Greek Kleftiko

Greek Kleftiko

 

Greek Kleftiko

Greek kleftiko or klephtiko is a juicy one 'pot' meal that bursts with flavors. It's prepared the Greek way of slow cooking in little portion packages. Originally, they were cooked over hot cool in the soil. Today, the ingredients of each portion are still covered completely in one package, then baked and served as a package. Once plated, it's like digging into a gift of yumminess.
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 4 lamb leg steaks about 2 lbs
  • 1 lb broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 lb potatoes cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Kleftiko Culinary Spice Kit

  • Oregano, garlic, dill weed, ground dill seeds, cinnamon, mint, chili, nutmeg

Instructions
 

Prepare

  • ▪ Season meat with salt to taste.
  • ▪ In a BOWL, mix oil, wine, and the Kleftiko spices.

Preheat OVEN to 400°F.

    Create 4 packets, each as follows:

    • On an 8-inch PLATE, place (1) ALUMINUM FOIL and (2) PARCHMENT PAPER, each sheet of about 20 inches long.
    • Staple: lamb, garlic, and tomatoes.
    • Place potatoes, broccoli, and onions around.
    • Season with salt to taste.
    • Drizzle with 4 tbsp of the oil mixture.
    • Close the PAPER, then the FOIL.
    • Place the packets on a BAKING RACK.
    • Bake about 60 minutes until cooked.
    • For the last 15 minutes, open the PARCHMENT PAPER, and move all toppings off the meat.

    Serve

    • The the complete kleftiko packets, one per PLATE. Enjoy!

    Notes

    • Substitute meat or broccoli with eggplants or root vegetables.
    • Substitute lamb with sirloin steak, pork or veal cutlets, or chicken breast.
    Alternatively, use the Kleftiko spices for Moussaka or Souvlaki.
    Keyword cinnamon, dill, mint, nutmeg, oregano
    Sabzi Polo Mahi

    Persian Sabzi Polo Mahi

     

    Sabzi Polo Mahi

    Sabzi Polo Mahi is one of the many dishes served for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Fluffy Basmati rice is cooked with fresh herbs, including fenugreek leaves which have an exceptional aroma that you can smell and savor. It makes all the difference. The fish is seasoned with advieh, a Persian spice blend that works as well on poultry.
    Hands-on Time 30 mins
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Persian
    Servings 3

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 lb fish fillet of your choice (*)
    • 1.5 cups basmati rice
    • 1 cup chopped herbs (**)
    • 1 green onion finely sliced
    • 1 egg whisked
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 lemon for juice
    • salt & pepper
    • vegetable oil

    Sabzi Polo Culinary Spice Kit

    • [1] Fenugreek leaves
    • [2] Turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic

    Instructions
     

    Rice

    • Rinse rice thoroughly. Soak rice in cold water with 1 tbsp salt for 2-24 hours. Drain.
    • In a POT, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
    • Add rice and salt to taste.
    • Boil 5-10 minutes until the rice is still firm inside but soft outside. Drain + rinse.
    • Add onions, herbs, and Sabzi Polo [1] spices.
    • In the same POT, add 1/4 cup of oil.
    • Add the rice-herb-mix in the form of a cone.
    • Sprinkle with 1 tbsp oil. Make 4 deep holes with the end of a spoon.
    • Cover. Steam over slow heat for about 30-45 minutes until the rice is cooked.

    Fish

    • Rinse and pat dry the fish. Season it with a light coat of Sabzi Polo [2] spices.
    • Add salt and pepper to taste.
    • Place egg and flour each on a PLATE.
    • Cover all sides of the fish in the egg then in the flour.
    • In a PAN, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.
    • Fry fish on both sides until cooked and golden.

    Serve

    • Serve fish with rice. Sprinkle with lemon juice to taste. Enjoy!

    Notes

    (*) For instance: mahi-mahi, cod, tilapia, snapper, halibut, or salmon.
    (**) A combination of parsley, dill, and cilantro works great. Add tareh, the Persian chives, if you have a chance.
    • Substitute fish with poultry breast. Cut it lengthwise.
    • Optionally, fry the fish without egg and flour.
    Keyword methi, turmeric
    Belgian Carbonnade à la Flamande

    Belgian Carbonnade à la Flamande

     

    Belgian Carbonnade à la Flamande

    Belgian Carbonnade à la Flamande

    Dating back to the Flemish region of Belgium in the 18th century, you can find La Carbonnade à la Flamande (“Flemish roasted meat”) all over Belgium today. Every region has a special take on this recipe that gets passed down to every generation. The Belgians take pride in this rich beef and onion stew dish's trademark taste that comes from mustard, thyme, bay leaves, and most importantly, beer.
     
    Hands-on Time 30 mins
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Belgian
    Servings 3

    Ingredients
      

    • 1.5 lb stew beef cubed
    • 2 slices bacon (optional) cut into strips
    • 3 medium onions finely sliced
    • 1.5 cups dark ale preferably Belgian
    • 2 cups stock or broth preferably beef
    • 2 tsp brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp flour
    • oil
    • salt & pepper

    Carbonnade Culinary Spice Kit

    • Parsley, garlic, mustard, thyme, allspice, bay leaves

    Suggested Sides

    • French fries, boiled or mashed potatoes
    • Slices of (ginger-) bread with mustard
    • Belgian endives, carrots, shallots, and/or green cabbage, braised or steamed
    • Salad with Belgian endives and apples

    Instructions
     

    • Season the meat with salt & pepper to taste.
    • In a large PAN, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.
    • Fry the bacon until browned.
    • Take the bacon out and set it aside.
    • Fry the meat over high heat until all sides are brown. Don’t prick the meat.
    • Take the meat out and set it aside.
    • Fry the onions until translucent.
    • Add the sugar. Mix well.
    • Let it cook until the onions start to caramelize.
    • Return the meat and bacon. Mix well.
    • Sprinkle with flour.
    • Add the beer, stock, vinegar, Carbonnade spices, and salt to taste.
    • Cover and let cook over low heat for about 2.5 hours until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.
    • Turn off. Let rest for 15 minutes.
    • Serve carbonnade with your preferred sides.
    • Enjoy!

