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acamp7

Active member
I recently made Greek olive oil cake, and after some attempts, it came out great! Some of my early attempts didn’t. But in the end, I loved it.

I have learned that since I am accustomed to baking with butter, switching to olive oil has been a bit of a learning curve. It changes recipes. So, I have been trying to find unique recipes that include olive oil.

Besides the cake, what else can I make?
 
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Laura48

Member
I recently made Greek olive oil cake, and after some attempts, it came out great! Some of my early attempts didn’t. But in the end, I loved it.

I have learned that since I am accustomed to baking with butter, switching to olive oil has been a bit of a learning curve. It changes recipes. So, I have been trying to find unique recipes that include olive oil.

Besides the cake, what else can I make?
I’ve made a few olive oil lemon drizzle cakes from recipes I googled and they were all very good.
 

k_tsoukalas

Administrator
There's a koulourakia recipe I have made before that uses olive oil, not butter. I ate them on Crete and tracked down the recipe when I got home from that trip. Here's the ingredients:
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Note that you can add other spices if you want in addition, such as cloves and allspice. I do sometimes. The Cretan version had a lot of spices.
 
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Different Greek olive oil for cooking?

When buying Greek olive oil, do you buy different ones for different purposes?

I've been researching the best Greek olive oils. Now, I'm curious if any of you out there go to the lengths of selecting specific Greek olive oils for, say, salads, cooking, or even dipping with bread?

In my findings, extra virgin olive oil seems to be the go-to for dressings and cold dishes, while virgin olive oil can handle a bit of heat for light sautéing. And then there's the refined olive oil that's suggested for frying due to its higher smoke point. But, I've also heard a few people swear by the intense flavor of the unfiltered olive oil.

What's your experience with Greek olive oils, and do you have any personal favorites or secrets to what types work best for different recipes? Can you genuinely taste the difference in quality and type, or am I just overthinking my pantry staples? Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Getting to know the different Greek spirits

I am learning about Greek spirits as my next quest to understanding Greek culture and cuisine. Of course, I know about ouzo. I went out to eat the other day and they brought over a different spirit I hadn't tried "on the house" - they called it masticha. Here are the spirits I now know about:

- Ouzo - Tastes like anise - I like it!
- Masticha - Made from mastic resin. I also loved it - it was sweet and delicate - tasted a little like evergreen but not too overpowering.
- Metaxa - Greek brandy, I've had it before but not my cup of tea. Not a huge fan of brandy
- Raki - I have Cretan friends so... I drink this with them. It's strong but pleasant, and it seems to go well

What did I miss? I am sure I missed something!

How did you all learn how to cook Greek food?

For all of you who know a lot about Greek cuisine, how did you learn?

For me, I learned from a combination of my family, with recipes handed down, and from cookbooks to fill in the gaps.

My yiayia was straight from Greece and she taught me everything she knew. She didn't really teach me on purpose, I just cooked with her a lot.

When she passed, I realized that the recipes were all in my head, and if I neglected to learn something from her, the rest of the family somehow didn't know either. So I had to find some good cookbooks to help.

How about you guys?

Does this look like a good koliva recipe?

I am planning a memorial service coming up in about two weeks. The person who makes the koliva for everyone in the church is going to be out of town, and I can't find another person to do it. So I thought I'd make it.

I found this recipe - does it look like it would work?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup black raisins
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • Garnish: pomegranate seeds, whole almonds, and powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preparing the Wheat:
  • Rinse the wheat berries thoroughly in a strainer under cold running water.
  • Place the wheat in a large pot and add water until it's about 2 inches above the wheat level.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until they are tender but not mushy, adding more water as necessary.
  • Drain the wheat and spread it out on a towel or a large baking tray to dry out completely, preferably overnight.
  1. Toasting Ingredients:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Spread the sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5-8 minutes, till golden; be vigilant as they can burn quickly.
  • Repeat this process with the almonds and the walnuts, ensuring each is nicely toasted but not burnt.
  1. Mixing the Koliva:
  • Once the wheat is dry, combine it in a large bowl with powdered sugar, toasted walnuts, toasted sesame seeds, toasted almonds, golden and black raisins, cinnamon, and cloves.
  • Stir the mixture gently to combine.
  1. Assembling the Dish:
  • Mound the mixture onto a large serving platter, shaping it into a dome with your hands or a spoon.
  • Decorate the top with whole almonds and pomegranate seeds creating a cross or other religious symbols as is traditional.
  • Just before serving, sift powdered sugar over the top to cover.

What are your favorite Greek olives?

I love Kalamata olives but I am trying to branch out to different ones. Which Greek olives do you like best? I did some research about the different types:

Kalamata Olives: Perhaps the most renowned Greek olives, Kalamatas, are recognized by their dark purple color and almond shape. They are often preserved in wine vinegar or olive oil, which further accentuates their rich and fruity flavor.

Halkidiki Olives: These are large, pale green olives from the Halkidiki region of Northern Greece. Known for their crisp flesh and slightly peppery taste, Halkidiki olives are commonly stuffed with various fillings, from feta cheese to almonds, making them a good choice for appetizers.

Amfissa Olives: Cultivated primarily in Central Greece, near the ancient oracle of Delphi, Amfissa olives can range in color from green to black, depending on their ripeness. They have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a meaty texture.

Throumba Olives: Unique to the island of Thassos, these olives are naturally sun-dried on the tree. They have a wrinkled appearance and a savory taste with a hint of vinegar, due to their natural fermentation.

I have never had any of these olives other than Kalamata and I am sure there are others, too.

greek-olives.jpg
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