Smooth, creamy and packed with flavour
We each have vivid memories of returning home after spending time at a non-Greek friend’s house and telling our parents about the unusual and often delicious foods we had eaten there. We were both pretty adventurous and rarely refused anything which was offered to us. We were especially intrigued by food which came from a can…because this was not something you ever saw in our childhood kitchen. We were amazed at the convenience, the variety, the flavour, and the colourful labels and whimsical names that were stacked high in our friends’ pantries. When we went grocery shopping with our parents we would search for these cans in the aisles and try to convince them to buy them for us. It rarely worked. Instead, our parents would read the labels, (often asking us to translate what was written) and say Θα το κάνουμε καλύτερα (We’ll make it better). This was how we ended up with Greek-style beef ravioli, home-made alphabet noodle pasta, and this cream of tomato soup.
Summer flavours in a bowl of pasta
Pasta is our hero. When we think the pantry is bare and there is nothing for supper, pasta is there. When we find ourselves rushed and harried, pasta is there. When we’ve had a difficult day and want to eat our comfort, pasta is there. Whether it is a long slender spaghetti, a perfectly plump penne or a fancy farfalle, pasta has saved many a meals.
Rich chocolate zucchini cake with a hint of orange
Let’s get one thing straight. We are firm believers that there is always a time and place for cake. It doesn’t matter what your food preferences are, what the diet fad of the moment is, how much weight you think you need to lose or how much sugar you need to cut out of your diet. Everything in moderation is fine. The only problem is that it’s going to be hard for you to keep to moderation with this double chocolate zucchini cake, because it is so darn delicious. However, given that there are 3 cups of grated zucchini in this bundt, we’re not sure that it even qualifies as cake. Come to think of it, it’s more of a vegetable side dish. Moderation problem solved.
Soft and kind of fluffy pita bread
The French have the baguette, Mexican cuisine has the tortilla, Indian aloo gobi gets sopped up with soft, pillowy naan bread, and if you’ve every treated your palate to Ethiopian food you’ll likely remember using the pancake-like bread called injera to scoop up every bite you took. Every culture, every cuisine seems to have a variation of some cereal or grain based bread that is quintessentially their own. For Greeks, that is the pita.
If you read our previous post you know that Penguin Random House Canada recently provided us with a review copy of The Great Shellfish Cookbook: From Sea to Table More than 100 Recipes to Cook at Home by Matt Dean Pettit. This is a lovely book that any home cook who is curious about seafood, or who simply wants to increase their repertoire of great seafood recipes, should have on hand. We tested the Chili Lime Side Stripe Shrimp Lettuce Wraps; a mouthful of a recipe title to match the many mouthfuls you will want to have of this dish.
Super easy lettuce wrapped shrimp
So this is different! We were recently provided with a review copy of The Great Shellfish Cookbook: From Sea to Table More than 100 Recipes to Cook at Home by Matt Dean Pettit from Penguin Random House Canada, and boy, were we excited. First of all, we love seafood and shellfish…all of it! Second, the idea of reviewing a cookbook, telling all of you what we thought of it and testing some of the recipes, frankly made us feel a little special. But then, the uneasiness crept in. What if this cookbook was awful? What if we hated it? What if the recipes were boring and bland? How would we navigate the ocean waters between being ethical and honest in our review while at the same time being respectful to a chef and publishing company that we clearly did not want to upset. What were two blogging sisters to do?
A grilled vegetable salad with a fresh herb dressing
Once again, zucchini feature prominently in this recipe. We just can’t get enough of this summer squash staple, whether we are turning them into chips, fritters or mixing them with other summer vegetables to make a quick meal. In this recipe, we use both green zucchini and yellow squash (which is often called yellow zucchini). Although both of these vegetables have very similar flavours, the difference in their colour makes this salad more interesting visually. Add to that the colourful bell peppers and the fresh green herbs and before you know it you will have a bowl of coloured goodness to serve.
Zucchini, herb and feta fritters!
Ever wonder what summer tastes like? You might think it’s cool like ice cream, or bursting with citrus zing, but we’re pretty sure that if you could sample the essence of summer on your tongue it would taste like zucchini. Seriously!
Every summer, for as long as we can remember, when our parents plant their garden there is a special section devoted for zucchini and other squash. In their current home, where they have been for several years, they actually have what we refer to as an annex to their garden. The back fence bordering their tomatoes and peppers and spinach has been jimmied so that it opens up just wide enough for someone (our dad) to squeeze through. On the other side, at a width of several feet, our parents plant their squash. Here they grow pumpkins, butternut squash, zucchini and all sorts of other colourful and bizarre looking gourds, free and uninhibited; the only other things you will find here are some grape leaf vines and wild flowers. Talk about a secret garden!
Not just another pretty salad!
Do you think that the combination of tomato and mango sounds strange? We do too! In fact, if you had suggested a few months ago that this flavour combination would be delicious, we would have rolled our eyes and suggested that you put your tomatoes to a better use, like with a nice Greek salad perhaps.
Hello Montreal and Laval friends (and those willing to travel!),
We are so excited to announce our first Mia Kouppa workshop; an evening of delicious food and fun. During this event you will learn how to make pork souvlaki, tzatziki, Greek salad, and baklava… and then get to eat it all!
There will be demonstrations, opportunities for hands-on learning and interaction, lots of eating and we’re pretty sure, a lot of laughs (there may even be some dancing going on!)
If you are going to be in Montreal or Laval on Saturday September 8th, we would love to meet you, and cook with you.
Your ticket includes:
– Cocktails and mezes prior to the active part of the workshop
– Dinner and dessert
– Thank you token
– Lots of fun 😉
We look forward to seeing you there!
– Space is limited, don’t delay! 🙂 Click on the link to secure your spot: https://e.sparxo.com/Mia-Kouppa-Workshop-September-2018
– Please note that this menu includes nuts, gluten and dairy
– Please inform us on the members of your party (firstname.lastname@example.org) in order for us to arrange seating as best as possible
– Your ticket is non refundable. However, it is transferable! Please inform us on the name swaps