Genre: An eclectic collection of recipes from around the Mediterranean & other places traveled by the author.
ISBN: NOTE: AVAILABLE BY SPECIAL ORDER ONLY. Pages: 207
It occurred to me one day in September of 1972 while on holiday in Munich to see the Olympic Games,(always have had a great sense of timing), that very few problems in the history of mankind have ever been settled through politics, only delayed.
Political approaches are usually accompanied by intermittent wars and other forms of variously labelled armed conflict, all purely financially motivated, and intended to help prevent our respective cultures from becoming close enough to each other through art, sport and other productive endeavors to want to kill each other. Even the ancients knew this.
However, despite the relentless assault on society by the political propaganda, we survive and manage to get on with life. Why? Not because we buy into political hatred or repetitive rhetoric, but because along with great sex, exciting sport accompanied by beautiful art and music we all share an unrestrained, universal regard for good food. Virtually every culture in the world celebrates births, weddings, funerals, and every other excuse for a party, with good drink and good food. And when they discover life in other star systems there’s little doubt they’ll find out that the little green people there do the same thing. Although guacamole may not be too popular.
So, Masha and I offer you this book as a potential recipe to enhance your life, the lives of those around you and the lives of the ones you have yet to meet.
From the book:
I learned about congreco while visiting a small village in Spain I can’t roll my tongue tight enough to pronounce correctly, just outside Seville. There’s a great story associated with how I stumbled on this one, but I was too drunk to remember it.
Fortunately I did have an empty condom packet with the hotel’s name and address on it and so I went back the next day and accosted the chef until she gave me the recipe, (and assured me she wasn’t going to press charges). After the police released me on my own recognizance with a sworn statement to leave for Seville on the next bus out, (in my defense the statement was made under severe duress), I wrote down the recipe.
Drain the crab meat, (or any other white fish meat desired). The 135g is the standard supermarket sized tinned crab meat, tuna or cod. In a medium sized mixing bowl scoop half the mayo, half the onion and half the garlic and chopped egg, mix well. Add the crab meat and mix, gradually adding in the remainder of the ingredients.
Once you’re happy that you have a nice even distribution, cover with cling film to maintain the moisture, and set the bowl in the fridge. 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve take the bowl out of the fridge, slice the bread diagonally in 1 inch thick slices, (about 2 cm), arrange on a serving platter and evenly spread a nice dollop of the congreco on each slice. If you’re really out to impress, garnish the plate with well drained and dry greens and top each slice with half a cherry tomato, olive or shaved carrot.
This is an incredibly tasty Greek recipe a Polish girl from Illinois gave to me one time after we met in Canada. But, the first time I ate it was in Boston with some friends visiting from California on their way to England. I’ve made it countless times and featured it in every restaurant where I had a say in the menu. It’s fast and easy and any leftovers keep well for two to three days, so make extra if you want.
Start with your veg prep by cubing the tomatoes into small salad cuts. The onion should be in very thin rings to maximize palatability. If you want you can cut the onion in half after slicing off the ends and before peeling then cut it into half rings.
I like to half the olives as well so you get these little bursts of flavor as you eat and avoid potential hidden stones. (Take that teeth!) After setting the rice to steam or boil, clean the chicken and rub in some oregano, crushed black pepper and thyme Q. B. Heat the wine in a pan and start the chicken. If you have any olive juice from the olives add a little in with the wine. Over a low flame the chicken will take about the same amount of time as the rice. Monitor both closely and adjust as needed.
Just before you flip the chicken score each breast three or four times on a diagonal about 1/2”, (12mm), deep. Now add the olives and onions and about ten minutes later the tomatoes. n.b. – keep covered while cooking. Add more oregano, thyme and pepper to taste being careful to stir well as you go.
Now is a good time to heat your plates by simply pouring some boiling water on them. Simmer all for five to eight minutes. Drain and plate your rice in a nice mound, lay a breast on top and drizzle the wine sauce over it and then spoon the veg out on top. A light sprinkle of oregano and who’s your daddy? A dish of warm garlic olive oil and some fresh Tiger bread on the side and it’s all over but the cryin’!
NOTE: Pimento stuffed olives are used in the original recipe but garlic stuffed olives work well also, providing you don’t have a hot date that night. If you buy jarred olives save the juice to use for tuna salad and other dressings later on. Likewise if you buy pickles for other recipes, save the juice. See the ‘Dressings’ section on all the great stuff you do with these juices.