Fried zucchini chips (Tηγανητά κολοκυθάκια)

Greek fried zucchini chips. A delicious and easy recipe!

Greek Fried zucchini chips. A simple, and delicious recipe!

Zucchini (also called courgettes by people with lovely British accents) are funny vegetables; they kind of just creep up on you.  If you have ever planted zucchini in your garden, we can bet the farm (we don’t actually have a farm) that you have had an Oh My! zucchini moment.  You know, those times where you check to see if there is anything to harvest, and somewhere, deep in the mess of prickly leaves and stems, you find a zucchini that you had clearly missed during previous pickings.  It seems that even an extra day or two of undetected growing leads to Steroid Squash; mammoth zucchini that we can’t help but pose for pictures with… you know… to give perspective.

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Rack of lamb (Ράφι αρνιών)

Greek rack of lamb recipe

Greek rack of lamb recipe

Greeks love lamb…usually.  It is certainly an acquired taste, which some people find too strong or game-y.  If you are someone who likes lamb however, then you are probably going to love this recipe.  Here, our parents take a special cut of meat, treat it with simplicity and ease, and create a dish which is quick enough for a weeknight dinner, yet fancy enough for company or a special occasion.

Although this lamb is so delicious that it can stand on it’s own, you will likely need to offer your family or friends something along with the meat. Consider serving your lamb with a salad, such as a pasta salad or the traditional Greek maroulosalata.  Add some french fries to your table, a bit of tzatziki, and a nice hunk of fresh bread, and raise a glass to good health, good times and good food.  Eva!

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Spoon sweet vanilla with ouzo (Βανίλια με ούζο)

Spoon sweet vanilla

Greek spoon sweet vanilla

Like many immigrants of their generation, our parents started a new life, in a new country, with very little in their pockets, no social support network, and no knowledge of the language they were now surrounded by.  To make ends meet, they both worked long and hard hours.  When our mother first arrived, alone, in Canada, she worked as a live-in maid for several wealthy families. When she married my dad, they then went on to work in the garment industry,  food processing plants and housekeeping department of a rehabilitation center.  These were not glamorous jobs, but they were always done with pride, respect and commitment.  We can’t remember our parents ever taking a sick day, or ever complaining that they wished they didn’t have to work that day.  As young girls, we saw our dad leaving the house at 6 am, returning home at approximately 4 pm, and then leaving again shortly afterwards to meet our mom at her job.  Her employers were nice enough to allow our father to help her with her work, so that she could finish earlier, and come home to her children.  Looking back, they both must have been exhausted, but we never heard either of them complain that they were tired.  Instead, our father would often say, work is health (η δουλειά είναι υγεία).

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Cheese Saganaki (Σαγανάκι)

 

Cheese saganaki. Try this delicious Greek fried cheese recipe!

Cheese saganaki. Try this delicious Greek fried cheese recipe!

If you have never had cheese saganaki…we’re sorry.  But, we’re also really happy that you are reading this, because now, you’ll be able to make this easy, fantastic cheese appetizer for yourself, and anyone else you want to be really nice to.

Our parents have made this fried cheese meze many ways over the years, and each method was quite delicious…because, fried cheese!  But, the winner method and recipe actually comes from Akis Petretzikis (sorry Ma and Ba).  If you love Greek food, you have most certainly heard of this young, hip, tattooed Greek chef.  He is very handsome popular!  In fact, his website, Akis Kitchen was recently voted Number 1 of the Top 40 Greek Food Blogs.  Another fun fact, Mia Kouppa, (just a few months after we posted our first recipe), was voted NUMBER 9 on that same list! What!!??? We know….crazy!!! And wonderful!!

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Maroulosalata (Μαρουλοσαλάτα)

Maroulosalata, a deliciously, simple, easy lettuce salad where the lettuce is the star!

Maroulosalata, a deliciously, simple, easy lettuce salad where the lettuce is the star!

When we were teenagers, and decided that we knew everything, we would get into heated discussions with our parents over this salad.  We had heard that when a knife is used to cut lettuce, as was the case in our parents’ kitchen, there is a chance that lettuce cell boundaries will be damaged.  For reasons we never really understood, this resulted in sub-par lettuce leaves.  Because of this, we explained to our parents that lettuce had to be torn, by hand, into large, bite-sized pieces; this was necessary to preserve its integrity.  It was also the way most of our non-Greek friends ate their salad, and frankly, we wanted to be a little like them.  Our parents gave the hand-torn lettuce a try (once), and quickly deemed the non-uniform, large-ish  pieces of green, to be too cumbersome to eat.  Back to the cutting board.

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Pork souvlaki (Σουβλάκι χοιρινό)

Grilled Pork souvlaki recipe. Marinated overnight, and deliciously flavourful and tender

Grilled Pork souvlaki recipe. Marinated overnight, and deliciously flavourful and tender

Students of Greek literary classics and philosophy may remember that Homer, Aristotle and Aristophanes all refer to feasts of skewered meat in various texts and documents. Fascinating! Or, true scholars of ancient Greek things may read this and laugh, in which case it probably isn’t true, and Wikipedia lied to us.  You really can’t believe everything you read on the internet!

Regardless of whether or not the characters in the Iliad fortified their bellies with souvlakia before battling in the Trojan war, this Greek staple is definitely worth fighting for.  But, there actually is no struggle here; these pork souvlakia are incredibly easy and simple to prepare, and will likely satisfy every mouth you are feeding.  The only fight may be deciding who gets the last one.

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Olive oil and lemon sauce (Λαδολέμονο)

Olive oil and lemon sauce. An easy and delicious recipe of only 3 ingredients, to liven up your grilled meat or fish.

Olive oil and lemon sauce. An easy and delicious recipe of only 3 ingredients, to liven up your grilled meat or fish.

When Greeks grill meat or fish, any meat or fish, it typically receives the same treatment: cook until done, pile everything onto a platter, and dress immediately with a generous combination of olive oil, oregano and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  This sauce (for lack of a better word…Can you think of a better word?…Maybe dressing?) coats everything, and mixes together with the juices coming from the grilled goods to create something fantastic.

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