Thursday, January 28, 2010

DIY Brothel Part II Puttanesca

Yesterday I did it again. Just like that, in 15 minutes you can have a mountain of yum to eat. I love Puttanesca! I've made it 5 times now so I think its finally ready to share with you. I hope you like it as much as I do! I make it slightly differently every time but it always comes out nice and its something really easy that actually works for a dinner party. Its great cause you can have a stash of the ingredients at home at all times and whip it up in emergency situations.

Serves 4
You will need:

  • one deep plate of chopped tomatoes, either fresh or from a tin.
  • about 8 sundried tomatoes wizzed around in the blender with a squirt of slightly concentrated tomato juice
  • one very big onion or one and a half medium sized ones
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
  • a handful of capers
  • two handfuls of olives, pitted and sliced in half
  • a shake of dried basil
  • 2 or 3 dried chillies or chilli powder
  • 10 anchovy fillets
  • olive oil
  • pepper (salt is optional as the anchovies and olives make the sauce salty)
  • one pack of pasta (any kind will do, I like pennes with this dish)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

So you chop up the onion and garlic (and chillies if you are using dried) and push them around the pan at with the anchovy fillets in olive oil until the vegetables are soft and you can't see the fish anymore. The heat should be around medium. Then add everything else and leave it for about 10 minutes, stirring occassionally. Add another glug of olive, stir it again then pour it over your pasta. Serve with or without Parmesan (I do with) and grated pepper. Oh! And if you live in Greece RUN to the supermarket and get yourself a bottle (or 10) of some 2009 white wine. It was a great year and all the ones I have tried have been droolworthy. And, if you do any of the above please let me know!


Friday, January 8, 2010

DIY Brothel Part I

And a Happy New Year to you all! This New Year I stayed home. It was great. Indeed so great that I no longer have any desire to EVER spend 2 hours in traffic in a miserable struggle to get downtown only to find myself squashed in some bar thats playing semi-shit music and serving a mix of petrol and flat lemonade instead of a real cocktail. Ok so thats an Athens worst case scenario, but if you live here you'll know what I'm on about. Anyway the drinks we had at home were so dreamy, and the whole dinner/cocktail party so lush that everything else on offer in Athens nightlife kind of pales in comparison.

So, Brothel is a restaurant*, and my inspiration for 2010 New Year's mini dinner party. I HEART BROTHEL. Its a bit sleazy in a cheesey Athenian kind of way, has the obvious red lighting and appropriate decor, the cocktails are wicked and the food is Italian and spicey. Eating and drinking there awakens the senses and has you hopping about for more...

and so I would like to present the tequila cocktails! They gave us a swift kick up the bum while the clock hands moved midnight-wards.

  • Maria Theresa Margarita: I love this version of the Margarita because I love honey and I love cranberry juice. To make one: Put two shots of tequila into a shaker. Stir two spoonfuls of honey into the tequila and then add one shot of cranberry juice and 1/2 shot of freshly squeezed lime juice. Add ice to the shaker, shake it all up and fine strain into a glass. It'll hit you before you expect it to.

  • Mexican Mule: This is one of my fave cocktails ever. I drool just thinking about it. To make it you will need sugar syrup. This can be easily made at home by pouring 2 parts of sugar into 1 part of hot water in a saucepan on low heat. Make sure it doesn't boil, then leave it to cool. You can pour it in a bottle and store it in the fridge and it keeps for ages. So anyway, this is how to make one: put 1 1/2 shots of tequila, 3/4 shot of freshly squeezed lime juice and 1/4 shot of sugar syrup in a shaker, add ice and shake. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and add ginger beer till you reach the top. It makes a great chaser for Maria Theresa Margarita because its lighter and doesn't get you pissed quite as quickly.

Throw in a platter of crackers, gorgonzola cheeze and prosciutto and you're set to go for starters. Next blog I'll put up the main: Pasta Puttanesca of course...

See ya!

*Orfeos 33 kai Dekeleon, Gazi, Athens** tel. 2103470505
**For those who don't know where the hell Gazi is