Food_from_the_heart_.. - Cyprus Tourism Organisation

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Food_from_the_heart_.. - Cyprus Tourism Organisation

hTraditionalCyprusElderly ladies sitting on their verandas embroidering Lefkaralace, men gathered around tables at the local café playingbackgammon; peep into a courtyard, watch, listen to ladiessitting, rolling both their tongues and Koupepia, stuffed vineleaves for the family dinner, inhale the waft of bread baking.The beautiful landscape of our sea, ancient ruins, donkeyscarrying their wares up craggy mountain paths, all this can stillbe seen in Cyprus today. But most traditional and long-lastingof all is the warmth and hospitality of our people.7


h MezeMeze is part of our daily life...a traditional way to enjoy our favourite food, slowing down the pace offast food in a modern world. Meze can be a snack, even breakfast for some hardy locals, or the startof a family celebration meal. Wonderful to graze and nibble on with drinks as the sun goes down,meze is a selection of tasty little dishes, spicy or savoury, cooked or raw, hot or cold but alwaysbest enjoyed when sharing, chatting and embracing the warmth of Cypriot life. If serving meze for4 people I suggest 5 or 6 of your favourites such as houmous or tahini dip, grilled halloumi, olives,ravioli, kalamari, beans, aubergine, koupepia, keftedes accompanied with village bread or warm pitta...so kopiaste, ke kali orexi, enjoy our very social way of eating…..l To make Tahini dip use an electricblender to blitz together 2 heaped tbsp tahinipaste, 4 -5 cloves garlic, juice 2-3 lemons,4-5 tbsp olive oil.Blend in just enough cold water to form aconsistency similar to thick pouring cream.Season with salt, cover and chill well.When ready to serve sprinkle with parsley,sometimes paprika and drizzle with olive oil.l For Talattouri, coarsely grate or finelychop a firm cucumber into a bowl. Leave tostand for a short while then blot up or drainaway any excess water.Finely chop several plump garlic cloves,add to the cucumber then crumble in ahandful of our sweet pungent dried mint oruse freshly chopped mint if preferred.Now fold in some thick Greek yoghurt tomake the perfect consistency and finish witha drizzle of olive oil and some chopped mintto garnish.l For a quick way to prepare Elies Tsakistes,rinse and pat dry some cured Greek greenolives, lightly crush them to allow flavours toseep in.Place in bowl, squeeze on some lemonjuice, add quartered lemon slices, a generoussprinkling of crushed coriander seeds, lots ofgarlic slithers, enough olive oil to lightly dress.Fold together, cover and leave at roomtemperature ideally for a couple of hoursto marinate before enjoying. Covered andrefrigerated, they will keep for at least 3 months,tasting better as the flavours develop.l For the Koupepia or cigar-shaped stuffedvine leaves, delicacies are served as part of ameze at many of our wedding feasts.2-3 tbsp olive oil2 onions, finely chopped1 kg coarsely minced pork400g can of chopped tomatoes½ bunch parsley, finely choppeda handful of dried Cypriot mint, crumbled1 tsp ground cinnamon200g pudding ricesalt and pepper to taste1 bunch of fresh vine leaves, destalked(or use canned leaves in brine, drained)juice of 1 lemonHeat the olive oil in a pan, add the onionsand cook gently to soften but not brown.Crumble in the pork, cook gently for 5minutes or until the pork has coloured. Stir inthe tomatoes, parsley, mint, cinnamon andrice. Season well and cook for a few minutesmore.Have ready a stack of the vine leaves,vein side up, the pork mixture and a shallowcircular ovenproof dish ready to put thedolmades in.To form koupepia place 1 tsp of the fillingup from the centre base of the leaf, fold theleaf over the mince from the base then foldin the left and right side of the leaf. Nowroll up, not too tightly, to make a little cigarshape.Continue making until all the koupepia arepacked in the dish. Squeeze on the lemonClockwise from bottom: Tahini dip, Talattouri, Elies Tsakistes9


