Artichokes With Fava Beans

In My Kitchen/ Nicholas Tanis


Springtime brings a wonderful new variety of fresh produce heralding the season ~ the colors and the textures are a plus to both the eye and the palette.

My grandmother traditionally kept pace with the calendar, in shopping the market early in the morning, selecting the vegetables that she intended to prepare into that day’s meal. One of her favorites for spring were the small tender artichokes, that unlike their larger counterparts are much easier to prepare and cook, as well as eat. The potpourri of this vegetable mix is deliciously fragrant, as the garlic and dill permeates the kitchen air. The sauce itself is rich in flavor, that a crust of bread is wanting to be sopped. This “stew” can be served as is, making it a wholesome and hearty vegetarian entrée, or it may be served as a side dish accompanying broiled lamb chops and a fluffy white rice pilaf. Sprinkling crumbled feta cheese over it, adds an extra zing of flavor! A glass of red wine is highly recommended as well.


6 artichokes

2 lbs small red new potatoes

3 medium yellow onions

3 Roma plum tomatoes

1 lemon

6-7 cloves garlic

(2) 15.5 oz cans of fava beans (pre-cooked), rinsed

(1) 8oz can tomato sauce

1 quart water

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine

7 sprigs fresh dill

Course Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste


Wash artichokes under cold running water.

Cut off the stems to the base of each artichoke.

Quarter the artichokes and place in large stock pot filled with 1 quart cold water and the juice of one whole lemon.

Cover pot and bring to a quick rapid boil under high heat. Allow to boil for 5-8 minutes and then reduce to low heat.

Wash all potatoes under cold running water. Do not peel. Quarter all potatoes and add to pot, atop of artichokes. Continue cooking under low heat.

Peel and coarsely chop 6-7 garlic gloves.

Peel and cut in half, length-wise 3 medium onions. Once halved, cut evenly creating demi-lune slices. Add the garlic and the onions to the pot, and continue to cook under low heat.

To the vegetable mixture, add one small can (8oz) tomato sauce, and ¼ cup olive oil into the pot and continue cooking under low heat.

Check water level and add more water as need be, by 1 cup.

Using a large wooden spoon lift the vegetable mix from the bottom up, continuing so, around the entire circumference of the pot. In this way you do not shred the quartered artichokes or mash the potatoes.

After 30 minutes slow cooking over low heat, add the butter beans together with the coarsely chopped plum tomatoes.

Again, stir gently with wooden spoon.

Add ¼ cup red wine.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook for and additional 10 minutes, then shut off heat, and let stand for 20-30 minutes before serving.


Artichokes with Fava Beans


R.C. Basilica of Regina Pacis Bensonhurst ~ Brooklyn, NY ~ A Taste of Italy

 By Nicholas Tanis
The Convent
The Convent
Commemorative Stone
The Bell Tower/Cupola and the Basilica
Rectory; Bell Tower; Basilica; High School
Basilica with adjacent High School
The Rectory / Administration Building; the Bell Tower; the Basilica; the High School
BellTowerRear BellTowerFront
The Bell Tower: Front & Rear
The Basilica
Staircase detail
Main Entrance to Basilica
Pediment detail
Corner detail
Window detail
Rear of the Basilica

FASSOLADA ~ Greek Bean Soup

In My Kitchen / Nicholas Tanis

Copy of RECIPES 004+


1 pound white beans (may also use navy beans or black-eyed beans)

3 carrots, sliced lengthwise, quartered, and finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise, and finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped  (may use parsley)

3 bay leaves

½ teaspoon oregano

¼ cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover them; rinse well, drain and set aside.

In a large (8-Qt.) soup pot, fill with 6 quarts cold water; add the beans.

Bring to a boil.

Skim the froth from the water.

Add all of the above ingredients: carrots, onion, celery, garlic, cilantro, bay leaves, oregano, and olive oil.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lower flame and cover, allow to simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender.

Once cooked, allow to stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with hearty crusted bread, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and white wine.

It is an excellent accompaniment to a Caesar’s salad.


LAMBRO -PSOMO ~ Greek Easter Bread

LAMBRO -PSOMO ~ Greek Easter Bread

Whether you are celebrating Passover or Easter, we’d like to wish you the best in sharing food and good times with friends and family.  We’d like to share this sweet bread recipe with you–Enjoy!

