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Honored to be chosen as celebrity chef | News, Sports, Jobs


When we are young, we have dreams and during life some dreams come true and some do not. It is nice to have dreams and hopes, that helps makes life worth living an a goal for one to achieve.

As for me personally, I am a person that had and has many various dreams, and so far, I feel fortunate that the majority of my dreams have come true and been fulfilled with positive results.

Lately, I have felt honored to have been chosen by the new owners of the Blennerhassett Hotel to serve as a celebrity chef at the hotel restaurant during the month of March. When asked if I would consider being one of the celebrity chefs, I used the expression that is used at the Chick-fil-A with, “It is my pleasure.”

My first thoughts were as to what I should consider making out of all the different Greek dishes I made at the Olympic Deli for eighteen years. Still after twenty five years later, people tell me that they miss my Moussaka, Pastichio, Spanakopita and especially my Baklava, but starting March 6, you will be able to order these dishes and more at the Blennerhassett Hotel Restaurant.

We were the first to introduce Greek foods and gyros to the area, and many were disappointed when we decided to retire, but now 25 years later have another opportunity to serve the area once again with my Greek dishes.

Some of the dishes I will prepare are:

SAGANAKI… a sheared pan-fried Greek cheese topped with a flammable liquor and fresh lemon juice. (Don’t forget to yell “OPA”) when the flame goes out!)

SPANAKOPITA … Three cheeses, spinach and seasonings baked in phyllo dough.

AUGOLEMONO SOUP…. delicious chicken broth cooked with rice and with a lemon sauce.

GREEK SALAD… Iceberg lettuce, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives with a special oil and vinegar Greek dressing.

LEMON CHICKEN…. (The Olympic Deli’s # 1 dish) A fourth of a tender chicken baked in lemon juice and special Greek spices served with Greek style potatoes.

MOUSAKA …. Layers of potatoes, eggplant and meat sauce, topped with a besamel white sauce.

PASTICHIO….Layers of wide pasta and meat sauce topped with a besamel sauce. (Greek Lasagna)

GRECIAN SAMPLER… small portions of the various Greek Dishes

CABBAGE ROLLS… Fresh cabbage filled with ground chuck and rice, special seasonings and in a Augolemono sauce.

ROLLED BAKLAVA ….Finish the meal off with a delicious finger licking piece of Kiki’s rolled Baklava dipped in homemade honey syrup .

BAKLAVA SUNDAE…. A scoop of vanilla ice cream crumbled with baklava with choice of honey or chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a cherry on top.

Greek cuisine for the most part are very time consuming and difficult, with many steps and layers of ingredients. You can’t compare it to throwing a steak on the grill and a potatoes in the microwave and you have a meal. It takes a long time to make a Moussaka, Spanakopita, etc. That is why you leave the cooking up to me and the chefs at the Blennerhassett to prepare a nice meal for you with worries and hours in the kitchen preparing foods.

OUZO (the popular Greek Liqueur (with a licorice taste) along with a selection of red and white wines.

I especially want to thank the new owners and friends Wayne Waldeck and Lee Rector for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my love that I have for the Greek cuisine and also the opportunity to serve the Mid-Ohio Valley one more time, in such as beautiful and great environment such as the Blennerhassett restaurant. I am looking forward to seeing my old customers and friends, along with new ones and to impress you with delicious Greek dishes with great atmosphere and unbelievably friendly service.

I’m also very excited to work with profession al people such as Seth Barbarow and executive chef David Prunty and other chefs, all the kitchen help and the entire hotel employment.

And if some of your group don’t want to go Greek, no worries, we will have a delicious variety of American dishes to satisfy everyone’s appetite. On weekends, I will be at the dining room visiting with you.

Dinner hours are 5-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5-8 p.m. Sunday.

Fore more information and reservations you can call 304-422-3131.

The celebrity chef cooking school last night was sold out and it was a huge success, delicious food and a great time! More about it next week.

“YASHOU” Till later !

***

Salmon Salad

1 can best salmon

3 medium boiled potatoes

3 small sour or sweet pickles, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Remove all the bones and skin from the salmon and flake with a fork. Add in potatoes, pickles, onion and eggs. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix with the salad dressing.

Salad Dressing

1/2 cup vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

dry mustard

1 egg, beaten

Place all the ingredients in dressing in a pan over medium heat and boil 3 minutes, stirring all the while.

***

Chinese Chicken Salad

1 head lettuce, chopped

2 bunches onion, chopped

5 chicken breasts, cooked, chilled and sliced

1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled

1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, sliced

1 3 1/2-ounce can Chinese noodles

Dressing:

1/3 cup oil

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons catsup

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Toss all salad ingredients except for the noodles. Mix all dressing ingredients and then mix with salad ingredients and noodles. Serve immediately.

***

Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil spread

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting:

5 tablespoons fat-free milk

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil spread

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Spray pan with cooking spray. Cake: Combine flour and sugar in small bowl; set aside. In medium 3-quart saucepan heat water, vegetable oil spread and cocoa powder over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Using a whisk, stir in flour mixture. Add eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and salt; mix well. Pour into pan. Bake 22-25 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven to cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes before frosting. Frosting: Place milk, cocoa powder and vegetable oil spread in a microwave bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds or until spread is melted; whisk until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Spread over warm cake. Cool completely. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

***

Walnut Spice Cake

1 package cake mix

1 cup fine graham cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 8-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, extra creamy

1 cup applesauce

walnut halves

Prepare cake mix according to directions on box. Add graham crumbs and spices before beating and bake in two 9-inch round cake pans. Split cakes into 4 layers. Combine whipped topping and applesauce. Spread about 1/2 cup of mixture on each layer and stack. Frost sides and top with remaining whipped topping. Garnish with walnuts. Store in refrigerator.

***

Orange Supreme Cookies

1 package orange supreme cake mix

1/2 cup cooking oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Icing:

confectioners’ sugar

orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Combine cake mix, cooking oil, eggs and orange peel; mix well. Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake. Let cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet. Combine confectioners” sugar and orange juice to spreading consistency.

***

Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 1/2 cups quick oats

Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk; bring to a boil; then boil exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat and immediately add vanilla, peanut butter and oats. Stir until oats are completely covered with mixture. Spoon out on waxed paper or a greased cookie sheet in the form of cookies. Let cool.

***

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup peanut butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Cream together sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter. Beat in 2 eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, a little at a time, soda and salt. Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate 2-3 hours. This step is very important. Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Smash criss cross with back of a fork dipped in water. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350.

***

Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.





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