ETHNIC TRADITIONAL GREEK
AVGOLEMONO SOUP (Egg Lemon Soup)
Esther A. Poulos
Combine chicken broth, rice and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the rice is just tender (15 to 20 minutes). Remove pan from heat. In a bowl, beat eggs until fluffy and pale yellow, then beat in lemon juice. Slowly stir about 2 cups of the hot but not boiling broth into the egg-lemon mixture and whisk vigorously. Pour this mixture back into the rest of the soup. Whisk it until slightly thickened. (Don't expect the mixture to thicken very much, it will thicken more after being refrigerated). Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until icy cold. The soup will need to be stirred before serving. Garnish with lemon slices. Note: Fresh lemons must be used.
In a food processor, grind the walnuts with the sugar and spices. (Walnuts should be of a fine texture.) Place the mixture in a bowl. Melt one pound of butter and brush the bottom of a 15" x 12" x 2" pan with the warm melted butter. Place one phyllo sheet on the bottom and brush it with butter. Fold over or cut the phyllo to fit the pan. Repeat until 5 sheets of phyllo have been placed on the bottom of pan. Sprinkle a handful of nut mixture on top of the buttered phyllo. Top with another sheet of phyllo and butter. Repeat until all of the nut mixture has been used. Save 5 sheets of phyllo for the top layers and butter them as you did the bottom 5 layers. Place the unused melted butter (no more than ½ cup) in a saucepan. Using a high flame, 'burn' the butter until it is very dark (a sediment will settle to the bottom). Dip a tablespoon into the burnt butter and sprinkle a little on top of the phyllo. If the butter doesn't sizzle then continue to heat the butter until it sizzles when sprinkled on the top layer. Be sure to sprinkle only the butter, not the sediment, over the entire top. With a sharp knife, cut the baklava into diamond shaped pieces (about 1" to 1-½"). Bake in a 300° oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until top is golden brown. Syrup: In a saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Add the lemon juice and honey. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes. When baklava is removed from oven, pour the warm syrup over the hot baklava. Cool thoroughly in the pan on a cooling rack. Let stand overnight to absorb all liquid.
Mix well, walnuts, graham crackers, sugar and cinnamon. Take 6 sheets of phyllo and lay in a 15½" x 12" pan. Add a layer of walnut mixture evenly over sheets. Add 2 sheets. Continue this process until you finish with 5 or 6 sheets on top. Cut into diamond shapes. While doing this, have butter melting on stove. Remove salt from top of butter. Bring to a boil, but not brown. Pour while butter is hot over the cut baklava. Bake at 350° for 30 to 45 minutes. Syrup: Boil sugar and water for 10 minutes. Add honey and bring back to a boil. Pour over the baklava as soon as it is removed from the oven.
GALOP1TA (Greek Custard)
Boil milk over medium heat (keep stirring). Meanwhile, have eggs beating on high speed in mixer. Add sugar and butter to milk - when hot add farina. When milk mixture is thick, very slowly add this to eggs (keep eggs beating) until eggs are warm -then add the egg/milk mixture to the rest of milk mixture. Stir and mix :together. Grease a 9" x 13" pan. Pour mixture into pan. Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes. Top will be golden brown (test with a toothpick). While still hot make a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of custard. When cold, cut into slices and serve.
Esther A. Poulos
Cream butter, add sugar and beat well. Continue beating and add eggs, cinnamon, almonds and farina. Pour in a greased 10" baking pan and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. While cake is baking, make the syrup and set aside to cool. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, cut into diamond shapes and pour syrup over the top. Syrup: Boil sugar and water until mixture slightly thickens.
Melt margarine. Gradually add farina, stirring constantly until slightly browned, being careful not to burn it. Combine water and sugar in separate pan. Bring to a boil and allow to boil slowly. Gradually add to the farina mixture, stirring constantly. Add cinnamon. Keep stirring until the syrup is absorbed by farina and becomes thick. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand 10 minutes and then add walnuts. Turn into a dessert mold.
KOURABIETHES (Powdered Sugar Butter Cookies)
Esther A. Poulos
Soften butter to room temperature. Put in electric mixer and beat well; add brandy, 2- egg yolks, 5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, 1 cup chopped almonds. Then add approximately 4-5 cups flour. Knead thoroughly and roll out dough and cut into diamond shapes or roll into bails. Bake on cookie sheet at 350° for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar while still warm.
Esther A. Poulos
Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and rinse. Sauté chopped onions and garlic in a little butter or margarine, add ground meat and stir until brown, add tomato sauce, wine and seasonings, to taste. Sauce: Place the flour and cold milk in blender, (use 1 quart of milk to blend and 1 cup flour) blend well and then place in a sauce pan with remaining milk and heat. Melt butter in another sauce pan and then add to flour and milk mixture. Stir until thick. Add cheese, mix well. Before you add the eggs to the sauce, take out half of the mixture. Mix thoroughly with the macaroni. Spread half the macaroni in the bottom of baking pan, cover entirely with the meat sauce. Spread rest of macaroni on top. To the remaining cream sauce, add the beaten eggs and then cover the top of the Pastitsio. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the sauce. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until done. Let stand 1 hour before cutting into squares.
