Ingredients : 2 cups plain low-fat yogurt 1 medium cucumber ½ plus 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 scallion, white and green parts, finely chopped 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill 1 garlic clove, crushed through a press ¼ teaspoon ground cumin Pinch of cayenne pepper Directions : 1. Place the yogurt in a paper towellined sieve set over a large bowlthe bottom of the bowl should clear the bottom of the sieve by at least 2 inches. Place a saucer on top of the yogurt to weigh it down slightly. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. About 1 cup of the whey should drain off. Discard the whey. Place the drained yogurt in a medium bowl. 2. Meanwhile, peel the cucumber, split it lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Coarsely chop the cucumber. In a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, pulse the cucumber 8 to 10 times, until finely chopped but not pureed. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with ½ teaspoon salt. Let stand for 1 hour. Drain into a wire sieve and rinse well under cold running water to remove the salt. Drain well. A handful at a time, squeeze the cucumber well to remove excess liquid, then stir the cucumber into the yogurt. 3. Stir in the scallion, dill, garlic, cumin, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and cayenne. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to blend. Serve slightly chilled.
Ingredients : 1 teaspoon dry yeast 2 tablespoons warm water 1¾ cups flour ¼ teaspoon salt 1 egg, lightly beaten ½ cup warm milk 1 tablespoon butter, melted FILLING 1½ tablespoons fruity olive oil 1 cup finely chopped onion 2 large cloves garlic, minced Half a 7-ounce can light meat tuna, drained and flaked, preferably Spanish Kosher or sea salt ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika, preferably Spanish smoked 2 teaspoons chicken broth Mild olive oil for frying Directions : To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix together in a bowl the flour and salt. Add the egg, then stir in the warm milk, butter, and the yeast mixture. Turn onto a working surface and knead for a minute or two, just until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary. Place the dough in a bowl greased with oil, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion and garlic slowly until the onion is wilted. Stir in the tuna, cook for a minute, then sprinkle with salt and paprika. Stir in the chicken broth and turn off the heat. [May be prepared ahead] Punch down the dough and divide into 1-inch balls. Roll each into a 2-inch circle. Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each circle, pull up the sides, and pinch to seal. Heat the frying oil at least 1 inch deep in a skillet. Lower the heat to medium and fry the meat pies slowly, turning frequently, until they are puffed and golden. Or, better, use a deep fryer. Drain.
Ingredients : ¾ pound ground lamb 1 tablespoon olive oil 1½ teaspoons minced fresh dill or ¾ teaspoon dried dill ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon salt Sauce: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 1 small onion, chopped 1 plump garlic clove, minced ¼ cup all purpose flour 3 cups whole milk 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1½ teaspoons dried dill ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper 12 ounces penne or elbow macaroni 1½ cups thin-sliced drained artichoke hearts, frozen or canned 2 ounces grated kasseri or Parmesan cheese Directions : Bring your smoker to its appropriate cooking temperature. In a small bowl, mix together the lamb, oil, dill, nutmeg, and salt. Form the mixture into mini-meatballs, about ½ inch in diameter. Place the meatballs on a small grill rack, grill basket, or piece of heavy-duty foil. Transfer the meatballs to the smoker and smoke until cooked rare, about 25 to 35 minutes at a temperature of 225° F to 250° F. While the meatballs smoke, make the sauce. In a saucepan, warm the oil and butter over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic briefly until the onion is soft. Stir in the flour. Add the milk about ½ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Spoon a few tablespoons of the milk mixture into the eggs, then whisk the eggs back into the milk mixture. Add the dill, salt, nutmeg, and white pepper. Continue cooking over medium heat just long enough to warm the sauce through, and reserve it. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. Cook the penne according to the package directions and drain it. Spoon half the penne into the prepared dish and spread the meatballs evenly over it. Top with half of the artichokes and half of the cheese. Add the remaining pasta, and then the rest of the artichokes and cheese. Pour the sauce over the dish. Bake 40 to 50 minutes until the mixture is just firm and lightly browned. Serve hot.
Ingredients : 4 fillets of firm white fish 1 tbsp olive oil 500g cherry tomatoes 50g black olives 25g pine nuts large handful of fresh basil leaves Directions : Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6. Take the fish fillets with the skin on, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the fillets skin side down for 2-3 minutes until just crisp. Transfer to a large roasting tin, skin side down. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and scatter around the fillets. Cut the olives in half and scatter over the tomatoes, followed by the pine nuts. Season. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the fish is tender. Remove from the oven and scatter the tomatoes with a the basil leaves. Spoon onto four warm plates and top each with fish. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.