juice and cover with any remaining vineleaves, like a blanket. Place an inverted plateon top of the vine leaves. Carefully pourboiling water in around the edge of the dishto come up to just touch the plate. Cover withfoil, cook in a preheated oven 200°C /Gas 6for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C/Gas 4 and cook for a further 30 minutes.Serve warm or cold.l For the fried Kalamari This is such asimple dish, popular as part of a meze.Whilst much of our food can be prepared inadvance I strongly recommend this has tobe freshly cooked, eaten crisp and hot withlashings of lemon juice and tahini dip.4 small kalamari1 egg, beatenplain flour seasoned with salt and pepper,for dustinggroundnut oil for deep fryingWash the kalamari, slice the body into rings,the final ring attached to the tentacles. Dipinto egg then toss into the flour. Lightly shakeoff surplus flour.Pour enough enough oil into a heavybased deep saucepan to fill to 1 / 3. Heatuntil hot. Test by dropping a cube of day-oldbread into the oil, it will float to the surfaceand brown in seconds if the oil is ready. Nowcarefully fry the kalamari, a few at a time, foraround 3-4 minutes or until crispy golden.Remove with a slotted spoon or long tongs,transferring onto kitchen towel to drain whilstyou cook the remaining kalamari. Wonderful!l For the Keftedes Delicious, big and ovalserved with lemon wedges for squeezing,yogurt and a Greek salad. Or as part of ameze make small circular balls and servewith hummous, pitta bread, olives, caperstoo...1 kg coaresly minced pork or use 50/50pork and beef1 kg potatoes, grated2 large onions, finely chopped¼ loaf stale bread, made into finebreadcrumbs1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, finelychopped1 small bunch fresh mint leaves, finelychopped3 eggs, beaten1 tsp ground cinnamonOlive oil or groundnut oil, for fryingIn a large bowl mix together all theingredients. Flatten the mix into the bowlthen pour on a thin film of oil. Cover andchill for 30 minutes.Refer to previous recipe for heating up oil.Scoop up some meat mixture and use bothhands to shape as required. A bowl of coldwater nearby to dip your hands into stopsthem from getting sticky. Carefully slide a fewKeftedhes at a time in the hot oil to cook.For larger oval Keftedhes fry for around 10minutes on each side, for meze size, around5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain ontocrumpled kitchen towel. Serve hot, at roomtemperature or chilled, it makes no different,they are delicious however!Olives, Tahini, Talattouri: Rosé; Mavro & Grenache Linos Winery, Lemesos. White; Vouni Panayias,Spouritiko, Vouni Panayias Winery, Panayia, Pafos. Koupepia: White; Keo- Xynisteri, Mallia Winery,Lemesos Kefthedes: Red; Organic Red, Mavro & Cabernet Sauvigon, Lambouri Winery, KatoPlatres, Lemesos. Kalamari: White; Ayioklima, Xynisteri,Constantinou Winery, Pera Pedi, Lemesos.Clockwise from topleft: Koupepia, Kalamari, Keftedes10


h Halloumi ravioliIn Cyprus ravioli is very much a Lenten dish made in kitchens around Carnival week. It is deliciousscattered with crumbled dried Greek mint, enjoyed as part of a meze or supper.Makes approx. 24Dough425g plain flour and extra for dustingpinch of saltFilling3 dry halloumi cheeses (around 500g),grated2 tbsp dried Greek mint3 eggs, beatenl Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl orfood processor. Work in just enough warmwater to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightlyfloured board, knead well until smooth andelastic. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.l Set aside 2 tbsp grated halloumi and mintfor garnishing. Mix the remaining ingredientsfor the filling adding just enough beaten eggto bind. Divide the dough into 4. Roll eachout on a floured board into a long strip about8cm wide.l Place 1tsp of filling every 4cm along thelength of each strip, slightly off centre. Brushwater along the edges of the dough, fold andseal well. Cut the filled dough into crescentshapes. Cypriot women use the rim of asmall wine glass to stamp out this shape.Use fork prongs to crimp and seal the edgesof the ravioli.l Bring a large saucepan of lightly saltedwater to a rolling boil. Cook the ravioli, inbatches, for around 10 minutes or untilthe crescents float up to the surface, a signthat the dough is cooked through. Remove,draining thoroughly with a slotted spoon.l Serve bowls of ravioli with a spoonfulof the starchy cooking water to moisten.Sprinkle with the reserved halloumi andmint to garnish.h White: Melapsopodi, Sauvignon Blanc,Tsalapatis Winery, Polemi, Pafos12


h Fasolaki yiahniThe Mediterranean diet uses lots of pulses and beans, ideal during Fasting. This stew is delicious withfeta cheese crumbled in just before serving. Good also as part of a meze with a selection of littletasting dishes. There is a variation below with lamb too.Serves 4-63 tbsp olive oil1 large onion, chopped1 stalk celery, chopped2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes400g can butter beans, drained1kg fresh green beans, trimmed1 tbsp freshly chopped parsleya good pinch each ground cinnamon,sugar, salt and pepperl Heat the oil in a large pan, lightly fry theonion and celery until softened. Stir in thetomatoes, butter beans, fresh beans, parsleyand seasoning. Cover and simmer for 20minutes or until thickened and the beans aretender. Adjust the seasoning to taste, thenladle into bowls. Serve with village bread andtahini dip or thick yoghurt.To make into a lamb stew add 1kgboneless lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm chunksto the onion and celery, stir and cook untilbrowned then add the tomatoes. Cover andsimmer for 1 hour before stirring in the restof the ingredients.h Rosé: Aes Ambelis, Lefkadaand Maratheftiko, Aes AmbelisWinery, Kalo ChorioOrinis, Lefkosia.13


