The orthodox faith
For the youth
St. Phanourios Bread (Fanouropita)

Ingredients :

1 c orange juice
1/2 cp brandy
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 /2 tsp salt
2 c golden raisins
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c honey
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp double-acting baking powder
1 /2 tsp baking soda
2 tbs grated orange peel

Procedure :

1.- In a large, heavy bottomed saucean, combine all ingredients listed from orange juice to cloves,
2.- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for exactly ten minutes -- any longer, and you'll have a good cannelized smelling door stop instead of a cake.
3.- Set pot in cold water to cool mixture completely.
4.- Sift into cooled syrup flour, baking powder and baking soda.
5.- Beat vigorously for eight to ten minutes (Takes muscles! We use a wooden spoon for this.) or until batter is smooth and bubbly.
6.- Stir in orange peel.
7.- Turn into well greased 7 " fluted pan or 8" loaf pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional, skip if you like).
8.- Bake for I to 4 1/2 hours, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
9.- Sprinkle with 1/4 cup brandy and cool cake in pan. Bring to church to have blessed, and then share with parishioners or the poor.

Rizopita Me Karydia Ke Stafides (Greek Lenten Pie)

Ingredients :

1/2 c short-grain rice
1 tbs margarine or light olive oil
2 c water
1 c shelled walnuts
1 c golden raisins
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 sheets Homemade Phyllo, or 1 lbs thick commercial phyllo
1/2 -3/4 c melted margarine or light olive oil, for brushing

Syrup :

1 /2 c sugar
2/3 c water
2 tbs lemon juice
Peel of 1/2 lemon
1 piece cinnamon stick

Procedure :

1.- Soak the rice for 5 minutes in water to cover.
2.- Drain and saute in the margarine until glistening.
3.- Pour in the water and cook over low heat for about 12 minutes, or until it becomes very soft and has absorbed all the water.
4.- Turn the cooked rice into a bowl and let cool a little.
5.- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
6.- Mix the walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, and cloves with the rice and stir well.
7.- Brush a 14 x 9 1/2 -inch baking pan with margarine and lay in 2 sheets of homemade or 8 sheets of commercial phyllo, brushing each sheet with margarine. Let about 2 1/2 inches of dough hang over the edge of the pan, and trim the rest.
8.- Pour the filling into the pan, smooth it with a spatula, and lay in the remaining sheets of commercial or 2 sheets of homemade phyllo, brushing each sheet with margarine. Trim the top sheets to no more than 1/2 inch larger than the pan all around.
9.- Brush again with margarine, and turn the hanging phyllo inward to seal. Using a very sharp knife or a razor blade, score the top layers to mark the desired sizes of the pieces you will cut later.
10.- Place in the oven, and bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown on top.
11.- After baking for 30 minutes, start preparing the syrup. Place the sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and turn down the heat.
12.- Simmer until the pie is baked.
13.- The moment you take the pie out of the oven, discard the lemon peel and cinnamon stick, and pour the syrup over the pie. Be very careful the syrup can bubble vigorously and can burn you.
14.- Cover the pie with a clean kitchen towel and let cool completely before serving. This rice pie tastes much better the next day and keeps well for at least a day. (Author's note: This is a Lenten sweet pie that is prepared in Metsovo, but this recipe is my interpretation. Instead of using olive oil, I have used margarine because I think the taste of olive oil is much too strong. Needless to say, it is infinitely better if the phyllo is homemade. - AGLAIA KREMEZIS

Spanakopita Nistisimi (Greek Lenten Spinach Pie)

Ingredients :

1 lbs curly endive
3 lbs fresh bulk spinach, washed, large stems removed
3 bn large scallions, white and green chopped together
5 tbs virgin olive oil
1 lemon
1 1/2 c finely chopped fresh dill
1 tbs salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs rice or cracked wheat

Pastry :

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
5 tbs olive oil
1 tbs sesame seeds

Procedure :

1.- Start by making the pastry. Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder.
2.- Mix in about 6 tablespoons water, a little at a time, until the dough is gooey, but not wet.
3.- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus another teaspoonful, and a little more flour, if needed, to make a cohesive mass.
4.- Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
5.- Cover it and set aside to relax for an hour or two.
6.- For the filling, separate the curly endive leaves, so the vegetable will cook in the same time. Steam the spinach and endive together in a large pan, in the water clinging to the leaves, plus just an extra 1/2 cup. Turn the leaves over occasionally, so they wilt evenly.
7.- When they are wilted, but not mushy, drain them in a colander, pressing firmly with the back of a wooden spoon to remove as much excess liquid as possible. (Reserve the liquid for use in soup, or drink with a squeeze of lemon juice, as the Greeks do.)
8.- Saute the scallions in 2 tablespoons olive oil, until barely soft. Add a few tablespoons of water if they stick to the pan.
9.- Roughly chop the cooked spinach and curly endive and finely grate the zest from the lemon.
10.- Then toss the cooked vegetables with the scallions, parsley, dill, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt, and pepper, adding 3 tablespoons olive oil.
11.- Set aside until you are ready to fill the pastry.
12.- Choose an ovenproof earthenware or glass baking dish 2 to 2-1/2 inches deep and about 2 quart capacity and brush the inside with oil.
13.- Divide the pastry into two unequal parts, and then again into halves. On a floured surface roll out one of the larger pieces of pastry. This should be large enough to line the dish, coming up and over the sides - this should make it very thin.
14.- Fit it into the baking dish and brush it with olive oil. Do the same with the second piece of pastry, placing it on top of the first, and brush again with olive oil.
15.- Sprinkle the tablespoon of rice or cracked wheat over the bottom, to soak up excess -juices, and fill with the spinach and herb mixture.
16.- Roll out the remaining two pieces of pastry, separately, to fit the top of the dish. Place the first on top of the spinach, brush with olive oil, then place the second on top of that. Prick the pastry with a fork in an attractive pattern and brush the entire top with olive oil.
17.- Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 F for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown. (Source: Karen Mintzias)

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