Friday, March 30, 2012

A Tessa Kiros Favorites Roundup

Over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, we have spent a very delicious six months with Tessa Kiros.  Tessa is definitely not as well-known as other chefs and cooks, but she deserves to be.  Her cookbooks are a work of art, abounding with recipes and stories.  Normally when I spend six months cooking and baking up a chef's or a cook's recipes I usually come across a few duds.  Not with Tessa.  This time around I can honestly say everything I tried was great.

It was really hard to narrow down my top Tessa recipes, but here are my favorites.  (Click on the recipe title to be directed to the original post).
First up is Tessa's Garides Saganaki (or simply Shrimp with Feta and Tomatoes) from her Food From Many Greek Kitchens cookbook.  This dish is a must make, stays on your mind, fall in love type dish. I keep shrimp in my freezer and feta in my cheese drawer so that I can make it whenever I like.  I can tell you for sure that this recipe will make my top ten favorites list for the year.
 Second on the list are Tessa's Fried Risotto Balls (otherwise known as Arancini) from her Apples for Jam cookbook.  These puppies should come with a warning.  My goodness are they addictive. Crunchy, gooey, cheesy, with lots of garlic and tomato flavor.  These little fried balls are phenomenal. 
The next recipe on the list is Tessa's Risotto with Artichokes and Sausage.  I altered this recipe to suit our tastes simply by keeping both the artichokes and sausage out of the risotto until the very last minute (Tessa's recipe cooks them along in the risotto).  The result was easily my all-time favorite risotto recipe.  The risotto was nice and creamy, the sausage slightly crispy and caramelized, and the artichokes lent a brightness to an otherwise rich dish.  We gobbled it up!
Also making the cut are Tessa's Chicken Croquettes, along with her chicken broth and Pasta in Chicken Broth, all from her Apples For Jam cookbook.  It makes for such an amazing, comforting, family-pleasing meal.  If you're in the mood for some kitchen therapy, make these three recipes.  You won't be sorry.  You'll be rewarded with so many things.  Homemade chicken broth, crunchy and wildly flavorful chicken croquettes, and a comforting soup of pasta in chicken broth. Soul satisfying in more ways than one.
We are partial to pot roasts in my house.  It's one of our all-time favorites.  So, I may be a bit biased when I say that Tessa's Kokkinisto (otherwise known as Reddened) was one of our favorite dishes.  This pot roast is called reddened because it calls for red wine, red onion, and tomatoes.  The end result is so flavorful.  The tomatoes get all jammy and delicious and it's just wonderful served with pasta on the side.
Lastly is the best-looking most delicious tasting banana bread I've ever had.  Seriously now.  I made Tessa's banana bread and really didn't think I would post it, but it blew our minds with it's tender texture, it's spicy fragrance, and it's ultimate banana flavor.  This is THE banana bread recipe.

Tessa has six cookbooks:  Apples for Jam: A Colorful Cookbook; Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes; Venezia: Food and Dreams; Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook; Piri Piri Starfish: Portugal Found; and Food From Many Greek Kitchens
I have four of Tessa's cookbooks:  Twelve, Falling Cloudberries, Apples for Jam, and Food From Many Greek Kitchens.  I recommend all of them, but Apples for Jam was easily my favorite of the six.  I loved how the recipes were organized by color and also the fact that the recipes were so approachable.  My second favorite was Tessa's Food From Many Greek KitchensFood From Many Greek Kitchens is such a stunning book full of gorgeous pictures and loads of Greek recipes.  Buy one, buy them all...you won't be sorry.

 The new chef for the next round of IHCC is Rick Bayless.

25 comments:

  1. I really like Tessa and her books. I only have two at the mo: Food From Many Greek Kitchens and Piri Piri Starfish: Portugal Found for tow good reasons: I am Portuguese and my partner is half-greek :)
    I do think they are both great books, lovely photos, and the recipes, hmmmm, the recipes, the ones I have tried are delicious. So, at the mo I am in love with the rest of the collection and will try to buy them asap as my money lets me!

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  2. Everything looks soooooooooooo tasty! Guess I'll go grab some breakfast:)

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  3. What a great round up of favorites!!! It sounds like I need a few new cookbooks :)

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  4. That's a very nice roundup! All of it looks so good. I am partial to risotto and those chicken croquettes. Guess you all be winding up for Rick Bayless now. Fast 6 months, wasn't it?

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  5. Great roundup, Kim! I almost added Reddened to my list but I was getting too carried away since, like you there were no duds. Well, there was one dud, but that's totally on me since I miss-measured tahini for tahini soup. I agree that Tessa Kiros deserves to be well known. Her recipes are wonderful! Hope you have a great weekend!

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  6. Love the round-up! So does have such a wide variety of great dishes, I am so happy we took the time to discover this all-too-quiet cook!

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  7. A great round up--everything looks so good. The shrimp and feta will end up on my top Tessa dishes as well. I'm so glad we spent time with her and I really got to explore her cookbooks. ;-)

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  8. I never heard of Tessa until IHCC chose her, but your favorites above look really good. Those rice balls, especially, look delicious.

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  9. Wow, what great recipes, I love the shrimp and feta!! A must try for me...
    Take care..

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  10. Commence stomach growl!! Delicious roundup...I'm going to miss hanging w/ Tessa weekly :D

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  11. Those fried risotto balls look to die for!

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  12. A great roundup of fabulous looking dishes!!

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  13. Youre favorites look all scrumptious, i wish whe had another six months with tessa!

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  14. I've really enjoyed getting to know Tessa. I loved those risotto balls too - a few of your top recipes I haven't tried so I appreciate the round up and I'll be trying them out, they all looks so good!

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  15. Everything looks delicious, especially the shrimps! I will definitely be trying out more of Tessa's recipes in the future! Have a lovely week!

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  16. One of the things that definitely stood out to me while reading everyone's posts these past six months was that really no one had a bad thing to say about these recipes! they were hits all around. Love it when that happens.

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  17. Super round-up, Kim. I'm mad for those risotto balls!

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  18. Tessa would be pleased with your review. I've never heard of her, and I do love Greek flavors. I'm going to see if I can find one of her books at my library. I have to limit how many cookbooks I buy (I keep telling my husband that an Ipad would make cookbook storage so much easier), so I try to test drive before investing. I've watched these posts, and have pinned a few. The rissoto balls look mouth watering.

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  19. The risotto just sang to me (I would keep the ingredients separate also). You are right - I am not familiar with her but I am enjoying the way she treats food.

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  20. Okay I have a tessa cookbook on my list of must have cookbooks...Thanks for sharing these delicious recipes. I would swoon over those fried cheese balls.

    Velva

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  21. The banana bread recipe excites me a lot! I'm gonna have to make it this coming weekend for sure.

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  22. lovely recipes I remember your risotto balls very cool, have a great Easter

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  23. The risotto looks amazing!Happy Easter,Kim!

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