The tastiest recipes are made at the Holy Mountain of Athos.

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by about epifanios, May 14, 2013.

  1. about epifanios

    about epifanios

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    Monk Epifanios Milopotaminos, while using simple ingredients like olive oil, salt and black pepper  manages to introduce dishes full of taste. Furthermore these recipes are internationally recognized by world’s top chefs as excellent Mediterranean cuisine. His book is outstanding !

    According to father Epifanios, his secret of success lies in the love for God and his fellow human beings. «From the ingredient supply, to cleaning, washing, chopping, salting, cooking even up to serving the food you should always keep in mind that you are cooking for those you love»

    The book “The Cuisine of the Holy Mountain Athos” isn’t just another cooking book. It’s book-bound , attentive and well edited product, that is addressed to every person looking to improve the quality of his life. Here it is the Mediterranean and especially the Greek cuisine  at their finest.

     

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2013
  2. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Can you please  tell me which recipes out of that book you cooked ? I am a fan of Greek cuisine.

    Is this cookbook based on a macrobiotic diet ?

    Petals.
     
  3. about epifanios

    about epifanios

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    This is a recipe that i love from this book.

    Tope cooked in a fried pan

    You can find it in the market in cut up in pieces. It is very tasty fish

    Ingredients (for 3-4 servings)
     600 gr. tope steaks
    150g. oil
    3 lemons, salt,
    1 teaspoon mustard
    Optionally we can use cumin and black pepper


    Execution:

    You should salt the fish earlier (at least 2-3 hours) and put it in a small shallow pan (ie small pot).
     Put some cold water on it, just enough to cover it up a bit. Then put the small pot on the fire. When it starts to boil, add in some oil and after 15-20 minutes add some mustard, spices along with some lemon juice. You should add the lemon and the mustard, in a way that it goes everywhere. Stir the pot well and after one minute, you should get it off the fire because it’s ready.

    Yes it is based on macrobiotic diet. Try it up and let me know if you like it.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Maybe it's just an unfortunate example, but that recipe looks bad.

    BDL
     
  5. about epifanios

    about epifanios

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    This is authentic, mediterranean, greek cuisine.
     
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    A well cooked, poached fish is a wondrous thing, and a simple finish of really good olive oil, mustard and fresh lemon should only make it better.  

    But your recipe calls for putting fish steaks in cold water, bringing the water to the boil, and cooking the fish -- still at the boil, for "15 or 20 minutes."  That's wrong on several levels. 
    • Fish steaks that size cannot be poached, let alone boiled, for "fifteen or twenty minutes" without cooking them to death.  It takes, for instance, about 7 minutes to poach a 1" thick salmon steak;
    • Only large fish should begin the poaching process in cold water; smaller fish, fillets and steaks should begin the process in water which is already simmering (~75C, ~170F);  and
    • Your recipe doesn't actually call for poaching, but for boiling.  If 10 minutes poaching will severely overcook, 15 or 20 minutes at the boil will do far worse.
    • The recipe does not specify what type of mustard -- whether prepared, mustard-flour, or crushed mustard seed.  That's a problem for someone who doesn't already know what to use. 
    • There are more sophisticated and just as authentic methods for making an olive oil / lemon / mustard sauce (infusion or emulsion, e.g.) rather than just dumping stuff into the poaching (boiling?!) stock before removing the fish and serving it; but the simplicity of the dish is the most important part of its charm. 
    • The recipe does not specify a lot of other things.  For instance, whether the fish should be served with some of the cooking liquid or served dry. 
    • Mediterranean tope is endangered.  If you're cooking tope from Greek waters, you shouldn't be. 
    • The translation is very rough.  Is your example from the English edition of the book, or is it something you did yourself, on the fly?
    You're clearly very enthusiastic about this book, I don't mean to be rough on you, and do wish there were a better way to say these things.  Unfortunately, to the extent that the recipe is an example of authentic, Mediterranean, Greek cuisine, it's an example of bad authentic, Mediterranean, Greek cuisine. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  7. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Perhaps, since there was not a better to say it, it could have gone unsaid.
     
  8. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Yes the critique could have gone unsaid.  Unfortunately, silence would not have been much service for a novice cook interested in the book or who wanted to try the recipe. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  9. rick alan

    rick alan

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     Since where here, and to to take advantage of an opportunity to move on, is 150deg not enough for fresh and freshly dressed fish?

    Rick
     
  10. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    150F is on the very low side of the poaching range, but it's there.  You can sous-vide at the desired internal, which is going to be somewhere between 125F and 140F depending on the fish.  Cooking is cooking.  So yes, you could poach at 150F and fully cook the fish.  But poaching is not sous vide, and I'd want to go with a little more heat so the fish cooks faster without giving everything up to the poaching liquid (hopefully a well-developed court bouillon and not plain water). 

    I'm not sure if there's a published and authoritative rule, but my understanding is that people usually poach somewhere between 70C and 80C (160F - 175F ish), just verging on a bare simmer.  I intentionally chose the high side so as to make my point, but not to be too tough on Epifianos.   

    The poaching range is similar to the very hot coffee service range; and consequently easy to temp with a spoon.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  11. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Whoops.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  12. about epifanios

    about epifanios

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    Hello there,

    Thanks for your replay.

    Yes this is my translation and I have to apologize about that. There is a version of the book in English but I don’t have this copy.

    It is really important to explain that the cooker I used (and the one that the monk Epifanios suggests) is this: http://www.google.gr/imgres?imgurl=...qTUYzbFYqz0QXe5IGIBg&ved=0CEIQ9QEwBA&dur=1589 So, now you know Greek tavas!

    This is made from clay and keeps the fish well cooked and soft at the same time. So in this case the times ARE tested and at the end there is just a suspicion of water at the bottom of the tavas!

    The recipe says “boiling” about water because of the fact that the water is actually boiling and then “evaporates” whereas at the same time the fish remains soft and well cooked.

    The thing about mustard is something really important for the professional cookers but it is really simple for those who cook everyday as learners. Actually I love a mustard made here in Greece: EKMA is an English type moustard soft and gentle whereas at the same time has a distinct strong flavor. I love this mustard and I am not sure if there is exportation of this product to other countries. Let me know if you are interested about this and I will do a research for you.

    Ok I know about the Mediterranean tope. I really trust the local fish market of Thessaloniki. The “body” of the fish is red-white and “tight”. I buy this fish always fresh and sliced in pieces.

    Hope it helps,

    With a promise to upload another recipe soon, and change your mind about the authentic, Greek – Mediterranean cuisine,

    A. E.