h Village pastaMy ‘take’ on a truly delicious fresh pasta dish. If you do not have any sklilitzi or river reeds to formthis pasta once back at home you might want to buy similar ready prepared ‘Trofie’ shaped pasta.Serves 4-6600g village flour (plain flour)400g fine semolina200ml warm water1 pinch salt1 tbsp olive oill Work everything together, kneadingsmooth to a firm pliable dough. Cover andleave to rest for 2 hours. Take a river reedand roll pinches of pasta around it to forminto the desired little shapes.For the Pesto anarileaves from 1 big bunch of fresh basil50g pine nuts125ml olive oil100g dry anari cheese, gratedl Mix everything in the blender.For the zucchini or courgette sauce2 zucchini or courgettes, around 300g,cut into fine strips3 tbsp olive oilpinch of saltleaves from ¼ bunch of fresh mintTo finish1 zucchini or courgette, cut into matchsticks1 tbsp olive oilshavings of anari cheesel Plunge the zucchini into boiling waterfor 1 minute to cook. Drain thoroughly thenblend with the remaining ingredients tomake a smooth sauce.l Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10-12minutes. Fry strips of raw zucchini in the oliveoil then add the zucchini sauce. Simmer for afew minutes then toss in the pasta. Removefrom the heat, stir in the pesto andserve garnished with the anari cheeseshavings..h White: Ayios Chrysostomos, Xynisteri, Ezousa Winery, Pafos15


h Makaronia tou fournouThis dish is a family favourite, delicious eaten hot or cold. All it needs is a fresh village salad and ahearty Cypriot appetite.Serves 8500g makaroni (ideally no.1 long tubes)1kg minced pork or beef4 tbsp olive oil3 onions, finely choppeda bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped400g can chopped tomatoes, optional1tsp ground cinnamonsalt and pepper to tasteFor the sauce2 litres fresh milk3 eggs, beaten3 tbsp cornflour100g grated halloumi or kefalotiri cheesel Bring a large pan of lightly salted water tothe boil. Add the pasta and cook until just‘al dente’ then drain thoroughly and toss with1 tbsp olive oil.l In another pan heat 3tbsp of olive oiland gently cook the onions until translucent.Add the minced meat and parsley, cook untilbrowned and crumbly. Season with salt andcinnamon to taste. If using tomatoes, addat this stage.l Make the sauce by heating ¾ of the milkin a pan. Mix the remaining milk with thecornflour in a large bowl to make a paste.Beat in the eggs. Now briskly beat in some ofthe hot milk then add this egg mixture backinto the remaining hot milk. Heat, stirring allthe time until the sauce becomes smoothand thickened.l Assemble the makaronia tou fournou.First pour a thin layer of sauce in the baseof a large rectangle ovenproof dish, thencover with half of the pasta. Now spread onthe meat mixture, followed by another layerof pasta. Finally cover with the remainingcheese sauce and top with grated cheese.l Cook in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas4for 40–45 minutes or until golden brown ontop. Leave to cool a little before cutting intogenerous square portions.h Rosé: Olympos, Cabernet Sauvignon,Olympus Winery, Lemesos.16


h StifadoBeef stew Cypriot style, wonderfully robust. This is good served with cracked wheat, pourgouri, anda crisp green salad. The name Stifado refers to any meat that has been cooked with shallots andaniseed.Serves 6-8100ml olive oil1.5 kg lean beef, cubed1.5 kg shallots, peeled4 cloves garlic, chopped5 tbsp red wine vinegar3 pieces cinnamon bark2 bay leaves1 tsp whole cloves1½ tsp aniseed or fennel seeds or2 whole star anise3 x 400g cans chopped tomatoessalt and pepperl Heat the olive oil in a large heavy basedpan and brown the cubed meat in batches.Then add the shallots, cooking gently to turngolden and caramelise. Now add the garllic,vinegar, spices and tomatoes. Season well.l Stir in a 200ml glass of water. Covertightly and simmer for 1½ -2 hours or untilthe meat is tender and the sauce richlythickened.h Red: Tsangarides, Mataro, Tsangarides Winery,Lemona, Pafos.17


h AfeliaHome-produced pork marinated with aromatic coriander seeds and red wine...this is traditionallyserved with steamed cracked wheat we call pourgouri. Simplicity at its best!18


