We love food; we love to eat food, write about food and talk about food. It must run in the family, because we have recently (like right now) been enjoying a visit from our Australian cousin. Along with showing off our beautiful city, hanging out with all of our cousins, and hearing about the perils of living down under (we have decided that Aussies are much braver than us Canadians!), we have found ourselves constantly talking about food…possibly because we are always eating. We have been having a truly beautiful time.
During one of our late evening food discussions, one of the things that we got to talking about, is this recipe. This is not our parents’ creation, and it isn’t totally ours, or solely our cousin’s. This, friends, is the result of what transpires when love, laughter and plenty of wine come together to talk about food, Mia Kouppa, and how wonderful feta is. It is a simple, decadent, and amazing way to enjoy typical Greek flavours, and we think you’ll love it, mate!
Feta is, of course, the star here, and because of that you need to be sure to use the best feta you can find. For us, this means Greek feta, a soft, brined cheese, which is made of either sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat milk. There really is nothing else like it, and cheaper substitutions are cheaper for a reason. Feta made outside of Greece may contain cow’s milk, which will significantly affect the flavour and texture of the cheese. In fact, feta is protected by European Union legislations and only cheese produced in various regions of Greece can be labeled ‘feta’. Because of its popularity, Greek feta is usually quite easy to find outside of Greece.
The heat from cooking makes the feta very soft, and so transferring it off of the parchment-lined tin foil to a serving dish gets messy, and is quite unnecessary. To serve, simply place your feta packet on a trivet, cutting board, or a dish, and eat it straight out of the parchment paper / tin foil pack.
We have made this recipe on the outdoor grill, but if you are cooking indoors and don’t want to fire up the barbecue solely for this, you can easily prepare it in the oven. Cooking instructions for both the grill and the oven are similar, and are indicated in the actual recipe.
Mia Kouppa: Warm feta packages
- Feta, a slab cut into a 1/2 inch slice, 4 x 3 inches long and wide
- 1/2 a tomato
- 5-6 Kalamata olives
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil You will also need:
- aluminum foil
- parchment paper
- Preheat your grill (medium heat) or your oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Cut pieces of parchment paper and tin foil which are the same size, and large enough to fully, and loosely, enclose your slab of feta. Place the parchment paper on top of the aluminum foil and then place the feta in the middle of the parchment paper.
- Dice the tomato and scatter the pieces on top of the feta. Place the olives on top of the tomato. Season with the oregano, paprika, and ground black pepper. Pour the olive oil over the dressed up feta.
- Create a packet with the parchment paper and aluminum foil so that the feta is completely enclosed. Make sure that it is tented, meaning you don’t want the tin foil to wrap up your food tightly; you want there to be some space in your packet.
- Place on your outdoor grill over medium heat for 5 minutes. If you are preparing this in your oven, bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for a couple of minutes.
- Open your packet carefully; there may be steam in the packet which could burn you. Enjoy this delicious feta straight out of the packet. Enjoy spreading it on some bread, or all on its own.