All posts filed under: Greek recipes

“Greekified” French Onion Soup

Introducing: French onion soup with a Greek twist! I was inspired by a photo I saw on Peter Minaki’s aka “Kalofagas” page and decided to give it a try myself. For my version, I added Greek flavors I enjoy at home, like garlic and oregano, plus tested batches with both Kasseri and Halloumi cheeses. I preferred the Kasseri version, as it melted better, but the Halloumi also created a nice flavor. The result was excellent and just what you want from a typical French onion soup—caramelized onions, warm broth, a thick baguette, and gooey cheese. What a comforting meal that will certainly hold a favorable spot at my dinner table. Save Print “Greekified” French Onion Soup Recipe type: Soup/Greek Soup Serves: 4-6 bowls   French onion soup with a Greek twist! Ingredients 6 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1 ½ lbs) ½ cup unsalted butter 1 Tablespoon oregano 2 bay leaves 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 6 cups beef broth ½ cup white wine salt and pepper, to taste ¼ cup …

Mizithra Pancakes

During the weekdays, my breakfasts consist of coffee or a protein shake. Sometimes, as I’m rushing out the door for work, I grab a muffin or a banana. Truly, I don’t care for breakfast, and have noticed I function better at work by putting off eating until lunch time. When the weekend comes around I’m ready for all the breakfast foods–eggs, bacon, cottage cheese, and toast. Pancakes are a special item I like to make at home, especially because I get to make them how I like them–stuffed with mizithra cheese. Mizithra pancakes have become an instant hit at my home. We love them so much we’ve even had them for dinner one night. Adding mizithra cheese to the batter ups the creaminess factor to the pancakes that you’ll notice with just one bite. These light and fluffy mizithra pancakes will certainly stand out for your next breakfast–or dinner–whenever you need a pancake fix. Can’t find soft mizithra cheese? Learn how to make your own here. You can also substitute mizithra for ricotta cheese. Save Print …

Fried Feta with Sesame Seeds

Fried feta with sesame seeds is combination of salty and sweet that creates maximum flavor. Save Print Sesame Coated Fried Feta Recipe type: Meze/Appetizer Serves: 2 pieces   Sesame coated fried feta is one of the easiest dishes, ready in minutes. Ingredients 8 ounce block of feta cheese 2 eggs ½ cup of flour ½ cup sesame seeds Olive oil, for frying Honey, for drizzling Instructions Cut the feta into squares or rectangles about ½ inch thick. Crack the eggs in a bowl wide enough to fit the feta and beat lightly with a fork. Add the flour on a plate. On a second plate, add the sesame seeds. Coat each piece of feta in the flour, and then the eggs, and then the sesame seeds. Be sure to coat well with each step, so all sides are covered. In a frying pan, heat olive oil (enough to shallow fry) over medium to high heat. Carefully add the feta and fry until nicely golden colored, and then flip and fry on the other side. Drain the feta …

Baklava

Everyone knows BAKLAVA. Layers of flaky phyllo pastry blanketed with ground nuts plus plenty of spice (and everything nice), soaked in a sweet honey syrup. Many consider baklava as the gold standard of Greek desserts. I’m not sure if this constitutes a mortal sin against Greek culture but I will say it anyway: I’m not the biggest fan of baklava. I do like lamb though, so hopefully that admission keeps my credibility up. At one point, I honestly considered not including a recipe for baklava on my blog. But then Zeus and his immortal pals conspired to change my mind. Two things happened in one week. I told my Yiayia Saltas, quite casually, that one of my clients wanted to learn how to make baklava. The next day she shows up with her own baklava recipe, handwritten just for me. That same day, I scanned through my late Yiayia Metos’ recipe book for a dinner recipe. Her recipe book is a treasure trove my mom and I hold onto. Many of her recipes, from desserts to main …

Lamb Kleftiko

DISCLOSURE: I don’t condone stealing. There is just one instance, however, where I do pardon a certain group of thieves because their act of stealing eventually gave the world a glorious gift. The thieves I’m speaking of are the klephts, an indigenous population that descended from the Greeks who fled into the mountains to escape—and from which to fight—the Turkish occupiers of Ottoman Greece. The klephts snuck from the mountains to steal grazing lambs or goats, then retreated back to the mountains to cook their stolen goods. The meat was seasoned with oregano and thyme or even wild garlic, placed in an underground pit and covered with soil and branches on top to trap the aromas and the smoke while cooking. Doing so helped to avoid detection from their adversaries. This sneaky style of cooking later became known as kleftiko—the food of the “klephts” or thieves. Over time, the method moved from underground pits to outdoor wood-fired ovens. These days, we make LAMB KLEFTIKO indoors, baked in any conventional oven. The lamb is either assembled …

