My favourite posts are unsurprisingly maybe, centred around my most favourite recipes of all, the ones that I grew up with, the ones that are closest to my heart. I’m hoping that these recipes are the ones that my daughters will one day ask my help with, as I did with my mom and I can direct them to this blog if circumstances dictate that I’m not in the same kitchen helping them- you could say that they can come here to my virtual kitchen! :))
I needed mom’s help with the naming of this recipe, because it gets a little complicated.
When I was small this dish was called ‘Kapama’, a casserole made with either meat or chicken, potatoes and red wine, I remember my mom adding crushed coriander seeds to the finished dish, but after I got engaged and was influenced by another village’s way of cooking (the village is Aradhippou, in Cyprus by the way) and another woman’s way of cooking (My Mother-in-law) I saw that she and most of the other women there, made the same dish that I remember when growing up, but made it without the crushed coriander seeds and called it ‘Kokkinisto’ which means ‘reddened’ in Greek.
Bear with me reader, for here is where it gets complicated…..talk about regional cooking…..
In Xylophagou, which is where my family’s from, ‘Kokkinisto’ refers to a dish that has been cooked with tomatoes, not red wine. But also to a dish which involves meat and potatoes being dunked into red wine and the fried until golden and cooked through.
So what’s in a name?
I call this glorious dish ‘Kokkinisto’, it’s my blog, here we go:
|My Mom’s Kokkinisto|
1. This is how I usually calculate how much to make. For every person eating, allow 1-2 chicken portions (by a portion I mean either a leg, wing, thigh or breast of chicken) and 1-2 potatoes each.
You know the appetite of your family!
One can also use pork chops (1 per person is fine) lamb chops, pork ribs or belly slices, anything you fancy really.
2. You will also need a bottle of good, full bodied red wine.
3. Open the bottle of red wine, and pour it into a large bowl (if you wish for a lighter colour to the finished dish and in fact a lighter taste, too, you could use only half of the bottle)
Place the chicken or meat portions into the wine and get on with heating some vegetable oil in a large, shallow pan, we are going to brown the meat next.
4. Heat the oil to a high heat, and being very wary of splashes, place the meat carefully into the pan, now, you want to brown the meat very well, so that it’s lovely and dark brown (the wine will aid with the colouring)
Now place the halved potatoes in the same wine.
Place the meat into a large casserole, or Dutch oven.
5. Do exactly the same with the potatoes, brown them off well in the oil and place over the meat in the casserole.
6. Pour the wine over the meat and potatoes, Pour water in too, to barely cover them, also salt and pepper to taste, if liked one can also add a pinch of cinnamon (This is a Cypriot recipe- we put cinnamon in everything!)
And the secret ingredient…pour in about a tablespoon or two of the oil…mmmmmm.
Bring to a boil, turn down heat to a simmer and simmer until the potatoes are tender, by this time both the meat and potatoes will be cooked through.
7. Serve in bowls, with lots of the lovely sauce and lots of good, crusty bread.
As you can see in the photo, it’s also possible to add a layer of cauliflower florets which have been fried off in the oil and placed over the meat and potatoes. My eldest son loves it this way!
This is a beloved dish in my part of Cyprus, it’s made weekly without a doubt, loved by everyone!
The first time I made it, mum reminded me just the other day was when I was about 15-16. As Mum used to work, she’d tell me what she wanted cooked that day and I would write the instructions down and by the time she got home, there’d be a cooked meal on the table :)) You see I loved cooking, even back then…..