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kcixcy

Active member
I love Pastitsio and I lost my family's recipe. I found a different recipe. What do you guys think of it? I have no recollection how my family makes it - I haven't made it yet.

Ingredients

For the Pasta

  • 1 1/2 cup of macaroni or penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup of freshly grated Kefalotiri or Parmesan cheese
  • A pinch of nutmeg

For the Meat Sauce

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pound of ground beef or lamb
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 3 cups of tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Béchamel Sauce

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Kefalotiri or Parmesan cheese
  • A pinch of nutmeg
Instructions

1. Cooking the Pasta​

Begin by cooking your pasta according to package instructions, aiming for it to be al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and allow it to cool slightly, ensuring the egg and grated cheese you'll soon add don't cook upon contact.

2. Preparing the Meat Sauce​

In a large pan, sauté the chopped onion in olive oil until soft. Add the ground meat, breaking it up and browning it. Pour in the wine and stir, letting the mixture simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper, and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

3. Crafting the Béchamel Sauce​

In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth, and gradually add the milk, continuing to whisk. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, reducing it to a simmer. Cook and stir until thickened, which should take 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly. Whisk the eggs and add to the sauce, along with the cheese and nutmeg.

 
I add a small amount of cinnamon to meat mixture, just barely able to taste. You don't want it to scream, cinnamon.
 
I add a small amount of cinnamon too - I eyeball it but I try not to drown it. I freshly grind the nutmeg so I only need a small amount. I recommend grinding your own, as well! The flavor is so much richer.
 

Different Types of Feta Cheese?

Whenever I buy feta cheese from different places, it tastes slightly different. Does anyone know why? I know that there are specific rules for creating feta cheese, so what is responsible for his differential in flavor and texture?

Is it possible that a place (for example a restaurant) may not actually be buying "Greek" feta? Meaning, could it be a situation where they aren't following the rules and are making a feta-like cheese using different milks, etc? Perhaps it isn't from Greece?

I truly only like Greek feta as far as I know. How can the other places call it feta if they're not following the rules?

greek-feta-cheese.jpg

Learning about Greek wines

Greek wines offer a window into the country's rich traditions. I have been taking the time to learn more about it lately!

Greek wine history dates back over 4,000 years, intertwined with myths and traditions where wine was celebrated as a gift from the gods. Today, Greece's unique climate, diverse soils, and indigenous grape varieties contribute to the production of wines with distinct character and quality.

Indigenous Varieties to Know:
  1. Assyrtiko: Originally from Santorini, this white grape is all about minerality, crisp acidity, and lemony flavors, making it a perfect companion for seafood.
  2. Agiorgitiko: One of the most important red varieties, primarily grown in the Peloponnese. It produces wines ranging from soft and fruity to full-bodied and age-worthy.
  3. Xinomavro: Often referred to as the "Barolo of Greece," this red grape from Northern Greece offers complex aromas and a strong tannic presence, ideal for aging.
  4. Moschofilero: A highly aromatic white variety, yielding wines that are fresh and floral with lively acidity, hailing from the cool-climate region of Mantinia.
  5. Retsina: While not a grape variety, no discussion on Greek wine can be complete without mentioning Retsina, a traditional white or rosé wine flavored with pine resin. A contemporary approach to Retsina has given it a much-needed makeover, making it an intriguing option worth revisiting.

Did I miss any wines? I am guessing I did...

greek-wine.jpg

Favorite Greek Seafood?

I love Greek cuisine! I have learned that it many regions in Greece, seafood is a big part of the culinary traditions.

This got me thinking, and I'm curious to know—what's your favorite Greek seafood dish? Do you also have a favorite fish that you like to eat?

I'm eager to hear about your experiences and preferences!

Thanks in advance ...

Corn Dishes from Greece

I noticed in Greece while I was there last that there is actually corn! Does it grow in Greece? I think I read somewhere that it grows in Northern Greece, but I have never been.

Does anyone know if there are some Greek traditional dishes that involve corn? I know that we can get street corn in the summer (and it's delicious), but I am not sure what Greeks would actually do with it. I am pretty sure it's not native to Greece, but I do see corn sometimes here and there on menus while in Greece.

Usually I am on the mainland when this happens, but like I said, I have never been to Northern Greece.

What are your favorite vegetarian foods in Greek cooking?

Greek cooking is renowned for its \use of fresh herbs, vegetables, and grains, making it a paradise for those who prefer plant-based meals. Yet, when we think of Greek cuisine, dishes like gyros and souvlaki often take the spotlight. But there's so much more to Greek food than meat-centric dishes, and I'm on a quest to discover your favorite vegetarian delights that Greece has to offer!

From the creamy delicacies such as fava and tzatziki to hearty mains like gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers) and spanakopita (spinach pie), I'm eager to learn about the dishes you've fallen in love with. Perhaps you have a cherished recipe passed down through generations, a memorable meal from a trip to Greece, or even a favorite Greek vegetarian dish you've mastered at home.

Feel free to share your thoughts! My personal favorites are lentil soup, spanakorizo, and tzatziki (but this isn't a vegan choice)... I know some vegetarians can have dairy.

Thanks in advance!
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