maandag 16 september 2013

YiaYia's Soutzoukakia: the (un)ortodox way!

YiaYia's soutzoukakia: every single household in Greece has it's own grandmothers recipe, preferences and comments on this dish: "Should you put vinegar in it or not (to keep'm firm), feta or not?, fresh tomatoes or canned?, what shape?, an egg or no egg? Real spicy or not?"

I've decided to follow this time the recipe from Greek-Australian (?) Helen Dedes (YiaYia) who shares the secrets of her delicious Greek dishes and recipes that have been in her family for centuries.So I followed this amusing lady not with the rice - I was thinking pasta- but yes with the soaked slices (2) of old white bread, that indeed makes it "fluffy and soft", not with the tomato but with anything else (the onion, the garlic, the cumin, pepper, salt and olive oil). I also added the obligatory cinnamon of course (did she forget???) an egg, and instead of making sausages and baking them in the oven I used the traditional way and shape: just before cooking coating them with a tiny layer of flour and shaping them in a somewhat oval form and baked in a frying with some olive oil and butter, until golden brown. On the sauce she also is spot on, although I also added first some finely minced onion, garlic and chili pepper. (Spicy no?) Now just put some tomato paste into the hot oil  ("brings all the flavors out") and pour in the tomato puree, water and if you like a little bit of red wine (some use (sweet) red wine instead of water for the bread to soak) Just make sure that you get a rather thick, rich tomato sauce.They can be served with almost any kind of pasta, rice - watch Helen's trick with the rice: olive oil spray! - , mashed potatoes, yes even with fries! Some finely grated hard cheese like pecorino can be added, Greeks almost always will use Kefalotyri, which however is rather difficult to find here.
Try it! It's delicious!!! 

Liked Helen's Song?: Here's the full version by Maria Farandouri: "Denial" (poem by Giorgos Seferis )

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