Serves 6For the Afelia1kg (shoulder) pork, cubed4 tbsp olive oil½ bottle or 350ml Cypriot red wine(if possible marinate from the nightbefore)3 tbsp coriander seeds, crushedFor the pourgouri2 tbsp olive oil1 large onion, chopped1 nest dried vermicelli or angel hairpasta200g cracked wheat or pourgouri2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes,optionalsalt and freshly ground black pepperl In a large pan, heat the oil then fry thepork in batches until browned all over. Addthe wine, let it bubble for a minute, add thecoriander seeds and a pinch of salt.l Part-cover the pan and gently simmer for30 minutes or until the pork is just tender.Do not over-cook or allow it to dry out, add asplash more wine, if necessary. As the saucereduces it will become intensely rich.l For the pourgouri, heat the olive oil in asaucepan and cook the onion until softenedbut not coloured. Crush the vermicelli intothe pan, add some seasoning then thecracked wheat.l Add 400ml of hot water,stirring over a low heat for2-3 minutes or until all thewater has been absorbed.If using tomatoes, stir inat this point. Adjust theseasoning, to taste.l For thepourgouri, heat theolive oil in a saucepan andcook the onion untilsoftened but not coloured.Crush the vermicelli into thepan, add some seasoningthen the cracked wheat.l Add 400ml of hot water, stirringover a low heat for 2-3 minutesor until all the waterhas been absorbed.If using tomatoes, stir inat this point. Adjust theseasoning, to taste.l Remove the pan fromthe heat, cover with a clean teatowel and let it stand for 10minutes to allow the pourgouri tofinish cooking to perfection.l Ladle the pork Alfelia onto abed of steaming pourgouri. This isgood topped with a dollop of thickGreek yogurt.h Red: Gerani, Maratheftiko, Kalamos Winery, Amargeti, Pafos19


h At the bakeryWhen you first walk into a Cypriot bakery you will be overwhelmed with the amazingsmell of freshly baked bread neatly lined up, rack after rack of huge village loaves.There is everything you could ever desire let alone eat...try sweet koulouraki swirls witha sesame top, perfect for dunking into a bitter Cypriot coffee, or savoury sticks whichare great dipped into olive oil.Glass cabinets filled with desserts and cakes, baklavas...some with almonds somewith pistachios, delicious galaktoboureka...are deep filled custard pies wrapped in crispfilo pastry, all scented with rose water or orange blossom water.There is so much to see and taste in a Cypriot bakery, it is worth making time for a visit.Aside from bread and cakes, you will find mince and parsley filled koupes or halloumifilled bourekia...you won’t walk out empty handed!20


h BaklavaSyrup-drenched pastries like Baklava are so Greek...sticky, sweet, steeped with flavours I love so much,aromatic rosewater and my favourite of spice, cinnamon. Enjoy with thick yoghurt.Makes approx.15-16For the syrup300g caster sugar1 tbsp lemon juice3 tbsp rosewater1 piece cinnamon barkFor the Baklava250g filo pastry sheets400g chopped almonds75g caster sugar4 tsp ground cinnamon¼ tsp ground cloves150ml rosewater200ml olive oill To make the syrup place all theingredients in a heavy based saucepan with200ml water. Then bring to a steady boilover a medium heat for 5 minutes untilsyrupy. Leave to cool.l Preheat the oven to 180’C/Gas 4. Brushthe sides and bottom of a 23cm x 33cmshallow ovenproof dish with a little oil.l For the filling mix together the almonds,sugar, cinnamon, cloves and rosewater.l Carefully separate the filo sheets, linehalf the sheets in the dish, brushing eachsheet with the olive oil. Now spread on thefilling, cover with the remaining filo, layeringand oiling as before, including the top sheet.Score the top to form diamond shaped slices.l Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-30minutes. Increase the heat for the last 5minutes to give the pastry a light golden colour.l Remove from the oven.Whilst still hot pour the cooledsyrup all over the pastry. Leaveto stand for at least 1 hour before cuttingthrough and serving.h White: Vlasides, Xynisteri,Vlasides Winery, Koilani,Lemesos21


