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Στο περιοδικό / Featured at Glow

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Στο περιοδικό / Featured at Glow

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Είμαστε υποψήφιοι για τα βραβεία 2017 Saveur Blog Awards στην κατηγορία the Food Obsessive. Η ψηφοφορία διαρκεί μέχρι τις 6 Σεπτεμβρίου. Μπορείτε να μας φηφίζετε εδώ.

Στο περιοδικό / Featured as a finalist for the 2017 Saveur Blog Awards in the Food Obsessive  category. The voting process lasts until the 6th of September. You can cast your vote here.

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Στην εφημερίδα / Featured at Huffpost

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Στο περιοδικό / Featured at Saveur

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There are lots of great things to eat in Greece, from the perfect frappe to flaky phyllo pie to octopus you hunt yourself. I’d say there’s so much good Greek food that it’s hard to commit to just one or two things for a meal.

Enter the meze spread: little dishes of bits of everything, meant to be shared by the whole table with a bottle of wine our ouzo.

There are the dips, like melitzanosalata, a smokey grilled eggplant spread, or tyrokafteri, feta cheese mixed with spicy peppers (and you can eat both of these on bread or straight off the fork—nobody will judge you). You can throw in some salads, like Greece’s horiatiki, a yogurty beet salad, or even cooked greens. Then there are the meat dishes, which can include spicy meatballs called keftedes and grilled octopus. If savory pies are more your thing, you can fill up a couple plates with flaky pockets of spinach or cheese.

And speaking of cheese, meze can include saganaki, a fried feta cheese that often comes to your table engulfed in actual flames, or go simple and just put out a couple blocks of feta. You can also go simple with the vegetables. And, of course, make sure to top it all off with lots of ouzo. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a meal by the sea.

Below, watch how Dr. Benefits bloggers Kostas Feidantsis and Dimitris Koparanis brought Greece to New York and put together a perfect meze spread.

Στο περιοδικό / Featured at Saveur

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Stuffed grape leaves have always been one of my white whales. While I grew up enjoying the occasional dolma from Greek, Armenian, and Syrian friends and family, and even baked for a stint at a Middle Eastern-inflected café in Cambridge, I had never made my own. They remained in the realm of soup dumplings, kouign amann, and a proper molé: regionally specific foods that I just didn’t have the patience or the cred to make with any real skill or authenticity.

That had to change when my friend Genevieve Brennan gave me some fresh leaves from her family’s Pennsylvania vineyard. You see, when it comes to Yankee thrift, I’m the apple of my grandpa’s eye; never one to let something so perfectly good as those lovely leaves go to waste. Especially since I’d been daydreaming about harvesting the Brennans’ cool fresh vine trimmings from their fledgling winery all winter long.

It was time to conquer the stuffed grape leaf.

Grape leaves are a staple of southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and beyond, with each cuisine bringing its own variations on stuffings and seasonings. So I sought out expert advice from a diverse set of sources:

  • Dr. Benefits, a Mediterranean food writer (and pal of our Greece correspondent Katherine Whittaker), for tips on classic Greek rice-and-herb dolmadakia.
  • My former bosses, Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick, the creators of a crispy lamb dolma pie for their gorgeous new cookbook, Soframiz.
  • Finally, I dug into the Saveur archives and found a Syrian-Jewish recipe for sweet and savory stuffed grape leaves with beef, tamarind, and dried apricots.

After a few rounds of tests and some silly experimentation with a quick and efficient dolma-rolling gadget, I can proudly say I’ve overcome my grape leaf insecurities and added dolmas to my culinary skill set. Here are a few things I’ve learned to help get you there, too.

Στο περιοδικό / Featured at Saveur

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Phyllo isn’t easy to make, but it sure is relaxing.

I learned that first-hand watching my friend Kostas make a savory leek and feta pie. You can find these kinds of savory pies on most Greek tables, but most people don’t make their own dough. Kostas, though, is a bit of a phyllo fanatic, and spending a day with him rolling, stretching, baking, and most importantly eating, the difference between homemade and store bought was

Kostas made his dough in two parts: the base layer and the top crust. He rolled it until it no longer stuck to his fingers, and cut it in half to show me the way bubbles had gathered inside. After refrigerating it for a bit, Kostas retrieved the dough and rolled the two halves out using a long, thin rolling pin that he said is common in the villages in rural Greece.

This is the part where time started to slow. Kostas’ movements, always deliberate, took on a monastic intensity as the dough’s edges spread towards the ends of the table. We stopped chatting, his attention turned completely to the dough, the only sound in the room the faint squish of oiled dough meeting wooden rolling pin. The process becomes meditative.

Your mind has room to wander while rolling, but not too fat. There’s the pressure to get the thickness just right. You need to pay attention to how much flour you have on the table. Then you cover it in butter and olive oil (Kostas uses both) and once again shrink it down to a manageable size by folding it like edible origami, then refrigerate it before taking it out and rolling it a second time.

