Saragli or Baklava cigars are a traditional Greek syrup soaked dessert make with phyllo dough and nuts
Σαραγλί. Do you know what is arguably better than baklava, the king of Greek syrup-soaked desserts? Saragli ! Saragli (pronounced with the accent on the last syllable) are basically baklava rolled into cigar shapes, making them easy to eat with your fingers, which then requires you to lick your fingers clean of the sweet, sticky syrup the saragli are soaked in. Of course, you can always be civilized and use a fork, or a napkin. We won’t judge.
A compilation of 10 traditional Greek meals for anyone interested in cooking Greek food.
Παραδοσιακές ελληνικές συνταγές. Anyone interested in learning more about Greek cooking and traditional Greek recipes will welcome this post! We’ve compiled a selection of traditional Greek foods which go beyond the better known, and amazing moussaka and pastitsio (don’t worry, we’ve included those too!). We hope that this will help inspire you to make Greek main meals that you may not have heard of, but that we think you will certainly enjoy.
Traditional Greek recipes are very regional; depending upon what area of Greece you are living and eating in, recipes will vary. Our parents are from the Peloponnese, Messinia to be more exact. So, some of these recipes, and their specific preparation are specific to that area, and to our family. We hope that you will enjoy them as much as we do!
Marinated chicken breasts which make an amazing chicken brochette.
Σουβλάκι κοτόπουλο. Years ago our parents, and each of our families, spent several weeks in Greece. It was a special trip because we were all together, for almost the entire summer. There were periods during which we went our separate ways, to visit places and people outside of our Kalamata home base, but otherwise we were together. It was also the year that our dear cousin got married, and the first time that our extended family met Billie’s daughters, the youngest being 3 years old at the time.
Greek biscotti, or paximadia, made with tsoureki bread and dipped in chocolate and sprinkles
Παξιμάδια τσουρεκιού. The common adage “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” (or avgolemono soup) is pretty good advice. The sentiment can be extended to so many things, including tsoureki. If you have read the post that accompanies our tsoureki recipe you’ll know that although our recipe is now fail-proof and delicious, it wasn’t always so. We have survived many disappointing tsourekia, with some being too dense, undercooked, or simply blah. Having been raised in a household where “waste nothing” was a very important mantra, we could never just dump our tsourekia in the trash (except for the one we called “The Tsourocki”….read more about that disaster in the tsoureki post).
A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.
Νηστίσιμος Μουσακάς. Settle in guys, this is going to be a long one. No, not the post…don’t worry about that. If you’re here only for the recipes, you’ll be happy to know that this particular blog entry doesn’t come with any nostalgia, no family stories, and no personal anecdotes that some people seem to find annoying on food blogs. Also, some people love them and if you happen to be in that group of people, head on over to posts like Horta and How to dye really cool Easter eggs…and Thea Voula’s cheesecake. Heck, most of our posts come with a healthy dose of, well, US!.
A traditional Greek potato salad with smoked herring from Messinia
Σαλάτα με πατάτες και καπνιστή ρέγγα. Our parents are from Messinia, a region found in the south western part of the Peloponnese. The capital is Kalamata and it is a marvelous part of the country. Soaring mountain ranges, fertile flatlands and forests, picturesque villages, citadels, vineyards and orchards are some of what make Messenia such a rich and glorious land.
Visitors have learned that there is much that this area has to offer and tourism plays an increasingly large role in the economy. Still, this fertile area is an agricultural wonderland and crops remain the most important industry for the region. Some of the main products are olive oil, Kalamata olives, oranges, sultana raisins and figs.
Baked squid stuffed with rice and herbs and baked in a tomato sauce.
Καλαμάρια γεμιστά με ρύζι. Greek stuffed calamari is a spectacular meal. If you have never had stuffed calamari we strongly encourage you to give this recipe a try. Calamari were made for stuffing. With their long, hollow (once cleaned) and supple body (which is technically called a mantle), you can easily fill them with an assortment of good stuff. In this Greek stuffed calamari recipe we use rice, some vegetables and herbs to create a wonderful lenten meal.
Greek recipe for octopus in a tomato sauce and small shaped pasta, baked in the oven.
Χταπόδι με κοφτό μακαρονάκι.. There are certain scenes which are immediately recognizable as being part of the landscape and story of Greece. The white washed walls and bright blue roofs of homes in Santorini is one. The expansive aqua-blue sea and pink sand of Elafonisi is another. Donkeys carrying satchels of whatever the mountainous village has to offer. The Acropolis at night. The sunset in Meteora . The dozens of octopus hanging and drying in the sun as if they were freshly laundered button-downs, while the fishermen look on and nearby psarotaverna (fish tavern) patrons rest assured that the menu is certainly fresh.
Is it a puree? Is it mashed potatoes? Is it a spread? We’re not really sure what the best word is to describe skordalia. So, instead of trying to label skordalia, let’s just describe it. This is a recipe that mixes boiled and mashed potatoes with a lot (like, A LOT) of mashed garlic, vinegar and oil. Skordalia is creamy, tangy, definitely garlicky, and one of those recipes that we always think we should make more often.
This is most certainly our favourite time of the year. The period of Great Lent which precedes Orthodox Pascha, along with the weeks of Kreatini (Meatfare) and then Tyrini (Cheesefare) which come before it are opportunities for renewal, spiritual growth and a deepening connection with our faith.
The choice on how to live during Great Lent is a personal one. There are certainly “rules” which are dictated by our faith, but situations, contexts, beliefs and capabilities vary and so anyone who is interested discussing their own personal reality is encouraged to speak to their parish priest or spiritual father.