Mellow Yellow


I’ve just heard it on the news today uttered by a cardiologist in fact, that butter is good for you. Yay! At last is all I can say. For years I have firmly believed that butter, a natural product has got to be better for you than margarine, a mostly synthetic and wholly unnatural product. I haven’t cooked or eaten margarine or any made up spread for nearly 30 years and only use olive oil and butter. I have long been an advocate of a little of what you fancy does you good and I certainly haven’t fancied margarine. The scientists say that even cooking with sunflower oil, an oil I considered healthy, is bad for you as apparently when heated to high temperatures it changes it into something that is not healthy These days trying to navigate your way to eating a healthy diet using the ‘scientific’ evidence is like a minefield and changes all the time. It used to be that butter and all saturated fat was ‘bad’ for you and sent you on a speedy road to a heart attack. Now saturated fat is man’s best friend even cooking with lard, apparently is better than cooking at high temperatures with sunflower oil; well  bring on the beef dripping sandwiches I say.

In the same conversation with the cardiologist, now wait for this bombshell, eating full fat cheese, milk and yoghurt is far better even for slimmers than semi skimmed and low fat.

If you stick to a diet that is a close to nature as possible you can’t go far wrong, that is the less man has had a hand in producing it the better; the more opportunity he has had to tinker with the produce or animal, add or subtract, mix and match the less you know what he has actually done. It seems to me quite often the results of scientific studies lay themselves open to misinterpretation depending on who is wanting the results and for what agenda. As I get older I listen to the latest finding with a good dose of scepticism.

The mediterranean diet as we all know is one of the healthiest, particularly including a great variety of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds into our diets, eat this and you can’t go far wrong.


Pourgouri Pilaffi with Chorizo

Tomato slices

Tomato slices (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A dish that I cook a lot and is a bit like comfort food to me, is pourgouri pilaffi. It is very simple to make and can be adapted by adding different ingredients when the mood takes me.

The basic recipe requires:-

I onion diced

1 tablespoon  sun dried tomato paste or 1 large fresh tomato grated or half a small tin tomatoes

a handful of orzo pasta or vermicelli

200 g of bulghur wheat

Olive oil 1 tablespoon

salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onion in the oil until soft then add the orzo or vermicelli and cook until turning brown then add the tomatoes and soften them down if fresh and add the seasoning. Put in the bulghur wheat and mix the tomato paste with 568 ml  of hot, boiled water  and also add that to the mix, giving it all a good stir. Put on a lid and leaving the heat on low, cook for 10 mins. Turn the heat off and leaving the lid on leave the pilaffi for a further 10 mins until the moisture is absorbed and the pourgouri is fluffy. Serve as an accompaniment to afelia or similar.

I like to eat it as a meal in itself with some vegetables on the side and I add  sliced bacon to the mix after cooking the onion and fry until it is turning brown before adding the tomato. Yesterday I decided to also add a bit of chopped chorizo  and it certainly made a delicious meal with my plate of green beans, courgette and chard as a side dish. Very inter-continental.

The recipe for pourgouri pilaffi and more delicious recipes can be found in my book ‘Androula’s Kitchen – Cyprus on a Plate’ due to released in October. Check out some sample pages on The Book page