Maureen Fraîche

Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Kitchen

Archive for the tag “Greek”

Baklava

Baklava

Want to know what I’m doing right now?  Well, aside from typing (duh), I’m eating the last piece of this baklava.  Good doesn’t even begin to describe it.  If you’ve never had baklava before, allow me to explain what you’re missing out on: crispy layer upon layer of buttery phyllo filled with sugar, cinnamon, and chopped nuts all topped (drenched?) in a honey-lemon syrup.  Simply amazing.

This particular recipe is an adaptation from The Complete Book of Greek Cooking.  Everything I’ve tried from this cookbook thus far has been excellent, but what would you expect?  How could you go wrong with the Recipe Club of Saint Paul’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral?  Church ladies know good food.

While baklava is not difficult to make, it is a little fussy and time consuming.  The very best advice I can give you would be to, first, make sure you have all of your ingredients, tools, and whatnot ready to go and within reach.  Make a little baklava station for yourself.  Second, don’t make this when you’ve got other stuff going on or if the wee ones are running mad all around you.  If you must, wait until nap time, bed time, or whatever other quiet time you have so that you don’t end up a stressed out, grumpy mess.  Third, keep whatever phyllo sheets you aren’t working with hiding under a lightly dampened paper towel or tea towel.  If those sheets dry out, they’ll crackle into pieces before your very eyes–and before you’ve had a chance to finish that baklava.  And last of all, if you’re going to make one batch, why not make two?  One package of phyllo dough will make two 8×8 pans of this glorious goodness and it freezes beautifully.  Trust me, once you’ve tasted this dessert, you’ll be glad you’ve got a whole ‘nuther pan stashed for a rainy day.

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Easy Greek-Style Shredded Chicken

Easy Shredded Chicken

Next time you have one of those frantic days that just won’t quit, give this recipe a whirl.  It’s a busy mom’s dream come true.  Just grab some chicken out of the freezer, crank up the ole Crock Pot, and forget about it.  Or at least for a few hours, anyway.  What I love best about this recipe, though, is that the chicken ends up both moist and packed with flavor–two attributes commonly lacking in Crock Pot fare.

My version down below has got some Greek flavors going on, though you could easily switch things up.  I’ve done this with citrus-y flavors, balsamic vinegar instead of wine, and all sorts of different herbs and spices–all good.  And I use this chicken in all sorts of ways: tacos, wraps, salads, pasta, panini sandwiches, you  name it.  I’ll often cook up a batch at the beginning of the week just to have it on hand for a quick lunch or dinner.  I’m all for easy these days, how about you?

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