CYPRUS RECIPES

Tomato sauce 
Tzadziki
 
Loukmades
 
Skordalia
 
Stifado
 
Greek Salad
 
Moussaka
 
Aubergine Salad
 
Kleftiko

                  My Tomato sauce for Pasta (with Commanderia)

Slice onions as you like them, fry gently but well with a pinch of sugar in olive oil.
Add either tomato puree or fresh , skinned tomatoes( for fresh use 2x onions, for puree use half the amount of the onions.) Fry gently but very well, until the oil and tomato merges and is obviously cooked.
   Then add a large dash of Commanderia ( usually half a wine glass to 2 medium sized onions) Then season sparingly with mixed herbs, celery salt and pepper. Add a stock cube and water. Cook for a further 10 minutes, or all day. Taste and adjust...mmmm

HORIATIKI / GREEK SALAD

Ingredients:

Four tomatoes, sliced in segments (must be hard, salad tomatoes.

One sliced onion
1/2 sliced cucumber
Some olive oil
lemon juice
chopped parsley and /or coriander
Sliced feta cheese (a white, salty cheese made with goats milk)
Salt, pepper. and oregano seasoning
olives

Mix the ingredients together and spread the oil over them. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and oregano.

Greek Salad with fetta cheese and olives
 

MELITZANOSALATA / EGGPLANT SALAD

Ingredients:

Four medium size eggplants/aubergines
Three garlic cloves
1/2 cup of olive oil

Put the eggplants in the oven, and cook until they feel very soft(about 40 minutes in a normal oven). Using a sharp knife, slice in half, and using a spoon, remove the inside 'meat' and place in a bowl. If the eggplants are well done, the inside should come out very easily. Put the garlic cloves in a garlic press and spread the garlic on top of the eggplant. Using a fork, start mixing the garlic and the eggplants together, and spread the oil a little at a time. When the oil is absorbed, the salad is ready. Put in a fridge to cool and serve with sprinkled parsley. Eggplant salad (also called poor man's caviar) is eaten with pita bread

 

Skordalia

Thick garlic Sauce

Ingredients;

4 medium slices stale bread, crusts removed, soaked in water for 10 minutes
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
    salt
1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary

Serves 4 persons!

Squeeze excess water from the bread, but do not leave it too dry; it should be moist. Put the bread, garlic and vinegar in the liquidizer and blend well; add the olive oil a little at a time and blend. Season with salt. If the mixture appears too dry, add the water. The sauce should be of a runny consistency by the time it is finished. Serve separately in a bowl, with fried vegetables such as slices of fried aubergines, with fried fish or sometimes with boiled chicken. Its sharpness varies according to the amount of garlic, from mild to really hot and burning.

Stifado

Beef Casserole with Onions

Ingredients;

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sprig of rosemary
1 kg tender beef, cut into large cubes
900 ml water
2 tablespoons tomato puree
salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4-6 tablespoons vegetable oil
700 gr. small onions (the pickling size), peeled and left whole
1 small glass red wine
5 cm cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon demerara sugar
5 grains allspice

Serves 4 persons!

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and brown the meat in it. It will produce a lot of moisture but persevere until it has all evaporated and the meat starts to turn golden. Slowly pour the vinegar over it and, when the steam subsides, add the wine. Then add all the remaining ingredients except the vegetable oil, onions and sugar, cover and cook slowly for 1 hour or until the meat is almost tender.

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and add as many onions in one layer as it will take. Sautee them gently for about 15 minutes, shaking and turning them over until they brown lightly. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and spread them over the meat, distributing them evenly. Repeat until all the onions are done. Sprinkle the sugar over the onions, cover and cook very gently for 30 minutes, until the onions are soft but not disintegrating. Do not stir once the onions have been added, but rotate the saucepan occasionally to coat them in the sauce.

 

TZADZIKI        

Ingredients:

500 grams of Greek yoghurt (or natural full, dairy yoghurt)

Three garlic cloves

1/2 cup of olive oiltzaziki - A cyprus speciality

1/2 sliced cucumber

Put the yoghurt in a bowl. Put the garlic through a garlic press and using the edge of a knife, spread the garlic coming out of the press on the yoghurt. Take the cucumber and peel the skin. Slice it thinly, Mix the ingredients with a mixer (or a fork) and slowly add the oil. The oil will be absorbed, and when it is , the tzazki is ready. Serve with a spoon and a few olives spread on the top.

 

Mousaka

 

Ingredients;

1 kg aubergines (large or/and elongated variety)
160 ml vegetable oil (about 1 teacup)
1 large onion, finely sliced
450 gr. minced beef
1 glass white wine
350 gr. fresh tomatoes, 1400 gr. tomatoes, drained of some of their juice and chopped
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground allspice
salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
25 gr. grated parmesan, kefalotiri, or Gruyere cheese
some chopped parsley

Behamel Sauce

80 gr. butter
80 gr. flour
600 ml warm milk
salt and white pepper
30 gr. grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
2 egg yolks

Topping

60 gr. grated Parmesan, Gruyere or kefalotiri cheese
4 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs

Moussaka should be baked in the oven. Use a roasting container, either square or oblong, approximately 25x25 cm or 39x28 cm. It is recommended that you spread the work involved over two days for your convenience; one can easily cook the meat the day before, without the Moussaka suffering at all. Do not do the same with the aubergines; they should be fried on the day.

