1 8 oz tub whipped Philadelphia cream cheese or other brand. You may use an 8 oz block, but you must soften it at room temperature and thin it with about 1 TBSP milk.
One loaf bread, preferably day old, crust removed.
Sliced Green olives, sun flower seeds, parsley leaves or other olives
Sandwich fillings, egg salad, tuna salad, pimento cheese salad, ham salad, chicken salad.
Slice an uncut loaf of white sandwich bread horizontally, making three or 4 long slices ¾ inch thick. Remove crusts. Spread each slice with reamed butter and stiff mayonnaise, then each with a different chopped salad or sandwich mixture. Chicken, shrimp, salmon, eggs, sardine, cheese, or ham may be used. Stack and cover the top and sides with soft cream cheese, garnish with flowers of colored cream cheese, paprika, parsley, sliced olives or sun flower seeds. Chill about one to two hours then slice and serve. Great with iced tea.
Ellen Tsagaris from her mom, Mrs. Clara A. Tsagaris and The American Woman’s Cookbook.
Flan or Cuban Custard
Heat ¼ to ¾ cups white sugar in the bottom of loaf pan till melted and brown. Swirl to cover bottom and sides of pan. In blender or with a beater mix one can sweetened condensed mil, one can evaporated milk or whole milk, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. vanilla, 4 eggs, and a pinch of salt. Pour into loaf pan. Set pan into one inch water and bake one to one and one half hours at 350 degrees until brown on top. Cool, put in fridge before serving and chill. May be served with fruit or toasted almonds, or flamed with brandy.
Ellen Tsagaris from her Spanish Teacher, Dr. Disnarda Norniella, Professor Emeritus Augustana College.
1 one pound package black beans, black turtle beans, or one 12 oz can black beans.
1 ½ green bell peppers
2 large cloves garlic finely minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tblsp oil or rendered pork fat
½ Spanish cooking wine, vino secco, or dry white wine
1 TBSP vinegar
1 bay leaf crumbled
2 tsp oregano 1 TBSP salt
Soak beans in eight cubs of cold water with half green pepper for at least two hours until beans have swelled. I have had to soak them one or tow nights, changing water. Beans must be able to be mashed with fork. Or, skip this step and use one can of black beans.
To make a sofrito: sauté garlic, onion and green pepper, finely chopped, in hot oil or fat until onion has turned soft and yellow. Add one cup of boiled beans or canned beans to sofrito. Mash together with sofrito and then pour completed sofrito back into the rest of the beans mixing well.
Add remaining ingredients to beans, mix, and bring to boil. Reduce heat as low as possible and cook, covered for one and one half to two hours, till beans have a mushy texture. Remove cover and boil away any water that remains. There should be no broth. Makes six to 8 servings, is great served over cooked, white rice. If you mix it with rice, it is called frijoles con gris. You may substitute kidney beans for black beans.
Ellen Tsagaris from her Spanish teacher, Dr. Disnarda Norniella,
Professor Emeritus, Augustana College.
1 lb. sweet butter, melted
1 or 2 lbs. chopped almonds or walnuts
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. all spice
3 dozen whole cloves
Syrup for baklava
2 c. honey
2 c. water
2 c. sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. granted orange peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients. For syrup, in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, simmer ten minutes, strain, allow to cool.
Coarsely grind/chop nuts. Mix with cinnamon, all spice, sugar.
Brush a 9 x 13 x 2” pan with melted butter. Lay a sheet of filo in pan, brush, cover with filo, repeat for one dozen sheets.
Spread on thin layer of mix on tops f filo etc., and repeat.
Cut strips 2” wide.
Brush each sheet with butter. With a very sharp knife, cut the top filo sheets into triangles, cutting diagonally across the pan.
Insert a clove in the center in each triangle.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour to one and one-half hours. Baklava should be brown on top. Remove.
Pour cooked syrup over so it covers layers; syrup will seep in. Allow to cool several hours before cooling.
Ellen Tsagaris from her mother Mrs. Clara Tsagaris and her grandmother Mrs. Maria Fanakos.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes.
Sift 1 ½ c sifted lour
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp salt.
Blend 1/c shortening
½ brown sugar, cream these together and add 1/c granulated sugar.
To the creamed mixture add one beaten egg and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add 8 oz semi sweet chocolate pieces and ½ c chopped walnut pieces. Add creamed mixture with chocolate and nuts to dry ingredients. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Ellen Tsagaris from Mrs. Schultz 8th grade Home Ec class, Washington Junior High, Rock Island, IL.
½ c shortening
1/3 c sugar
1 beaten egg
1 ¼ c milk
1 c flour
½ tsp salt
4 tsps. Baking powder
1 c corn meal
Cream shortening and sugar, add egg and mil, add flour, sifted with salt and baking powder. Add corn meal, stirring only enough o mix. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 c. full, and bake in hot oven, 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes one dozen muffins.
Bake at 400 degrees fro 20-30 minutes.
Cream ½ c shortening and 1 ½ c sugar. Add 2 ¼ c cake flour and 2 1 tsp baking powder and ½ tsp salt. Sift together cry ingredients, first. Add 1 c milk and 1 tsp. vanilla and three stiffly beaten egg whites.
Coca Cola Cake
1 chocolate cake mix.
Follow directions, but instead of adding required amount of water to the mix, add coca cola or other cola like RC cola or Pepsi. Bake according to directions.
Frosting: Use prepared chocolate frosting, or make from scratch, but add ¼ to ½ tsp. grated orange peel to frosting and mix in before you frost the cake.
Hellenic Green Beans
One pound fresh green beans, ends snapped, or one lb. frozen green beans
1 6 oz can tomato sauce or canned tomatoes
Oregano and Basil to taste; dry works very well
One small onion
Olive oil or cooking oil
Water, about one cup
Sauté chopped onion in oil until it is almost clear. You may want to add a clove of garlic, but you do not have to. I like to sauté in the bottom of a Dutch oven or other large covered pan. Add tomato sauce, add spices. Let cook on simmer about ten minutes. Add Green beans, and add enough water to cover. Cook on medium heat, but watch the beans. Let the water cook down. You can include chicken and cook it with the beans, or you can add a marrow bone for flavor. Green peas, frozen, work just as well.
Ellen Tsagaris, from her mother Mrs. Clara Tsagaris
Greek Peasant Salad a la Tsagaris/ Fanakos Families
2- 3 large, ripe tomatoes
One small onion
About ½ c Kalamata olives or other olives; a mix of these, black olives, and green olives is nice
Sliced, peeled cucumbers
One jar stuffed egg plants, if available
Feta cheese, cut in chunks, about ¾ c
Kasseri, Mdzithra, kefalotiri, or Romano cheese, about ¾ c cut in chunks
Small can anchovies with capers, optional
Basil, oregano, salt pepper, to taste
Chop tomatoes, include seeds, combine with all other ingredients, toss and chill. Add about 2/4 c olive oil, enough to mix in tomato seeds, and to be able to dip in bread. Chill about one hour. Serve with crusty, fresh bread or rolls. Good French bread or Italian bread works well, or else Challah or Greek sesame bread. Pieces of fresh ricotta also are good in this classic salad.
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