Ceviche octopus sandwich with red bell pepper and caper

Ceviche octopus sandwich with red bell pepper and caper

A traditional Portuguese dish with a twist!


It's almost a month since we returned from Madeira and I already started reminiscing the island's indolence, the steep cliffs and the gigantic tropical trees. But what I miss the most are the irrestistable Portugese dishes; red fish soups, roast beef, tropical fruits in every corner and the ceviche fish and seafood.

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Delicious summer tourlou (the Greek ratatouille) with traditional sausage

Delicious summer tourlou (the Greek ratatouille) with traditional sausage

The other day I was preparing my dinner, a rich salad with a boiled egg and some lovely crunchy slices of bread and one of my roomates asked me "Ah you are on diet?". "Umm no, I eat eat what I would normally eat.", I replied. It's true that my Mediterranean cuisine dietary habits fall into the category of "healthy food" or "are you on a diet?". For me it's just my "everyday meal". But this didn't come from one day to another, from a yound age, for example, I know that no meal is complete without a large salad bowl, when my classmates would eat fried fries with ketsap for lunch. In a great future, people should categorize healthy food as their everyday food, as it stands above diets and trends. It is a healthy way of living.

With that said, let me show you the ultimate the healthy summer dish, with a splash of (avoidable) unhealthiness. Tourlou (the Greek ratatouille) with traditional saigage. Tourlou is the best way to use large amounts of summer vegetables, before they (hypothetically) going bad in the fridge. You can also prepare a big bunch and refrigerate some portions for busy days when you don't have time to cook.

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Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers

Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers | In Whirl of Inspiration

This recipe proudly belongs to the "shower recipes" category of recipes. If I ever write a cooking book, there will be a special chapter dedicated to "ingenious shower recipes" along to the classic soups, appetizers and salads ones. Because, you see the thoughts that everyone makes during this very standard procedure of showering happen to be very disparate; some despair with their relationship and some others think -out loud- songs. I, on the other side, squeeze my mind to come up with new recipes that I would like to try. But enough with the showers and soaps. 

When in Greece, I have purchased a small collection of my favorite delicatessen from Sary and I was trying to come up with interesting ways to leverage them. Here in the NL I don't have the joy to always find high quality raw ingredients for my culinary adventures, so this was a good opportunity to experiment. So, ladies and gentlemen, please give your most warm applause for the pumpkin "tagliatelles".

Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers - Ingredients | In Whirl of Inspiration

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

1 small pumpkin

8-10 slices of Sary peppery mortadella

1 red and 1 green pepper

2 medium onions

2 cloves garlic

1 cooking cream

parsley, oregano, salt and freshly ground pepper

Procedure:

Cut the pumpkin and clean the spores inside. Cut it into slices of 3-4 mm thickness and then cut these slices into stripsof approx. 1 cm. In the end of this infinite cutting you should end up with your "tagliatelles": strips with 1 cm width and 3-4 mm thickness. Then in a pot give them a boil (for 3'-4 ') until they are cooked, but they slightly hard. Drain the "tagliatelles" and add them to chopped onion and garlic and saute them all together. Add the mortadella and peppers in slices and continue to stir. Finally, add the cooking cream (optionally), parsley, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir until you end up with a homogenous mix and serve while warm. Bon appetit!

Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers | In Whirl of Inspiration
Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers | In Whirl of Inspiration

(This post is sponsored by Sary: a Greek family business with the finest delicatessen, strange cheeses and original combinations of sausages, nuts and vegetables,  which I love for years.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support In Whirl of Inspiration.)

Credits | Writing & Photography: Debbie Kortes

Comment

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

How to use stale bread: Casserole omelette in the oven with mushrooms and peppers

How to use stale bread: Casserole omelette in the oven with mushrooms and peppers | In Whirl of Inspiration

Do you know what bothers me? The forgotten bread that gets stale and  you have to discard it. Jeez, I hate trowing away food. It's such a pity right? So besides french toast (which is peeerfect!), I found another nice way to take advantage of 4th or 5th day's stale bread. And I don't mean to let it be fungus food, no. I meat using it for casserole omelet in the oven.

Before cooking

Before cooking

Ingredients (for 2 people):

:: 1/2 stale baguette (or any other kind of bread)

:: 3 eggs

:: 1 red pepper

:: 8-10 medium mushrooms

:: olive oil

:: 100 gr. feta cheese

:: rosemary

:: dill

:: salt & ground pepper

Procedure:

Break the bread into pieces and wet it a little bit if it is very hard to break it. Put the crumbs in a small

Chop the peppers and the mushrooms. Whisk 3 eggs and pour the mixture over the chopped vegetables and the bread crumbs, add the olive oil and the spices and mix. Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes. When the omelette gets golden brown and fluffy, pull it out and pierce it with a toothpick. If it stays dry your dish is ready. Sprinkle some feta cheese on the top and let it in the oven for 10 more minutes and voila!

Bon appetite!

After cooking :)

After cooking :)

Credits | Text & Photos: Debbie Kortes

9 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

The Visualized-in-Omelette Brain Slice

4 omelettes visualizing the brain's lobes

Last month, I don't know if I mentioned it but, I was in a secret mission to the Hummingbird islands, trying to solve mystery around the identify of the Cheerful Dragon Gunslinger, as the locals call him. Such a long story. So in this mission, I came to be in the uncomfortable situation to impress the touchy-feline-owner of an infamous bar with something that hadn't ever tasted in his 6 previous lives. If he would licked his whiskers, he would meow me an ultra confidentia(h)azardous clue, crucial for my investigations. And as I was brainstorming, BAAM, the idea popped into my mind. The bar was called "food for thought". I thought, why not cook the "food for thought " itself? But, literally?

