Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May Dinner and a Movie: Shirley Valentine (Loukoumathes)


This month’s  Dinner and a Movie, hosted by Marc of No Recipes and Susan of Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy, is the 1989 film “Shirley Valentine”.


Before this month’s D&M I had never heard of the movie, and when reading the summary about it on Wiki, I admit I was sceptical.   Its about a 40 something English woman who is treated like a door mat by most the people in her life, especially her brutish husband.  She basically lives to serve everyone else, so lonely and beaten down she talks to the wall in her kitchen.  When a friend wins two tickets to a resort in Greece, she makes a last minute decision to realize her dream of travelling, and takes off for new parts.  After her friend promptly ditches her for a man she meets on the plane she has to discover the island on her own.  She then begins to find out what she wants and what she actually needs.

Although I felt iffy about the ending, I was surprised how much the movie actually touched me.  It actually gave  me the push I needed to make a major change in my life that I had been avoiding for a very long time.

This is what brought me to my choice of recipe, Loukoumathes. 


In Greek these are λουκουμάδες, pronounced loo-koo-MAH-thes.  These little yeasted balls of dough are deep fried until puffed and golden and then drizzled with lots of honey and sprinkled with cinnamon.  A New years eve tradition in parts of Greece, I thought they were perfect for a movie based on change and getting a new start.  They are light and airy, and despite being covered in honey, they are not overwhelmingly sweet.  Adjust the amount of cinnamon you sprinkle to your taste, Mr. BotC liked it very liberally covered.  These must be serve immediately as they are fried, and will become soggy if left to sit.



  • 1 pk -Active dry yeast or 30 grams compressed yeast
  • 1 c Milk; lukewarm (110 F)
  • 1 tb granulated white sugar
  • 1 Egg; beaten
  • 1/4 c Butter; melted
  • 2 Cups All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Honey; warmed
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Oil (of your choice) for frying
  1. In small bowl stir yeast into 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm milk.  Let sit 2 to 5 minutes until yeast is mostly dissolved.
  2. In large bowl mix together remaining milk, sugar, egg and lukewarm melted butter. Add dissolved yeast.
  3. Sift flour and salt and gradually stir in mixed liquids. Beat until smooth and continue beating for 1 minute.
  4. Cover bowl with warm damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours until batter doubles in bulk with bubbles on the surface. I like to put the bowl into a cold oven, and place a pan full of boiling water at the other end, and then shut the oven door. This gives me a beautiful rise every time.
  5. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, and then with a layer of paper towel
  6. In small pot over very low (minimum) heat, set honey to warm while frying the dough, until nice and fluid.
  7. Remove cloth from bowl of dough, stir dough well then drop teaspoonfuls into pot of deep, hot oil (375F) 4 to 5 at a time. Do not crowd puffs or they tend to stick together. 
  8.   Turn puffs to brown evenly and remove with a slotted spoon to drain on lined baking sheet.  Watch very closely as each puff only takes about a minute to cook.
  9. When all are drained, arrange on serving plate. Drizzle each with the warmed honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve hot.

Adapted from The Greek Cookbook by Tess Mallos



  1. I love loukoumathes, and these look delicious!

  2. These look beyond amazing, Kris! I could eat a whole plate of them! Thanks so much for sending them over! The roundup should be up later today.