bread · Greek recipe · leftovers · no-dough

Fried Flatbread and Beans a la Grecque

How about some ideas for lunch or dinner for a change, hm? By the way, a nice breakfast too 😉 It’s a bit cold here again, just as it is normally around and in the beginning of June – the school is over and just when you are ready to enjoy your well-deserved summer, here come cold days of June! No school for me any more but unemployment-inspired search for irregular dishes=) Perhaps beans are not much in the season right now, but they happened to be in my pantry and I just cannot let them get annoyed there for too long. So I searched for a Greek recipe using beans (as I remember quite a lot of dishes with beans served as meze or soups during the Lent, for example). Although my beans were already canned and were far away from being GIANT beans required for the recipe, I landed upon this recipe from one of my sources for Greek cuisine ideas:

Gigantes Plaki sto Fourno (Giant Baked Beans)  adapted from where you will get the original recipe. Surely, there is a very slim chance to get hold of γίγαντες beans here in Russia, especially those from Κοζάνη, a town famous for its beans. And moreover, beans are not THAT popular here in Russia as they’re in Greece or even in USA. We do tend to use beans for soups (which I hated when I was little!), especially green or yellow split peas, but that’s nearly all we do with legumes. But me personally, after tasting some traditional recipes from Puerto Rican cuisine (thanks to Melina) and even Sudanese (thanks Khalid), and surely after one year of δωρεάν (free) meals at the student canteen in Thessaloniki, I has changed my attitude towards those nasty beans as they used to seem to me before.

So here is what I did to adapt the Greek recipe of γίγαντες πλακί στο φούρνο (πλακί means ‘baked’ and the last word = oven), there will be a lot of instead:

  • instead of Kozani gigantes beans I used a can of white kidney beans which were quite small + adding the liquid instead of dry white wine… yep, I know, it’s a strange substitution but it worked! I had only semi-sweet Greek wine in the fridge =)
  • consequently, I didn’t have to prepare the beans overnight as they were already canned, so I skipped the first two points of the recipe instructions
  • instead of red onions I had only regular white
  • surely no way of getting 6 ripe tomatoes here… So I used a 500 g package of chopped tomatoes, also thus saving some time
  •  as tomato paste I used spicy Georgian sauce called Satsebeli
  • instead of the most of the parsley I used our home grown basil and added some dill
  • I had no celery ribs, so I just chopped in some potatoes (two medium ones, they added some ‘body’)
  • I used only 1 big carrot
  • my oregano was dried (but Greek!)
  • my honey was not thyme but … δεν πειράζει! (=it doesn’t matter)
  • instead of chilli pepper I used paprika and a pre-mixed seasoning for potato dishes
  • as my chopped tomatoes were quite liquid already, I added only two ladles of my Mom’s chicken stock instead of 2 cups of water

And all these instead’s created this huge skillet (for the lack of a proper lid, I covered my pan with aluminium foil):

Ah, yes, I also added some grated suluguni cheese during the last minutes of baking, this created a nice crust (ok-ok, I admit I just cannot live without cheese!). We ate almost half of this amount for our lunch and then ate it for the dinner and still there were some leftovers yet! The dish is πικάντικο (spicy) and loaded with tomatoes; we even used it as a kind of a dip for dinner, eating it with the next hero of today’s post –   

Lemon and Parsley Wheat Flatbread  adapted from where you will find the recipe.

The recipe makes 12 breads (but can be just about anything, depending on the size of your skillet, or just on your fancy). The taste is quite neutral, so they are perfect for various dips and accompanying extras, such as Greek yoghurt, vegetables, etc etc.

My flatbreads cannot be called ‘lemon & parsley’ as I added quite a small amount of zest and hmmm forgot the lemon juice completely, so the flavour has been lost on them, unfortunately, and used spring onions instead of parsley… The second change was not drastic and I even liked the onion bits inside. I also liked the whole wheat flour in the dough, I think without it the flatbreads would be less tangy, perhaps. I used dry active yeast.

In what concerns the procedure itself, as I had to leave home for some time, I just popped the dough in the fridge and then my mother did the rolling out and frying when it came closer to the dinner time 🙂 The rest of the breads we at at breakfast, here is one of the variants:

{here depicted with some Adygea cheese instead of Cheddar as seen earlier}

Or just simple as that:

Tomorrow’s my yet another job interview. It’s amazing how used to them you grow after several dozens of them. But however I still do not know how to answer some of those tricky nonsensical questions! It just seems to me that these things are even not worth talking about or I feel obliged to sound so bloody experienced or whatever, which I am not.

Ok, tomorrow will also probably visit Museum of Bread, which turned out to be located just near the central railway station. Unfortunately, no photos are usually as welcome and allowed as they are in the European museums.



2 thoughts on “Fried Flatbread and Beans a la Grecque

  1. Telia, thanks for some greek inspiration today. It wasn´t easy to find giants beans here as well, at least i’ve found only white ligo smaller ones.
    And, btw, you know, I´ve already read about the Museum of Bread and it´s on my list too. The only quation is how to convinde the others.

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