All posts filed under: mezes

Greek Olive Tapenade

Chunky texture with robust flavor, mixed Greek olive spread is the perfect dip to keep on hand. The only con about this dish is that I never make enough of it. Spread on sandwiches or serve with your favorite cracker type, vegetable, or bread. Save Print Greek Olive Tapenade Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Dip Prep time:  5 mins Cook time:  5 mins Total time:  10 mins   Ingredients 2 cups (16 ounces) pitted Kalamata olives ¼ cup (2 ounces) pitted green olives* 2 cloves garlic, minced 6 basil leaves, lightly chopped 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Instructions Drain the olives and finely chop into consistent small pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the olives, garlics, basil, and oregano. Mix well.** Stir in olive oil and red wine vinegar and serve. Notes **For an extra bite and color, use pimento stuffed olives.**You can also pulse all your ingredients in a food processor, but I have found chopping by hand works best and creates a better texture. 3.5.3229 …

Vegan Paximadia

Nistisima Paximadia (Vegan Biscotti) is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth during Orthodox Lent. Made by substituting bananas in lieu of dairy products, this treat is arguably better than the real thing. Save Print Vegan Paximadia Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Vegan/Dessert Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  40 mins Total time:  50 mins Serves: 4 loaves   Ingredients 1 cup vegetable oil ¾ cup orange juice 1 ½ cups sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 small overripe banana 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 teaspoons baking powder 5-5 ½ cups sifted flour 1 cup dark chocolate chips or sliced almonds (if preferred) Instructions Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two baking sheets and set aside. Peel the banana and mash well into a large mixing bowl. Add vegetable oil, orange juice, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl and beat well with a whisk or an electric hand mixer. Beat well until smooth. Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder) and add slowly fold into mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Make sure the ingredients are combined …

Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions

When you’re short on time and don’t want to sacrifice flavor or nutrition, quickly whip up sautéed mushrooms and onions. With the versatility of mushrooms, you can serve this dish in almost any way you can imagine–eaten plain, on toast, atop steaks, in pasta–sautéed mushrooms and onions is a winner every time. Ingredients: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 pound mushrooms ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon Oregano 1 sprig fresh thyme ½ cup vegetable oil or white wine Salt and pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped Directions: 1. Thoroughly wash and drain the mushrooms. 2. Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once warm, add mushrooms and thyme. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook in pan for 3-5 minutes. 3. Add onions and garlic and allow to cook together for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. Add the vegetable oil, give the pan a stir, and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to cook on low to medium heat for 8-10 …

Tirokroketes (Fried Cheese Balls)

Gooey on the inside, crunchy on the outside, tirokroketes (fried cheese balls) is an  irresistible appetizer that will leave guests wanting more. For this dish, I use three different types of cheese: feta, graviera, and gouda. The three types play well together and creates great flavor. Eat plain, dunk in your favorite dipping sauce, or squeeze a lemon on top before serving and enjoy! Save Print Tirokroketes (Fried Cheese Balls) Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Meze/Appetizer Serves: 14-16 balls   Ingredients 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled 4 oz graviera cheese, grated* 4 oz gouda, grated 1 egg and 1 egg white ¼ cup milk ½ teaspoon paprika pepper, to taste all-purpose flour, for dredging vegetable oil, for frying Instructions In a mixing bowl, add the feta, graviera, gouda, eggs, and milk. Combine mixture well and season with pepper and paprika. If the mixture looks too runny, add in bread crumbs. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, to allow the mixture to firm up. When the cheese mixture is ready, add some …

Greek Bruschetta

Sunday dinners are my favorite. Sundays mean I have more time to carefully prepare a dinner for my family, rather than rushing after work to whip something up. I like to thoughtfully put a meal together. Sunday also means my yiayia is usually over at our house. One night, not even ten minutes before dinner was to be served, my yiayia asked me if we were having dakos (an appetizer with a rusk bread, tomatoes, and soft mizithra cheese). I shook my head no, and the playful smile left my yiayias face. That look of disappointment is something I never want to see again—I had to do something about it—and fast. Though dakos is easy to make, I didn’t have the ingredients for the dish on hand. As I frantically combed through my kitchen I found pita bread, tomatoes and feta cheese—basic staples in a Greek kitchen. Plus, out of luck, a coworker had sent me home with fresh basil that day. That was all I needed to make a Greek style bruschetta. Bruschetta is like …

Patatas Bravas, Greek Style

I freely admit I don’t have the greatest memory in the world. Recalling what I did a year or even a day ago proves to be a challenge at times. The main prompt that helps me recount an occasion is food. I have this otherwise useless power to remember who I ate with, what I ate, when I ate it, where I ate, and why. Here’s an example: On a trip to Spain in 2017 with three of my friends, Amy, Ali, and Elefteria, the very first thing we ate was patatas bravas atop a Madrid rooftop bar. I remember what we drank too—sangria, a pitcher or two to be exact. Why? Because Spain. Patatas bravas is a traditional Spanish tapa made with crispy potatoes and topped with a spicy tomato sauce that hasn’t left my memory taste bank since that very first bite. So much so that I immediately wanted to turn this Spanish tapa into a Greek style meze. How to make them “Greeky” you may wonder? Simply parboil, then bake the potatoes …

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers with Feta

I’m a firm believer that everything tastes better with bacon. I’m also an extreme spice advocate—I love anything with a spicy bite. The more it burns my mouth the better. So, it was only a matter of time before I added these popular appetizers to my blog. These bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers are “Greekified” within the filling, by combining the deliciously salty feta cheese with thick Greek yogurt for a creamy texture. Once the jalapeño is stuffed, wrap a thin strip of bacon wraps around to seal the popper together and sent to the oven. While jalapeño peppers are what’s standard for this appetizer, you can also spice up or down the pepper to your liking. If you want a hotter bite, use habaneros. For a milder bite, use small poblanos or even mini bell peppers work well. Whatever type of pepper you choose to use, be cautioned that these poppers are addictive and will disappear once served. Save Print Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers with Feta Prep time:  5 mins Cook time:  35 mins Total time:  …

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 …

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 …