Monday, August 9, 2010

A Great Ethnic Recipe from Saveur

When I read cooking magazines, I am not looking for the standard recipes that appear over and over (i.e. grilled salmon with mango salsa . . . yawn).

Instead, the recipes that grab my attention tend to be ethnic dishes employing unique flavor combinations or techniques. It’s a bonus if the recipes are straightforward and easy to make.

A perfect example is a great recipe that appears in the August/September issue (“The Greece Issue”) of Saveur and caught my eye immediately. It’s for alevropita, a feta tart “that is a beloved specialty in the mountain villages of Epirus, in northwestern Greece.”

The key is making sure the bottom of the tart turns crisp. When I made this in a full-sized baking sheet (as the recipe calls for), the middle of the tart didn't brown on the bottom. When I halved the recipe and cooked it in a smaller baking sheet, the results were spectacular. (That being said, if you like softer over crisp, don't pay attention to what I just wrote!)

Here’s the fully recipe, courtesy of Saveur:

6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. vodka
1 egg

1 1⁄4 cups flour, sifted

1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄8 tsp. baking powder
10 oz. feta, crumbled
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1. Heat oven to 500°. Put an 18" x 13" x 1" rimmed baking sheet into oven for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together 2 tbsp. oil, vodka, egg, and 1 cup water in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and whisk until smooth.

3. Brush remaining oil over bottom of hot pan and add batter, smoothing batter with a rubber spatula to coat the bottom evenly, if necessary. Distribute cheese evenly over batter, and dot with butter. Bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown and crunchy, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

SERVES 8 – 10

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