Eating at four Greek Islands

This week I will tell you about our visit to four Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea — Paros, Antiparos, Naxos and Aegina –which are not on the top of the tourist list of the islands to visit, like Mykonos and Santorini. However, I must say that those islands are incredible and gorgeous and worth taking the time to visit them and enjoy their beauty. We have visited Mykonos and Santorini many times in the past, staying for a week or two, but this time we wanted to pick and explore a couple islands we have never spent time on.

Our first stop was Paros which was a five-hour boat ride taking the slow ferryboat.

The island is famous for its natural beauty and the quality of the local marble — the famous Venus de Milo statue was carved from Parian marble — Paros having many ancient quarries.

The next island, about an hour boat ride from Paros, was Antiparos where the famous American actor Tom Hanks and his wife have a beautiful villa which they visit frequently.

Next, we were on to the island of Naxos — largest and most fertile island in the Cyclades — and famous for their lemon groves and quality of the local craftsmanship. It has great soil for fruits, vegetables, potatoes, olives and amazing wine and ideal for farming.

While visiting there, we found that like most Greek Islands, it was full of many various outdoor taverns specializing in a variety of fresh fish, lobster, octopus and many other fish along with various meat dishes featuring lamb, beef and veal.

The best way is to order various appetizers of seafood, veggies and salads to share along with you main course meal. Of course wine, ouzo and beer is also a must with any meal.

As for the Island of Aegean, only one word is needed — Pistachio Nuts! Aegean is famous for their great Pistachio nuts and they are shipped all over the world.

More to follow next week!

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Squash Feta

3 pounds yellow squash

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, melted

4 eggs, well-beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons cream of wheat

1/4 cup cream

2 small pieces feta cheese

15 fila, small

2/3 cup melted butter

Peel squash and cut in small pieces. Place in deep saucepan with 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt. Boil slowly until squash is soft. Turn into colander and drain well. This may be covered and left to stand overnight in refrigerator. Mash the squash to a fine puree. Combine with the melted butter and remaining ingredients; mix throughly. Season to taste. In a greased pan, about 8×12, arrange 8 fila, brush each with melted butter. Pour in the squash mixture and top with 7 fila, brushing each with melted butter. Fold in edges to seal mixture, and brush with melted butter. Bake in 350 oven for 45 minutes. Peta will shake free from pan when done.

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Apple Cake

3/4 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 cups milk

4 apples, sliced

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar for 10 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well. Mix baking powder with flour and add to first mixture, alternating with milk. Mix well. Pour half the batter in a greased pan, 16×11. Peel and slice apples; arrange in pan. Cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, which have been mixed together. Bake in oven at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

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Chicken Artichoke Fricassee

1 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts

12 small potatoes, pared

1 2 1/2 pound fryer chicken

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1 6-ounce can mushrooms

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon chopped dill

2/3 cup yogurt

1 tablespoon flour

Arrange thawed artichokes with small potatoes in a greased 2 1/2 quart casserole. Cut chicken in serving pieces and brown in butter in a large skillet. Add seasonings and arrange over vegetables in baking dish. Cook chopped onion in pan drippings until soft. Stir in mushrooms with liquid and wine. Pour over chicken; cover and bake in 350 oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken and vegetables to platter. Combine yogurt with flour; add juices from casserole and heat, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Return chicken and vegetables to baking dish and pour sauce over.

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Macaroon Cake

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, separated

3 cups flour, sifted

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup grated coconut

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, blending throughly. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk. Stir in flavorings and coconut. Fold stiffly-beaten egg whites into batter, blending gently. Bake in well-greased 10-inch tube pan at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

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Chicken Pilaf

3 pound fryer chicken, cut up

4 cups salted boiling water

4 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice

salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Cover pieces of chicken with salted boiling water and cook until almost tender. Remove meat from broth and place in a heavy baking pan. Reserve chicken broth. Combine butter, lemon juice and oregano and pour over chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until well-browned. In a deep casserole, bring to boil 3 cups of broth and 1 teaspoon salt. Add rice slowly and stir well. Bring to a boil again, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, or bake at 350 for 15 minutes without stirring. Uncover at once and fluff rice with fork. Place a cloth towel over casserole to absorb moisture. Replace cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Pack tightly in ring mold, then unmold on large platter. Surround with broiled chicken. For a tasty garnish, fill center of ring with sauteed chicken livers.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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