h Bourekia me AnariYour house will fill with the heady scent of cinnamon and rosewater when cooking these wonderfullydelicious sweet cheese puffs...the essence of Cyprus. If you cannot purchase anari then the bestsubstitution is unsalted ricotta cheese.Makes approx. 241kg plain flour200ml groundnut oil plus extra for fryingpinch of saltFor the filling800g unsalted anari cheese1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon3 tsp caster sugar or to tasterosewatericing sugarl For the dough mix together the flour,oil and salt. Work in enough cold water,kneading well, until you have soft pliabledough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30minutes to allow the dough to relax.l Place 1tsp of filling onto each circle.l For the filling lightly mash the anaricheese in a bowl. Add the cinnamon andenough rosewater to make a smooth butspoonable mixture. Stir in sugar, to taste.l To make the Bourekia roll the dough outonto a floured surface, nicely thin yet strongenough to support the cheese.l Fold the dough over the mixture, pressingto seal along the edge. Use a fork to crimpand seal securely.l Deep-fry the Bourekia in batches. Firstmake sure the oil is hot enough by droppingin a small piece of dough; if it bubbles andturns golden brown instantly the oil is ready.Carefully slide a few Bourekia into the hotoil, cooking until golden on all sides. Removefrom oil onto crumpled kitchen towelto drain.l Use a wine glass to stamp out rounds ofpastry. Brush a little water around the edges.l When cool, arrange on a pretty servingdish dusting liberally with icing sugarand cinnamon. They taste wonderfulhot or cold22h White: semi-sweet, Ayia Irini, Xynisteri and Semillion, Fikardos Winery, Pafos


hModernCyprusJasmine-scented nights, street-lined cafés, bars, young peoplepouring out, laughing, chatting, texting. Lush green golf courses,gourmet restaurants, minimalist interiors, beach bars, bananaplantations, fashion events, art exhibitions.Modern wineries, jewellery studios...Cyprus is erupting withnew young talent. Swirl a glass of Commandaria over rocky ice,take in the wonderful aroma of grilled halloumi wafting throughthe balmy air, listen to the word Kopiaste buzzing all around.25


h Fresh salad with carob dressing, pomegranate and shavedkefalotiriDo try the unusual flavour of carob as a salad dressing, deliciously sweet with the likes of pepperyfresh rocket, or your favourite mixed leaves...I like to then add crunchy pomegranate seeds andCypriot cheese for a bowlful of vibrant colours and flavours.For the dressing1tbsp carob syrup2 tbsp olive oil1 tbsp apple cider vinegar½ tsp wholegrain mustard1 garlic clove, finely chopped or gratedl Place all the dressing ingredients in asmall screw top jam jar and shake to formthe dressing. Keep refrigerated until required.l For the salad, mix your freshly pickedleaves and herbs in a large bowl, scatteron shavings of kefalotiri cheese and freshpomegranate seeds and toss altogether witha good drizzle of the dressing.h Red: Methi, Cabernet Sauvignon,Vasilikon Winery, Kathikas, Pafosh CarobKnown as Cyprus’s Black Gold, Ceratonia siliqua or the carob tree has beencultivated in Cyprus for over 2,000 years and was one of the islands most fruitfulexports. It is well known that Cypriot carob is the best in the world. Whilst anaquired taste to many, the syrup is simply delicious so do try it drizzled overvanilla ice cream, as a salad dressing or even on your morning porridge.26


h Warm halloumi and peach saladTraditional meets Modern. This delicious salad is a marriage made in heaven, salty halloumi, sweethoney and sun-ripened fruit. Enjoy as a meze or main meal.Serves 6 as a meze or 2 as a main3 ripe but firm peaches, halved andstoned250g block halloumi cheese2 tbsp olive oil3 red chicory, root intact, quarteredlengthways1 bunch salad onions, trimmed, cut into2cm lengthsFor the dressing1red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped½ large bunch fresh coriander, leaves andstalks roughly chopped5 tbsp white wine vinegar3 tbsp clear honeyl Make the dressing by mixing everythingtogether in a small bowl. Cover and set aside.Cut each peach halves into wedges, cutthe halloumi into 1cm thick slices.l Heat half the oil in a large frying pan. Frythe cheese for 3-4 minutes on each sideor until golden brown and almost crusty.Remove from the pan and keep warm.l Add the chicory and onions to the hotpan, stir-fry until slightly wilted and coloured.Transfer onto absorbent kitchen towel.l Heat the remaining oil. Add the peachwedges and fry for a minute or two, untilsoftened, lightly coloured but still retaining itsshape. Combine all the ingredients togetherthen pour on the dressing. Spoon ontoindividual plates, sharing out fairly!h White: Kyperounta, Chardonnay,Kyperounta Winery, Lemesos.28