Then, once it’s flat, you gently drape it over your rolling pin and stretch it across the bottom of a pie pan. This means gently rolling the ends of the dough over the pin, hoping that your pie doesn’t tear or break. Then you lift it, sending an extra prayer to the pie gods that nothing bad happens as it goes airborne. Another set of hands will be required to get the pie pan under the dough, and slide it off the pin to create an even pillow of dough at the bottom of the pie. Pile some melty cheesy leek goop, then repeat with your second flattened slab of dough.

Once the pie had turned a golden brown, we served it up for lunch along with hummus, fresh tomatoes, and some salad. Kostas said to me, “See? It’s not so bad.” I couldn’t agree more.

Find the recipe for this crispy beauty at Kostas’ blog, Dr. Benefits, and once you get the hang of it, try out some homemade phyllo in any of our favorite phyllo recipes.

Στο περιοδικό / Featured at View Thessaloniki City Guide

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Στο περιοδικό / Featured at Redlife (Issue 03)

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Στο περιοδικό / Featured at Redlife (Issue 02)

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Στο περιοδικό / Featured at Redlife (Issue 01)

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Στο περιοδικό / Featured at View Thessaloniki City Guide

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Στο περιοδικό / Featured at Glow

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dr. Benefits

A life changing nutritional journal

About

To Dr Benefits είναι ένα ημερολόγιο-καταγραφή μιας σύγχρονης μεσογειακής διατροφής, ένα post food blog με απλές συνταγές, μαγειρεμένες με προϊόντα της εποχής, με μία σύντομη διατροφολογική ανάλυση να ακολουθεί. Εδώ μπορεί κανείς να βρει ιδέες για να κάνει τη ζωή του ευκολότερη στην κουζίνα, για να ψωνίζει έξυπνα, να διαχειρίζεται το καθημερινό τραπέζι και να μαγειρεύει για τους φίλους με επιτυχία. Πέρα από όλα αυτά μπορεί κανείς να ενημερώνεται για ό,τι πιο νέο συμβαίνει στο χώρο της διατροφής και για τον τρόπο με τον οποίο μπορεί να ενσωματώσει τη γνώση αυτή στην καθημερινότητα του.

Info

Ο Κώστας Φειδάντσης είναι ο dr. Benefits. «Είμαι βιολόγος και δουλεύω στην έρευνα. Κάποια στιγμή αποφάσισα να σπουδάσω διατροφή. Με τον τρόπο αυτό μπορώ να χρησιμοποιήσω τη γνώση αυτή για κάτι τόσο πρακτικό όπως το φαγητό», λέει ο ίδιος.

«Ήταν τότε που ο διαπίστωσα πως ο κόσμος χρειάζεται να ξέρει πως να επιλέξει το φαγητό του. Πόσο κρέας πρέπει να καταναλώνουμε; Πώς θα πάρουμε τις βιταμίνες και τα απαραίτητα θρεπτικά συστατικά που χρειαζόμαστε; Ποιό είναι το ρίσκο που έχει η κατανάλωση των συσκευασμένων τροφίμων; Πώς πρέπει να διαμορφώνεται το διαιτολόγιο μας στην περίπτωση μία διατροφικής αλλεργίας; Και πάνω απ΄ όλα πως όλη αυτή η πληροφορία θα γίνει ένα νόστιμο φαγητό;».Την dr. Benefits ομάδα συμπληρώνει η δημοσιογράφος Ελένη Ψυχούλη, η κλινική διατροφολόγος Νάντια Αποστολίδου ενώ την επιμέλεια των συνταγών ο food blogger και chef Δημήτρης Κοπαράνης -The Foodie Anarchist.

dr benefits

dr. Benefits
A life changing nutritional journal

About
Dr Benefits is a calendar of a modern Mediterranean diet, a post food blog with simple recipes, cooked with seasonal products, with a brief nutritional analysis to follow. Here one can find ideas in order to make life easier in the kitchen, to shop intelligently, manage the daily table and cook for friends successfully. Besides all that, you can be informed about what is new about nutrition and the way you can incorporate this knowledge in everyday life.

Info
Kostas Feidantsis is dr. Benefits. “I am a biologist and I am a researcher. Eventually I decided to study nutrition. This way I can use this knowledge for something as practical as food” he says.

“It was then that I realized that people need to know how to choose food wisely. How much meat should we consume? How to get the vitamins and essential nutrients we need? What is the risk that the consumption of packaged food has? How should we form our diet when food allergies appear? And above all, how all this information could become a tasty food?”. dr. Benefits team is complemented by the food journalist Eleni Psyhouli, Nantia Apostolidou (clinical nutritionist), and Dimitris Koparanis -The Foodie Anarchist (recipe editing, chef and food blogger).

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