Wednesday, April 21, 2010

(Garlic roasted bread with tomato and cheese filling)
This is a very classic snack or sometimes all you got to eat in earlier years on the island of Mykonos and most of the dry Cycladic islands. Up until mid 50’s Mykonos was a very poor island and did not produce very much. Of course even today Mykonians honor the dry bread with cheese and tomatoes and you can find it in some of the most expensive restaurants menus.
Slices of dry paximadi or country bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, Topped with either plain cut up tomatoes and cheese or a tomato mix. see down below.
My husband’s home island is Mykonos. Mykonos belongs to the Cycladic group of the Aegean Sea islands. Dry islands with not much vegetation to offer. On the other hand there are villages lost in the Greek country and mountains that could only be discovered by parachutists, rural areas out in the country, at one time or other came up and put their signature on certain foods. The reason for this as you probably guess is that they did the best they could with what their land offered and produced. One of these small culinary miracles is savory pies, as we have talked earlier about the innovation of pies. A poverty dish is a dish made of leftovers put in between good home made dough. Something like Italian pizza. However the one I want to bring to your attention and introduce you to would be the equivalent of Italian bruschetta. I choose to start by this name, since bruschetta is a name that could ring some bells where the Greek name for similar delicacy would not.
In every different area in Greece the combination of the best sourdough bread grilled slightly on charcoal, rubbed with garlic and topped with whatever that land produces has a different name. For instance in Mykonos is called “mostra”, in Grete is called “paximadi” and so forth. So all this discussion is about experiencing good bread which certainly does not mean soft and fluffy, drizzled with “liquid gold” - good olive oil. Allow this slice of bread to be the “stage” on which local good cheese, olives, anchovies, oven dried tomatoes, chick pea caviar, grilled mouth watering red peppers, home grown red juicy tomatoes and basil transport you to a different aroma, place and time.
I am against shortcuts, cheaper editions, knock offs of something precious. You cannot replace a real thing that God had the idea and made with a thousand imitations and “light” products. It will always be a substitute of “God’s food”…and why to go that direction if you could choose to moderately eat what the wise God has planned and created. So we either do and experience some recipes as they are meant to be and enjoyed or let’s have a piece of candy! In the following recipe you neeed real bread with body and texture not the kind that sticks on the roof of your mouth. You need good real cheese and not any cheese product that food industry has burdened into our stores, homes, mouths. You will also need a good cured ham if cannot get prochiouto…and please do not tell me it is expensive to eat in this fashion. Let’s Just open some of our kitchen cupboards and check on the variety of junk and unnecessary foods that reside there. Better less and good and fresh and healthy and God made than processed, fake and dangerous for your body.
Here is a traditional gourmet idea for accompanying good sourdough bread with garlic and olive oil …
1 loaf country bread cut into 8-10 slices
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
6 garlic clove
two tomatoes cut up in cubes
1 small onion finely cut
1 Tbs capers
kalamata olives
2 tbs finely cut sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup Greek olive oil
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs pine nuts
Sea salt
Take the garlic and run it through the bread slices. Drizzle with olive oil and place under the grill so to toast.
Mix all topping ingredients besides the feta cheese. Spoon over the toasted bread and add crumbled feta.
Now drizzle some more liquid gold, olive oil, add salt and please tell me, if this better than a frozen or micro waved snack or not. I now you can not find me at the moment but please tell your self and your friends. Snacking can be a healthy between meals occasion which will nourish you and give you good and healthy energy. Processed or high sugar snacks might boost your energy level for the moment and quench your hunger but the result is really fake and not good for your body or your mood.

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