New England Clam Chowder

Last week we kicked off this Lenten season’s Celebrity Chef series at the church after presanctified liturgy.  Konstantina Choros showed us how to make her delicious fasting clam chowder while also regaling us with tales from the history of chowder.  Here is the recipe:

Ingredients 2 tablespoons Olive Oil 1 medium onion, finely diced (150g) 2 celery stalks, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (130g) 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups water or vegetable stock 3 6.5 oz cans chopped clams with juice 1 cup potatoes finely chopped for thickening agent (250 g) 2 bay leaves 1 pound potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes (500 g) Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions Soup 1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until softened, mixing often. 2. Stir in flour, distribute evenly and break any clumps. 3. Add the stock, juice from chopped clams, potatoes, and bay leaves. 4. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken). 5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often. 6. Add potato thickening agent and cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are nice and tender. 7. Add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper. 8. Cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

Thickening agent 1. In a small pot cook the finely chopped potatoes until they begin to fall apart. 2. Using a food processor pulverize the potatoes in to a thick paste.

Approximately 0.79 calories per gram or 23 calories per oz


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March 13th, 2017 by Fr. Greg

Pumpkin Kibbeh

Last night after presanctified liturgy we had the latest installment in our series of local celebrity chefs doing a cooking demonstration for us.  First, some background: There is a tradition of having potluck meals after these evening liturgies.  When I came to Marlborough I realized there hadn’t been a Wednesday night lenten liturgy in a while.  I didn’t want to saddle everyone with six straight potlucks, so I decided to alternate them with lenten cooking demos.  We always have fun – the chefs give freely of their time and food, everyone enjoys it and learns something, and we eat well and see a side of the chef’s personality that we may not see in everyday life.  Last night Miriam Hyder from Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace kicked off this year’s series, and it was awesome.  Miriam made pumpkin kibbeh, a vegan variation on the traditional meat dish.  Everyone had a great time and enjoyed the food – pictures will soon be up on the church website.  A nice bonus was having Miriam’s mother Edna on board to help out.  Edna and I are both from the same hometown, so we enjoyed reminiscing.  The recipe is below.  If you wish to make it gluten or grain-free, you can substitute quinoa for the bulgur.


Pumpkin Kibbeh
Preheat oven to 400. Grease 9 X 13 Pyrex
1.5 cups fine bulghur
2 15oz cans pumpkin puree
1 can chicpeas
1/2 cup flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1t salt X 2
1/2 t black pepper & 1 t black pepper
1t cumin
1T Sumac
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
olive oil
4-6 cups spinach, or leafy greens
Soak bulghur in very hot water for 20 minutes. Drain in mesh colander, squeezing out extra liquid. In a mixing bowl, combine bulghur, pumpkin, flour, water, salt, 1/2t black pepper, cumin.

Heat olive oil in a pan. Saute onions for a few minutes, before adding chickpeas. Sprinkle spices (Sumac, Black pepper, Cinnamon, Salt) over this mixture. Stir, mixing spices throughout. Add spinach (or other greens.) Once wilted, add raisins and walnuts. Mix. Take off heat and pour contents into a bowl.
Use half of the pumpkin/bulghur mixture to evenly line the bottom of the pyrex. use spatula to distribute. Evenly spread “stuffing” (chickpea, onion mixture) over. Lay down third layer, using remaining pumpkin/bulghur mixture.
Use knife to cut halfway down to give kibbeh desired shaped pieces. Brush top with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes, or until you reach desired crispness.

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March 31st, 2016 by Fr. Greg

Gluten-Free And Nut-Free Vasilopita

Yesterday on Facebook I put up a post about today’s vasilopita cutting at the church and offhandedly mentioned that we would have a gluten-free, nut-free vasilopita option.  I could not believe the reaction, which doubled when I put up a picture.  I had lots of positive comments along with many requests for the recipe.  So here it is, courtesy of Prez. Eleni.

