We are just home from our 2018 Greek Adventure in Sifnos.
Over the years I had enjoyed many family holidays in Sifnos, at sleepy Vathi where the road stops behind the beach, and the small church and tavernas can only be accessed by sea, or a trudge along the sand.One year, irritated by a work companion who lamented the absence of steaks and hamburgers, I sat alone at Manolis, enjoying once more Margarita’s delicious filo pie, tsasiki and saganaki, and reflected it was more fun to travel with my cooking school students. After a few glasses of local white wine my mind became clear, and my Greek Idyll was born.
I took small groups to Vathi where we swam, relaxed and cooked for a few hours most days in the local tavernas. We eventually moved on to Symi, in the Dodecanese, where we grew lazier and the lure of the sea became more compelling. This year we returned to Sifnos where we received a warm welcome, tinged with surprise that we wanted to eat, not cook, every day. We took rooms in Pensione Areti, had breakfast every morning with Flora at Grigoris and ate and cooked at Manolis taverna with Stelios and Margarita. They now have a wine list so I could indulge my love for Assyrtiko from Santorini.
We had two outstanding fish meals in Faros at Limanaki where we enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc from Rhodes and the delicate stuffed vine leaves and fish croquettes. Flora very kindly lifted our fish off the bone so that we did not massacre it. We drove to the north of the island to Cheronissos where we had Nikos make fish soup with freshly-caught scorfano (rascasse) at Taverna Ammondia.
Poached fish Greek style
Bring water, 2 T olive oil to boil. Add one whole peeled onion, 4 peeled poatatoes, 2 carrots chopped into 4cm lengths and 2 scraped celery sticks, halved, bay leaf, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes then place cleaned, whole fish on top with a little lemon juice. When ready remove fish and lift off bone. Serve surrounded by vegetables. To make the soup:
Beat together the eggs and lemon juice. Add a ladle of the fish liquid. Then on a low heat stir this mixture into the rest of the extra liquid. Do not let it boil. This is called an avgolemono sauce
My October trip to Nardo, in Puglia, is looking good, and for 2019 I am thinking of returning to Greece in June, Morocco’s Imperial Cities in March, and Palermo and western Sicily in the autumn. I need to decide whether to repeat Bologna,Modena and Parma or Budapest in September.