h Commandaria mushroomsA very modern take using our historic wine. Very little else is needed other than time to savour therich flavours and maybe chunks of bread to mop up the delilcious sauce.Serves 6-8 as a meze500g white button mushrooms75g unsalted butter200ml Commandaria1 tbsp demerara sugar3 sprigs fresh rosemarysalt and freshly cracked black pepperl Melt the butter in a deep frying pan andtoss in the mushrooms cooking to soften fora few minutes.l Scoop out the mushrooms, now addall the remaining ingredients and allow tobubble, stirring occasionally for 5 minutesor so. The sauce will start to caramelise andthicken. At this point return the mushroomsto the pan to soak up the flavours beforeserving. Drizzle over any remaining sauceand garnish with sprigs of rosemary.h White: Makkas, Chardonnay, MakkasWinery, Statos-Ayios Fotios, Pafos.h Commandaria, the wine of KingsThis sweet wine is steeped in a rich history dating back to the timeof the Ancient Greeks. In 800BC, poet Hesiod first described a driedgrape wine from Cyprus as ‘Cypriot Manna’. In the 11th century,during the Crusades, this was the same wine Richard the LionHeart favoured, declaring it at his wedding as “the wine of kingsand the king of wines”.Commandaria is the oldest ‘appellation d’origine’ wine in theworld. Made from the indigenous Mavro and Xynisteri grapevarieties, it spends a minimum of two years in oak barrels. To becalled Commandaria it has to be produced from grapes grown inthe fourteen villages within the perimeter of the Commandariaregion.There are now other Cypriot sweet wines produced based on thefoundations of Commandaria but with a more contemporary feel.Anama, Agia Mavri and Menargos winery are to name but a few.30


h FishIt is so worth getting up early to wander down tothe local harbour, taking in the fresh morning airand the colourful sight of the little fishing boatsreturning with their fresh haul, their livelihood.We are fortunate - our seas are rich with fish, somany to choose from...sparkling little whitebait tothen dust in flour and deep fry, and delicious redmullet, vibrant in colour, so sweet simply cookedin olive oil. We are lucky enough to have greatcatches of sea bream and sea bass – so freshand flavoursome that nothing more is neededthan a hot grill to cook and an emulsion of oliveoil and freshly squeezed lemon to dress.Catch sight too of the weathered fisherman,deftly massaging and beating an octopus againstthe rocks or quayside to tenderize it beforedelivering to a local restaurant to be grilled orcooked in a red wine stew.Early summer is the time for schools of tunato pass by through our warm Mediterraneanwaters. The local tavernas will chalk up thispopular catch on the ‘specials’ board whilstchefs at the growing number of sushi bars willwork their artistic skills to present a modern waywith fish.But however you like to eat fish, when inCyprus one thing is for certain...locally caughtfish, simply cooked will be a taste you willalways remember but rarely replicate!32


h Kolokasi with tiger prawnsKolokasi or Taro is a speciality in Cypriot cuisine, a root vegetable often stewed in tomato sauce withpork. Apparently, Kolokasi was brought to Cyprus by the Romans who would cook it in a sauce ofpepper, cumin, rue, vinegar, oil and liquamen which is a fish-based sauce they used as a condiment.Here is a modern take on using Kolokasi....a delicious work of art!Serves 4500g kolokasi6 tbsp olive oil1 spring onion, chopped1 tbsp finely chopped parsley2 firm tomatoes, deseeded and diced1 tsp coriander seedsa large pinch of ground cumin16 fresh tiger prawns, de-veinedjuice of 1 lemon1 tbsp finely chopped coriandersalt and freshly ground black pepperl Steam or cook the kolokasi for 45minutes or until just tender. Peel and cut intosmall cubes. Pan-fry in 2tbsp olive oiluntil lightly coloured. Transfer to a bowl …andadd the spring onion, parsley, tomato,coriander seeds and cumin, saltand pepper to season.l Sauté the prawns in the pan with a littleextra olive oil as required. Keep warm. Nowadd the remaining olive oil to the pan withthe lemon juice and chopped coriander. Swirlthe pan around to blend into a dressing.l Season and divide the kolokasi saladbetween four plates, topping each with 4prawns. Drizzle on the dressing.h Rosé: Oenanthi, Grenache, GaiaOinotechniki, Ayios Amvrosios,Lemesos.33


