All posts filed under: Dips

Bakaliaros Skordalia (Cod & Garlic Dip)

My entire house has smelled like a McDonald’s deep fryer for an entire week. Fried oil has seeped into the carpets and walls, and has stubbornly clung to mine and my family’s clothes. It’s actually been a pleasant change of pace from the typical scent of a wet dog. The culprit behind the oil stench is my mistake of opening up any windows to get some fresh air while frying up a traditional dish. March 25th is a double national holiday of Greece, marking a special day of both religious and political events. It’s a spiritual day dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of the Theotokos, when the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would bear a child. It’s also a day that marks the start of the War of Greek Independence when the Greeks demanded their independence after living in centuries under the Ottoman Empire. It’s a day of joyous gatherings and celebration. On March 25th, Greeks will fill the streets for parades to celebrate the historic day and blue …

Skordalia (Garlic Dip)

Nothing will keep your friends, family, and even strangers at an arms length away (or further) from you than taking just one bite of skordalia (garlic dip). Any bites after that and you can guarantee to be quarantined. No wonder it’s my favorite dip. I’m a people person, but a no touchy-touchy in my personal space type of people person. So, I like to keep some skordalia handy. Skordalia is a dip defined by the skorda (garlic). And we’re talking lots of garlic. Traditionally, skordalia is puréed with potatoes as the base, but it can also be made with bread, nuts, or both to add a little more texture. The potato version has a smooth consistency and is basically like super garlicky mashed potatoes. My version of skordalia foregoes the potatoes and uses bread and walnuts as the base. It’s a method I’ve always preferred. For one, you cut the cooking time it takes to boil and mash the potatoes. And two, it’s all about the garlic anyway. Did I mention there’s a lot of …

Tyrokafteri (Spicy cheese dip)

It doesn’t matter where I eat, my eyes always race down the menu for any mention of something spicy. Spicy curry? Yes please, with a side of naan. Buffalo chicken wings? My hands and face will definitely be a hot mess after but I’ll take a basket full of those. Bahn mi sandwich and a bowl of pho? Neither typically packs enough heat for my liking—until a side of jalapenos and hot sauce fix my dilemma. Whatever the menu offers, if it says spicy or has the potential for spice, nine times out of ten I’ll order it. Finding something spicy to eat at a Greek taverna isn’t easy. The decision is pretty much made for you because there are few items on a standard Greek menu that have my kind of kick. One is spetzofai a delicious pepper and sausage dish. Another is TYROKAFTERI (tee-roh-kaf-teh-REE) basically meaning “hot cheese.” And no, it’s not literal hot cheese like the popular saganaki, the pan-seared cheese that is brought to tableside all aflame. This hot cheese makes …

Pete’s Tzatziki

Go to your fridge right now and open it up. Do you have a bowl of TZATZIKI in there? If yes, pat yourself on the back. If you answered no, you are missing one of life’s great go-with-everything dips. Tzatziki (tsa-TZEE-kee) ranks as one of my favorite dips. Also known as “that white stuff,” you’ll find it smothered on gyros (pronounced YEE-rohs, not GY-rohs, please) and is made of thick Greek yogurt, fresh cucumbers and herbs—plus a generous amount of garlic that will sneak up on you whether you (and anyone near you for the next three days) like it or not. As much as I love eating tzatziki, I’m more of a tzatziki eater than maker because my brother, Pete, has dubbed himself the tzatziki king in our family. Pete won’t let anyone else make it. He won’t even let anyone watch him make it. He’s never shared his recipe with anyone until now. I basically had to start a blog and beg him for it with the promise to make him famous to …

Melitzanosalata (Eggplant Salad)

There are a few things you should know about melitzanosalata. First, it’s a mouthful to pronounce, as I’m sure you’ve already noticed. (It’s pronounced meh-lee-tza-no-sah-LAH-ta). Second, although melitzanosalata translates into “eggplant salad” it can also pass as a dip or a spread. Finally, melitzanosalata is not only simple to make, it’s healthy, too. Melitzanosalata is an effortless dish with very few ingredients. The main ingredient is, of course, the melitzana (eggplant). Typically, the eggplant (I prefer the big round variety) is charred over a flame to create that smokiness that’s characteristic of melitzanosalata. You can also bake the eggplant in the oven to achieve a similar result, but if you want that true smoky taste—fire up the grill. Like the majority of Greek dishes, garlic is key to making melitzanosalata. It shouldn’t be too overpowering, but should still produce enough kick to let you (and people around you) know it’s there. Extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh parsley are also added to the mix. Some recipes may stop there—but this melitzanosalata recipe calls …

Fava (Yellow Split Pea Puree)

Santorini is known as the beautiful Greek island with white-washed homes, marbled streets, blue domes and dazzling views. Situated perfectly in the Aegean Sea, it boasts some of the most breathtaking sunsets in the world. Santorini is a must visit. Besides the stunning beauty, Santorini is famous for producing the best yellow split peas in Greece. Tavernas all over the island use those split peas to create an island favorite—FAVA. Do not confuse this dish with fava beans. However fava (FAH-va) got its name, it’s a simple puree of yellow split peas, onions, olive oil and herbs, and is a well-known Greek meze. You can serve this filling dip creamy (by using a blender) or chunky (served directly from the pot) depending on your liking. To give extra flair and flavor, serve your fava with a variety of side garnishes, such as diced red onions, feta cheese, capers, chopped parsley, Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or anchovies. Fava goes great when dipped with crusty bread, or when eaten plain as a side dish. Smooth, warm, delicious, …