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home > recipes > theme archive > christmas around the world > a greek christmas

A Greek Christmas
Asparagi me Avgolemono
24 large fresh asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 cup avgolemono sauce, hot (recipe follows)
Dill, chopped, for garnish

Trim the stems and cook the asparagus in boiling salted water with the lemon juice and oil added, just until tender.
Lift out gently with a slotted spoon and let drain. Pour the avgolemono sauce over the asparagus, sprinkle with the dill and serve at once.

Avgolemono Sauce
6 egg yolks
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup warm but not hot chicken or beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Beat together the egg yolks and lemon juice and add these to the stock. Over a low flame, stirring constantly, cook until the sauce has thickened.
Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve hot. (Yields about 1 cup).

2 1/2 cups dried lima beans
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped finely
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp each salt, sugar and pepper
4 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp parsley, chopped

Place the beans in a mixing bowl and pour over 4 cups of cold water. Cover and soak overnight.
In a large saucepan heat the oil and in this saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic until the onions are translucent.
Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, pepper and sugar. Cover and simmer on a medium low flame for about 10 minutes. Add the beans, stock and the water in which the beans were soaked.
Cover and continue to simmer gently for 2 hours longer. Add 1 tbsp of the parsley and cook until the beans are tender (about 45 minutes). Sprinkle over with the remaining parsley and serve hot.

450g flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon ouzo
450g unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
175g sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup ground almonds or walnuts
icing sugar and cloves

1. Sift flour with baking powder twice.

2. Cream butter and sugar, add ouzo, vanilla and egg yolks, nuts, and cinnamon.

3. Blend in flour to make soft but firm dough. If not enough liquid, add another egg yolk.

4. Break off small pieces, pat into biscuit shape, place on floured baking tray. Insert a clove in each biscuit and bake at 180 degrees celcius for 20 mins (cooked but not brown).

5. While still hot, sprinkle biscuits with icing sugar.

6. Each shortbread should be stuck with one clove to represent the three wise men who brought spices to the Christ child.

Psari Tiganito me Saltsa
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
2 eggs, well beaten with 2 tbsp water
750 gm sole fillets
1/4 cup each olive oil and wine vinegar
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp each dried rosemary, oregano and paprika
lemon wedges and parsley for garnish

In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dip the fillets first in the egg mixture and then in the flour, coating each piece well. Repeat this process 2 - 3 times and then shake off whatever excess adheres.
In a large skillet heat the oil and in this fry the fillets, several at a time, until golden brown. Set aside to drain on paper toweling.
To the oil add the garlic, rosemary, oregano and paprika and, over a low flame scrape the bottom and sides of the skillet well, until the sauce begins to bubble.
Pour the sauce over the fish and serve immediately garnished with the parsley and lemon wedges.

Patates Spiros
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 or 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
4 medium to large potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp Tomato paste
1/2 tsp each salt, pepper and oregano
several drops Tabasco sauce
about 1 cup chicken stock

In a heavy skillet heat the oil and in this saute the onion and garlic until golden-brown. Add the potato slices, tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, Tabasco sauce and just enough stock to cover the potatoes.
Bring to a boil and then reduce the flame. Simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes).

225 gm very fine sugar
1/2 cup honey
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground cinnamon
225 gm flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
225 gm walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup butter softened
4 eggs, separated, at room temperature

In a small saucepan heat 3/4 cup of water and in this dissolve half the sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the honey, lemon juice and half of the cinnamon and simmer, stirring for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the flame and let cool for 1/2 hour.
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, half the nuts and the remaining cinnamon.
In another bowl cream together the butter and remaining sugar until light in color. To this mixture add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well. Beat in the walnut mixture.
In yet another bowl beat the egg whites stiff and gently fold these into the nut and flour mixture.
Transfer to a well greased baking tin about 8" (20 cm) square, sprinkle the top with the remaining nuts and bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180 degrees Celsius until a wooden toothpick placed in the center comes out clean (about 50 minutes).
Remove the cake from the oven and cut into square or diamond portions in the baking tin. Pour the cooled syrup over and let stand, covered, overnight. Serve at room temperature.

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