I always seem to have leftover food from the holidays … Usually too many sweets and way too many appetizers. Next event I’m going to be proactive and box up cute to-go containers for all of my guests and family members to take with them. That way, my husband and I won’t be stuck eating dips, cheeses, olives, antipastos and sweet desserts the following week!
I really wanted to share a few recipes from new and long time faithful readers.
This is a recipe request from Kim Lampshire and Paula Cramer, and for those that don’t know, they are my baby sisters. They live in northeastern Ohio and have just started reading my column (online), so you could say they are “new readers” although I am constantly sending them recipes to try and report back to me how they liked them.
Being the oldest sibling, I was blessed to be the one who cooked with our grandmother (YiaYia) the most. I also did a lot of cooking with my dad and even some with my mom! Of course, none of them had recipes written down; that would be too easy. I diligently assisted for years and wrote and rewrote recipes and directions as we cooked and baked. It seemed, even though we would make several of the same meals and sweets over and over, the recipes somehow were always adjusted a bit here and there. It totally frustrated me then, but now I find myself doing the same thing as I cook with my daughters and granddaughters!
One recipe I love to make and it has never changed a bit is Nick Anthe’s Bean Salad. I cherish this recipe. It came from my mother, Jean Kariotis. The story goes like this: at one time she was dating Mr. Nick Anthe, who just happened to own a Greek restaurant! He shared with her his secret recipe for his awesome bean appetizer that he gave away free to every customer, Yes, a small plate of this tangy flavorful dish was placed in front of every diner as they waited for their meals. Of course, if they wanted an additional plate, they would have to order and pay for the second helping. She shared this with me when I was first married way back in 1970! I have kept to the recipe and have not deviated on a single ingredient. I was talking to my sisters about making it for Christmas last month and neither of them has the recipe or has attempted to create it. My New Year’s gift to them and to our readers is the famous recipe! So, if you are originally from the Akron area, I hope you don’t spill the beans and tell the Anthe family I shared Nick’s secret. And if this is not the original recipe, after all, it is an Akron thing, please don’t break my heart and tell me there is another floating around. My mother’s stories about herself, Nick, the restaurant and their adventures with the staff and customers are memories I dearly cherish. So “Please Join My Table” as I share with you a few favorite old recipes this New Year!
Nick Anthe’s Bean Salad
(From Jean Vincent-Kariotis)
5 cups canned cooked red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced Spanish onions
1 cup diced sweet pickles
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or to taste) (Yes, I now use Duke’s Mayonnaise!)
2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
DIRECTIONS: Rinse beans thoroughly and drain very well. In a large bowl, mix beans with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate one hour before serving. Serve with crackers or toasted pita bread triangles.
Whilst I am looking for my pH charts :), I wanted to ask you about spicing up green and Kalamata olives. From Cyprus, my dad used to put fresh ground coriander, garlic and some olive oil on little cracked Green Cyprus olives. I want to do it with the larger Greek green and black Kalamata olives.
Try this recipe, my family and spur-of-the-moment, last-minute guests rave about it!
Elies Tsakistes (Cracked Green Olives)
1 jar (6 ounces) pitted Black Greek Kalamata olives, drained
1 jar (6 ounces each) pitted Green Greek olives, drained
1 jar (5-3/4 ounces) cracked Green Cyprus olives, drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup Fruity Greek olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over olive mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Yield: 4 cups.