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A Recipe from Daphnis and Chloe

  • Daphnis and Chloe is a line of culinary herbs that recently arrived in our Home Shop. Founder Evangelia Koutsovoulou often lamented that none of the seasonings she bought at the market came close to achieving the vivid aromas and pure flavors of the wild, handpicked herbs of her native Greece. Over the course of several years spent searching and tasting in every corner of her homeland (where some of the highest quality cooking herbs grow naturally, due to a wide variety of favorable microclimates and biodiversity), she developed relationships with local growers and foragers before eventually crafting her own line. Daphnis and Chloe’s aromatic, handpicked herbs come from small, family-run organic farms, where they are carefully selected and packed manually to preserve their quality. You can find their thyme, oregano, mint, Greek sage, and bay leaves at the Home Shop, and a recipe for Evangelia’s Herby Sardine Cakes below.

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    This is not a recipe that I will cook on a weekday after getting home from work. It is more of a “cooking ritual” that my partner and I will occasionally undertake on a Saturday, most likely because we are expecting a bunch of friends for dinner. Despite the fact that the recipe itself is quite easy, it takes some labor to prepare the fish. Our guests (even the ones who don’t love sardines) highly appreciate this recipe, where the intense flavor of the fish is masked by a good dose of both dried and fresh herbs.

    Ingredients:
    700 gr fresh sardines, cleaned and chopped in tiny pieces, heads and bones discarded
    2 cups ripe or whole canned tomatoes, chopped in small pieces
    1 cup onions, coarsely grated
    1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
    1 cup all-purpose flour, or maybe more
    The zest of an unwaxed lemon, thinly grated
    3 spoons Greek oregano
    Salt, pepper, extra flour
    Frying oil

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    Sardines: the fresher they are, the better they will behave at cleaning. If you don’t like cleaning fish, maybe they can do it for you at your local market. We prefer to do the cleaning at home because we somehow feel that it helps us get to know our food better.

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    Preparation: Once the fish is clean, put it in a bowl and use your hands to mix it with the rest of the ingredients. You might need to adjust the quantity of flour, as the right propoortion depends on the liquids of the fish, onions, and tomatoes. The result should be ma more or less sticky mass. The smaller the pieces of the chopped ingredients, the better they will blend together. Let the mixture rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.

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    Cooking: Roll a sardine ball with your hands, then roll it in flour to give it a good coating. Do the same with the rest of the cakes. Pour 1/2 inch olive oil in a frying pan on medium. The oil should be hot, but not too hot. Add the first portion of fritters (about 8) in the pan, turning them upside down until ready. This will take 4-5 minutes. When cooked, place them on kitchen paper to drain the oils and contiinue with the next portion. Season with fresh lemon and serve warm.

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    Many thanks to Evangelia! For more of her recipes, visit her blog.

    - Photos by Adrianna Glaviano

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 9:12 am and is filed under Food, Home, New Arrivals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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