To understand this dish I will set up a little neurological background for you. Don't give up now, you will like the result. So, initially, the brain has four lobes and many other structures. Each of the 4 lobes controls some very basic awareness functions. All 4 are located just below the skull, all around our brain area. These lobes are:

  • the frontal lobe (the area just behind your forehead )
  • the parietal lobe (the area at the top of the head )
  • the occipital lobe (the area above the your neck )
  • and the temporal lobe (the area above your ears )

Then I chose a very basic function, adjusted by each lobe. I made a little omelet representing the shape of each lobe, which was made by ingredients that improve that function that I chose from each lobe. So each lobe- omelet is made y ingredients that improve this lobes performance if eaten, right ?

The frontal lobe is responsible for concentration and memory. So I tried to cook something that will enhance these functions. "Food for thought" for real. :) One of parietal lobe's main functions is the pain's perception regulation. So I chose ingredients that would diminish the sensation of pain. In the occipital lobe there is the primary visual center, the area that processes all visual information from our eyes. So, for this I worked with food that improves vision. And finally, the temporal lobe contains the primary auditory center, same optical center, only this process all the information coming out of our ears . As you can imagine I chose ingredients that enhance hearing.

4 omelettes visualizing the brain's lobes, the ingredients

The materials for the 4 small omelets that will come together to show a culinary or visualized side section of brain are:

  • for the frontal lobe - better concentration & memory : olive oil, garlic, chilli and egg white (to unite all materials )
  • for the parietal lobe - less pain : cabbage, almonds and egg yolk
  • for the occipital lobe - better vision : sweet potato, carrot, nuts and egg yolk
  • and for the temporal lobe - better hearing : salmon, peas, red pepper, grated cheese, tomato sauce and egg white

( I know that many of the upper ingredients have multiple action, eg the salmon is great for vision too. However, I decided to use only once each ingredient to keep things clear. )

(1): frontal lobe, (2): parietal lobe, (3): occipital lobe and (4): temporal lobes

(1): frontal lobe, (2): parietal lobe, (3): occipital lobe and (4): temporal lobes

Above you see the four lobes omelets, ready and cut to resemble lobes' sections from the side. Can you guess which part is which?? Let me help you.
The pure white garlicy and chilly ( 1 ) goes to the frontal lobe for better concentration and memory. The bright green of the (2 ) reduces the sensation of pain, so the parietal. The riot of orange in ( 3 ) gives you eagle eyes, so occipital and finally the fiery red (4 ) of the temporal promises better hearing .

4 omelettes visualizing the brain's lobes, the food for though omelet

The pieces came together and if you followed the flow of my thoughts, I bet that you can definitely see a mouthwatering "food for thought" dish and a colorful brain's slice.


This was my attempt to visualize that phrase and was so fun trying too. Only the fact that I combined two of my great loves, neurobiology and cooking, gives me great satisfaction. :)

4 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

How to make marinated anchovies

How to make marinated anchovies

Many non-Greek friends believe that in Greece we either drink a lot all day long or we don;t drink so much comparing to them (I have heard both scenarios). While these are stereotypes, I get their point of view. The truth is that we may drink several times during the day, but these drinks accompany food. During lunch or dinner is very usual to see us drink wine or ouzo (especially in the summer) and sometimes there is no proper food but only "mezedes", which means savory snacks in Greek. And don you know which is the best "meze" to accompany your glass of ouzo? It's marinated anchovies, that's right!

Γαύρος Μαρινάτος - Clean Anchovy for Marinated Anchovy (1).jpg
Γαύρος Μαρινάτος - Clean Anchovy for Marinated Anchovy (1).jpg
Γαύρος Μαρινάτος - Clean Anchovy for Marinated Anchovy (1).jpg
Γαύρος Μαρινάτος - Marinated Anchovy (1).jpg

Ingredients:

:: 1/2 pound very fresh anchovies

:: Juice of 1 lemon

:: Vinegar good quality of white wine

:: coarse salt

:: 3 to 4 cloves garlic (or more )

:: Ground Pepper

:: 1/2 red pepper , cut into small pieces (optional and rosemary )

:: chopped parsley

 

 

Procedure:

1) Wash and clean the anchovies by cutting his head with your fingers and pulling the gut too. With one's hand thumb press the tip of the spine and with the other's hand thumb, open the belly (pic 1). Carefully remove the backbone (pic 2).

2) Rinse the fillets with cold water, drain them well and place them, side by side and without overlappings, in a glass or plastic container ( never a metal one). Then cover them with coarse salt and place another layer of fillets. Cover them too with coarse salt. Put the container in the refrigerator for 24hrs.

3) When ready, the fillets will be whiter. Wash them gently, put them back in the container and cover them vinegar and lemon with a ratio 5:1. Leave them like this for 5-7 hours.

4) Then transfer the anchovies in a clean glass container and in between each layer add the chopped peppers, garlic, parsley and the ground pepper and cover with olive oil. Store in refrigerator up to 2 months.

5) When served sprinkle with chopped parsley and olive oil and accompany your ouzo with them. Cheers .

Γαύρος Μαρινάτος - Marinated Anchovy (5).jpg
Γαύρος Μαρινάτος - Marinated Anchovy (6).jpg
4 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!