This week I tried a new Melomakarouna (Greek honey Christmas cookies) recipe recommended to me by my friend. It's a recipe by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis. It was an awesome recipe. I thoroughly recommend it. We traditionally make these cookies at Christmas time. They are soft, nutty and have a fantastic cinnamon/honey/nutmeg flavour. A delicious Christmassy treat!
The link to his recipe video is below.
It makes a batch of 60 large cookies, or 80 smaller cookies.
I would like to share one of my favourite dishes. It takes a long time to cook, but it is totally worth it! Kleftiko is a classic Greek slow cooked lamb dish in a tomato based sauce. I tested my recipe on my Yiayia (grandmother) a few times in the years before she died, and despite not being a massive lover of meat, she really enjoyed it.
Before buying a slow cooker recently I always used to do this dish in the oven, covered on a low heat. But since my household addition of a slow cooker, I find it much easier and tastier done this way.
Serves 4, generous portions
4 lamb shanks
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
4 large fresh tomatoes (quartered)
1 large onion (chopped)
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
5 heaped tsp dried oregano
a good pinch of salt
a good amount of ground pepper
In a slow cooker, place on high for about 5 hours. I sear the meat first in a hot pan with olive oil an a dash of cinnamon, to lock in the moisture and flavours.
In the oven, on a low heat- 6 hours. Start at (200 degrees for 1 hour and then lower to 150 degrees for 5 hours). Sear the meat first in the same way as above. Ensure the meat is covered with a oven safe lid or aluminium foil.
Porridge is so good for keeping you warm and feeling full, especially in winter! The problem I have found is that it can often taste bland and boring. After some experimenting with various ways of making the actual porridge and different toppings to compliment it, I think I may have cracked it.
With the addition of a little double cream, cinnamon, vanilla and a couple of strawberries to serve, there is no need for sugar in this recipe. It tastes naturally sweet and creamy. Best of all, it's balanced, warming and healthy. The perfect start for a winter's day!