Shrimp cooked in a rich and spicy tomato sauce with ouzo and feta
In Greek cooking there are a whole slew of dishes which are categorized as saganaki. One of the most popular is cheese saganaki, that meze of fried cheese set aflame with the help of a little ouzo or Metaxa, which causes restaurant patrons to exclaim Opa! in delighted unison. The term saganaki actually refers to the small, two-handled frying pan in which the food is cooked called a sagani, a derivative of the Turkish word sahan, which means copper dish. Remember long ago when we told you that Mia Kouppa would also make you smarter? You’re welcome.
A delicious meal of fresh herbs, orzo and chickpeas
If you’re looking for a dish to remind you that spring is here, and that the cold winter months are behind you, then this is it. A simple recipe using orzo and loads of fresh herbs, the colour, smell and the flavour of this herbed orzo make it clear that sunny days are here…or at least, coming soon.
The fresh taste of this herbed orzo dish is enough to entice you to make it over and over again. But, an added bonus is that it is quick, easy, economical (super economical if you happen to have your own herb garden) and vegan, making it perfect for meatless Mondays, period of Orthodox lent, and any other time you want a plant-based meal. The addition of chickpeas ensures that the dish is full of protein and that it is satisfying.
There’s something about pasta! Not only are pasta dishes typically delicious (yeah for carbs!), but they are often quick to pull together and so satisfying that a small portion is enough to fill you up. (Having said that, larger portions are equally lovely!) When we need a meal in a hurry, we tend to stick to Greek pasta staples like spaghetti with olive oil and mizithra or manestra.
Raise your hand if you love pototoes! You there, in the back, holding a fist-full of french fries, we see you! And we love you! And, we too love potatoes. Whether they are roasted in the oven, bathed in all sorts of beautiful Greek flavours, or boiled and mashed and then transformed into the very distinctive Greek garlic spread called skordalia, we adore them. Potatoes are so versatile, so available, so economical, that it’s no wonder that the rustic cuisine of Greece has taken this commonplace vegetable and made it the star of a stew which we know will find a happy place in your hearts and stomachs.
A one skillet meal which is so easy and flavourful that you’ll find yourself making it over and over again.
Any meal that can come together in one pot, one pan or one baking tray is a winner in our books. When that meal happens to be delicious, and also requires little to no culinary skill, you know it’s going to be on the menu pretty often. This one skillet meal of calamari and rice also happens to be perfect for periods of Orthodox fasting, when dairy, eggs and meat are usually avoided, but seafood like calamari is perfectly appropriate.
If you have been following us on Instagram you may remember the saga of the lost pizza recipe. Okay, perhaps it was less saga than a panicked hiccup in our posting plans, but in these Instagram stories, the one of us responsible for writing up recipes shared that she had somehow misplaced the recipe for Thea Voula’s pizza. This admission of scatter-brain-ness was in part meant to convey relate-ability (hey…we’re ALL human!) and in part to let the other one of us know that the story had gone public, and that any sisterly retaliation could possibly go public too. Not that this was a real concern…really.
Yes, we eat rooster. And you know what? We think you should to! Although we recognize that rooster might seem to be an odd choice of poultry for many of you, we really want to convince you that in fact, it makes perfect sense.
But first, a little bird biology. If you are thinking to yourself, “Yeah, thanks Mia Kouppa… but no thanks…I’ll stick to eating chicken”, guess what? Rooster IS chicken. That’s right. You see, what you (and we), usually refer to as chicken is in fact hen; the female version of chicken that is most commonly found in grocery stores and markets. Roosters are male chickens.
We’re not really sure where this recipe came from. True, it comes from our parents’ kitchen, but before that is anyone’s guess. We also don’t know where the pizza inspiration came from. Growing up, homemade pizza was not something that we remember having in our home, and then one day, on a day that we don’t really remember, our parents announced that they had made pizza…and there was no looking back.
A complete and delicious meal of lemon chicken and vegetable studded rice
For us, this is the ultimate comfort food; a meal where the ingredients cook together slowly so that the flavours meld and develop, while you sit back and spend quality time with family and friends as things get perfect in the oven. This oven-baked chicken and rice dish is that kind of food. Although there is some active stove top work to do before you can pop everything into the oven and forget it, the work is minimal, and easy. The result, is most definitely worth it.
Simple ingredients slow-cooked to create the perfect Greek comfort food
There is a whole world of Greek food called kokkinista (κοκκινιστά), and we love them all. The term kokkinista means reddened, and the concept behind these dishes is simple; take a protein or vegetable, cook it slowly in a rich tomato sauce, serve it over something that can help sop up this lovely sauce, and realize that great food does not need to be fancy or complicated.