Other January Highlights

The previous post began my attempt to play catch up with this month’s food and wine.  Here are a few more highlights, mostly visual.

Greek Islands — Briami Me Maratho

One of the stars is an easy baked vegetable dish from the island of Kea, in Greece.  The recipe, and the cookbook it comes from, are in the photos below.  It is marvelous the day it’s baked, and the versatile leftovers are even better the next day or two.

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The Foods of the Greek Islands

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Briami recipe

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out of the oven

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leftovers with toasted bread and olive pate, side of beets

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feta too

Soups

January is great for soups.  It’s one of the best ways to survice the biting New England winters.  Ligurian soups, whether almost all cabbage, or cabbage with a bunch of other vegetables and croutons, are delicious.  I made both.

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in the pot

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on the table

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Breads and Spreads, Clams and Pasta, Wines Galore

Country Italian breads are among my favorites, and I have several good suppliers for them.  We use them sliced and toasted, fried, or grilled.  Often they are topped with purées I make from grilled or roasted vegetables, such as sweet red peppers or eggplants.  For taste and texture, we add homemade white bean purée, black olive pate from Puglia (no capers or anchovies, just wonderful olives and the oil), and/or the almond milk ricotta, fluffed up with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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grilled bread with olive pate, red pepper purée, and dehydrated onions

img_20170120_134852 img_20170120_134934 Here was a plate of Little Neck Clams, cooked with white wine and hot peppers, atop some leftover pasta noodles.

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clams and pasta

Wine and Flowers

The kitchen and dining room are always cheered up with the colors and aromas of good wine and fresh flowers.

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And One More — Poached, Grilled Spanish Octopus

Our friend Chris came last week for food and wine with us, and he was kind enough to bring some crabmeat (which Barbara made into crab cakes).  A few days later I stopped by his fish market, and he was preparing a small frozen Spanish octopus.  He offered me one of the legs, and I had great success following his guidance for cooking it.

The first step was making a Court Bouillon.  That was easy, once I decided which of Craig Claiborne’s versions I liked better, and of course, I consulted Julia Child on the topic as well.  After straining out the vegetables, I inserted a small wooden skewer inside the octopus leg, to keep it from curling up.  Then, it was poached in simmering liquid (Bouillon).  Chris had suggested about an hour, but it was rubbery at that point, so I kept going.  After a total of 90 minutes, it was just right.  The last step was letting it cool, removing the skewer, and tossing it with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Placed on a very hot gas grill for a few minutes on each side, it developed a lovely char.  Sliced, more olive oil, some squirts of lemon juice, and I had the real thing.  As good as any restaurant in my memory.

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slices of octopus from the grill

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served with chopped red onion, white beans, oil and vinegar, tomato wedges, and grilled bread with olive paste

Waterlogue 1.3.1 (72) Preset Style = Vibrant Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Auto Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

The artistic version Waterlogue 1.3.1 (72)

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This entry was posted in Almost-Vegan, Flowers, Food, Greek food, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

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