recipes for using the oven

Leek pie or how to make the easiest pie ever!

Hard to admit but, this is the only pie I know how to make… I know it is embarrassing to have a recipe blog and only know to make ONE pie… Well pies are my nemesis. It’s not exactly the pie I am afraid/ hate. It’s the dough, I cannot make dough for pies and tarts. I have extensively tried but with no luck. I will insist though and as soon as I have a success story you will know, IMMEDIATELY, I will shout it from my balcony!! So this recipe is made with puff pastry from the super market! It is a great side dish or can be a main dish for light eating (light in a manner of speaking as it has tons of feta cheese).

You will need:

– 10 leeks (mostly the white part and some of the green)

– 1 red onion

– 5 scallions

– A medium sized bunch of dill

– 300gr – 400 gr of feta cheese (spicy feta is the best)

– 2 medium eggs

– Olive oil

– Salt and pepper

Start by gathering all the ingredients on your work surface and chop everything.

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Separate the yolk from the white from one egg and add the white to the other one and beat it a little bit. In a big pan heat the olive oil and add the chopped leeks, onion, scallions and dill. Cook for about 15 -20minutes, until everything becomes soft. Remove from heat and wait until it cools down a little bit (5 minutes). Add the feta cheese and the egg with the extra white. Mix well and set it aside.

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In the meantime grease a pyrex dish or a baking pan, (I personally prefer the pyrex dish, but a baking pan will do just fine), and spread a layer of the puff pastry, make sure to create a little wall all around so it can sustain the stuffing. Now add the cooked vegetables with the feta and on top add another layer of the puff pastry to close the pie.

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With a knife cut the uncooked pie into pieces by inserting the knife and drawing lines, not too deep but not too shallow either. Take the extra yolk you have left and spread it on top of the pie as evenly as possible. This will give a shine to the pie plus it’s delicious! Put in a preheated oven, 180° Celsius, and cook for an hour!

 

Tip: It tastes better the next day, and if it is the summer try it straight from the fridge!!


Lemon Tart

I will confess that I found this recipe online. MOst of the recipes I post here are either family recipes or mine, I do not feel very comfortable with taking recipes from other people’s blogs; but this one was so easy and tasty I just had to share it.
I have a sweet tooth and as a child I used to eat anything I could get my hands on. Growing up I found the joy of tasting good pastry making. I do enjoy of course the occasional chocolate from store but it does not compare to a good chocolate souffle or an apple pie from the ‘experts’ of pastry making. You see the thing is that pastry recipes are not my forte. Though I keep trying to make simple and easy recipes they very often ‘fail’. I have been trying for years to make an apple tart with no success whatsoever. So you can understand my excitement when this recipe went perfect!! I will also try and make it with tangerines. : )

You will need:

For the shortbread:
– 150 gr. butter
– 2 tsp. sugar
– 2 tsp. powdered sugar
– 1 ¼ cups of flour, all purpose

For the curd:
– 4 large egg yolks (or 5 medium)
– ¾ cups of sugar
– Juice and zest of 2 lemons
– 4 tsp. butter
– 2 tsp. powdered sugar

Procedure:

For the shortbread:

Beat in mixer (closed) sugars for about a minute until very thin.
In larger mixer put sugar with butter until mixed well and form a thick cream.

Then pour the flour and beat until you see crumbly pieces.

Take the dough and knead in your hands, if too sticky you can add some more flour. In a baking pan (preferably 24×24 cm square) put aluminum foil and pat the dough. With a fork make holes in the dough.

Preheat the oven to 170 º C , put the pan and leave for half an hour, you will know it is ready when the edges are brown. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 150 º C.

For the curd:

In a saucepan mix the sugar and the yolks with a wooden spoon. Put the butter and lemon juice

and stir over medium heat until it thickens slightly (about 10 minutes). Be careful not to boil it because you will have to start the entire process from scratch.

Take it off heat and pour it in a strainer. After draining add in the lemon zest

pour it over the shortbread and place in it the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

TIP: Serve with sprinkled powdered sugar. Goes well with coffee and tea!


Burgers in the oven with potatoes

One of the easiest Sunday recipes. I remember as a child when I used to spend Sundays with my grandmother, the only two options i gave her was either chicken in the oven or this recipe. I could never eat this during the week, somehow in my mind it was only Sunday food only.

You will need:

– 1 kg minced meat (preferably beef)

– 2 medium onions

– half glass of milk

– bread crumbs from 1/4  loaf bread

– 1 egg yolk

– 6 medium potatoes

– cumin

– oregano

– rosemary

– paprika

– 2 cloves of garlic cut in half

– salt

– pepper

– olive oil

– 2 lemons


In a mixer you beat together the milk, onions and bread crumbs. Pour mashed mix in the meat and mix with your hands )I find it very pleasing). Throw in all the spices and mix again and in the end mix in the egg yolk making sure it completely dissolves. Peel the potatoes and cut them ( I prefer to cut them in irregular shapes because the corners get crispy).  Grease the backing pan with olive oil, mold the burgers in to 7 -8 cm each and place them in the pan and spread the potatoes and garlic around them(you can add a little bit of water).

Place the pan in a preheated oven in 180 °Celsius.

Bake for about an hour and the lower the temperature to 150° Celsius. About a quarter before you turn off the oven squeeze the lemons and pour the juice all over the burgers and potatoes.

TIP: Make sure to stir the potatoes every 15 – 20 min. and to turn over the burgers once.


Delicious lamb with saffron

This recipe is one of my favorites. I always thought that lamb and saffron would make a good pair, but as it turns out its one of the most delicious combinations. The recipe is very easy and I will guide you through every step.

You will need:

A leg of lamb

saffron ( I used 1 gr., but you can use less)

Garlic (2 cloves)

thyme (preferably fresh)

Salt

Pepper

2 medium onions

Olive oil

a small glass of water

You grease a baking pan and place the lamb leg (the part you want roasted facing down) in it, rub the salt, pepper and garlic cloves on the leg. Season the leg with the saffron (for this particular recipe it is better to use saffron in powder). Cut the onions in four pieces each and spread them around the pan. You place the fresh thyme on the leg and if you use garlic cloves you put them under the leg.

When finished with the seasoning you pour a little bit of water in each corner of the pan.

Preheat the oven at 180- 200 Celsius and bake it for about 50min. Change the oven to grill, flip the leg and increase temperature to maximum; bake for another 30min.

TIP: The best way to accompany this dish is with roasted potatoes, put them in a smaller baking pan and season them with thyme, rosemary, cumin, salt, pepper and just a small pinch of saffron. Bake them the same way you bake the lamb leg.

For salad I strongly recommend a green salad with vinaigrette sauce.