Top 5 Greek Recipes from Chef Gilda Mulero

March 13, 2011

Gilda Mulero

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Gilda Mulero is an enthusiastic yogi, natural foods chef, cooking instructor and owner of Naturally-Tasty, a personal chef service dedicated to providing wholesome meals, dinner parties and private cooking instruction throughout New York City. The chef is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute. As well, Gilda has efficiently organized many kitchens in New York City with her revered “Kitchen Detox and Pantry Makeover” service and also created “Cooking 101 for Newlyweds,” a charming cooking class for brides and grooms, which has been featured in Manhattan Bride Magazine.

Top 5 Greek Recipes for Newlyweds

Fava - Yellow Split Pea Puree
Serves 6

Ingredients:

3/4 cup yellow split peas
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups water, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to garnish
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
2 tablespoons baby capers, rinsed, to garnish
2 tablespoons of crumbled feta, to garnish
Sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Rinse split peas under running water to remove any grit.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the split peas to the pot and toss to coat. Add water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and skimming any foam off the surface, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the split peas are very tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour; they should fall apart easily. If the liquid is absorbed before the peas are done, add a little more liquid and continue cooking.
3. Transfer the peas to a food processor; add 2 tablespoon of oil, lemon juice and the sea salt to taste; process until creamy.
4. Spread the puree (fava) onto a serving platter, garnish with parsley, capers, and crumbled feta.

Oregano Pita Points
(Served with Fava)

Ingredients:

6 whole pitas, split in half and cut into triangles
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of dried oregano

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put triangles in a shallow bowl and toss with olive oil and dried oregano.
3. Lay seasoned triangles on a baking dish or sheet pan in a single layer. Bake until golden brown, approximately 8 minutes.

Greek "Country" Salad
Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:

4-5 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 cucumber, peeled
2 green bell peppers
1 clove of garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounce Greek feta cheese, cubed
½ cup good quality olive oil
1 dozen Kalamata olives
½ cup fresh parsley leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cut cucumber in half and remove seeds with a spoon, then cut into ¼ inch slices. Cut each pepper in half lengthways, remove the membrane and seeds and cut into ½ inch wide strips. Gently mix tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced green peppers, red onion, olives and cubed feta cheese in a salad bowl.
2. Place the oil, lemon juice and garlic in a jar or container with a lid, season with salt and pepper and shake well.
3. Pour over salad. Garnish with parsley leaves.

Pastitsio (Baked Meat and Pasta)
Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 (8 ounce) package elbow macaroni
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Meat Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, medium dice
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
½ cup red wine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Béchamel Sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Combine pasta, 1 beaten egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan and set aside.
3. Preparing the meat sauce: Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until the onions are translucent, add the teaspoon of cinnamon. Add ground beef and cook, stirring, until the meat is browned. Add the wine and cook over high heat for 1 minute or until evaporated. Add the stock, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. The goal is to have a thick meat sauce.
4. Preparing the béchamel sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then add milk all at once. Stir constantly until the sauce boils and thickens. Add the nutmeg and some salt to taste. In a bowl, combine about half of the mixture with 1 beaten egg. Return the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining white sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Stir 3 tablespoons of the béchamel into the meat sauce.
5. In a square glass baking dish, spread half the meat sauce in the dish, then layer half the pasta over it. Layer with the remaining meat sauce and then the remaining pasta. Spread the béchamel over the pasta and sprinkle with remaining cheese on top. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Revani (Almond Orange Cake)
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 strips orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon finely grated zest
3/4 cup semolina flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup blanched almonds, ground in a food processor
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup Greek yogurt (full-fat), plus more for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup sugar, water, and orange strips. Simmer and cook until sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat so that the syrup can cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose and semolina flour, ground almonds, baking powder, orange zest, and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs,
one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture
and yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
3. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50
to 55 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Using a toothpick, poke thin holes into top
of cake. Pour half the syrup over cake; garnish with orange-zest strips from syrup. Serve with a dollop of yogurt
and some syrup.

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Comments

Peter's picture

Bravo to Chef Gilda...she's got 5 good Greek recipes. It's wonderful when a non-Greek "gets" Greek food.

Peter's picture

Bravo to Chef Gilda...she's got 5 good Greek recipes. It's wonderful when a non-Greek "gets" Greek food.


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