CREATIVE DESIGN & ART DIRECTION
We love to cook because we cook to live. Creative talent applies itself very well in the kitchen, and with the addition of fresh ingredients, magical things can happen. Two traditional dishes we prepared recently:
"We started our day with a quest to purchase the beans from the Balat street market, which is held every Tuesday."
- 1 kilo flat green beans (as tender and fresh as possible)
- 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium-sized, chopped yellow onions
- 4 medium-sized, fresh and flavorful, peeled and chopped tomatoes
- 8 whole fresh garlic cloves
- 3 teaspoons white granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Wash the beans, then trim the edge ends and pull the fibrous string from the side edge of each bean. (Maybe 15 minutes or so.)
- Cut beans in half diagonally, or if beans are long cut in three parts. (This is merely a style thing as they donít even necessarily need to be cut.)
- The ingredients should be layered into the cooking pot. First add the beans, then the onions, then tomatoes, then garlic cloves, then sugar and salt.
- Seal the pot with the lid and cook on low fire for about 45 minutes. The point in which they can be determined to be done is when juices have mingled and reduced, the beans are cooked soft yet not mushy, firm enough yet not rigid. When you can cut it with a fork without trying to crush your way through the bean, you should be all set.
- Kill the fire and let sit in covered pot until it is room temperature or colder. (The dish can also be served hot, and it is quite tasty this way as well.)
- Serve on its own, drizzled with a little olive oil, maybe a side of fresh yogurt.
"How we love dolmas!"
- 8 small green bell peppers
Note: select the smaller, thin-skinned peppers from the market, if possible.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup short grain white rice
- 1 white or yellow diced onion
- 1 large chopped tomato
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup dried black currants
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper
- 1 lemon
- Heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until transparent.
- Add the rice and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, pine nuts, currants, dill, mint, salt and pepper then fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add sugar and water.
- Stir, bring to a boil, cover then reduce heat to simmer.
- Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Cover and let the stuffing stand until cool.
- Slice off the stem and top of each pepper, then remove the seeds and inner plant material.
- Using a spoon, stuff the peppers with the rice mixture, packing it well into the corners.
- Place the peppers into a pot making sure the peppers rest vertically, standing tightly next to each other.
- Add a little water, perhaps 1/4 cup, then cover and simmer until the peppers are cooked, about 15 minutes.
- Let the peppers completely cool, then carefully transfer to a serving or storing dish.
- Plate them chilled with some fresh yogurt on the side and lemon to squeeze on top.