CHEFF and blogger Paul James writes for our paper.
I’m planning a few days away in Corfu this summer, collecting a few more recipes for my upcoming book about the culinary and cultural heritage of this beautiful island.
So I thought I’d try a couple of dishes that I hadn’t cooked before.
In Greek cuisine, saganaki is any one of a variety of dishes prepared in a small frying pan. Usually a block of Feta fried until golden brown.
The dishes are named after a pan in which they are prepared, called a saganaki, which is a diminutive of sagani, a frying pan with two handles, which comes from the Turkish word sahan ‘copper dish’.
In this version of the dish, I used succulent king prawns, but please don’t use cooked prawns because….well what’s the point, they will become rubbery to eat, I mixed the prawns with a spicy tomato sauce and with the salty feta ever so slightly melting, it was a delight.
Accompanied with olives and cherry tomatoes then drizzled with honey, your taste buds will be dancing all over the place, like Zorba the Greek after one to many ouzos.
My second dish is a sort of dessert, I was actually quite pleased with it….Firstly It had the crunch and the sweetness of the honey and cinnamon, then came the saltiness of the feta which smacked you round the ‘chops’ before the taste of sweetness came back again. Definitely a grown up dessert.
So until I get to my beloved Corfu, all I’m going to say is
‘Yamas’ which is short for ‘Stin Yeia Mas’ which means to our health!!
Visit recipesfrommytravels.com for more on Paul’s blog and recipes.
King Prawn Saganaki with olives, tomatoes and honey
250 grams of Raw king prawns deveined
1 onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2tbsp ouzo (Optional)
10 cherry tomatoes or small tin of chopped tomatoes, plus cherry tomatoes for serving.
Parsley, finely chopped
100g feta cheese
Pepper for seasoning
A pinch of sugar if required
Glug of olive oil. (Greek if possible)
1tbsp of honey (Greek if possible)
1. Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a frying pan.
2. Then add the onion, garlic and chilli.
3. Cook for a few minutes to soften and the onions become translucent.
4. Add the prawns and saute gently for a few mins, until they start to turn pink.
5. Add the ouzo, tomatoes (if using cherry tomatoes, squash them with your fingers, no need to chop) and parsley.
6. Bring to the boil then simmer for about ten minutes.
7. Transfer the prawn saganaki to an ovenproof dish or ideally individual ovenproof bowls.
8. Crumble the feta on top and place under a hot grill or in a preheated oven.
9. Serve with a selection of olives and tomatoes drizzled with some honey.
Baked Feta in filo pastry, coated with honey, coconut and cinnamon
1 block of Feta cheese
1 sheet of filo pastry
1. Fold the filo in half, then with a pastry brush, or your fingers, brush gently around the edges with water.
2. Do not overwet it.
3. Place the block of feta close to the bottom end of filo.
4. Wap the feta into a parcel.
5. Make sure you brush with water wherever is needed in order to stick together.
6. Mix the honey and cinnamon in a small bowl and brush all over the feta parcel.
7. Then sprinkle the coconut on top.
8. Transfer to a preheated oven at 180c until the pastry gets nice and crispy.
9. Remove to a plate and serve straight away with a dusting of icing sugar and more of the honey and cinnamon.
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