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Greek Rice Pudding

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mimi" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2004 7:38 AM
Subject: Greek rice pudding

> Would love to know recipe for the wonderful creamy rice puddings,in
> Greek restaurants.
>     thank you,
>        Mimi 

Hi Mimi,

Try the one below.


Greek Rice Pudding

1/2 cup rice, preferably short-grain
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups water
6 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A grating of fresh nutmeg
Ground cinnamon (for garnish)

Combine rice, cinnamon stick and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Add the milk, cornstarch mixture, and sugar to the pan. Increase the heat to
moderate and stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.

Add lemon zest, vanilla extract and nutmeg and stir to combine. Spoon into
individual serving bowls or glasses and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Dust with a little cinnamon before serving.

Serves 6 to 8.

Fried Peaches

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jamie" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2004 7:28 AM
Subject: fried peaches and Monte crisco sandwiches

My name is Julie and I am hopeing you can help me out.
First, I am looking for a receipe for fried peaches - not fried peach pies,
but fried peaches.

Hi Julie,

See below for three kinds of fried peaches. I prefer only one request per e-mail. I'll treat the monte cristo request as a separate e-mail.


Deep-Fried Peaches

Fresh peaches
Graham crumbs
Ice cream
Liqueur of choice

Wash peaches and drop in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from water and
slip the skin off. Cut peach in half and remove the pit. Fill the pit area
with ice cream. Press the two halves back together and cover with graham
crumbs. Place carefully in deep fryer (at 300 degrees F) for 30 seconds or
until brown. Place in a bowl and pour 1/3 ounce of liqueur (Grand Marnier is
good) then light. After flame is out, put either more ice cream or  fresh
cream on top.
Fried Peaches

4 ripe peaches, blanched, peeled, quartered, pitted
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup sugar
thinly pared peel of 1 lemon
1/4 cup orange-flower water
1/2 cup flour
8 tablespoons butter

In a bowl containing the brandy, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon peel and
orange-flower water, macerate the peaches for 2 hours. Drain
peaches and pat them dry. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in
large skillet over high heat. Dip a few of the peach quarters at
a time in the flour and saute them quickly in the butter until
they begin to turn brown; add more butter as needed. Sprinkle with
more sugar and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Old fashioned Fried Peaches

6 peaches,peeled,split
2Tbs butter
4 Tbs brown sugar
dash of nutmeg or cinnamon

Melt butter in an iron skillet and place peach halves evenly in skillet.
Fill the peach cavities with brown sugar. Simmer over low heat until well
cooked. Serve warm with ice cream and dash of cinnamon or nutmeg

Easter Cheese

> ------- Forwarded message follows -------
> From:           "Rose" 
> To:             phaedrus
> Subject:        sweet cheese
> Date sent:      Wed, 21 Jan 2004 10:19:46 -0700
> My mother and grandmother use to make a cheese at Easter. I
> remember them heating milk and putting beaten eggs and raisians in it.
> The cheese was made ahead and was hung in a cheese cloth bag.
> They where Hungarian. I cannot find this recipe and would like to make
> it. This cheese was sliced.
> Thanks
> Rose

Hello Rose,

I could not find a Hungarian Easter cheese recipe, but I did find several Eastern European Easter cheese recipes. I'm sending all of them to you. See below.


Hrutka (Easter Cheese)

This is a traditional Czechoslovakian Easter food.

13 eggs
1 quart milk
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat eggs lightly so all yolks are broken. Cook in double boiler until it
forms like cheese and liquid separates. Drain well in cheese cloth. Tie to
form a ball. Hang from an object until well drained, several hours. (Hang on
a spigot with colander under it.) When quite dry, brush with egg yolk mixed
with a little milk. Brown in oven for a short time. Keep refrigerated.

For serving, slice thin. Very good served with ground cooked beets and
horseradish mixed together. Serve cold.
Cirek (Easter Cheese)

15 eggs
1 quart milk
5 to 6 whole black peppers, crushed
Pinch of salt

Pour milk into saucepan and bring to a boil. Beat eggs slightly and add
gradually to the hot milk. Cook over low heat for about 7 minutes. Add
pepper and salt. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. Pour mixture into a
cheesecloth or linen towel. Squeeze and tie lightly. Hang and let liquid
drain for about 2 hours. Cover with wet napkin and refrigerate.

