CULTURE

The right pot makes it easier in the kitchen

t is a culinary war out there, and one of the strategies for winning the battle in the kitchen- successfully executing recipes, and being ahead of the «what are we having for dinner» game – is all about working with the right utensils. Published by Ellinika Grammata, Alexandros Papandreou’s recipe book «Mageiriki Skevoria» is dedicated to those faithful allies, the pots and pans. Whatever you pick to make – chicken and ginger in a frying pan, noodles with shrimp in a wok, steamed cauliflower with bacon and tomatoes, lasagna in an oven-proof dish, barbecued sardines or chocolate fondue – Papandreou offers accessible recipes with easy-to-follow directions. Born in Athens in 1973, Papandreou graduated from the Ecole Ferrandi and the Ecole de la Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie, both in Paris. His culinary passion then took to him to the USA’s Johnson & Wales University where he was a professor of French cuisine in the mornings and a student of food styling in the afternoons. He then worked for two major hotels, the Connaught in London and the Plaza Athenee in Paris. Nowadays, Papandreou is a regular chef on a daily morning show, a columnist, a lecturer, as well as a chef at an Athenian restaurant. Alexandros Papandreou suggests this apple tart: Serves 4 Preparation time: 40 minutes Baking time: 40 minutes Ingredients 60 gm walnut kernels 150 gm all-purpose flour 5 tbsp sugar 30 gm unsalted butter 30 gm margarine pinch nutmeg 1/4 tsp ginger peel of one lemon 1/2 tsp sweet vanilla 6 apples 300 gm apple jam TIPS 1. Use pears or other fruit in the same recipe. 2. If you find it hard to make pastry, buy ready-made puff pastry. Instructions Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool. Put walnuts, flour, sugar, butter, margarine, nutmeg, lemon peel and ginger into a blender and mix until it acquires the texture of coarse flour. Add the vanilla and one teaspoon of water to the mixture and blend until it forms dough. Knead the dough on a large flat area, rolling out pieces of dough one by one. Put the pastry into a 24-cm baking dish, spreading it out with your fingers till a thin layer covers the bottom and sides of the dish. Press the dough with your fingers so it does not overlap the rim. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Peel the apples and cut them in half. Remove the cores and cut the apples into thin slices. Place the sliced apple in rows radiating from the center or in a snail shape. Press the apple firmly onto the pastry. Bake the tart for 35-40 minutes until the edges change color. Leave to cool. Put the jam into a small saucepan and heat for three minutes over a moderate flame. Use a brush to glaze the fruit with a fine layer of melted jam.