Tahini Cinnamon Rolls

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I have the absolute admiration and respect for any Cypriot man or woman who successfully baked “Tahinopittes” (Cypriot tahini pies). Many years ago, I decided to take up this challenge and figure out, how to make this absolutely delicious pie. I tried for weeks! At the time, my patient and lovely colleagues had to taste my experiments almost everyday and give me valuable feedback. I must say, this was probably the most difficult cooking challenge I took, until today. I don’t know what makes this pie complicated. Maybe it’s the way you fold, twist and stretch the dough in order to achieve the right crunchy sweetness on the outside and creamy yumminess on the inside. Continue reading

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Crust

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What can you do with boneless, skinless chicken breast? The eternal question. Of course, there are quite a few things you could do with it, like curries or fried chicken for instance, but given the choice, I would (almost) always use thighs. Stuffing it is another option with maybe cheese and prosciutto, but what if you feel like something simple and quick. With butter and parmesan, this otherwise dry and boring piece of chicken get’s the transformation it deserves. While it’s roasting, the butter keeps the chicken moist and flavourful, and the parmesan gives it the right amount of salty, cheesy, crunchy goodness. This delicious dish takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to bake. I can’t think of a better way to eat chicken breast. Continue reading

Cyprus Ravioli with Pea and Mint pesto

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I cannot tell you how good this tastes. I know, it looks green and Cyprus ravioli isn’t supposed to look green. Traditionally, this halloumi filled, delicious pasta, is first cooked in chicken broth and then served with a generous sprinkling of grated halloumi and maybe some crushed dried mint. But Cyprus ravioli can be served in more original ways. Like this creamy pea and mint pesto. You can prepare it in a flash. All you need is one pack of “Mitsides” frozen ravioli and a good blender (I used my Thermomix). The creaminess of the peas and the flavor of mint work so well with the tasty and generous filling of this ravioli. I added halloumi and some parmesan cheese in the pesto for added flavor. I scattered some extra pine nuts and sprinkled some grated halloumi before serving. This is really a fantastic dish, and would pleasantly surprise any Cypriot who comes over for lunch or dinner. Continue reading

Savory Courgettes and Cheese loaf

 

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In the older days, all Cypriot housewives had a family recipe for this cheesy cake, which was mostly done with “halloumi” since it was readily available and always in their fridge. My mom still makes it like that. She flavours it with a lot of fresh mint and one bite of this cake brings me back to my childhood in an instant. At some point in my culinary adventures, my friend Myrna, a brilliant cook (who also happens to be my culinary soul-mate), gave me another recipe for this cake. Besides the “halloumi”, she adds feta and edam cheese. The result is a denser cake with tangy bites of feta cheese and the creaminess of the edam. It’s absolutely delicious. Continue reading

Chicken Chow Mein (Rosie’s noodles)

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Everybody loves noodles. Especially home-cooked noodles. Rosie -a precious lady, whose every day help makes my life so much easier and keeps my sanity at (barely) acceptable levels- makes the most fantastic noodles. She uses rice noodles, chicken and whatever veggies she finds in the fridge. With the right amount of chilli and sauces, she always manages to present a great meal. I’ve watched her many times and eventually I created my version of this lovely dish. Continue reading

Roasted Pumpkin soup with Almonds

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As a Cypriot I grew up eating “kolokotes”, the Cypriot version of  pumpkin pie, and undoubtedly a really -REALLY-  delicious pastry. But I cannot ever remember my mother or grandmother, ever using pumpkin for anything else, which is strange, considering the love Cypriots have for vegetable dishes. Maybe it’s because of the sweetness of pumpkin, that traditional Cypriot cooks, considered it to be a dessert ingredient. But now we know better. Roasting pumpkin brings out all the flavour and sweetness of this glorious vegetable, making it an amazing addition to salads, a nutritious and flavourful vegetarian main or a velvety, delicious soup. Continue reading

Baked Farfalle with Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes

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Don’t you just love baked pasta dishes? Unattended cooking at it’s best! The moment you take your pan out of the oven and you see all that cheese bubbling away, it’s mouth watering just thinking about it. This version of baked pasta is really creamy and cheesy with a subtle aroma of basil. I used “Mitsides” farfalle pasta, which works great, as it doesn’t overcook in the oven and retains it’s al-dente texture. The cherry tomatoes work great with the ricotta and add moisture to the dish. You can serve it as a vegetarian main, or as part of a buffet lunch. Continue reading