R.I.P. holidays’ buffets!
As if it doesn’t want to go back where it belongs -to the store room- my christmas tree keeps standing bright and shiny to its place in my living room.
No, I don’t want to prolong the christmas mood or anything. I’m just too bored to deal with it! Yeap! And I just wanted to “forget” it for a few more days, give it a chance to make its presence more intense this year.
But, these are its last days standing there, I can see that. Along with all the other ornaments, lights, candles and everything that goes with it.
However, what I don’t want to “forget” from those days, are the taste of the delicious fingerfood of the buffets that were set up to various friendly houses and mine of course.
So, lets drink to it! To the memorable christmas and new years eve buffets!
RIP you wonderful buffets!
We shall remember you and meet you again soon in various lives… eh, versions!
Live to remember:
Spicy arabic pita chips with yoghurt sauce
Ladenia -vegan pizza with tomatoes and onions
Spicy arabic pitas chips with yoghurt sauce
From Gastronomos magazine, issue 80, by chef Nena Ismyrnoglou.
For 10-12 chips
- 150 gr finely grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven at 200 C (390 F). Line a large baking pan with greaseproof paper.
- Take a full tablespoon of grated parmesan and put it over the paper, pushing it slightly with the back of the spoon so as to get a small round disc. Do the same thing until the parmesan is over, but leave a small distance between the discs.
- Bake for 8-10′ until they get a nice golden colour. Get the chips out of the oven, remove them carefully from the paper and let them cool over a rack. They are delicious.
Spicy arabic pita chips with yoghurt sauce.
For 24 chips.
They are tasty and really crispy and you can use any kind of spice you love. I used different spices combined to my personal taste. If there are left any (!), they are very well preserved into a food bag for 1-2 weeks at least.
- 3 big arabic pitas
- ground spices (I used smoked paprika, carry, coriander and turmeric)
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven at 140 C (280 F). Line a big baking pan with a greaseproof paper.
- Oil each pita with a brush and sprinkle with the spice of your choice all over. I used smoked paprika and turmeric to some of them and carry and coriander to the rest.
- Cut the pitas in 8 pieces like a pizza or in stripes (if you think they are too long, cut them in two). Put the pieces over the paper and mix them well. Arrange them over the paper so as they don’t cover each other.
- Bake for about 15′, turn them around and continue baking for 10′ more. Take them out of the oven and let them cool. Eat them plain or with the yoghurt sauce.
For a big bowl mix 350 gr strained yoghurt with 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tbsp honey, 1 tsp oregano, salt and pepper. Try it and if you think it’s too sweet add some more lemon juice or the other way around. Keep it covered in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
Ladenia -vegan pizza with tomatoes and onions
Delicious, without cheese -although you would swear it has some over it!
The dough recipe is the same I use for any kind of pizza I make.
The ingredients are for the standard big baking pan that goes with your oven.
For the dough:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 and 1/4 cup warm water -so warm that, if you put your finger in it you won’t burn. Otherwise, if the water is too hot, the yeast will be destroyed and the dough won’t rise. Keep in mind that there is a chance you ‘ll need some more.
For the top of the ladenia:
- 3-5 fresh tomatoes cut in small slices
- 2 onions cut in slices or smaller pieces if you prefer
- oregano -as much as you like, but beware not too much because it may taste bitter.
- olive oil (8-10 tbsp)
- salt, pepper
- Start with the wonderful dough: use the mixer. Add all the ingredients of the dough except for the warm water. Start beating slowly and pouring little by little the water. Keep beating with medium power for about 10′.
- Sprinkle with some flour over a surface (table etc) and on your hands and take the dough out of the mixer bowl. Knead a few seconds and if the dough is still sticky, add a little bit of flour until you get a nice, soft, warm, non sticky dough.
- Sprinkle some flour into the mixer bowl too and put the dough in and cover it with a towel. Put it in a warm place and let it double in size. I’m used to do this little “trick” to save time: while the dough is beaten by the mixer, I preheat the oven at 50 C (120 F) and when the dough is ready, I switch the oven off and put the dough covered in there for almost 1 hour -maybe less- until it’s doubled in size.
- While the dough rises, prepare the rest of the ingredients: cut the tomatoes and the onions in small slices. Put the tomatoes into a bowl and mix with all the other ingredients -except for the onions. Set aside.
- When the dough rises, put it over the sprinkled with flour surface and give it a 1 minute kneading. Preheat the oven at 200-220 C (390-420 F).
- Grease the baking pan and put the dough at the center of it. Start spreading it to the corners and sides with your palms until the pan is covered with the dough. If there are any holes cover them with some close dough. Push some of the corners to get nice, bready sides.
- Share the tomato mix all over along with its juices. Add the onions on top.
- Bake for 30-45′ at the center of your oven, until you get a nice golden crisp around the pizza. Check the bottom of the pizza and it’s still raw, place the pan a little bit lower in your oven. Leave it for 2-3′ or until it’s ok.
- Take out of the oven, cut in pieces and savour!!
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