Greek Cooking Class and Olive Oil Tasting
Recipes from the Cookbook Greece, For Olive Oil and Vinegar Lovers by Emily Lycopolous
1/2 seedless English cucumber
1 Tbsp sea salt
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
6 large fresh mint leaves, stems discarded, plus 1 for garnish
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
½ cup dried pearl barley
6-8 dried apricots (regular apricots not Turkish)
6 whole cloves
2 cups chicken stock
1 small yellow onion
2 Tbsp Lemon fused olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
½ lb ground chicken
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (store-bought)
2 Tbsp Apricot white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
½ tsp cracked black pepper
10 sheets phyllo pastry
1/2 cup Cherry dark balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 whole green cardamom pods
1 tsp whole white peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 long pepper
Long peppers taste a little like cinnamon and nutmeg and white pepper combined, and look like tiny pinecones. They are available in most spice stores.
1 whole star anise
3 cups fresh pitted or frozen sweet cherries
Chicken and Apricot Pie
Place a strainer over the top of a large bowl. If the holes in your strainer are quite large, line it with a layer of cheesecloth.
Grate the cucumber. For a rustic look and slightly more chunky sauce, leave the peel on. For a cleaner, softer sauce, peel the cucumber before grating.
Place the cucumber in the strainer, sprinkle with the 1 Tbsp sea salt, and toss gently to ensure the salt has been well distributed. Allow it to sit in the fridge overnight to drain. (You can weigh it down by setting a can on top of a saucer if you like, but I don’t.)
Remove the cucumber from the fridge and squeeze out any remaining liquid by pressing the cucumber down into the strainer or twisting and squeezing the cheesecloth. Transfer the cucumber to a medium-size bowl.
Add the yogurt and olive oil to the cucumber and mix well. Crush the garlic, roughly chop or chiffonade the mint and mix it in along with the garlic, dill and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with an extra sprig of mint.
This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Chicken and Apricot Pie
Rinse the barley well and place it in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Finely chop the apricots and add them to the barley, along with the cloves. Pour in the stock, cover, and bring to a rolling boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 35–40 minutes, until the barley is tender but still meaty in texture. Remove the whole cloves.
Meanwhile, chop the onion and sauté it in 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat for 5–10 minutes, until just translucent. Sprinkle in the salt, cinnamon, and allspice, then add the ground chicken and continue to sauté, using a wooden spoon to break up the chicken into a fine mince, for 3–5 minutes, until the chicken is fully browned, and the onions are caramelized. Remove from the heat and add the barley mixture to the chicken, mixing well to combine. Mix in the yogurt, balsamic, and herbs, mixing well.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the bottom and sides of a large 12 cup muffin tin, or 4 large ramekins with some of the remaining olive oil.
Cut the phyllo sheets into large squares, so they will easily press into the dishes and extra will hang over the side. Gently brush the top of four of the phyllo sheets with olive oil and arrange them, oiled side up, in the muffin tin or ramekins, allowing the corners to drape over the edge. Rotate each sheet slightly so that the corners aren’t overlapping. You want a pointy pattern around the outside of the dish. If some of the sheets rip or break, that’s totally ok.
Place the filling on top of the phyllo. Cut the remaining sheets into large squares. Brush another each with olive oil and drape them over top of the individual pies, again rotating them so that the corners don’t overlap and letting them drape over the edge of the tin or dish. Gently fold in the excess phyllo to create a rolled look around the outside. Again, if it breaks, that’s totally ok.
Brush the remaining two sheets of phyllo with oil and crumple them up together in a ball and tear them into smaller squares. Place the crumpled pieces on the top of the pies, flattened slightly, so you have a bumpy, creased top (trust me, it will be beautiful when finished!). Brush the top of the pie with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt.
Bake for 25–30 minutes, until heated through and the pastry is puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the outside of the muffin tins or ramekins. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
This is best eaten the day you make it.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the balsamic, water, sugar and spices to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the cherries and continue to simmer until the cherries are soft and tender.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Spoon into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 month. Wehn serving, spoon out the cherries and leave the spices in the jar.
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This recipe is intended for participants of Emily's Greek Cooking and Olive Oil Tasting Class.