h Lamb KleftikoA modern twist on this classic dish.Serves 44 x 400g lamb shanks450ml lamb stockfreshly chopped thyme, oregano androsemary plus sprigs for garnish1 clove garlic, chopped8 baby carrots, scrubbed8 new potatoes, halved200g baby courgettes, thickly sliced8 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed8 spring onions, trimmed8 cherry tomatoes2 red onions, quartered150g feta cheese, cubedolive oill Heat 2 tbsp oil in a roasting dish, brownthe shanks on all sides. Add stock, herbsand garlic, cover with foil to seal. Cook in apreheated oven 160’C/Gas 2 for 2 hours oruntil tender.l Blanch the carrots and potatoes in boilingwater for 4-5 minutes. Drain and refreshunder cold running water. Drain thoroughly.Blanch the courgette and asparagus for 30seconds, drain and refresh as before.l Increase the oven to 200’C/Gas 6,remove foil, scatter in the red onion androast the shanks for 15 minutes, basting withthe jus. Lift the shanks to a warm plate, letthe remaining pan juices bubble to reduce toa sauce consistency. Adjust the seasoning.l Quickly sauté the blanched vegetablesin olive oil to colour and complete cooking.Either pan-sear the feta cubes to brown onone side. Divide the vegetables between 4dishes, add the shank ,some juice andgarnish with the grilled feta andsome sprigs of fresh herb.34h Red: Zambartas, Maratheftiko, Zambartas Winery, Ayios Amvrosios,Lemesos.


h A way with HalloumiThe picture of this wonderful recipe speaks for itself....a very modern, more complex twist on all thatwe love in Cyprus...so many of our favourite ingredients making an appearance without wishing to outdo one for the other...flavoursome lamb, earthy root vegetables, our love of bright, shiny sun-ripenedaubergine, tomato and courgette, pumpkin too...fragrant mountain thyme and rosemary, always garlicand olive oil in abundance and some trading influences have sneaked in from our neighbouringMiddle Eastern countries...couscous, raisins and cumin.l For even the most adept of cooks,perhaps a dish you would rather have placedin front of you to masterly disassemble andenjoy rather than attempt to make? Leavethis to one of our many top notch chefsworking their Cypriot magic!l But a nice touch which you can easilyreplicate at home is to use our malleablehalloumi cheese as a moist savoury cheesecrust for lamb or chicken, pork ..good tootopped onto stuffed peppers and tomatoes.l So...mix together grated halloumi and asmuch crumbled dried Greek mint as youfancy with enough beaten egg white to bind.Press an even layer over fillet of pork, lambor chicken breasts, lamb cutlets, and cook toa golden brown crust.h Red: Hadjiantonas, CabernetSauvignon, Hadjiantonas Winery,Parekklisia, Lemesos.35


h Pears poached in red wine with clovesRipe pears yearn to soak up a robust Cypriot wine like Maratheftiko...just delicious! And whilst gentlypoaching there is an added benefit ...the whole house fills with an amazing aroma of orange, wineand cloves. Serve the pears warm or chilled; they also taste wonderful sliced and offered as part ofa cheese plate.Serves 88 firm dessert pears2 bottles of quality red wine preferablyMaratheftiko variety.350g caster sugara good handful of cloves2 beetroots, for colour, cut into chunkspared rind and juice of 1large orangel Peel the pears leaving the stalks on. Pourthe wine into a saucepan, stir in the sugar,then add the pears, making sure they aresubmerged in the wine.l Bring the red wine to a steady simmerreducing to a syrupy consistency. Strain intoa large bowl, cool then add the pears. Coverand chill before serving.l Enjoy with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, ormasticha ice-cream.h Sweet white: Muscat of Alexandria,Nicolaides Winery, Anogyra, Lemesos.l Add the cloves, beetroot, orange peel andjuice. Cover and gently simmer for around30-40 minutes until the pears are just soft.Use the tip of a sharp knife or skewer totest....poaching time will vary dependingon the ripeness of the pear. Use a drainingspoon to carefully lift out the pears.36


h Cypriot winesCyprus was one of the first countries to start producing wine between 5000BC-4000BC.Its wine was legendary throughout the Ancient world. In those days they were unableto seal the clay vessels that transported wines so most early wines were sweet.Cyprus is one of the few phylloxera-free wine producing countries in the world andbecause of this, many renowned wines of the world are made from vines brought toEurope from Cyprus after the Crusades. Champagne is said to have originated from acutting taken from Mount Olympos in Cyprus.Our long, sunny Mediterranean summer produces beautifully ripened full-flavouredfruit. All types of grapes are grown in Cyprus but for a true Cypriot flavoursearch out some of our indigenous varieties like Mavro, Maratheftiko,Ofthalmo or Lefkada for red wines, Xynisteri or Spourtiko for white wines.All the wines used in this booklet are award winning winery wines either locally or internationally.Cyprus has many fabulous wines, the suggestions here are just a taster to whet your appetite.37


