WINNER: Congratulations to debaserm3!
Acclaimed Greek chef and cookbook author Peter Minaki is gearing up to take over the kitchen at Escape Montclair for a very special Greek night on Monday, June 16.
Minaki is a Greek Canadian and the creator of the popular “Kalofagas – Greek Food & Beyond” food blog. Known for adding twists to his recipes, Minaki balances between traditional, modernized and his own unique Greek recipes. Gathering inspiration from his yearly trips to Greece, he endlessly promotes the diversity of Greek cuisine. He has been holding Greek Supper Clubs all throughout Toronto and other cities and his visit to Montclair will be his first.
If you can’t make it to Minaki’s special visit on June 16, you can try out many of Peter’s favorite dishes inspired by family recipes, trips to Greece and the Mediterranean in his latest cookbook, The Big Book of Mediterranean Recipes, which offers more than 500 recipes.
Baristanet is giving away a copy of The Big Book of Mediterranean Recipes to one lucky reader! Just tell us you favorite Greek dish in comments by midnight tonight (Friday, May 23) and we’ll randomly chose the winner.
Bursting with fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil, the Mediterranean diet is known for being one of the healthiest lifestyles in the world. With this cookbook, you’ll learn how to create hundreds of wholesome and delicious Mediterranean meals in no time. Covering everything from traditional staples to modernized versions of Mediterranean classics, The Big Book of Mediterranean Recipes offers more than 500 easy-to-make dishes, like the Greek dessert Ekmek Kataifi, which blends Greek and Turkish culture.
Baklava is perhaps the dessert many think of when it comes to Greek sweets, but Kataifi is one of my personal favorites. The combination of the custard, shredded wheat drenched in sweet syrup and nuts are divine. Minaki shares his recipe with us here:
Ekmek Kataifi (Εκμέκ Καταίφι)
For the Syrup
- 2 cups of water
- 2 cups of sugar
- peel of 1/2 lemon + juice of 1/2 lemon
For the Kataifi Base
- 1 angel loaf pan
- 150gr. of Kataifi pastry
- 1/2 cup of melted unsalted butter + room temp. butter for greasing the pan
For the custard
- 2 1/2 cups of whole milk
- 1/2 tsp. of ground mastiha
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 fine semolina
- 1 tsp. of corn starch
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
- For the whipped cream topping
- 1 cup of whipping cream
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. of powdered milk (a stabilzer)
- approx. 3 Tbsp. of icing sugar (or to taste
- 1/2 cup of chopped unsalted pistachios
The night before, place your frozen kataifi pastry in the fridge and allow to that overnight. You may make the syrup the night before or a couple of hours prior to making baking the kataifi base. To make the syrup, add the water, sugar and the lemon peel and bring to a boil. Once aboil, reduce to medium and simmer for 8 minutes. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon, take off the heat and allow to cool. Reserve.
Take the kataifi pastry out of your fridge and weigh out about 150gr. of it (I used a Krinos 450gr. package of kataifi, use 1/3) and untangle the pastry with your hands and place in a bowl. Pour the melted butter over the kataifi and toss with your hands to ensure the butter has coated all of the pastry. Grease your loaf pan with butter and lay the kataifi on the loaf pan’s base. Pre-heat your oven to 350F and place the kataifi in thee oven (middle rack) for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven while still hot, pour your cold (room temp.) syrup over the kataifi with a ladle. Allow to cool.
In the meantime, add your milk and ground mastiha into a medium-sized pot over medium heat until your milk is just scalding. In large bowl, add your eggs, semolina, corn starch and sugar and whisk until creamed together. Stir with the whisk in one hand and slowly ladle into the bowl 2-3 ladles of the scalded milk (this is called tempering). Now pour the tempered custard mixture into the remaining milk in the pot and turn the heat to medium and stir until the mixture has thickened to a custard consistency and the custard and the coconut and stir in. Remove from the heat, place plastic over the custard so a crust doesn’t form and allow to cool.
As soon as the custard has cooled (your kataifi base will have cooled by now as well), pour the custard over the kaitaifi base and spread it out evenly. Allow to cool naturally at room temperature and then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set or overnight. Once set, carefully run a knife along the sides of the Ekmek Kataifi and place a platter over it, then invert (it should now be upside down with katiafi bottom facing up). Now place your serving platter on the Kataifi base and flip over so that your custard layer is once again upright.
In a clean bowl, add the vanilla extract and your cream and use your hand mixer to whip it up. Gradually add the icing sugar and just as you see your whipped cream about to hit the still peaks stage, sprinkle the powdered milk and continue to mix until stiff peaks are formed. Place your whipped cream in a piping bag with a star a “star tip” and pipe out rosettes on top of the custard. Chop your pistachios or pulse in a food processor and sprinkle over the whipped cream. Serve immediately and place in the fridge until ready to serve.