In My Kitchen/ Nicholas Tanis


Yields:  1 Large Round Loaf and several smaller loaves


4-5 pounds all-purpose flour, sifted with:

1 Tablespoon salt

4 yeast cakes, dissolved in 1 cup warm water

10 eggs well beaten with:

2 ½ cups sugar

2 cubes butter, melted in:

1 ½ cups milk

1 teaspoon allspice

1 ½ teaspoon anise

3 egg yolks, beaten with:

2-3 drops yellow food color

1/3 cup sesame seeds

5 hardboiled eggs, dyed red


Boil the allspice and the anise in 1 cup water and strain, reserving the water.

Place 4 pounds of the sifted flour and salt in a large mixing bowl (or an enamel basin), and make a well in the center of the flour.

Add the yeast that has been dissolved in the warm water.

Likewise add the eggs with the sugar mix, but do not knead.

Add the melted butter and milk mix, and the reserved liquid from the allspice/anise.

Now mix with your hands to blend all these ingredients thoroughly, slowly adding more sifted flour as may be needed.

Knead the dough until it is smooth.

Place the dough on floured wooden board, and continue to knead until firm and smooth and not sticky.

Brush the dough with some melted butter, then afterwards cover it with a tea towel, and set it in warm place to rise – (the top of the refrigerator) until it doubles in size.

Remove the dough and knead it again.

Once again, brush the dough with some melted butter, cover it, and place it to rise twice its size.

Repeat this process, one more time (three times total).

Place 2/3 of the dough and place into large round pan, about 12-inches in diameter, and 2-inches deep. Make sure the pan is greased.

The remainder of the dough may be used to make individual loaves as gifts, by baking in smaller pans. You may also use the remainder of the dough to decorate the top of the round loaf, by making “S” curl motif border, as well as “X” crosses* and  “O” circles around each hardboiled egg.

Place (pressing firmly) one red Easter egg in the center of the dough, and place the other eggs at 12, 3, 6, 9 o’clock (N.S.E.W.) as if making the tips of a Cross.

Cover the pan(s) and let it rise for several hours.

When the dough has risen, gently but generously brush (using small pastry brush) the entire top of the dough with the egg yolk mix, as if painting.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle the entire top of the bread with sesame seeds (as it adheres to the applied egg yolk).

Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours (until the bread is a nice golden brown, and the dough inside does not stick to a knife (toothpick may be used to test as well). The bread should be somewhat

“soft” and “spongy”, unlike a hard bread.

NOTE: In making the small loaves, you may place an Easter egg in the center of each one and decorate accordingly to its size. Once again, brush with egg yolk, and sprinkle with sesame. Bake these at 350 degrees for about 45-minutes, depending upon the size of your pan.

If you braid the bread into a long loaf instead of placing into a round pan, then it is known as “Tsoureki”. This recipe will yield 3 bread twists. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1-hour.

TwistedLambro - rotated

Remove from oven and allow to cool, before removing it from the pan. In this manner the bread won’t break apart.

Place on a large round dish or a serving platter.

You may decorate the platter surrounding the bread with Easter eggs, and koulourakia* cookies, creating a sunburst effect.

*Stella D’Oro almond biscuits, or “S” breakfast treats, etc. may be substituted, with a sprinkling of mulit-coloured jelly beans.

NOTE: You can give your Easter eggs a nice shiny finish, by taking a ¼ square of paper towel and moisten it with olive oil. Rub each egg, being careful not to slip out of your hands. Then with a clean dry piece of paper towel, re-rub the egg, thus removing the excess oil but maintaining a lustrous sheen. This can be done to the eggs in the bread as well.



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Greek Faki Soup ~ Lentil Soup

In My Kitchen/ Nicholas Tanis

MAR'13 003


1 pound (454 grams) lentils

3 medium yellow onions, chopped small                    

1 small green bell pepper, chopped small                   

3 stalks celery, chopped small

4 small carrots, chopped small

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (8oz) of tomato sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

a dash of paprika

4 whole cloves

3 bay leaves

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Soak the lentils in cold water overnight; rinse in cold water and drain. (If you don’t soak, cook the lentils, after bringing to a boil, for 40 min on simmer, while covered, in the 6 Qt water, as indicated below, before proceeding!)

Add the lentils into a large (at least 8Qt./ @8L / 32 cups) soup pot, with 6 quarts (@6L/24 cups) cold water.

Stir, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, continue cooking.

Add all of the vegetable ingredients, plus the tomato sauce, olive oil, and spices.

Stirring occasionally, continue to cook for about another 30-45 minutes; until soup broth begins to slightly thicken (when the lentils are tender).

Remove from heat, and allow to sit uncovered for approx. 15-20 minutes before serving.

Using a deep ladle, pour soup into individual bowls.

You may add red wine vinegar to each soup serving as per taste.

Serve with a hearty crusted bread – either French or Italian.

MAR'13 013

The Simple Things in Life are Good!IMG_00001155

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