Ingredients : 2¾ pounds firm white fish, such as sole, cod, haddock, or halibut Salt 2 teaspoons turmeric 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 medium onions, halved and cut into thin half-moons 2 long red chillies 1½-inch piece fresh ginger Pinch ground cumin 13¾ ounces (about 1 2/3 cups) canned unsweetened coconut milk 1-2 tablespoons concentrated tamarind 1 tablespoon liquid fish stock Directions : Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks, put them into a large bowl, and rub with a little salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric. Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan and peel and tip in your fine half-moons of onion; sprinkle them with a little salt to stop them browning and then cook, stirring, until they've softened; this should take scarcely 5 minutes. Cut the whole, unseeded chillies into thin slices across (although if you really don't want this at all hot, you can seed and then just chop them) and then toss them into the pan of softened onions. Peel the ginger and slice it, then cut the slices into straw-like strips and add them, too, along with the remaining teaspoon of turmeric and the cumin. Fry them with the onions for a few minutes. Pour the can of coconut milk into a large glass measuring cup and add a tablespoon of tamarind paste and the fish stock, using boiling water from the kettle to bring the liquid up to the 4-cup mark. Pour it into the pan, stirring it in to make the delicate curry sauce. Taste and add more tamarind paste if you want to. And actually you can do all this hours in advance if it helps. When you are absolutely ready to eat, add the fish to the hot sauce and heat for a couple of minutes until it's cooked through, but still tender.
Ingredients : For the marinade: ¾ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon) 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, or ½ teaspoon dried oregano 1 bay leaf, crumbled ½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (½ cup) For the skewers: 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thigh meat, cut into 1½-inch cubes 1 large red onion ½ pound whole button mushrooms 2 small bell peppers (try a combination of red, green, yellow, or orange) ½ pint cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon kosher salt ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper ½ cucumber (preferably English) peeled, seeded, and diced (about 1 cup; see Love Notes) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 teaspoon lemon juice (about ¼ lemon) Pinch freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley 8 ounces (1 cup) plain Greek whole-milk yogurt (see Love Notes) Directions : To make the marinade: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl or zip-top bag. To make the skewers: 1. Add the chicken cubes to the marinade and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight. 2. When ready to cook, peel the onion, cut it in half widthwise, and then cut each half into thirds or quarters, depending on how big it is (you want big onion squares); set aside. 3. Slice the ends off the mushroom stems; set aside. 4. Cut around the stems of the bell peppers and remove. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds. Cut into 1-inch squares; set aside. 5. Heat the grill to medium-high (you should be able to hold your hand just above the cooking grate for 3 seconds before it gets too uncomfortable). Brush the grill with vegetable oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray (if using spray, take the grate off the fire so you don't end up spraying oil at the flames). 6. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a plate. Thread the chicken and vegetables on metal skewers or (10-inch) wooden skewers that have been soaked for at least 30 minutes in cold water (Love Note). Alternate the ingredients, adding a piece of chicken after every two or three pieces of vegetable (my preferred arrangement is pepper, chicken, onion, chicken, pepper, mushroom, onion, chicken, pepper, chicken, onion, chicken, pepper, cherry tomato-that way there's an aromatic vegetable next to each piece of chicken for flavor). You should have 8 to 10 skewers (how many skewers you end up with depends on how big you cut the chicken and vegetables). Arrange the skewers in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously on all sides with the salt and pepper. 7. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until the vegetables soften and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle (which you can see where the skewer pierces the chicken). Serve with Tzatziki sauce for dipping and rice pilaf. To make the Tzatziki: 1. Place the diced cucumbers in a colander set over a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and toss (Love Note 3). Refrigerate for 3 hours to drain. 2. Grabbing a handful of cucumbers at a time, squeeze out the liquid and place them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse a few times to chop up the cucumber, but don't let it turn to mush. Add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, and parsley and pulse once or twice. Pour the yogurt into the bowl and pulse a few times. (Alternatively, chop the squeezed cucumbers a little smaller by hand and place in a medium bowl; add the rest of the ingredients and whisk well to combine.) 3. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors develop. Tzatziki can be served cold or at room temperature.