All About Food
Good food, good recipes, good cooking tips, good drinks,
and anything else an epicurean might dream up!
Friday, May 20, 2005
My Big Fat Greek Cherry Brandy
This is a Greek liquer that is meant to be drank in SMALL quantities ~ shot glass & sipped. It's homemade in the summer time because it uses the heat of the day to cook it.

** 2 1/2 cups of cherries, take the stems off ~ you can leave the seeds in
** 5 cups of sugar
** 2 whole cinnamon sticks
** 15-20 whole cloves
** 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
** 1 1/2 quarts of brandy

I took a large sized pickle jar (the largest one you can find at the grocery store), wash it out very well & put all ingredients EXCEPT for brandy in it. Seal it very well with the lid & place outside where direct sunlight will hit it for 40 days straight. You must have very warm temperatures ~ over 85 degrees ~ to do this. Since I live in Texas, I make this in June or July since it gets to be over 95 during that time frame.

I have ants in my neighborhood, so one thing I did to keep them away is I placed the jar in a flower pot bottom dish with water. The bugs won't go in it because of the water. I just keep the dish full of water at all times & make sure the outside of my pickle jar is clean before I place it outside (clean from any sugar or scents that will attract insects).

After the 40 days is over, I strain the cherries using a strainer lined with a cheese cloth doubled over. Only the juice goes back into the jar. I strain it 2 or 3 times, depending on how much stuff is left after each straining. After I place the juice back into a large jar, I add the brandy. I bought a medium-priced brandy. I let it sit in a cool, dry place for another 10 days & it was ready to go into individual bottles!

I've only made this once ~ 2 years ago ~ & I seem to remember that it wasn't quite as sweet as I wanted it to be, so I might add another cup of sugar this year just for fun. This is an after-dinner drink, something that makes dinner just oh-so-fine!
Thursday, May 05, 2005
My Big Fat Greek Koulourakia
More recipes from the Greek Easter Fest!

KoulourakiaTraditional Easter cookies from Greece.

1-1/2 cups butter
6 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pounds all-purpose flour

Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat until sugar has dissolved and batter is smooth. Stir baking powder and baking soda into 2 cups flour and add to batter. Add the remaining ingredients, but do not add all the remaining flour at once. When you get a soft, elastic dough that doesn't stick to fingers, stop adding flour. You may not use all the flour. (Honestly, I used a SHITLOAD amount of flour. More than this recipe called for.) Let the dough rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Take heaping tablespoonfulls of dough, and form into S or O shapes, or make into small braids like I made. See my blog for a pic in May archives. Place cookies onto prepared baking sheet. Beat egg yolks with some water and brush over cookies. Bake until golden brown for approximately 16 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove from oven & cool. ENJOY! Great with milk or coffee!
My Big Fat Greek Souvlaki
By special request:

I bought pork shoulder loin. Not pork tender loin because the butcher said it would be too tender for the skewers. I cut it up into roughly 1 inch cubes & marinated it in the following ingredients:

*extra virgin olive oil (don't be afraid to over-do it on this)
*lemon juice (ditto)
*season salt
*(or you can use salt/pepper)
*garlic (I used finely minced)
*onion (chopped up pieces)
(oh yes, we might as well ALL stink!)

I covered it & placed it in the fridge overnite. The smell was INCREDIBLE! The next morning, I skewered it using 12" skewers. I grilled them outside til they were done, but not OVER-DONE because they dry out. This pork was so tender & the marinade just made it that much more tender. The juices were running out of the pork pieces.

I had some pita bread & slathered on the tzatziki & then plopped off the souvlaki off of the skewers. Voila!