easter dinner in a hurry….

Easter dinner prep ended up being rushed. Not the type of dinner I was planning!

The leg of lamb and roasted fingerlings/russian blues were ok, but not worth repeating. The green beans were my standard- boiled 5 minutes, drained, then tossed with white balsamic and cretan evoo, topped with fresh chopped dill.

The imam bayaldi was based on the recipe in New Greek Cuisine. My version last night: 1 chopped eggplant sauteed in a couple tbsp of evoo until golden, adding a couple pinches of sea salt as it cooks, then remove from heat. In another pan, saute 3 chopped roma tomatoes, 1 chopped shallot, 2 large garlic cloves (minced) in a tbsp of evoo for a few minutes, then add 3 tbsp of currants, 1/2 cup dry white wine and 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves and simmer a few more minutes. Add reserved cooked eggplant and  2 tbsp chopped parsley to the pan, mix and simmer for a couple minutes. Add 2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts and pepper to taste, then serve.

Here is the tsoureki I made: diana’s desserts’ tsoureki, with the addition of 1 tsp of mahlepi and 1/2 tsp of ground mastic to the mix. Not sure why the oven temperature was so low  (250 degrees F) in the recipe, which is considerably lower than most recipes (usually 300-350 degrees F). I raised the temperature after a while to 275 degrees F, then 300 degrees F, and baked the bread until golden brown. 

This recipe makes a slightly sweet, rather than a sweet tsoureki. Nice crumb, and the mastic and mahlepi were not overpowering. Turned out quite light, and not too sweet. In the future, I’ll make a looser braid, and let the dough rise a little longer after braiding. Probably will try another recipe next Easter.

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