braised & shredded «kokkinisto» triple-meat sauce)

A TRIPLE-MOUSSAKA means using all 3 customary vegetables such as 1 layer each of fried or roasted potato slices, zucchini slices and eggplant slices with 2 layers of triple-meat sauce (not ground meats this time but braised & shredded meats with beef, veal and lamb) and 1 layer of a béchamel/mornay sauce. So in all, 6 lovely layers for...

03.10.2020
roasted eggplant pasta sauce (without tomatoes)
roasted eggplant pasta sauce (without tomatoes)

And I mean instead of TOMATOES ! This fine month of September, many of you may be in the midst of or getting ready to prepare your home-made jarred tomatoes and sauces for the coming seasons until the next summer. Have you ever thought about EGGPLANTS ? Not only as a sauce, but also as a base for other sauces and foods ?! Eggplants, yes....

18.09.2020
spaghetti & meatballs (with fennel)
spaghetti & meatballs (with fennel)

This comforting dish definitely has the flavors of ITALY but isn’t Italian in its form nor presentation nor originally an authentic Italian dish at all from Italy but actually an adaptation of a dish by Italian immigrants in America in the early 20th century. And yet, like modern-day versions of lasagna and pizza, it provides complete...

06.06.2020
spanish lentil & chorizo stew
spanish lentil & chorizo stew

Every country, every region and perhaps also every neighborhood and every household has their own versions of lentil soups, but this one, called «LENTEJAS CON CHORIZO» is my favorite. An intense, spicy, smoky, herby and hearty version with sliced chorizo and extra paprika. It’s a full meal for these colder months,...

06.02.2021
oven-baked salt cod with vegetables & chickpeas
oven-baked salt cod with vegetables & chickpeas

In these uncertain times, how can you extend a delicious winter dish with salt cod to 4 servings (when it was initially intended for only 2) and add flavor by hardly increasing its cost ? Use the de-salting water of the salt cod as the brine for preparing all the extras ! I’ve made this dish before (for the blog), using the same amount of...

21.11.2020
eggplant moussaka stacks (with the braised & shredded «kokkinisto» triple-meat sauce)
eggplant moussaka stacks (with the braised & shredded «kokkinisto» triple-meat sauce)

Six layers in all. Three layers of extra thick roasted eggplant slices and 2 layers of chunky braised & shredded “kokkinisto” triple-meat sauce and one layer of thickened bechamel topping (so it doesn’t slide off), all stacked together thickly and cooked individually for an impressive presentation. It reduces the need for...

03.10.2020
roasted vegetable tacos with refried chickpea purée & crumbled feta cheese
roasted vegetable tacos with refried chickpea purée & crumbled feta cheese

It’s already AUGUST 1st so how about if we prepare enough fillings for 25 VEGETARIAN TACOS to eat for the next 3 days or throw a small intimate party for our family and/or close friends and eat everything tonight ?! And don’t forget the watermelon cocktails and fruit salad … Tacos are so Mexican and yet, the...

01.08.2020
mini crustless quiches with roasted vegetables & béchamel
mini crustless quiches with roasted vegetables & béchamel

I’m a “hoarder” by nature (but I prefer “prudent planner”) and I do have a comfort zone that consists of having a stock of stuff I use regularly and often, which has nothing to do with the present “lockdown” situation. But I may have overdone it with too many fresh products (becoming less fresh over time)...

25.04.2020
mushroom & brie cheese quiche
mushroom & brie cheese quiche

SIX LAYERS IN ALL. Two alternating layers each of sliced brie cheese, fried mushrooms with leeks and aromatic bechamel sauce (made with the vegetable leftovers), all wrapped up in an over-the-top and high whole-wheat crust ... Mushrooms and leeks are pretty inexpensive this time of year and I think I’ve included mushrooms in my...

23.01.2021
extra tart green cabbage rolls with meat & rice stuffing
extra tart green cabbage rolls with meat & rice stuffing

Oooh, how I love stuffed cabbage with lemony flavors, especially when heightened and accentuated with extra-tartness with the magical and surprising addition of  “sour salt”, also known as "citric acid" (which you are familiar with if you make food preserves and jams or clean your home ecologically). This is my...

17.10.2020
braised & shredded «kokkinisto» triple-meat sauce
braised & shredded «kokkinisto» triple-meat sauce

A “kokkinisto” which means “reddened” is a preparation of meat bathed in a sauce and is usually made with either larger pieces or cubes of stewed meat, when served with starchy accompaniments or prepared with ground meats when incorporated in other oven-baked dishes. This version is something in between and quite...

03.10.2020
summer seafood salad
summer seafood salad

Nothings says joyful, relaxing and lazy “summer” more than a marinated seafood salad (even though seafood is more plentiful in the colder months) so a summery version must include vegetables, both leafy and water-gorged crunchy ones, to make it both seasonally coherent and complete ! My version is one third seafood, one third...

18.07.2020
mirepoix & beer braised rabbit roast and/or stew
mirepoix & beer braised rabbit roast and/or stew

A small and simple dish with honest and readily available flavors, using a MIREPOIX base and the simplicity of BEER, but pushing it until it becomes not only its foundation of flavor but the actual structure of the dish, with no interfering extras. A “MIREPOIX”, just like an Italian BATTUTO and SOFFRITTO and a variation of Spanish...

18.04.2020