After chilling for about 12 hours, the cheese can be sliced about 1/2-inch
thick and served with the Easter menu

Slovak Easter Cheese

Bring one quart of milk to boil, but don't overflow. Beat one dozen eggs
well. Add a pinch of salt, one tablespoon of sugar, and one teaspoon of
vanilla. Pour egg mixture slowly into milk; stirring constantly. Be sure to
use low flame always. Cheese is done when it curdles and milk will look
watery. Have cheesecloth ready in colander. Pour mixture in. Tie and twist
cloth so cheese will mold into a ball. Hang to drain. Keep refrigerated.
Cirnaya Paska (Russian Easter Cheese)
Ingredients :

3 lb Cottage cheese with out curs
1 cup Butter softened
1 cup Sugar
4 x Egg yolks
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Dried apricots, raisins
    Nuts and candied and dried
    Fruits for decoration

 Method :
To drain the whey off the cheese, the best solution is to use a clean,
scrubbed 6-inch flowerpot thats completely dry. Or you can make do with a
large souffle dish and a tea towel, Have one of these systems ready. Cream
the butter into the sugar, and the egg yolks, and mix well. stir in the
vanilla, cheese and fruits. Flowerpot method:Dampen 2 thicknesses of
cheesecloth and line the flowerpot with it. Add the cheese mixture and fold
the edges of the cheesecloth over the top. Cover with foil. Weigh down with
a heavy food can placed on a small plate. Set the flower pot on a rack over a
shallow pan and place the whole assembly in the refrigerator to drain for 24

Souffle dish Method: Put the tea towel in the souffle dish and pour in the
cheese mixture. Fold the tea towel over the mixture and weigh down with a
heavy food can placed on a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hour to drain. Unmold
the cheese onto a serving plate and decorate. Serve in very small slices.
Sirok (Easter Cheese), The Traditional Way

15 eggs Lightly beaten
1 quart milk
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Pour milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add eggs slowly to the milk.
Add salt and pepper. Cook over low heat and stir constantly so mixture will
not scorch. When all egg has been cooked, pour mixture into a linen towel,
squeeze mixture into a ball shape in the towel and tie. Hang over sink and
let it drain for several hours. Remove and refrigerate. I wrap mine in a
saran wrap at this time.
There are several variations to flavoring the sirok. Some people add sugar
and vanilla instead of salt and pepper or combinations of that. Parsley is
used and one friend insists that only whole peppercorns should be used. So
whichever way you choose to spell the name or flavor it, it is a traditional
Slovak Easter food.

In addition to sirok, there are several other foods which are always eaten.
Horseradish alone or mixed with beets. Kolbasi, Ham, Boiled eggs either
colored, pickled, or just peeled. A sweet bread called paska and many kinds
of kolacky & rozky. Also in the basket would be salt & butter with the
butter being put in a mold shaped like a lamb.
Sirecz (Easter Cheese)
A traditional Slovak Easter Cheese served with the Easter
   meal. This is served sliced and cold. It tastes like a sweet
   custard. Prep Time: approx. 10 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 30
   Minutes. Ready in: approx. 45 Minutes. Makes 6 servings.

12 eggs
1 quart milk
1 cup white sugar
 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 In an electric mixer, beat the eggs until mixed well.
2 Transfer the eggs to a double boiler and stir in milk,
   sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Cook over a medium heat for 30
   minutes. Use a metal slotted spoon and constantly stir the
   bottom of the pan to prevent scorching.
3 When the mixture looks just like cooked scrambled eggs,
   pour it carefully into a cheesecloth-lined colander.
   Carefully gather the ends of the cheesecloth in your hands and
   pull them together until the cheese forms into a ball. Tie
   the cheesecloth tightly at the top of the ball. Tie the
   cheesecloth ends over a faucet or to the handle of a kitchen
   cabinet (place a bowl under to catch the whey dripping down)
   and let hang for about 3 hours.
4 Untie the cheesecloth and wrap the cheesecloth ball in
   plastic wrap before refrigerating. The cheese will keep for
   about a week. Slice and serve.
Cheese Paska Or Cheese Babka

Cheese paska, shaped as a pyramid or block, is a traditional Easter dessert.
It may be cooked as given below, or the cooking may be entirely omitted.

For an uncooked paska, combine the ingredients, omitting the cooking, then
mold and refrigerate the mixture as directed in this recipe.

2 pounds dry cottage cheese
3/4 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1 egg
3/4 cup thick cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup blanched, almonds chopped fine
1/2 cup assorted fruit--raisins, mixed peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Press the cheese through a sieve. Cream the butter with the sugar and then
combine with the cheese. Beat the egg yolks and the whole egg together;
blend with the cheese mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the
vanilla extract.