1 stick of butter

3/4 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 c. orange juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 t. baking powder

1 c. cooked quinoa

3/4 c. rice flour*

1/2 c. millet flour*

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. ground clove

1 3/4 tsp. xantham gum

*or other gluten-free flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat butter and sugar at high speed until fluffy. Continue beating then add eggs one at a time then add juice and vanilla. In another bowl combine cooked and cooled quinoa, flours, xantham gum (or other binding agent), cinnamon, clove and xantham gum. Slowly add to butter and sugar mix. Pour this into a greased, 8” pan. Insert a coin which has been previously boiled for 5 minutes (for sterilization) and wrapped in tin foil into the cake away from the edge and center. Smooth batter over point of insertion. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes. The top can be dusted with powdered sugar but only when completely cooled. Alternatively, brush with a beaten egg and decorate with sesame seeds or nuts in a pattern forming the numbers of the new year prior to baking.

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January 13th, 2013 by Fr. Greg

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Bun Muffins

This delicious gluten-free recipe is from my dear friend Leslie Saffer:
Muffin Mixture:
Makes 9 muffins
1 cup blanched almond flour (I added an additional 3 Tablespoons.)
2 tablespoon coconut flour (I used tapioca instead.)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ cup grapeseed oil (I used coconut oil instead.)
¼ cup agave nectar (I used maple syrup.)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl,
In a large bowl blend together oil, agave, eggs and vanilla.
Blend dry ingredients into wet and scoop a scant ¼ cup at a time into lined muffin cups.
Spoon topping onto muffins.
Bake muffins for 8-12 minutes at 350°

Cinnamon Topping:
Combine agave, cinnamon and oil in a small bowl
Set mixture aside.
2 tablespoon agave nectar (I use maple syrup.)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (I use coconut oil.)
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August 24th, 2012 by Fr. Greg

Creamy Leek & Potato Soup With Beans

Let’s end the year with a recipe:

4 large leeks – greens removed and finely chopped

4 potatoes peeled, quartered and sliced

3T olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 C water

1/4 C miso, mild

salt and freshly milled pepper

1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed

Soak leeks in a bowl of water once chopped to remove dirt.  Heat olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add leeks, garlic and potatoes and cook covered over low heat until softened (about 10 minutes).  Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Simmer partly covered for 30 minutes.  Process 1/2 the soup in a blender until creamy then return to pot.  Add miso (optional).  First, melt it in a bowl with broth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add beans and stir well.  Serve hot.

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December 31st, 2011 by Fr. Greg

One Night Seafood?

This recipe was inspired by the late, lamented One Night Seafood dish at Bangkok Bistro, a great restaurant near BC that was a frequent Friday night destination for us while in seminary.  They changed the menu at some point and whatever replaced ONS was a little different and not quite as good, although everything is awesome there (they don’t seem to have a web site).  I was harvesting the remaining basil from the garden and was overcome by memories and a strong desire to eat One Night Seafood, so this is my attempt at it.

3 sprigs of basil, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

1 cayenne pepper, chopped

1 small head of broccoli or green cauliflower, chopped up

Soy sauce (preferably low sodium and gluten-free)

1 green onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1lb frozen seafood (I use Trader Joe’s seafood medley, but any kind of shrimp/scallop/squid combo will do, and it doesn’t have to be frozen I suppose)

Heat up a large frying pan on the stove, medium heat with a little canola oil.  Add the vegetables and seafood until the seafood is cooked (poke the shrimp until it is firm) and the broccoli/cauliflower is softened.  Add desired amount of soy sauce over the whole thing as it is cooking – I wait until some of the water from the frozen seafood has burned off.  You can serve this over rice if you wish but I find it filling as is.

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October 19th, 2011 by Fr. Greg

Cypriot Village Salad

This refreshing salad recipe is from Prez’s father, who hails from the island of Cyprus:

1 large, seedless cucumber
3 fresh tomatoes
1 bunch parsley
1/2 a red onion, sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 c. olive oil
salt to taste
Soak the red onion slices in a small bowl of filtered water and set aside. Clean and chop tomatoes and cucumber; place into a serving bowl. Wash and dry then roughly chop parsley. Drain onion and add to salad along with parsley. In a small bowl, beat together lemon juice, olive oil and salt then pour over salad. Serve with pita bread, olives and haloumi cheese.
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May 31st, 2011 by Fr. Greg