In Greek “skordo” means garlic hence the traditional name of this dish “Skordalia”. Usually accompanies a fried hake plate. Stavros, a master of this dip and also my roommate in Athens for the past 10 years learned the recipe from his grandmother and since then is one of our favourite dips in the house.
5 medium potatoes
6 garlic cloves
2/3 cup olive oil
1/6 cup vinegar
And now what?
Boil the potatoes with the skin until very soft (use a fork to check the softness of the potato). Approximately 30-45 minutes.
In a big mortar you blend ¼ cup olive oil, the garlic cloves and a pinch of sea salt until you have a nice smooth paste.
Stavros getting ready to start his creation...
Remove the skin from potatoes and add in the mortar. You can transfer the mix in a bowl if there is not enough space in the mortar and continue blending the mix until smooth. Keep adding olive oil while blending the ingredients. The olive oil should be totally absorbed by the potatoes.
Add the vinegar and continue mixing. When the mix has absorbed all the liquids is ready.
If needed add salt to taste.
Tips from Stavros?
Ask your friends to clean the garlic for you otherwise your hands will be smelly for a week.
Call your mother to be sure you remember the recipe correctly.
Use extra virgin Kalamata olive oil if possible or the best quality of olive oil you can get.
Stavros Lena and Mimi during preparations and final testing...
500gr (1 pack) Linguine pasta
2 tsp lemon zest, grated
½ cup dry white wine
4 tsp olive oil
5cm piece of fresh ginger
salt and pepper to taste
parsley, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crashed
And now what?
In a saucepan heat the wine over medium heat. Add the lemon zest and salt. Cover the saucepan lower heat to medium low and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
In a bowl stir 4 tsp olive oil together with the garlic, parsley and pepper. Strain the wine sauce from the lemon zest and add it in the mix. Leave the sauce to rest for a few minutes.
Bring water to boil and cook the linguine for 8-12 minutes (start timing when the water returns to boil). To be sure if “al dente”, bite into a piece of the pasta. In a big saucepan mix together the linguine with the sauce and fresh grated ginger. Season with extra fresh pepper or salt if needed and garnish with fresh parsley.
I usually add some fresh grated parmesan cheese, but you can also do without it,
Did you know? Linguine means “little tongues” in Italian. A thinner version of linguine is called linguettine
2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cups small mushrooms, finely sliced
3 fresh green chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250 gr spinach leaves, torn into pieces if large
1 cup Cheddar cheese (or any other cheese of your choice), grated
8 flour tortillas, warmed
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
And now what?
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened and slightly transparent.
Add the mushrooms, chillies and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are lightly browned. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, or until just wilted. Add the cheese and stir until just melted.
Spoon an equal quantity of the mixture into the centre of each tortilla. Fold in two opposites sides of each tortilla to cover the filling, then roll up to enclose it completely.
Heat the oil for deep-frying (until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds) in a large deep saucepan. Deep-fry the chimichangas two at a time, turning once, for 5-6 minutes or until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper before serving.
Tips: You can always adjust the spicy-level by adding or reducing chillies according to your own preferences!