Aristea Zekios/Helen Flessor
Meat Mixture: Melt butter, add onions and garlic and sauté. Add meat gradually, breaking it up until it browns. Add tomato puree and spices. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for ½ hour. Add wine, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Set this mixture aside while preparing macaroni. Filling: Boil macaroni until done. Drain well and place into a large mixing bowl. Mix in melted butter, cheese and well beaten eggs and toss gently. Then add prepared meat mixture and mix all together. Butter a 12" x 18" pan and pour mixture into this. You may also use a 10" x 14" or anything close to these sizes. Pour mixture into pan - only ¾ of the way to allow room for the Béchamel Sauce. Béchamel Sauce: In a large pot, melt butter on a low flame. Add flour and mix continuously. Slowly add warmed milk and stir constantly until thickened and smooth. Add salt while cooking. Remove from flame. Beat egg yolks. Add egg yolks to mixture and return to low flame and stir for a few minutes till thick. Add cheese. Pour or spoon this over the macaroni Bake at 350° for 45 minutes to 1 hour - or until the top is golden and the center is bubbling. Let cool about 1 hour before cutting into squares. Note: Pastitsio macaroni can be purchased at a Greek or Middle Eastern grocery store. Pastitsio can be made ahead of time, frozen, thawed and baked. Instead of making as one giant pan, the filling and meat mixture can be doubled, the Béchamel Sauce tripled and then divided into 3 throw away aluminum pans (11-¾" x 9-¼" x 2-½"). Wrap in foil and freezer wrap and use as needed.
Esther A. Poulos
Cream butter, add sugar and beat well. Add egg yolks and whole egg and continue beating. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually beat dry ingredients into butter mixture. Beat until butter mixture becomes thick. Form dough into 3 loaves. If dough is too sticky to handle, add a little more flour. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a 350° oven until light tan in color. Remove from oven and while still hot, place loaves on a cutting board and slice diagonally into ½" slices. Place on cookie sheet again, laying each on its side and return to oven and bake until light brown in color. Watch so slices do not get dark.
RIZOGALO (Rice Pudding)
Esther A. Poulos
In a heavy saucepan, boil milk, rice and sugar until rice is cooked. Beat the 3 egg yolks. Stir a little at a time in the milk until creamy. Place in individual cups or molds and sprinkle with cinnamon and allow to cool.
SPANAKOPITA (Spinach Pie)
Thaw spinach. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Sauté onions in a little butter - add dill to taste. In a large bowl combine spinach, cheeses, and onions. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and add the yolks to the spinach mixture. Beat the egg whites till stiff and fold in spinach mixture. Boil together 1 stick butter and salad oil. Pour ½ of this mixture into the spinach. Use the other half to butter the pastry sheets. Grease a 9" x 13" pan or two 8" x 8" pans. Place 8 pastry sheets into the pan, brushing each with the butter/oil mixture. Spread spinach mixture and cover with 8 more buttered pastry sheets. Score the top sheet into squares of desired portions. Bake at 350° for about 1 hour or until the phyllo is very golden brown. Note: This may be prepared and frozen. Wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and then in freezer wrap. Thaw before baking.
TIROPITA (Cheese Triangles)
If using commercial phyllo, remove from the freezer or refrigerator and allow to reach room temperature. Do not remove from or cut open plastic bag or leave it exposed to air until ready for use. Blend cheeses and eggs until smooth mixture has been attained. Melt the butter. Spread 2 clean kitchen towels on the surface you will be preparing the triangles. Remove phyllo from plastic bag. Separate the phyllo into series of 2 sheets. Leave the first 2 sheets out but fold the rest and replace into the plastic bag. Place one sheet of the phyllo on the towels (the longer edge of the phyllo should be placed horizontally). Brush the layer of phyllo with melted butter. Place the other layer of phyllo on top and brush it also with butter. With a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 2" strips (approximate measure of each strip is 2" x 12", but may vary). Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture at the lower end of each strip. Pick up the lower left-hand corner of the strip and bring it over to meet the right side of the strip at the top edge to form a triangle. Fold over in the center and continue folding left to right keeping the triangle shape, until all the strips of phyllo have been used. (It's like folding a flag!) Repeat the process until all the strips have been folded. Place the triangles 1" apart on a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil. Bake at 350° until golden brown (about 15 minutes). Note: Triangles may be frozen before baking. To freeze, place in a container that has been lined with plastic wrap. Separate the layers with plastic so they don't stick together. When baking, frozen triangles will need to be cooked slightly longer. Makes about 4 dozen.