Aubergines

Top and tail the aubergines, without peeling them. Rinse them, cut them lengthways in 75-mm thick slices and immerse them in salted water, for 30 minutes. Take them out, squeeze gently, rinse, then squeeze them again. Drain them in a colander and pat dry. Fry them in hot vegetable oil until they become pale golden on both sides; you can either deep-fry them, which is easier but they absorb a lot of oil, or shallow-fry them. In either case, drain them on absorbent paper on a flat platter before serving, so that most of their oil will dribble away.

Meat

Sautee the sliced onion in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, until it looks glistening. Add the meat and sautee together, stirring, until all the lumps are broken down and the meat starts to change colour. Pour in the wine, add tomatoes, sliced finely, the spices, salt and pepper and the oregano. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time in case it sticks. Then mix in the grated cheese and parsley.

Bechamel Sauce

Melt the butter and, away from the heat, gradually add the flour and stir to amalgamate. Return to the heat and gradually add the milk and seasoning, stirring continuously. Simmer for 9-10 minutes, stirring, until it has thickened considerably. Withdraw the pan from the heat, let it stand briefly, then add the cheese and the egg yolks. Stir to amalgamate them. Do not let the sauce boil after this. It should by now be a thick bechamel, to enable it to sit on top of the meat mixture and form a kind of crust.

To assemble, cover the base of the roasting dish with half of the fried aubergines, then spread half of the meat mixture evenly on top of them and cover neatly with the remaining aubergines. Spread the remaining meat and sauce evenly over the top and cover neatly with the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle the grated cheese all over the top, and the breadcrumbs. Moussaka from Macedonia may contain a layer of thinly sliced round potatoes which have been fried first. Bake in a pre-heated oven, gas no.4/ 350 grades F/ 180 grades C, for 1 hour, until a golden crust is formed all over the top. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving, in order to be able to cut it more easily. To serve, cut into square or oblong-shaped pieces, about 8 cm thick. It should be quite dry by then and the pieces should ideally stay intact.

 

We had a request for Kleftiko, and after consulting with many housewives, found that each make this dish slightly differently.
Some put onions and potatoes, some even tomatoes, some put riggani (oregano) some water. The most common (and simple) recipe for kleftiko was the one below.

Kleftiko (Lamb in the oven)

Take 2 kg of lamb (usually shoulder) and cut into large chunks (about the size of a mans fist.)

Put into a clay dish with a lid (or any oven ware with a tight fitting lid)
Sprinkle with salt, put in 3 - 4 bay leaves.

Put in a moderately hot oven for the first 20-30 mins, and then cook slowly for a further one and a half to two hours. (or more if you want it fallen off the bone - overnight in a very slow oven is another variation worth experimenting with)

 Loukmades ( Sweet)

Cinnamon and Honey Fritters

       14 gr. fresh yeast, or 6 gr. dried yeast
       300 ml warm water
       0.5 teaspoon sugar
       230 gr. plain flour
loukoumades - Locmades - a sweet dish from Cyprus
       0.25 teaspoon salt
       300 ml corn oil, for frying
       1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

Syrup

8 tablespoons honey       Serves 12 persons!

Dissolve the fresh yeast in half a teacup of the warm water, add the sugar to it, to activate, and let it stand for about 15 minutes in a warm place, until it starts to froth. The liquid must not be too hot as it will kill the yeast cells. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and empty the dissolved yeast or the dried yeast into it, mixing continuously. This can be done with an electric mixer. Start adding the warm water, beating all the time. The mixture should be thick but elastic. When almost all the water has been added (it may take 2-3 tablespoons less than the 300 ml), beat it for a few minutes until it starts to bubble. Cover it with a thick towel and leave in a warm place for about 2 hours, until it rises and almost doubles in size. Have a cup of cold water ready into which you can wet a teaspoon and also the fingers of your hand each time. Heat the oil until very hot but not smoking. Wet the teaspoon so that the dough will not stick on it, take a teaspoon of the dough, and, using your hand, push it down into the hot oil (take care not to burn yourself!). Within seconds it puffs up and rises to the surface. Repeat this process, wetting the spoon each time, for about 6-7 loukoumades at a time. Turn them over so they become golden all around - it only takes 1 minute. Take them out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve 4-5 loukoumades on each plate, pour a tablespoon of honey all over them and sprinkle on a lot of cinnamon. They should be eaten immediately and also they should not be left waiting once the syrupy honey bas been spread on them. Loukoumades that are served cold and soggy have no relationship with real loukoumades. (loucmades)


 

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