We've got a few dishes planned for later this week, another Greek menu.
We'll start with a plate of olives, eggplant and pomegranite salad, feta, roasted peppers, wedges of pita, and -- of course -- that flaming cheese thing, saganaki. Next up is the classic egg and lemon soup, avgolemono. The third course is a trio of pasticio, giant lima beans in a light tomato sauce served au gratin, and a Greek salad. Dessert is a baklava of pistachios spiced with cinnamon and cardamom drizzled in a rose water and honey syrup.
Right now, we're starting on the stock for the soup. In a 12 quart stockpot on the stove is the carcass of a chicken, what's left after we ate the good parts: the wings, back, and ribcage. There's about a half teaspoon of black peppercorns and a similar amount of whole coriander seed. The rest is one medium onion, quartered, and about 10 cloves of garlic that are too small for anything else; that'd be about 2 regular large sized cloves.
After about 45 minutes, we're going to take the chicken out and strip off the meat that's left and add it to tonight's dinner.
Yesterday morning we started soaking a cup of black beans in a few cups of water, and a last night we cooked them with a half teaspoon of salt and a sprig of epazote. We've mentioned that before, but simply put, it's an herb in the same family as beets, chard, spinach, and amaranth. It's essential for cooking beans, and allegedly makes them more digestible. (We're still skeptical of that claim, though it does make them taste much better.) You can easily find it several stores in the area. We've seen it at the Roosevelt Whole Foods, at ABC market on Beacon hill, and at Uwajimaya. It's also available dried at most any tienda. We also have a very wild one growing in our garden. Just ask if you come up short.
Anyway, back to tonight. And the chicken. Gallo pinto the national dish of Costa Rica, ironically, contains no chicken even though it means 'painted rooster'. It's just beans and rice, but it's guuud. We'll have that with the chicken tarted up with something we haven't thought of yet. Tanya's working on a salad of corn, carrot, cilantro, bell pepper, and probably lime juice, garlic, and a few other things.
We've got some broccoli on deck and a few very delicate zucchini from the farmer's market.
I'd better get up and help out.