The Elegant Cook

M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cook Notes

Recipes from Cyprus

Posted on June 3, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Recipes from Zita Dairies of Paphos, Cyprus

M-J's Pita Bread Recipe

Yield: 8 Pitas Ingredients 3 cups of unbleached white flour 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt 1 tablespoon of sugar 2 teaspoons of yeast 11/2 cups of warm water 2 tablespoons of butter or your favorite vegetable/peanut oil Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add oil/butter and water. Knead for ten minutes. Form the dough into a ball and coat with oil, set into a bowl, and let rise for 90 minutes. Punch down your dough-ball, then divide it into 8 balls. Dust them with flour on both sides and, using a rolling-pin, flatten them into discs. Bake the pitas in your 400* oven on a stone or heavy, flat pan for approximately 5 minutes. ©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Elegant Sandwich Rolls

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 4:10 PM
Hamburgers can be elegant when served in buns that you make at home. Please see The Elegant Cook for M-J's original recipe, on the Bread page.

NEW: Elegant Cook Blog

Posted on November 19, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Elegant Simplicity: M-J's White Cake

Posted on May 26, 2010 at 12:38 PM

M-J's Elegant Cocktail Burgers

Posted on May 23, 2010 at 9:46 AM


M-J's Elegant Low-Carb Burger Canapés

Posted on May 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Toast rounds made with whole-grain bread, topped with malt vinegar mayonnaise and Worcestershire-flavoured hamburger patties make a low-carbohydrate, low glycemic-index canapé or luncheon dish. Flatten slices of whole-grain bread with a rolling pin. Cut out round pieces from their middles--I use a water chestnut can. Brush the rounds of bread with melted butter and bake until lightly toasted. Following my recipe for mayonnaise, use malt vinegar for the acid component. Mix ground beef with Worcestershire sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Flatten the meat mixture and cut out round pieces the same size as the toast rounds. Fry or grill the burgers until they do not emit pink juice (this is a neat cocktail burger that everyone can eat, not a recipe for steak tartare). Set the hamburger patties to drain on a plate. Spread  mayonnaise on the circular pieces of toast. Assemble the burgers just before serving them. Do not top the burgers with more toast. Classic canapés have toast as a base. These elegant, simple low-carb burgers are easy to eat by hand or with a knife and fork. Men love them!

Photo and Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2010

The Elegant Cornish Pasty

Posted on February 16, 2010 at 9:12 AM


I’ve been making Cornish pasties since the age of 20. My mother wrote a book about the pasty and its history which was published in 1990, but my method and ingredients differ from hers. The following is my pasty (pronounced “pass-tee”) recipe: I will not formally transcribe my recipe and method for making pasties, because I never use measurements. I can tell you, however, that they are made with a short crust containing both butter and lard, water, a teaspoon of malt vinegar, and unbleached, plain white flour. Since salted butter is used in the dough, add just a dash of salt to it. I add sea-salt and hand-milled pepper to the filling, which consists of four raw ingredients, all diced very finely: tri-tip steak, which is always well-marbled and never tough; ordinary, high-starch brown-skinned potatoes, turnips, butter bits, and white or Spanish onions. The finely-diced beef and vegetables are tossed together in a mixing bowl with the salt and pepper before being laid upon the dough, dotted with butter and enclosed. The edges are crimped, either on top or on the side of the pasty, and a couple of well-placed slits are made in the top to allow steam to escape. The final product is brushed with a beaten egg mixed with a teaspoon of cream. The pasties are then baked in a very hot oven for close to one hour. Once the pasties have cooled for about twenty minutes, serve with an oil-and-vinegar-dressed lettuce salad. Offer Cornish cream, Spanish or Mexican Crema, or sour cream as an optional condiment. The pasties depicted here, which I made, are the optimum size for a meal; the dough for them was shaped into a ball about half the size of a woman’s closed hand, then was rolled out and cut around a 7″ luncheon plate. Making giant pasties just isn’t elegant, nor is it traditionally Cornish. I also make miniature pasties for parties, by using a tin can or the bottom, inner ridge of the same luncheon plate as a cutting guide. These mini-pasties are easily eaten by hand with a cocktail napkin to catch any pastry-flakes. For a basic short-crust guide, please see my Elegant Apple Pie recipe.~~Recipe and Pasty Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton