Archive for June, 2010

Pizza, vegan and with a spelt flour base

June 30, 2010

Vegan pizza, no way! And with a base made of wholemeal spelt flour? Will it taste like cardboard? Of course not. It tastes really good, I even surprised myself. For someone who’s not keen on any cheese unless it’s melted to a complete lava-hot mass I’ve now started to try out things without my much loved cheeses in baked, toasted, grilled or cooked forms. But to give up pizza is harder than giving up on cheese. So I decided to make an all vegan pizza as a trial last week. It tasted amazingly well, but as I made the pizza base super thin, it meant that it got stuck to the baking tray. Usually the white flour doesn’t make the dough as dense as wholemeal, so when I made the pizza dough with mainly wholemeal spelt it was bound to get stuck to the tray, only that I didn’t think of it.

Pizzabase with wholemeal spelt and homemade tomatosauce

Pizzabase with wholemeal spelt and homemade tomatosauce

I usually say in my Greek Cookery Class www.facebook.com/GreekCookery I teach, sometimes a mistake is good so that we learn why we do things the way we do them, or even better, what not to do next time. So the second time my pizza craving set in really badly I decided to go for a pan pizza, the thicker version of the base.

I went to my local store and bought some fresh and happy looking vegetables for my topping and started with making the base. I used wholemeal spelt flour but also added a little white spelt flour to make the dough less dense. About 1/3 was white and 2/3 was wholemeal.

While I left the dough to prove, I grilled sliced aubergines, sliced up tomatoes and green peppers

Fresh tomatos and peppers

Fresh tomatos and peppers

gently softened red onions and button and chestnut mushrooms in some Greek extra virgin olive oil and made my own tomato sauce for the base.

Aubergines before grilling

Aubergines before grilling

The best part is assembling the pizza! It’s the most creative part and the easiest too.

My square vegan pizza in the oven

My square vegan pizza in the oven

As the pizza came out and I cut it, it was still getting stuck despite the thicker base and more added olive oil on the tray. So I realised, the problem is the tray, it’s not flat, all olive oil pools on the sides leaving the middle part dry. Next time I’m using parchment paper, or baking paper, so that I can stick to my thin base which I prefer. Καλή όρεξη! Enjoy your meal!

Pizza time

Pizza time

My next Greek Cookery Class on 1 July is not as much experimentation and we don’t make  pizzas! If you want to be on the mailing list please get in touch on greekcookeryclassATgmailDOTcom and for pictures of what we get up to visit www.facebook.com/GreekCookery

Advertisements

Food and music

June 23, 2010

Two of the things that mean a lot to me, apart from the people I love, are music and food. I did say things…. didn’t I? So when I was asked to DJ for a whole Saturday night at the Playtime Bar in Angel London a few weeks ago I decided to bring along some homemade baklava and share it with the crowd!

Greekfoodlover's homemade baklava

Needless to say, it went down pretty well, as did the music.

The only rule when it came to the music was to avoid dance and the top 40 chart music, so I was allowed to play pretty much anything else. I started writing down most of my playlist, but after 3 hours I lost the patience. I played a lot of Greek tunes and a lot of music which is classed as world music, folk and even traditional. I think I covered pretty much every continent and had a lot of Greek people coming up wondering what was going on…this was not a Greek bar and they were hoping I’d be back and play more.

My collection of music is not that big and I was getting requests, for more Demis Roussos and Eleftheria Arvanitaki. The repertoire included artitsts like Mihalis Hatzigiannis, Coumba Gavlo, Kaki King. Lhasa, Yemen Blues, Orchestre Poly Rytmo, Mairi Linda, Imam Baildi, Little Richard, Stelios Petrakis, Kamel El Harachi, Eleni Vitali, Valkyrien Allstars, Massukos, June Tabor, Air, Björk, Aurelio Martínez, Sofia Jannok, Henri Madoré, Jose Gonzalez, Nikos Papazoglou, Soul Science, Living Colour, Youssou N’Dour, Rachid Taha, Nikos Vertis, Stelios Kazantzidis and many many more.

Greekfoodlover DJing

Greekfoodlover DJing

For dates on the next DJ gig or my Greek Cookery Class please visit:www.facebook.com/GreekCookery

©E Sotiriadou 2010

Tahini and Buckwheat

June 22, 2010

I’m venturing into super healthy food this week. So today I decided to make my own tahini! I had no recipe, but took three cups of sesame seeds and one cup of extra virgin Greek olive oil, blended it in the food processor and there it was. My homemade tahini. I added a pinch of honey, as it tends to go to the bitter side of things and then I wondered, what do with it?

I found buckwheat in my cupboard and decided to have it for lunch with the tahini added as extra flavour on top. So I made my buckwheat with coriander, ginger, spring onions, spinach and added some herbs and spices and olive oil with lemon juice towards the end. A few thick drops of tahini over it and I had a warm buckwheat dish which is great on its own, or served as a side. I added some pine nuts and cardamom on top as well and was fairly surprised at how filling, delicious and nutritious this easy to make dish is.

Healthy and nutritious meal to be served on its own or as a side!

Buckwheat, spring onions and spinach with herbs, spices and lemon and olive oil

Most of all, this is a dairy and gluten free dish, great for vegans as well!

Afterwards, I diced some kiwi and put it in a small ramekin dressed in tahini and some nuts and seeds and lemon juice and put in the freezer to cool, for a quick small late afternoon snack.

Kiwi with nuts and tahini

My next Greek Cookery Class is on 1 July where we do the more traditional Greek dishes. For more details and info on booking for the class and also for pictures from our previous classes please visit: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=123712634334991&ref=mf

©E Sotiriadou 2010