Have you ever thought about what makes you happy? A while ago my wonderful friend who I met on Instagram – Linda Hyldal – asked me if I would like to share on Instagram 10 things that make me happy. I have in all honesty taken forever to come up with a list. I think not so much because I didn’t want to do it, as I think it is a wonderful question and I am really touched and flattered that Linda wanted to find out a little bit more about me, but it really got me thinking as to what types of things actually MAKE me happy. I think it’s an important question so I took some time to think about it’s significance …but then decided I may have been over-thinking it, so just decided to make a list of whatever felt natural.
Not that I want to get all philosophical here as at the end of the day this is a recipe post about something which resembles a pancake, called “katimeri”. But if I had to do a quick spontaneous list I would say: 1. Good health 2. Those I love 3. Laughing 4. Eating 5. Sunshine 6. Ernie My Pug (though she also falls under 2) 7. Unexpected happy things 8. Coffee by the water 9. Early Mornings 10. My home … I also wanted to add my old-but-new-to-me VW bug, but I know – as with all materialistic things – these are sort of fleeting.
Materialistic things make me happy, but unless they have emotional significance attached to them, the happiness associated with materialistic things usually fades for me – it’s the memories that makes “things” important to me. I bought the VW, not because I wanted a new car, but because my old car broke down in spectacular fashion and the bill to fix it became so expensive that it actually became cheaper for me to buy a new-but-beat-up bright yellow VW bug which – as described by its former owners – “works like a donkey”. The car is bright yellow which apparently turned off a lot of prospective buyers. But I think it is quite cute. It is a cute little happy car; a moving sunshine. And it is most definitely an unexpected happy thing, which falls under category #7 on my list.
This recipe is also another happy thing. “Katimeri” are traditional Cypriot pancake/crepe type sweets. It is essentially a bread-like crepe cooked in a skillet and filled with homemade olive oil and sugar and cinnamon. You can vary the filling so as to make it sweeter. Personally I tend to go a bit easy on the sugar-cinnamon filling but load it with gorgeous Cyprus honey and cinnamon on top after it has been cooked for added sweetness and flavour. You can eat these snacks for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. They are best eaten as soon as they are made, when they are hot and soft, as after a couple days they tend to go a bit hard. Nowadays, you can find “katimeri” for sale in shops – even in gas stations – wrapped in plastic, but this is really, truly something I prefer to only eat when homemade, with no preservatives added!
It’s fairly easy to do, the only thing is that it is simply a bit time consuming to make the pancakes, and as a beginner, it can be hard to acheive the right thin-ness without the dough sticking to the table. You must flour the table, but if you over flour the table, then the flour will burn in the skillet, so there is a “magic” touch needed when making “katimeri”. Is it worth it? Yes, though I have compared “katimeri” to a crepe or pancake, it is a mix between these foods and bread. It is good as a stand alone meal, and it is not made to be paired with a meal like a bread. It is just a special treat in and of itself, and that is how it was traditionally enjoyed as well – sporadically on special occasions. I hope you try to make it and if you have any questions please just let me know! “Katimeri” is really something special and I really hope you enjoy it!
for the dough
1kg Village Flour
2 & 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
scant 1/4 cup olive oil
for the filling
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
honey and sugar for drizzling on top
flour for dusting
1. In a large bowl suitable for kneading dough in, mix together the flour, warm water, salt and olive oil. Knead vigorously for about ten minutes. You could also make the dough in a mixer using a dough hook attachment – I have not tried this, but I don’t see why not, and in fact I will probably do this myself next time.
2. Wrap the dough in a plastic bag (yes, in a plastic bag – I think you could wrap it in a bowl with plastic wrap on top, but I actually quite liked how soft the dough became as a result of the plastic bag technique so will keep it) and let it rest in a warm place for about 30 to 45 minutes.
3. While the dough is resting, in a small bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar.
4. Once the dough is ready, take a small handful and place it on a floured surface. Using a wide rolling pin roll out the dough so that it becomes very thin – about 2mm thick – in a square-ish shape (about 30-40 cm wide around the edges). You can cut the edges off with a knife to make the shape more square-like if necessary. Also, this is the tricky part. The dough likes to stick to the surface, so make sure the surface is properly floured. And if you have to lift up the dough, then you can roll it around the rolling pin and move it, like in the pictures. If you use a lot of flour then make sure you dust off as much as possible before you cook the “katimeri” as the flour will burn and affect the taste of the “katimeri”.
5. Once you have a thin square shape, drizzle a scant 1/4 cup of olive oil on it. Take each edge and quickly and gently press it into the center of the “katimeri” so that the surface is well coated, as in the picture.
6. Then sprinkle about 1 tbs of the sugar/cinnamon mix on top. (If you would like your “katimeri” very sweet, you can sprinkle more of the sugar/cinnamon mix, but I prefer to add honey after it has been cooked for extra sweetness instead.)
7. Fold the “katimeri” into a little square sized envelopes, as in the pictures. Fold each side in, and then bring the bottom to just below the top, and fold over the excess dough to close the square – like a little envelope top. If you have any questions, just drop me a comment below and I can explain it a bit better.
8. Preheat a skillet on high heat. Add one “katimeri” at a time and let it cook for about 1 minute before turning it over. Then let it cook for about 1 minute before turning it over again. After 1 minute, turn it over again. It needs to be cooked for about 3 to 4 minutes, you can tell when it is ready as the “katimeri” will have light to dark golden brown spots on either side.
9. Place the cooked “katimeri” in a large cover pot. Sprinkle a little sugar (1/4 tsp) on top of each “katimeri” before layering another “katimeri” on top as this will keep them soft. Serve the same day, drizzling with as much honey as you wish on top.