Put the mixture into the top of a double boiler and heat it over barely
simmering water until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Stir
constantly while heating it. Remove from the range and continue stirring
until the mixture cools. This is very important. This long stirring gives
the paska a smooth and velvety texture. Lastly add the vanilla.

In Ukraine, the cheese mixture for paska is poured into a special mold with
a removable rim, shaped like a pyramid. But an ordinary plastic flower pot
with a hole at the bottom may serve the purpose.

Line the pot with a dampened cheesecloth of double thickness and pour the
mixture into it. Cover with a damp cloth, place a small plate on top of the
paska, and weight it down with a suitable weight.

A clean brick or a heavy iron may be used for a weight. The hole on the
bottom of the pot allows the excess moisture to drain off. Let it stand in a
cold place for 24 hours. Unmold on a plate and chill thoroughly in the
refrigerator. Decorate at the base with fresh berries or a sliced orange.
Serve in slices at the table.

The flower pot mold gives a very attractive shape to the paska. But if it is
not available, the cheese mixture may be molded into a block. Pour the
mixture into a clean, damp 10-pound sugar bag. Tie the open end of the bag
securely into a knot, or sew it up. Place between 2 clean boards (not pine)
and weight it down with a weight. Let it stand in a cold place for 24 hours.
Cut the bag on all sides with scissors, trim the rough edges of the paska,
and place on a serving plate.

Chill well before serving.

Stuffed Calamari

----- Original Message ----- 
From: elaine
To: phaedrus
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2004 1:13 PM
Subject: stuffed calamari
> I lost my recipe for stuffed calamari - do you have one you'd recommend ?
> thx
> Elaine 

Hi Elaine,

Can't really recommend one, but the one below strikes me as a good balance of flavors.


Stuffed Calamari

You need:

 8 medium-sized calamari, 150 g prosciutto ham, 2 onions, 2 garlic cloves, 4
tomatoes, 2 bunch spinach, 2 slices white bread, 15 cl milk, 4 tablespoons
olive oil, 25 cl dry white wine, 1 egg, chopped parsley, thyme, salt, pepper

Technical Stages:

 Hollow out the calamari to keep only the tubes and tentacles. Peel all the
parts. Dice the ham and soak the bread in milk. Chisel the onions and garlic
cloves. Peel and seed the tomatoes, cut them in pieces. Wash the spinach and
coarsely chop them.
Heat up a bit of oil over very low heat and cook the calamari for a couple
of minutes. Take them out and let them cool.

In a metal bowl, mix the soaked bread with the ham, tentacles cut in strips
and half of the vegetables.

Mix with your hands. Cook for 5 minutes, constantly stirring, in the same
oil you just used for the calamari. Take away from the heat and combine with
the egg, the chopped parsley and thyme.

Add salt and pepper, and stuff each calamar with the stuffing. Tie each
calamar with a toothpick. Heat up a bit of oil in a large pot, and put in
the bottom the spinach, tomatoes, onions and remaining garlic clove. Place
the stuffed calamari on top of it. Moisten with wine, add a bit of salt and
pepper. Cover and cook gently for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

Molasses Brittle

From: ange
To: phaedrus
Subject: Transparent molasses cookies . . .NOT!  Read on!
Date: Thursday, January 22, 2004 3:23 PM

Dear Phaed,

Always love your site.  It's a favorite place to head to on the internet over morning coffee.  
I do believe that the "Mysterious Hard Transparent Molasses Cookie" is not a cookie but a brittle.  
Often found in "farm stores".  Dark, molasses brown in color, it is very hard and nearly transparent 
in STRONG light!  But, incredibly delicious with that old fashioned made-at-home taste.  This might 
be a recipe that he was looking for???  This stuff will loosen caps and fillings, so beware!  lol!  
Dental work is tres expensive!!!

Best regards, Ange

Molasses Brittle
       3 c  Sugar
       1 c  Water
       1 c  Molasses
       1 t. Cream of tartar
     1/2 c  Butter
       2 t. Baking soda
       1 t. Hot water
       2 c  unsalted almonds or peanuts
   In large pan, add sugar, water, molasses and cream of tartar. Stir
   constantly over medium heat until candy thermometer registers 270 F ( soft
   crack) Add butter.  Bring to a boil. Cook until candy thermometer registers
   300 F (hard crack), stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Dissolve
   baking soda in hot water.  Stir the dissolved baking soda into molasses mixture. 
   Pour into a well greased jelly roll pan and spread with wooden spoon. Press nuts
   evenly into candy while it is warm. Break in pieces after completely cooled.


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