    Notes

    • Substitute the beef with lamb, pork, or chicken.
    • Omit the bacon.
    • Add more or omit the sugar and vinegar. Add 2 sliced carrots and a bit more stock instead.
    Keyword allspice, bay leaves, mustard, parsley, thyme
    Pollo con Pesto

    Italian Pollo con Pesto al Forno

    Italian Pollo con Pesto

    Italian Pollo con Pesto al Forno

    Pollo con Pesto al Forno is an easy baked chicken. Just perfect for a weeknight. Our spice blend includes sun-dried tomatoes and precious pine nuts. We skipped the cheese to avoid preservatives. Alternatively, you can sprinkle the blend on a margarita pizza, or pasta with tomato or cheese sauce.
    Cuisine Italian
    Servings 3

    Ingredients
      

    Shopping List

    • 2 pieces chicken breasts cut into 4 thin(halved horizontally)
    • 8-12 oz mozzarella cut into thin slices
    • 2 large tomato/es cut into thin slices
    • 1-2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • olive oil
    • salt & pepper

    Suggested Sides

    • Cooked orzo, baked or mashed potatoes, or French fries.
    • Green asparagus, kale or lettuce salad, or sautéed spinach.

    Culinary Spice Kit

    • Basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, salt, black pepper.

    Instructions
     

    Prepare

    • Preheat the OVEN to 350°F.
    • Season chicken with salt & pepper to taste. 
    • Mix Pesto spices with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 3/8 cup olive oil.
    • In a BAKING DISH, spread a thin layer of oil on the bottom.
    • Add the chicken halves in one layer.
    • Spread the pesto mixture evenly onto the chicken. 

    Assemble

    • Place tomato slices in one layer on top.
    • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese to taste.
    • Add mozzarella slices as the last layer.
    • Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.

    Bake

    • Bake the chicken for about 20 minutes. 

    Alternative Vegetarian Version

    • Cut zucchini lengthwise in half and scoop out the middle.
    • Season the inside with salt & pepper to taste.
    • Dice the scooped out flesh and add it to the Pesto mixture.
    • Fill it back into the zucchini.
    • Place the zucchini in the greased BAKING DISH.
    • Continue with the assemble and bake steps of the recipe above.
    • Enjoy!

    Notes

    ▪ Substitute chicken with zucchini and follow the vegetarian version.
    ▪ Substitute chicken with fish filet.
    ▪ Substitute mozzarella with your preferred cheese.
    Keyword basil, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes
    Brazilian Vatapá

    Brazilian Vatapá

     

    Brazilian Vatapá

    Brazilian Vatapá

    Get right into the center of the Brazilian carnival with this popular street food, Vatapá. Original from Africa, it is known as a specialty from the region of Bahia and spread throughout Brazil. This recipe with a modern twist comes directly from Brazil. Ground annatto seeds add a warm, earthy flavor and natural red color. Though shrimp is a typical ingredient, Vatapá is just as popular without it.
    Hands-on Time 30 mins
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Brazilian
    Servings 3

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 lb raw shrimp cleaned
    • 1 cup coconut milk shake can well
    • 2 tomatoes diced
    • 4 cups cooked rice
    • up to 1 cup broth fish recommended
    • 1 onion finely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic grated
    • 2 slices sandwich bread crust removed
    • salt
    • oil

    Vatapá Culinary Spice Kit

    • Annatto, turmeric, ginger, cumin, white pepper, bay leaves

    Optional

    • 1-2 tbsp peanuts ground
    • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
    • 1 lime for juice
    • 8 oz watercress

    Instructions
     

    Prepare

    • Cut the bread into small pieces.
    • In a BOWL, add the bread and the coconut milk.
    • Let it soak for 15 minutes.
    • Mash it with a fork.

    Cook

    • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat.
    • Fry the shrimp until brown on all sides.
    • Take them out and set them aside.
    • Fry the onions over medium heat until translucent.
    • Add garlic, tomatoes, and Vatapá spices.
    • Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
    • Add the coconut milk with the bread, salt to taste, and optionally peanuts.
    • Cook about 15 minutes over medium-low heat to get a thick creamy sauce. Add some broth if necessary.
    • Return the shrimp to reheat.
    • Optionally, add cilantro and lime juice to taste.

    Serve

    • Serve with rice and optionally watercress or a fresh salad of your choice.
    • Enjoy!

    Notes

    • Substitute the shrimp with fish filet (e.g. cod or snapper), cut into 1-inch pieces, or chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips. Return them with the coconut milk.
    • Omit or substitute the shrimp with garbanzo beans.
    • Add 1-2 jalapeno pepper and/or 4 small sweet peppers to the onions, cut into thin slices.
    Keyword annatto, bay leaves, turmeric, white pepper