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So, our flights have been booked for next Sunday, we're servicing our loyal bikes, the panier bags are coming out of the cupboard and we're checking the tent still has all its poles.
Our plan is 10 days of cycling, through the Pelopponnese and Crete, far from the madding crowds, through mountain meadows and forests full of bee hives, with regular visits to pristine hidden beaches. That's the plan.
Of course, to make our holiday perfect, some feasting would go down well. I had thought that this would be impossible for my boyfriend, given he's vegetarian (no fish either), since I assumed the options will only be grilled meat, grilled fish, or Greek salad. But having had a look at some of these posts, it seems like there are quite a few really delicious (and popular?) dishes that don't involve meat or fish, but do include delicious things like spinach, fava beans, chick peas etc.
So, I'd like to compile a list of Great Greek Dishes that vegetarians can eat, the sort of simple everyday stuff that we might be able to get in a small village taverna. To kick start the list I'm nominating:
Briam - I had this about 10 years ago on the island of Amorgos and it was mindblowingly delicious. Potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes and maybe onions and lots of olive oil? All cooked together extremely slowly. I've tried recreating this but never succeeded. It's something I still have fond memories of!
Any general advice or additions to the list would be most gratefully appreciated!
This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish. Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
1 green chili, slit
1 dried red chili
1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
Salsa Para Enchiladas
3 ancho chiles
2 New Mexico chiles
2 chipotle chiles
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 TB flour
2 TB vegetable oil
1 tsp vinegar
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp dried oregano
2 cups broth, stock, or (filtered) chili soaking liquid
Rinse, stem and seed chiles. Place in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Cover and remove from heat and let soften and cool. While the chiles are cooling, gently sauté garlic slices in oil until they are soft and golden brown. Remove the garlic from the oil, with a slotted spoon and reserve. Make a light roux by adding the flour to the oil and sautéing briefly. Drain the chilies and puree them with the garlic slices and half of the liquid. Strain the puree back into the saucepan. Pour the remainder of the liquid through the sieve to loosen any remaining chili pulp. Add the roux to the saucepan and whisk to blend. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, bring to a boil then and simmer 15-20 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and vinegar if necessary.
Vietnamese Pickled Eggplant
These use tiny white eggplants that are nearly impossible to get here. I tried to grow them without success (this time). I did not have these so used unripe cherry tomatoes.
2 lb eggplant (tiny white SE Asian types) or green cherry tomatoes.
1/4 cup salt
1 TBL galangal root
1 TBL ginger root
12 green chilies - thai peppers or serranos
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
2 cup Granulated sugar
2 cup water
1/4 cup fish sauce
1. Rinse off eggplant and pierce with a knife - or cut in half if larger than 3/4 inch in diameter.
2. Put eggplant into jar and add salt - and water to top of jar. Cover with plastic lid and cover loosely. Let ferment for 7 days.
3. Take out eggplant and drain. Rinse with water. Put into jars again.
4. Chop ginger, galangal, chiles, onion, and garlic.
5. Boil water and sugar, add spices and onion, and heat for 5 minutes. Add fish sauce.
6. Pour over eggplants making sure the spices and onion get all around (might have to take out some eggplant and return).
7. Cover with plastic lid, and refrigerate.
8. Ready in several days. Will last a very long time in the refrigerator.
Notes: Good alongside other SE Asian dishes, or even alone with rice. The green tomatoes are not the same texture as the eggplants, but are quite good. The eggplants are very crispy.
Grilled fish recipe from Mexico.
4 large dried ancho chiles 2 dried chiles de arból (omit if you prefer a milder sauce) ½ small onion, chopped 8 ounces canned tomato sauce 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 3 tablespoons Ponzu sauce (or substitute ½ soy sauce, ½ lime juice) 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup mayonnaise 2 kilos Pargo blanco or red snapper (huachinango) one 2-kilo fish or two 1-kilo fish. Butterflied from the belly out. Remove and discard the stems and seeds from chiles. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover completely with boiling water and then soak for 40 minutes.
Remove the chiles and place in a food processor with ½ cup of the soaking liquid, the onion, tomato sauce, garlic, Ponzu, Worcestershire and the salt. Process until very smooth. Sieve the mixture into a bowl, then add the mayonnaise and blend.
Set aside 2/3 cup of the blended sauce to serve with the cooked fish. The rest will be used to prepare the fish for the grill.
Slather the flesh-side of the fish with the sauce and then place, skin-side down on a hot charcoal or gas grill. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the fish. (About 15 minutes for a one-kilo snapper on my gas grill at medium-high, lid closed).
Place cooked fish on a large platter; use a spoon to remove the flesh.
Serve with fresh tortillas and pickled onions. Pass the reserved sauce.
Pickled Red Onions
Thinly slice a medium red onion into a glass bowl, toss with the juice of a large lime, one or two finely minced serrano chiles and ¼ teaspoon salt. Best if marinated overnight in the fridge.
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