h Feta cheese parcels with honey and sesameServe these delicious cheese pies as part of a meze or as a starter...they can also be made withunsalted anari cheese which is similar to ricotta cheese...then a delicious dessert we eat withmasticha ice-cream.Makes 48 leaves filo pastry5 tbsp olive oil.8 tbsp Greek thyme honey2 tbsp sesame seeds4 x 100g pieces feta cheese3 tbsp ouzol Pre-heat the oven to 180’C/Gas 4. Placeone sheet of filo pastry on a large bakingsheet, brush all over with olive oil then lieanother sheet directly on top.l Lay a little slab of feta in the centre of thepastry, drizzle on 1tbsp honey then sprinklewith some sesame seeds.l Heat together the remaining 4tbsp honeyand ouzo with 3 tbsp water in a small panuntil just hot. Transfer each cooked parcelonto individual plates, cutting in half thendrizzling on the warm honey sauce anda final scattering of sesame seeds. Serveimmediately.l Enjoy with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, ormasticha ice-cream.h White: Argyrides, Chardonnay,Vasa Winery, Lemesos.l Fold over the filo pastry, wrapping thecheese, making a secure parcel. Brush withsome more oil. Repeat to makethe four parcels now evenlyspaced out on the tray.Bake for around 20-30minutes or untilgolden.38


h Fig, walnut and Commandaria compoteA match made in Heaven! I enjoy this with a generous spoonful of creamy thick Greek yoghurt – aperfect breakfast to set me up for another busy day.Serves 6450g dried or semi-dried figs175g shelled walnut halves2tbsp clear Greek honey2 tsp ground cinnamon6 tbsp Commandaria sweet winel Alternate the figs and walnuts in a 15cmcircular baking dish to make a compact singlelayer.l Gently heat together the honey andcinnamon in a small pan, just to dissolve.Stir in 150ml water, bring to the boil. Removefrom the heat then add the Commandaria.l Pour the honey syrup evenly over thefigs. Cook, uncovered in a preheated oven,180’C/ Gas 4 for 30-35 minutes or untilmost of the liquid has been absorbed.l Leave the figs to cool in the dish thencover and chill until required.h Sweet Anesperi: Commandaria,Coop Orinis Pitsilias, Kalo Chorio,Lemesos.39


h MahalebiThis is a wonderfully refreshing dessert and goes well with triantafilo, our rose-flavoured ice cream.Look out for the Mahalebi vendor selling his wares, walking along the beach or sea front ladling outthese heaped little squares topped with icy water.Serves 81.2 litre cold water200g corn flour100ml rosewaterTo serverose cordialsugar to tastevery cold water, sometimes ice tool In a pan gently heat all the ingredientstogether being very careful not to burn thebottom of the pan. Stir all the time untilthe mixture turns from cloudy white to atransparent glue-like consistency. Very slowlybring to the boil, stirring for approximately10 minutes.l Pour into individual saucers, which is thetraditional way, or into one big dish to cooland set.l Cut the Mahalebi into cubes, place a fewinto a dessert dish, pour over 1 tbsp of rosecordial, sprinkle with sugar and add ice coldwater, sometimes crushed ice. Mmm, sorefreshing!h Sweet Red: Anama,Xynisteri and Mavro, TheAnama Cellar, Lythrodontas,Lefkosia.40


CYPRUSCYPRUS TOURISM ORGANISATION19, Leoforos LemesouP.O. Box 24535, CY 1390 LefkosiaTel.: +357 22 691100, Fax: +357 22 331644E-mail: cytour@visitcyprus.comUNITED KINGDOMCYPRUS TOURIST OFFICE17, Hanover Street London W1S 1YPTel.: 0207 569 8800, Fax: 0207 499 4935E-mail: informationcto@btconnect.comProduction: Cyprus Tourism OrganisationPhotos & Design: Vanessa CourtierFood Stylist: Wendy VealeAdaptation: inbox design consultantsContributors: The Aphrodite Hills Intercontinental Resort, Pafos | The Elysium Beach Resort,Pafos | The Four Seasons Hotel, Lemesos | The Palm Beach Hotel and Bungalows, Larnaka |Archontiko Papadopoulou restaurant, Kornos | Ta Piatakia restaurant, Lemesos | Pirillos bakery,LarnakaPrinting: Konos Press LtdEnglish 5/2013


EUROPEAN UNIONREPUBLIC OF CYPRUSProject co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)www.visitcyprus.com201.01.13

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