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Taramasalata and Chestnut Skordalia

Food

A new month means a new TASTY TUESDAY, and man are we seriously excited about this one!

It’s our great pleasure to introduce Melbourne based recipe developer, food stylist and food blogger Cle-ann Stampolidis, who this month will share with us four insanely delicious recipes drawing upon her Greek heritage.

Words cannot describe how effortlessly excellent Cle-ann is in the kitchen. From whipping up homemade dips, to preparing everyone’s favourite salty, squeaky fried cheese, Cle-ann completely wowed us during this shoot.  She is all those things only an innate cook can be – calm under pressure, ever cheerful, and prepared for everything!

5th May, 2015
Cle-ann Stampolidis
Tuesday 5th May 2015

As a child my Yaya and Mum would always do the cooking for me. But on occasion I would venture into the fridge myself to make a sandwich. I remember opening up the feta tub and finding tzatziki, or opening the margarine and finding olives! It was always this way. There were times when I thought I had it sorted. I would open the margarine in search of olives, but NOPE it was margarine again.

Nothing was wasted, food or containers. Bread was never thrown away, and stale ​bread was always used to make dip or soup. If we couldn’t eat it, it would be fed to the chickens.

Taramasalata dip is made using stale bread which is soaked, squeezed and blended into an emulsion using olive oil, ­similar to mayonnaise but without the eggs.

One of my favourite sides to fish, which can also be used as a dip, is Skordalia. It’s like garlic mash! Made with garlic and a starchy base, the most common version is potato Skordalia (served warm alongside seafood is dreamy!). This recipe uses chestnuts, adding another dimension to the flavour.

At the moment I have some Skordalia, sitting in an old feta container in my fridge!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the Taramasalata

  • 130g day-old white or Vienna bread, crusts removed
  • 100g tinned tarama (sea mullet fish roe)
  • 2 spring onions white part only
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup oil

For the Chestnut Skordalia

  • 300g fresh chestnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Murray River salt flakes
  • Ground black pepper

Tarama for the Taramasalata. Ceramic tiles from Jatana Interiors. Small speckled plate by Sarah Schembri. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

Method

For the Taramasalata

Soak bread in a small bowl of water for 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess water. Put the bread, spring onion and tarama in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Add the lemon juice and blend. With the motor running, gradually add the olive oil into the feeder tube. If you don’t have a feeder tube, add a little at a time and blend in between each addition until you have a smooth paste. If it’s too thick, add a little water.

Transfer dip to a container or serving dish and chill in the fridge for an hour before you serve.

For the Chestnut Skordalia

Place a chestnut on the chopping board and score the flat side with a serrated knife, just enough to break the shell. Repeat with all of them.

Pop them into a small pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

In the meantime pop the garlic into your food processor.

Peel the chestnuts while still hot (cooks hands come in handy here!). Remove the shell and the brown membrane while warm and add them straight into the food processor (you want the chestnuts warm so that when you blend, it cooks the garlic slightly).

Blend chestnuts and garlic together until they resemble coarse bread crumbs. Remove blade, or transfer to bowl, and stir through lemon, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Cle-Ann in her garden at home in Melbourne.  Photo – Eve Wilson.

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