Bougatsa

How to impress a foodie: serve them BOUGATSA creaminess. How to impress a history buff: serve them bougatsa knowledge. Both the history buff and the foodie will wonder where bougatsa have been their whole lives. They say bougatsa originated in Serres, a city north of Thessalonaki where many Greeks immigrated during the Greco-Turkish war that ended in 1922. Making phyllo-wrapped pies and desserts was nothing particularly new, but the sweet pies in this region—filled with thick, rich cream—became a hit. The immigrants in Thessaloniki couldn’t get enough of the affordable, tasty treats. So, what makes bougatsa so delicious? Creamy semolina custard or soft mizithra cheese, topped with cinnamon and sugar. To taste the best mizithra cheese version, go to Crete. Visit Chania, if you can, sit in the historic limani (port) area, order one or two or three bougatsa and thank me later. And send me one while you’re at it. At home, I make my bougatsa with the semolina filling because quality mizithra is hard to find. Plus, it’s easy to make, not too …

Stifado (Beef Stew)

At the Salt Lake City Greek festival, almost every family plays a role, often with specialties they claim as their own and which they work on for months before the festival. My good friend John Timothy and his entire Pappas family are always on tyropites (cheese pie) duty. Another friend, Jeff Chipian and his family are the ones to thank for the loukoumades (honey donuts) that are promised to leave your hands sticky and stomach begging for more. My big brother, Pete and his crew, somehow keep their composure cool all weekend long while working nonstop in the ovens, popping out warm pastitsio and spanakopita on order. By the way, it would be wrong not to mention the sweet Philoptochos women who bake and cook the pastitsio and spanakopita all summer long. For as long as I can remember, the Saltas family and our cousins, the Kastanis’ have made the stifado (beef stew). Stifado is a Greek stew teeming with flavors of garlic, onion, cinnamon, wine, bay leaf, and other spices. In the United States, the …

Strapatsada (Eggs with tomatoes)

Whenever I spent the night at my grandparents’ home, breakfast was always an egg sandwich with a cold glass of milk. My Yiayia Saltas would toast two slices of bread, spread some ketchup on the toast, and then put a fried egg in the middle. As a final touch, she would cut the sandwich into four squares for my tiny hands to handle. It’s the best egg sandwich I’ve ever devoured. Now that I have graduated to cooking for myself, I like to make STRAPATSADA (also known as kagianas). Strapatsada sounds fancy but it’s a dish you may already have made. It’s merely scrambled eggs with diced tomatoes, olive oil, and any seasonings you prefer. Simple, yes, but my yiayia tells me this was one of my papou’s most beloved dishes. Maybe he loved strapatsada because the ingredients were low cost, or maybe because in the hands of my yiayia, anything turns into a five-star meal. Strapatsada tastes best with fresh tomatoes, though you can use canned tomatoes if need be. Serve it for breakfast …

Kolokithokeftedes (Zucchini Fritters)

Crispy on the outside, light and gooey on the inside–that’s what makes kolokithokeftedes (zucchini fritters) one of the finer ways to utilize zucchini. Although these fritters can be time consuming, it’s worth the wait as they are my favorite way to enjoy zucchini. They are made with a similar filling that goes into a kolokithopita, so if you plan on making both the pie and the fritters—plan ahead and make a big batch of the filling. When making the fritters, add flour or bread crumbs to hold the mixture together. Make a statement with your dining guests with these kolokithokeftedes. Save Print Kolokithokeftedes (Zucchini Fritters) Recipe type: Meze/Vegetarian   Aromatic zucchini fritters. Ingredients 2 medium zucchinis, grated (about 1 pound) 3 green onions, thinly sliced ¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped ¼ cup fresh mint, finely chopped 1 teaspoon of chili flakes Salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup crumbled feta cheese ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese 3 eggs ¾ cup all-purpose flour Olive oil, for frying Instructions Wash and grate the zucchini (skins on and …

Fried Zucchini Chips

One of the easiest ways to use up zucchini is to slice and fry, plus it’s a tasty way to get your servings of vegetables in for the day. Kolokithakia tiganita (fried zucchini) is a delicious appetizer that’s coated in a spiced beer batter and deep fried to a golden crisp. The trick to these is to make sure the zucchini is thinly sliced, dried well, and dipped lightly in the batter. The result is a crisp treat that is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. My little brother gave them high praise by saying they are “the bomb dot com.” Try them and see for yourself. And when you do, be warned that they will certainly disappear from the table in no time. Serve with skordalia (garlic sauce) or the light yogurt sauce I paired with this dish. Save Print Fried Zucchini Chips Recipe type: Meze/Vegetarian   Fried zucchini chips Ingredients 3 medium zucchini 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour Pinch of salt and pepper 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon baking powder 8 ounces of your beer of …