Tag Archives: Greek

Greek Tomato Salad

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Greek Tomato Salad

Greek Tomato Salad was featured on my original blog, “The Ardent Cook” which posted more food recipes than baking and pastry.  It was also a TV segment during my TV days.  This is super easy to put together and while, best the first day, I have been known to eat leftovers a couple of days later. The feta cheese and calamata olives give it a distinct Greek influence and the simple dressing doesn’t overtake the other ingredients.

As you can see I can’t get enough tomatoes and basil, especially in the summer when they are fresh and plentiful.  Just looking at the colors when the Greek Tomato Salad is finished picks up my day. Continue reading

Greek Orange Yogurt Cake with Orange Syrup (Portokalopita)

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Greek Orange Yogurt CakeGreek Orange Yogurt Cake or Portokalopita as it is known in Greece first came to my attention when reading a post by David Lebovitz writing about Tinos Greece.

Of course, I immediately started searching for the dessert and came up with what I thought to be the most authentic version of this Greek Orange Yogurt Cake based on the fact it was from Greece and its use of phyllo and a soaking syrup.  Many Greek desserts are finished with a soaking syrup that often contains cinnamon sticks and cloves.

The photograph of this cake, so moist you can almost taste it, made it a must try.  My love of phyllo is best expressed in my post on Baklava as my mother made it.  Watching my mother and grandmother make this thinnest of doughs has fascinated me all my life – and still does. Continue reading

International Flatbreads-An Easier Version of Pizza

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

International FlatbreadsThis International Flatbreads post started with my interest in exploring 00 flour. The recipe I chose to work with was for a pizza dough from Roberta’s restaurant in New York. The recipe came from the New York Times.

I suggest you get a cup of coffee, tea or whatever you drink, find a comfy chair and get ready to read this rather lengthy blog.

Pizza my way is something I really love to make. It is simple and satisfying. But more than pizza I love flatbreads. The lack of a sauce allows the ingredients to come through with a power they can’t otherwise.

Anyway, back to the flour. The recipe calls for 00 flour, which has recently become the new darling of the flour world. So I went to my Italian grocer and bought a bag. I found the flour to be incredibly smooth and fine. I loved the feel and texture of it. Continue reading

Phyllo at its Finest – Baklava

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

BaklavaMy mother was a fantastic baker and cook.  She could take nothing and make something wonderful from it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t appreciate it when I was growing up.  They practically had to force feed me like those poor geese for foie gras.  But what I did love, was anything my mother baked and is why, in hindsight, I went into the baking business.

My mother and grandparents were immigrants from what was then, Yugoslavia.  Just as in this country, different parts of the country had different assets.  Mother lived in an area rich in dairy with butter, eggs and cream at their disposal.  I would watch my mother and grandmother on Sunday’s, spread a clean, white tablecloth over a large, round table over which freshly made phyllo would be stretched.  I could scarcely understand a word as they chatted away in Serbian.

My job was to sweep up the scraps after the thick edges were removed and some of the paper thin dough fell to the floor.  While most people can’t imagine a dough being stretched so thinly a newspaper could be read through it, I thought everybody made it.  After it had been stretched to transparency, a spoon would be dipped into melted butter and I can still see my mother and grandmother  holding it  high and waving it over and over  the transparent dough as the golden drops of liquid fell from the spoon dotting the surface.  It would then be folded upon itself and more butter would be drizzled. Continue reading